The World Cup Is A Chance To Show The World That Russia And The Kremlin Are Not The Same Thing

June 14, 2018

It’s the World Cup, which our country is hosting this year, and on which, according the official data, around 620 billion rubles has been spent.

Of course we could say that with this money we could have built countless new hospitals or that the money could have been spent on a pension fund, etc. but we’re not going to talk about that because we know for sure that if that money was not spent on the World Cup, then it would simply have ended up disappearing into people’s pockets.  But 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities, which have been more or less put into acceptable shape, will provide a fantastic spectacle for both our fans and fans from around the world.

What will the World Cup bring us besides the satisfaction of watching the games and besides the fact that the world will look at Russia in a slightly different way than it has for the past 4 years; not as a country that goes to war, but as a country that has organised something interesting for the rest of the world.

Of course what the Kremlin has done over the past 4 years has turned many people away from having a favourable impression of Russia.  We cannot forget about the 10,000 dead in Eastern Ukraine even during a time of celebration.

Many have spoken about the necessity to boycott the World Cup.  I stood against this boycott, as many others did, because the World Cup is a celebration for millions, even tens of millions of fans from our country and hundreds of millions of fans from across the world.  It is a gigantic and beautiful spectacle.  It is not the Kremlin which is inviting the world to be its guest for such a wonderful spectacle as the World Cup; it is Russia, and tens of millions of normal Russian people.

For us it is vitally important that we use the World Cup to show the world that on the one hand there is the Kremlin, and on the other hand there are regular Russians, the kind of regular people who are not interested in annexing the territory of neighbouring states, nor who are interested in conducting shady business in other countries.  We have our country, a country with no shortage of problems; problems which we ourselves want to solve.  This is an opportunity to show our guests what we are really doing in Russia, and what we really think about our neighbours.

Being a guest of the Kremlin isn’t worth it.  Therefore I have called for and will continue to call for the political leaders and officials of other countries not to be a guest of Vladimir Putin, as this is in fact not to be a guest of the Russian people, but a guest of a criminal gang that has captured the power of the Kremlin.  A gang that is conducting a war in eastern Ukraine, which is robbing its own people and which is far from concerned with working for the betterment of the country.

Don’t be a guest of Putin’s criminal regime.  Respected politicians and officials, this time around support your favourite teams from your television.

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