Ken Early: Friendly Russians, magnificent football, cheap beer – what’s not to like?

Easy to jump to the wrong conclusions about a nation we only get a partial picture of

Tourists and fans walk near the fan zone on Red Square in Moscow. Photograph: Vasily Maximov/AFP/Getty

Tourists and fans walk near the fan zone on Red Square in Moscow. Photograph: Vasily Maximov/AFP/Getty

Around 6.30pm last Sunday, a dozen England fans rolled into a Nizhny Novgorod metro carriage belting out the English World Cup song, “We’re on our way!”

The Russians in the carriage stared into space the way you do when silently tolerating mild annoyance in a public space. Drunken singing on the metro is nothing new to Russians.

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