World cup blog post 2

A great but exhausting day in Nizhny Novgorod. The city seems to have two halves – an old one on one side of the river, and a newer Soviet one on the other side. Our hotel is on the top of a hill overlooking the newer part of town and the football stadium. The view from my room is superb. The downside is that it’s over 30 degrees Celsius, my room doesn’t have air conditioning, and there was loud music blaring from somewhere outside till about 3 am, so I didn’t get a lot of sleep.

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View of Nizhny Novgorod

In the morning, we visited the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin, and then went to the Beeline store to sort out the mobile phone problem. The girl in the store said that this wasn’t the first time this had happened to people. The only solution was to buy a new SIM card. Frankly, this was a ripoff, but what to do? Things are at least now working. I hope they stay that way.

And then there was the game – and what a game!! 6-1 victory to England. Here’s Harry Kane preparing for one of his penalties:

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I thought that the stadium was excellent. We were well shaded and there was an occasional breeze, so despite the extreme heat we were actually very comfortable. Everything was very well organized, with free buses taking us there back and good control of the crowds. I think that getting away from the stadium was probably the quickest I’ve ever experienced at a football game, even though there was a crowd of 43,000. In general, I think those responsible managed things very smoothly. In addition, there was a very positive atmosphere in the stadium with supporters of both sides and many neutrals all mixed in together but getting along well. In short,a successful event.

Tomorrow we head back to Moscow where on Tuesday we’ll be seeing France v Denmark. In the meantime, let’s hope for a cooler, quieter night tonight!

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “World cup blog post 2”

  1. Hello Prof. Robinson. I love this site, but there is an interesting opinion piece on Al Jazeera that details massive state oppression coinciding with the World Cup. The pension piece seems to get the logic of raising the pension age wrong (since it is more likely a decision to maintain the size of the workforce rather any financial consideration) but the reported extent of imprisonment of opposition members, even ones as dubious as Navalny, is disturbing.

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    1. Why do you believe Al Jazeera?

      Funded by Qatar / they are not exactly world leader in human rights and democracy/

      do they have demonstrations in Qatar?

      They are always loaded with anti Russia bull crap

      Not even the UK papers have accused Russia of any of the things you have stated in your post and they do not like Russia one bit.

      If anything like what you have described is going on the bbc the guardian will be the first to say this

      As for the issue of raising the age of pension that is an issue for the Russian people and their govt.

      In the UK I will be retiring god willing at 67.
      I don’t even recall any debate about raising it from 65 – I just got a letter a few years ago telling me!!!

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    2. “but the reported extent of imprisonment of opposition members, even ones as dubious as Navalny, is disturbing.”

      Why? Why is it “disturbing”? Why do you call it “state oppression”? Why not provide the link, actual quotes and evidence?

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      1. Here is the link. I think Al Jazeera itself is generally quite balanced, and its habit of hosting opinion pieces from commentators with different views is commendable. It is one thing to say that the western media’s hysterical attacks against Russia are dangerous and reprehensible, and quite another to pretend that the Kremlin is spotless, especially in the light of its willingness to kill, imprison, or compromise selected political opponents. It does not hold, because the NYTimes is willing to provide cover for every false flag battack, and blame Putin for every death of a notable Russian, that the Russian security apparatus is not still oppressive. I read an interesting piece on the World Cup in Russia, and I hope for insight on the validity of the content of that piece.
        https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/kremlin-russians-watching-world-cup-180624101121762.html

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  2. Please post more pictures from your trip!

    England’s win knocked everything else off the news! Here in the UK

    I’m sure now the media will have to be more positive about the World Cup.

    The government and the football association look foolish not sending anyone to support the team.

    We have pictures in all the papers of Prince William watching the game while he is supposed to be on an important visit to Jordan, Israel the Occupied territories and Palestinian authority !!!

    The power of football

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just got back from Moscow and Nizhny. Agree with everything you say, everyone having a good time. Only grumble is the hotel prices have obviously gone up or been booked up, so have had to stay in some lower quality places. Russia could do with a good budget hotel chain!

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  4. 2Thomas Bergbusch

    “I think Al Jazeera itself is generally quite balanced”

    By Allah – Roman Dobrokhotov? Really?! Thomas Bergbusch, when you read/link article, do you pay attention to the author? The category of piece (“opinion”) should IMMEDIATELY disqualify any possible paens you might want to sing about Al Jazeera’s, ah, “integrity”.

