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Tag: FIFA World Cup 2018

Russia – Saudi Arabia: the FIFA World Cup opening match and Russia’s changing role in the Middle East

The football tournament that kicks off in Russia begins with a match between two players who are already occupied playing a different game, with even bigger stakes.

June 14, 2018 - Cyrille Bret

Sport, geopolitics and Russia. A short history

Throughout the last 70 plus years, the Soviet Union and Russia have used large sporting events for both geopolitical and domestic purposes. While the latter often brought about desired results, achieving success in the former continues to elude Russia. This year the Kremlin will most likely try to use the FIFA World Cup to show the world that Russia matters, and showcase Putin as a powerful world leader.

April 26, 2018 - Anna Maria Dyner

Long live Kim Jong-un: how Russia helps the dictator thrive

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said there is an estimated 40,000 North Koreans working in Russia today, with some assessments indicating that this number will continue to grow. Human rights activists describe these workers as modern slaves, whose working conditions are harsh under the pressure to complete preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Kim Jong-un's North Korea is now at the centre of international news with its nuclear tests and reported preparations for more missile launches. Last autumn Kim Jong-un promised to complete his nuclear programme, despite new sanctions imposed by the West. Russia’s Vladimir Putin has rejected US calls for new sanctions on Pyongyang, claiming that it would be a counter-productive “road to nowhere” and may trigger a “global catastrophe”. This statement could be interpreted as an act of solidarity with the North Korean regime, since Putin's friends and senior officials are also under western sanctions.

However, upon closer examination this is not the only explanation. One of the major proposals of the sanctions package against North Korea is to cut off sources of foreign currency, limiting its ability to continue developing its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. This would signify a major shift for Moscow, as it would have to stop employing cheap North Korean labour.

January 2, 2018 - Artem Filatov

FIFA World Cup 2018: A geopolitical event for Europe

The next FIFA World Cup will have a particular signification: the time (June 14th – July 15th) and the place (Russia) will give the Russian Federation a global audience. It will also place the country and the Putin regime under the scrutiny of the world during several weeks.

November 3, 2017 - Cyrille Bret

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