Sport's most-watched event is usually a first possibility to radiance the adult country's global illustration -- but that will be untrustworthy for Russia given its depressing relations with the region.
Here are five points of global strain away from the pitch as Russia prepares for the FIFA competition in June and July:
occidental alliances have lied up to back Britain over the nerve agent assault on a former Russian multiple agent in an english roadway, leaving Moscow increasingly discriminated.
Both Britain and the joined States have expressed the Russian state was likely accountable for the tried defamation of Sergei Skripal, a charge furiously contradicted by Moscow.
As calls attach in the British press for a world Cup protest, Moscow has charged Britain of desiring to "undermine trust" in the adults.
"How can we go to Putin's World Cup now?" interpret Tuesday's front leaf in the Daily message press, which had earlier presented that acting part would extremity Russia "a bloody stamp of approval".
The British polity has so far existed a protest by legitimates and dignitaries, but there are as yet no ideas to withdraw the England squad.
Simon Chadwick, who writes about sport and politics at England's body of Salford, expressed Russia was more concerned about using the Cup to raise President Vladimir Putin's illustration at residence than abroad.
"It's about projecting an image of Russia as strong and powerful," he expressed, just as the Kremlin used the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics to make Russians' awareness of their nation as a revived intercontinental energy.
Russian help for Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has put the Kremlin at likelihoods with the opposition-backing region since the inhumane war ended out in 2011.
Russia provides breeze energy and back-up for Assad's forces and has repeatedly obstructed occidental strives at the joined Nations to inform ceasefires or open inquiries into asserted chemical armaments use.
Its order communications known as the Astana process are also a rival to the UN-backed Geneva communications.
Russia wants to be the important energy businessperson in postwar Syria, expressed Mathieu Boulegue, Russia investigation male at the Chatham dwelling think-tank.
"It's trying to increase its military footprint on the ground, it's trying to increase its economic footprint," expressed Boulegue -- improvements that worry the region.
Since US charges of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential vote, different occidental polities have informed against Russian tries to intervene in their home affairs.
documents of Russian "troll factories" spreading counterfeit news online to power citizens have spread terrors from the joined States to France, Britain and district.
Moscow has repeatedly contradicted accusations of electoral interference, but experts orientation its cyber-activities as part of long-term efforts to weaken the region.
"There is in Russia a systematic approach seeking to destabilise the West from within," expressed Boulegue.
Russia assumed the Crimea land in 2014 after a pro-Europe well-kown conflict removed Ukraine's Kremlin-backed president.
Since then, more than 10,000 groups have been killed in the war in Ukraine's eastbound between polity forces and Russian-backed rebels.
Chadwick stated that the Crimean penetration reached just after the Sochi Games, which at residence became "almost a symbol of Russia's ascendancy to becoming a powerful global force again".
And while entertaining the World Cup might triumph few buddies abroad, statesman could use the football competition to move off an akin home public relations coup this season, he guessed.
The World Cup comes after months of dispute over the drugging of Russian athletes and females.
They were booted from the Olympics over accusations that Russia moved out state-sponsored drugging at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.
But a 168-member group of Russian contestants was allowed to take part in the just-completed Pyeongchang Winter Olympics under an objective flag.
At those Games, "there were two or three Russian athletes who were banned, but essentially that passed off without any particular controversy when to came to Russia and doping," Chadwick expressed.
The global Olympic Committee elevated the decree against Russia last month on state there be no further drugging after Pyeonchang.
But further difficulties could be on the line.
"Football seems to have had relatively little scrutiny in doping terms compared to athletics and swimming," he expressed.
"There has been speculation in the press for the best part of a year that football will be exposed to the same kind of scrutiny, and there may well be countries that come out badly."
Should a fresh drugging gossip end during the World Cup, he guessed, it would be a leading stroke to "Putin's grand project" of moving off the large event smoothly while the world timepieces.