    Roman Dobrokhotov is a Russian journalist, blogger, non systemic oppositionist of the “liberal” bent, leader of the democratic movement “We”, member of the federal political council of the movement “Solidaroty”. In 2007 – 2008, he repeatedly participated in the “March of Dissenters” (rus. “Марш несогласных”).

    December 12, 2008 Roman Dobrokhotov interrupting the speech of then President (and the hope of all Russian liberal beau monde) Dmitry Medvedev during his speech in the Kremlin on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Dobrokhotov shouted at him: “Why are you listening to him?! He violated all the rights and freedoms of men and citizens! … The constitution is violated, there is censorship in the country, there are no election, and he talks about the Constitution …”. This catapulted Dobrokhotov to the world fame – since May 2009 Dobrokhotov has been actively “cooperating” with the US propaganda outlet Radio Liberty. In March 2010 Dobrokhotov signed an collective demand by the Russian opposition figures “Putin must leave.” In September 2012, he joined the general list of the candidates for the Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition.

    Since then (i.e. for the last 6 years) Dobrokhotov accomplished exactly NOTHING.

    Thomas Bergbusch, should you chance upon an opinion piece in RT or Sputnik penned by, say, Lauren Southern, about absolutely terrible, horrible, sky-is-falling situation with the repression of the white people in Canada, would you be equally jubilant in your celebration of the “good journalism”?

    “it is one thing to say that the western media’s hysterical attacks against Russia are dangerous and reprehensible, and quite another to pretend that the Kremlin is spotless, especially in the light of its willingness to kill, imprison, or compromise selected political opponents”

    1) The author of the piece is so-called Russian opposition journalist, i.e. an integral part of the western hysterical media attack wave against Russia (see above)

    2) Thomas Bergbusch, could you be so kind here as to innumerate when “the Kremlin” (What you understand by that, btw? Not a medieval Russian fortress, I guess) killed, compromised, imprisoned (unjustly) it’s “selected political opponents”?

    From the article:

    “The World Cup is in full blast and Russia hadn’t seen such level of festivities for generations.”

    The author decided to open his article with a “bang”, and, thus showed himself to be a pompous ass. The Winter Olympics were just 4 years ago. Pretending that before the World Cup of 2018 Russia knew only doom and gloom is at the very least disingenuous.

    “Just a few months earlier these same policemen brandishing batons were chasing around protesters and most likely will be doing the same in a month’s time”

    So true! Here, I have some 100% genuine photos showing Kremlin enabled police brutality in Russia:

    Oh, wait… It ain’t no Russia! It’s the blessed democratic West!

    “Other state organs have also done the same; for example, the interior ministry had officially ordered its regional branches not to publish information about crime.”

    British “The Tory Telegraph” was among the first to start spreading this “good news” – see, perfidious Kremlin is hiding the crimes! Thankfully, any person with the knowledge of Russian can go by the link train right to those regional newsservices that furnished MediaZona (oppos den of “free press”) with these “marvelous” news. Let see, Dorokhotov citing with glee his fellow “free and independent” journos claims, that “the interior ministry had officially ordered its regional branches not to publish information about crime”. Btw – we won’t have any confirmation even in their own pieces that The Interior Ministry ordered to do that. As the evidence they provided links to the sites of the regional chapters of the Ministry of the Interior and the Investigative Committee of Russia that were “lacking” such news.

    Well, how is it in reality? Just from 26-27 June top news on Sakhalin’s SledCom we have an opening of the case on the bribery, draft evasion, organization of the illegal gambling, non-payment of the salary to the workers. If we look way back at the regional MVD’s site we will find out that nothing stands out in June compared to any other month – yes, “prophylactic talks”, yes, information about new regulations, and, yes, reports about road incidents. What suppressed news are they talking about? Russian “state-owned” media sites and media platform are likewise don’t shy from reporting criminal incidents that are transpiring (oh, horror!) right now.

    “But Russia’s economy is not doing that well (in May, for example, the real income fell by 10 percent) and the government needs money.”

    That’s the level of analysis we have here, ladies and gentlemen. Fucking stellar! For the eternally kvetching mob to which Dobrokhotov truly belongs, Russia will never be “doing well”, no matter the economy growth. Also, dear authors does not mention neither that said reform, if implemented, would only change the pension age in 2028, nor the common European practice in that regard.

    In your original comment you wrote: “the reported extent of imprisonment of opposition members, even ones as dubious as Navalny, is disturbing”. Dobrokhotov fails to prove the innocence of those whom he lionizes in his article or, failing that, disprove any of the official accusations against them. Yes, it is a crime to plot a coup against any government and the people all over the world are punished for that. The goes to the spies. The same goes to the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization banned in both the EU and Russia, to which said “innocent” persecuted on the “ethnic” grounds belonged.

