As the World Cup kicks off, all eyes are on Russia. Of course sporting mega events offer a great opportunity for political leaders to re-brand their countries in the eyes of international publics, and in recent years, leading Russian politicians pulled out all the stops to secure events such as the Sochi Olympics and the 2018 World Cup for Russia.
But the negative impact of recent doping scandals, the well-publicised activities of Russian hooligans and Russian government’s responses to them have created reputational damage that is hard to erase.
As Vitaly Kazakov explains for The Conversation, government PR campaigns will struggle to turn these perceptions around. It will be up to the Russian people to showcase an image of Russia which is different from that which is painted in the West. Read more…
Vitaly Kazakov is a PhD candidate at The University of Manchester. His research examines large-scale sporting events in Russia.