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Vladimir Putin sees the tournament as a crucial PR exercise for his country. He won’t risk losing face.
Putin’s enemies will remember the Skripal poisoning even if memories of a stunt in Ukraine fade.
Short-term peace for PR purposes, long-term ego clashes.
Representatives in the Russian parliament, the Duma, have long been unpopular. Yet President Putin is immune to voter's discontent.
My generation should be asking questions, debating and searching for truth. Instead, resentful people watch the military parade and re-runs of the Soviet war films.
Remembering the first wave of privatisation in the 1990s, when things fell apart.
When asked whether their country is a democracy, Russians struggle to find a comprehensive answer.
New statues and memorabilia are appearing, as Russians overlook the terror to hark back to a perceived era of order and national safety.
The growing feud between the two nations is traumatising: nearly everyone in Russia has relatives in Ukraine.