Russia – not all doom and gloom

 

Sir, – With great interest we have been following coverage of the Fifa World Cup in Russia by The Irish Times presented in a professional, balanced and thorough manner with a variety of analysis and statistics available for every taste. This reflects the spirit of the World Cup – a purely sports festivity.

Obviously, there are noticeable exceptions, some really fascinating. A story on Saturday, June 18th, “World Cup reflects the world we live in” by Ruadhán Mac Cormaic, provides an interesting example of a modern-day “intellectual” exercise in Russia-bashing. The World Cup is certainly a different place – the football community is engulfed in the great sport event, emotions run high, the fans are enjoying the games and Russian hospitality, and nobody cares about politics of the world of gloom and doom painted by Ruadhán Mac Cormaic.

David McWilliams has another take on the World Cup with his story “The World Cup is Russia’s new Potemkin village” which is completely cut off not only from reality but history as well (every serious historian knows that “Potemkin village” was a myth instigated by Prince Potemkin’s opponents). There is a serious issue with journalist’s credibility – David McWilliams writes (and the editorial board publishes) the following maxim: “... Putin in almost two decades in power... has perfected the arts of having opponents murdered ... etc”. In law, such unsubstantiated, outlandish accusations are called libel. Does the editorial board of The Irish Times know this? Could it be the desire to show originality, or is it just another cliché about Russia and its president? Either way we sincerely hope that integrity and honesty are still of value for the editorial board of The Irish Times and this letter will be published. – Yours, etc,

YURY FILATOV,

Ambassador of

Russia to Ireland,

Orwell Road, Dublin 14.