Vladimir Putin—Using 2018 World Cup to Score His Own Goals

History shows that, for the Kremlin, international sports often march arm in arm with war. Could the pattern be repeated this year?

Russia is gearing up to host what promises to be the most widely viewed sporting event of the year—the 2018 fifa World Cup. Russia’s hosting of this massive event is worth keeping a watchful eye on because it gives President Vladimir Putin an opportunity to score some goals of his own, in both Russia and the world arena.

Several chapters of recent history show that—for Moscow—international sporting events have often marched arm in arm with war. For this reason, Arkady Ostrovsky, the Russia editor for the Economist, says the eyes of the world will be locked on Moscow in the lead-up to the World Cup.