"Most importantly, visiting foreigners [2.5 million of them] see Russia not through the prism of lies and falsehoods from CNN or BBC, but they see the real Russia and not only they see it, they communicate with it, they are rooting for it and they are falling in love with it.
It’s impossible not to fall in love with Russia!"
I have read many articles, social media posts, and readers’ comments searching for answers to the question: “Why do we have to do this World Cup?
This, pardon my French, Mundial?”
Let’s talk about this.
I want to discuss this issue in a context of which little is being said.
To begin with, I disagree with those who claim that in order to host this World Football Cup Russia has sacrificed some geopolitical interests.
They say that if it wasn’t for the World Cup, we would have taken Kiev back long time ago.
This is an utter nonsense, which we will see after the championship is over.
But, that’s not all.
Specifically for our neighbors on the globe, and for the most gifted representatives of the Kiev regime, the question about possibility for Kiev military offense against Donbass during the World Cup in Russia was asked at the presidential annual direct line.
President Putin has spoken quite clearly about this issue.
Even the dumbest Ukrainian politicians are likely to understand that any attempt to carry out an offensive would end up in Ukraine’s loss of statehood.
The championship notwithstanding, Russia’s geopolitical interests have not been canceled.
When calculating financial costs of the championship, some people say that $13.2 billion is too much.
It seems to me that many people forget that the money was spent not only on the stadiums, but also on improvement of infrastructure that is being used every day by residents of the cities hosting the championship.
I remember how many people complained during the Sochi Olympics that all investments and improvements were made in just one region, which was already lucky, because it has a wonderful climate by Russian standards.
Well, this time around the investments have been more or less evenly distributed in many cities.
Well, we can’t do it any other way.
In modern Russia, as well as in many other countries, it is necessary to have such a mega-project in order to successfully implement and monitor large infrastructure investments that the economy as a whole needs.
This story is not only about sports and sporting events, but also about all sorts of summits, such as APEC or BRICS summit, which literally transformed some Russian cities.
This is not a purely Russian method, because in many countries, even in China, the same method is being used.
Suffice it to recall the Beijing Olympics or so-called “Asian Davos” in which the Chinese have poured a lot of money.
And now the most important point, which we shouldn’t underestimate.
Most of the 2.5 million tickets sold for this World Cup matches were sold to foreigners.
For each country participating in the championship, from Saudi Arabia to Germany, from Peru to Australia, there are at least tens of thousands of fans-tourists.
And these fans are now massively hanging out in Russian cities, communicating with the ordinary Russians, getting blown away in delight visiting the Moscow metro, learning about existence of beautiful Russian cities, and writing about them enthusiastically for the media.
Most importantly, visiting foreigners see Russia not through the prism of lies and falsehoods from CNN or BBC, but they see the real Russia and not only they see it, they communicate with it, they are rooting for it and they are falling in love with it.
It’s impossible not to fall in love with Russia!
And these thousands and thousands of fans are now pouring into Facebook, Twitter and Instagram millions of photos, videos and stories about this unknown Russia.
Russia populated, as it turns out, by very friendly people.
Russia with no bears on the streets, but with mobile Internet being cooler than in Germany, and with metro in Moscow being better than in New York.
All this shatters the old perceptions about Russia.
Some negative incidents that the media is trying to inflate as much as possible, just drown in the tsunami of delight and surprise that is now sweeping the world of information and social networks.
Even journalists who do not like Russia are forced to admit that Russia is surprising.
Russia is shocking in a good way.
Russia is showing its youth and aspiration for the future.
Believe me, we would not be able to buy such great PR for any money.
And, we would not be able to buy so many sincere reviews about us.
This is significant.
This is important, because in recent years they have been actively trying to dehumanize us in the eyes of the world, and this dehumanization is a necessary step they take before they start to shed someone else’s blood.
Now all across the world, from Canada to Australia, we have thousands, tens and even hundreds of thousands of voluntary PR people who will tell their friends, relatives, and acquaintances that Russia is different from what they are being shown on TV.
No wonder our geopolitical enemies tried so hard at any cost to disrupt the World Cup and to boycott it.
They understand everything and will do anything to make sure that our celebration is spoiled.
I want to believe that they will not succeed, and that we will get all the possible benefits from the World Cup, and our children will remember it with the same warmth with which we once remembered the Moscow Olympics in 1980.
Source: The Saker