Many countries consider sports victories as a matter of national pride, and there is nothing wrong with it. Unless they are turned into an instrument of propaganda by repressive authoritarian regimes like Russia.
The Kremlin strives to push the image of Russia as a “victorious state” and Russian nation as superior both in a physical and political sense, and the game it plays to reach that goal is far from fair.
In particular, Russia is notorious for numerous state-sponsored doping violations (and hacking into the World Anti-Doping Association’s system to sabotage the investigation data). That is the reason why it has been barred from entering major sports events for four years (later the term was halved). And it illustrates perfectly the principle “the ends justify the means”, which the Kremlin is guided by in both domestic and foreign policy.
How else and why does the Kremlin instrumentalize sport? Learn in our video.