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Richard Arnold’s collected volume Russia and the 2018 FIFA World Cup (Routledge) brings together leading scholars working in Russian studies, sociology and political science to analyse the 2018 World Cup and assess its significance for sport, Russia and the world. Our reviewer Kristian Gerner finds that the anthology gives a readable and informative account of the role of sports in Russian society. The soft power potential of sports rests not, however, with President Putin but with Pussy Riot and the young, educated generation, sports fans included.