World Cup 2018: Why Russians might be be supporting England – despite Croatia being Slavs

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A few minutes before midnight on Saturday night, Russia was penalty kicks away from a semi-final match with England. The tie had explosive potential. England would face the host nation of a tournament boycotted by its own government. Russia would face the declared enemy; the focus of four months of relentless propaganda on state TV. It would have been an existential showdown. 

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