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Are you ready for the World Cup of shame?

There is a reason why autocrats aggressively seek to host mega sporting events. They offer publicity and a veneer of respectability — two things Russia is desperately in the market for. In less than a hundred days, Russia will host the FIFA World Cup, the most watched sporting event in the world. But as hundreds of thousands of supporters descend on Russian cities and hundreds of millions tune in on television, a major shadow risks hanging over the event.   As Russia is eagerly trying to recast itself as a modern and confident power, its armed forces are supporting the Syrian military to win back…

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