The Economist rag, which for some unknown reason passes as some kind of competent publication still cannot wrap its feeble brains around this fact:
THE only thing more improbable than the Russian national team’s performance on the pitch has been the buoyant atmosphere around this year’s World Cup. Fans from around the world have poured into the country despite political tensions—though the poisoning of two more people with the nerve agent Novichok in Britain cast a pall over the next round (see Britain section). At home, Russian security services have turned a blind eye toward minor infractions, allowing city centres to become non-stop parties. When Russia defeated Spain on July 1st cars blocked Moscow streets and started impromptu street discos. Thousands of dancing revellers snaked past the Bolshoi Theatre, where ballerinas had also been watching the match backstage, and up to the doorsteps of Lubyanka, the headquarters of the FSB, the successor to the KGB.
Then they double down with, of course, some liberal Russian dimwit who is Vedomosti's chief editor and Kennan's Institute Russia "expert":
Such permissiveness has made for a more convivial tournament than many expected. “Marches that don’t need to be approved a month in advance, open-air celebrations that don’t lead to prosecutions, backslapping with police officers—the World Cup in Russia has turned into a festival of freedom,” observed Maxim Trudolyubov
I have some news for The Economist tabloid--Russia is on the order of magnitude freer than UK ever will be. Now pathetic English media which are nothing more than propaganda outlets who do not know meaning of words freedom and professional integrity, have to live with their major FUBAR when they convinced English fans to stay at home and not visit Russia. We all know that the first thing English fans get when arriving to Russia--they are immediately subjected to Novichok and then, those who survive are sent to GULAG.
English media have no honor, integrity or professionalism. With some minor exceptions it is a Minitrue designed for promotion of the most damaging, suicidal political, economic and cultural agenda and, frankly, nobody gives a shit anymore about what some pompous English ass-hole from BBC, The Economist or any other English toilet-worthy tabloid thinks about anything. They shot themselves in the foot yet again. Meanwhile English team made in to quarters and English lads were received in Russia with open arms. But don't believe what you see, those English fans were blackmailed, obviously...
Meanwhile for this Russian "expert" from Vedomosti--of course he lies because this is spontaneous celebration in 2008, with Russia win over Holland at Euro 2008. You can almost sense how GULAGish all that is, no freedom...