Pravda The Truth


On 24 February 2022, Russia launched an unprovoked, large-scale military invasion of Ukraine, its neighbour to the southwest, marking an escalation to a conflict that began in 2014 with the Russian annexation of Crimea and the Donbass. Stop The War!

So my two weeks in Russia are over. Having now visited eight cities and 13 games I feel that this has been one of the best ever competitions.

The cities have embraced the competition and the locals have come out in force to add to the occasion.

Obrigado Russia

I have heard the Egyptians singing спасибо Россия (Thank you Russia) to the tune of Seven Nation Army. I saw three Tunisians come into a bar inviting everyone to come and visit them in Tunisia as they were leaving. They left to a round of applause.

Despite the vast distances travelled, there have been no logistical problems. I took advantage of the free long distance trains four times. Loved the fact that in each city free transport was laid on to get you to the stadium easily.

Free Transport

Yes, there were queues and you had to wait to get through security, but I have no complaints about this, as it is the time we live in. Also I am led to believe that the security is no where no near as tight as the Russian football league games, where fans have been known to smuggle flares in, encased in plaster casts which are broken off inside the stadium.

Now at home you may think the language barrier would be a major difficulty. How would we cope if lots of people came to our country and we didn't speak their language. Well here they have grasped technology and with the use of their smart phones are using google translate to relay any messages they need to get across. From the old woman in the shop, to the young man sat at the back of his English class at school not paying attention, they have quickly learnt there are no barriers.


The policing has been well done. Yes, they are there, but you would hardly know it. Occasionally I saw them observing from a distance, Laurel and Hardyesque peeking round a corner to watch going's on, but every time they stayed calm.

The people have been friendly and curious, eager to have a small interaction with anyone from a different country. You can see the happiness they feel as they ask: "What do you think about Russia?" And you reply positively. In normal everyday life Russians have kept themselves to themselves, now they are curious and want to engage with people from all these different countries that have descended upon them.

Ok, there is some frustration with the way things are done here, as I have described petty bureaucracy, but by being part of the system they have made things work.

I saw no evidence of any racism at all. Indeed one person I was talking to said. "White, yellow, black doesn't matter we love them all. In this country, we have 200 countries how can we be racist?" All this he came out with and I didn't even ask the question.

As I look at life at home by reading the latest news, hearing about shootings and stabbings. I would rather have the police I saw at every junction in Kazan at 2 am in the morning than the situation at home. 

Yes, here the people are frightened to think for themselves. As we have witnessed by their need to follow processes rigidly. At times this can be sad to see.

The woman on my first day who was frightened to let me sleep for a few hours because she could not register me.

In a restaurant, a plate of vegetables was forgotten about. It arrived 30 minutes after the meal. Due to the delay my friend refused to accept it. The waitress was visibly upset as she explained she would have to pay for it - I helped eat them and they were delicious.

The accusations made by various governments made against each other maybe tell us something if we stop taking sides.

The ordinary citizens here understand their place and see through all the political posturing. I think it is time we start to see our own way through our own media which had painted a picture that put many people off coming to this county and missing the time of their life.

From Russia with Ross

Saransk to Kazan

Russian Hostels



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