    “Interestingly enough, the last time Russia reached the Round of 16 at a World Cup was 1986 (then still the Soviet Union). On social media, some have taken to drawing parallels between then and now: hosting Olympic Games, waging a war abroad, getting sanctioned because of it, suffering from low oil prices. In the 1980s, the story ended with the announcement of the perestroika and eventually the collapse of the system”

    See? Numerology is the only refuge these sad, pathetic sacks of liberalism can find for themselves – because they can’t find them in facts, science and reality. Awhhh! How cute – predicting the Downfall of the Regime year after year!

    Thomas Bergbusch, you strike me as a person with rather limited knowledge about Russia, with a ready pre-set of the stereotypes and very limited desire to learn new things or analyze consumed information. Are you trying to make a point via crapping all over the virtual place via this “solid” article?

    P.S. Because it was published by Al-Jazeera, I feel that need to end my comment with this wa-makarū wa-makara llāhu wa-llāhu khayru l-mākirīn

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  5. Lyttenburgh: I can confess only to having read a lot of Russian history and analysis of Soviet and post-Soviet politics, and having a number of Russian friends — I have never visited Russia, though I would very much like to. Some of the detail you have provided on Roman Dobrokhotov is very useful, but, apart from ad-hominen attacks on him (accurate though they may be), your comment is not very helpful in determining the accuracy of Dobrokhotov’s claims. IS there not someone out there who can provide a more dispassionate (but still well-informed) assessment of the piece in Al Jazeera?

    Like

    1. “I can confess only to having read a lot of Russian history and analysis of Soviet and post-Soviet politics”

      Translation: you (a person with no background in history) read Westerner written examples of the triumphant ideologically correct historiography, that, universally, portrays The Enemy (i.e. Russia of literally any time period, but the Soviet Union in particular) as the literal Hell on the Earth, providing all the needed twists and spins to the facts.

      “…and having a number of Russian friends — I have never visited Russia…”

      Translation: you can have a number of “Russian” friends while simultaneously never visiting Russia if only those said friends are post-Soviet émigrés and/or their descendants – a curious mix of the perpetually kvetching Brighton Beach/Berlin/Haifa International and the so-called “kielbasa émigrés” from 1990s-2000s with the occasional addition of the “new wave dissidents” from 2010s. In short – a group of butthurt people with no love to their “Motherland” (up to and greater than Smerdyakov levels)) that could no serve as the representatives of the Russian people. They are mules, forever trapped between the West and Russia both mentally and culturally.

      “…but, apart from ad-hominen attacks on him (accurate though they may be), your comment is not very helpful in determining the accuracy of Dobrokhotov’s claims…”

      Dobrokhotov and all other liberast losers deserve to be bullied and dismissed as a bunch of butthurt Russophobic profligates. End of the story. And, yes – I showed how Dobrokhotov is either lying or manipulates facts in his piece, presenting an one sided picture that suits his ideological angle. Saying that his article is a solid journalism is indefensible.

      Meanwhile, Thomas Bergbusch, you have done nothing to answer my growing list of questions, so I repeat them all here for your convenience:

      1) What is “disturbing” in the State arresting/detaining lawbreakers?

      2) Why do you call the action above “state oppression”? (side question – is it also a “state oppression” when you are issued a fine for violating the speed limit?)

      3) Should you chance upon an opinion piece in RT or Sputnik penned by, say, Lauren Southern, about absolutely terrible, horrible, sky-is-falling situation with the repression of the white people in Canada, would you be equally jubilant in your celebration of the “good journalism”?

      4) Could you be so kind here as to innumerate when “the Kremlin” killed, compromised, imprisoned (unjustly) it’s “selected political opponents”?

      5) What do you understand when saying “Kremlin” as in “Kremlin did smth”? What is Kremlin for you?

      6) Are you trying to make a point via crapping all over the virtual place via this “solid” article? Because you don’t strike me as a person who is really interested in alternative opinions, or who have a background to entertain it when it comes to Russia – you are already “settled” in your views, thanks to “having read a lot of Russian history and analysis of Soviet and post-Soviet politics” and “having a number of Russian friends” while never been to Russia or knowing the language.

      7) Bonus question – although I suspect that I already know the answer – what’s your “Russian” friends attitude towards Russia?

      Like

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