Council of Canadians honorary chairperson and Right Livelihood Award recipient Maude Barlow is calling for the release of Oyub Titiev, the head of the Chechnya office of the Russian human rights group Memorial.
The New York Times reports, "Ramzan A. Kadyrov did not sustain himself as the autocratic leader of the Chechen republic by failing to understand the value of propaganda and spectacle. ...He has convinced a parade of athletes and celebrities to come here to take his hand and his money. Sports like soccer, boxing and mixed martial arts serve as Mr. Kadyrov’s passions and attempts at international legitimacy, economic development, enhancing his cult of personality at home and extending his brand of macho nationalism."
The 2018 FIFA World Cup started on June 14 in Russia and will run through to July 15. Thirty-two teams are playing soccer matches in 11 cities and have base camps across the country. Notably, the Egyptian soccer team has its base camp in Grozny, the capital city of the Chechen Republic in Russia.