Chechnya is Putin's link to the Arab world, and it’s the base of the Egyptian national team during the World Cup. Ramzan Kadyrov, the autocratic Head of the Chechen Republic gets a kick out of posing with international soccer stars.
A "show trial" is the only way to describe the proceedings against Russian human rights activist Oyub Titiev in Chechnya. Throwing him in jail is a disgrace, says DW's Miodrag Soric.
"Islamic State" has said it attacked two police outposts in Chechnya, with several police officers wounded. The predominantly Muslim southern Russian region has seen a spate of attacks by the jihadi group.
Russian footballers Alexander Kokorin and Pavel Mamayev are the subject of a criminal investigation for hooliganism. The pair are accused of carrying out violent attacks in Moscow, which were captured on CCTV.
They enter the World Cup with low expectations and a low FIFA ranking, but Russia's players are determined to prove their critics wrong. The hosts' opener could prove critical to their hopes of making World Cup history.
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