What a world cup. The football was amazing and yet again the old stalwarts are slowly being removed and the invincibility being removed. Putin should take note.
While watching the BBC final summary of the world cup, it was said how we had Russian wrong. How open and friendly the country was and how Putin has in fact delivered a world cup to remember. It was definitely one of the best, but does this change the face of Russia?
As with the winter Olympics, Russia gave a fantastic show. But like any serial abuser, the show only gets better to distract from the bruises. Russia is still waging war with Ukraine, through Russian trained militia fighters. It has still illegally annexed Crimea. It has still emboldened President Assad to use chemical weapons on numerous occasions on innocent civilians. He is still waging an online war to divide the US and push the UK towards Brexit.
When the BBC and others wax lyrical about Putin and Russia they need to remember that when you are killed for speaking out again Putin then why would you openly disagree with him. As the Simon Reeves show on Russia showed, the secret police are everywhere and this is not a free country to openly voice concerns. You struggle to be openly gay in the country and corruption is rife.
So, lets try and be clear with this. The Russian people live in a totalitarian state. They are not the enemy. The Russian people are just people trying to survive and so they are friendly, welcoming and enjoy their sport. We should not be surprised by this but see it as further evidence that there is more than we have in common than differences.
This should not detract from the fact that Putin has put every effort to divide the EU and the United states. His paid servants in the white house and UKIP have done a marvellous job in promoting and pushing for a fascist in the UK and US. He does not mind if it fails because the turmoil and distractions mean he can continue to strip his countries assets and abuse his people with impunity.
Yes, it was a fantastic world cup, but let’s not kid ourselves of anything other than the illusion that Putin is our enemy. He will remain our enemy until he stops interfering in other countries by force or online and delivers a democracy to the Russian people.