JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Says World Cup Has Broken Stereotypes About Russia” – Reuters

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“… Russia’s host nation status had been met with resistance by some in the West … suggest[ing] the tournament could be unsafe and play into the hands of Putin … accused by Washington of conducting ‘malign activities’ around the world. … the month-long tournament … has so far been without major security incidents. Concerns about racism and hooligan violence … discussed in the run-up have not been borne out … most visiting fans have spoken of a positive experience. … Increasingly isolated … Putin has used the tournament to send a defiant message … that Russia is succeeding despite Western efforts …. The Kremlin shrugged off … a fresh demand … [to] provide details about the Novichok nerve agent attack on a former double agent and his daughter in March after two British citizens were struck down this week with the same poison. Russia denies involvement ….”

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