World Cup on a Swamp

Construction as Destruction

The decision of where to build Kaliningrad’s 2018 World Cup stadium was the subject of heated debate; indeed, some had argued against the original building site but were overruled in 2014. Rosprirodnadzor (the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resource Usage) observed that the soil on the island where the stadium was to be constructed contained dangerous substances, such as benzo(a)pyrene and radon, but this observation went unnoticed.

By Aleksandra Korolyova

About Russia...and not all about football

Many of us are happy about the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Football has the power to unite people, and thousands of international visitors are coming into Russia and bringing open-mindedness and vibrancy to a country that has recently been seen as on the road toward isolation. We would like to use the World Cup as a chance to provide you with more information about Russia. The Moscow office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation has prepared a series of texts and video materials on various topics relevant to Russia that are going to be published in the coming weeks. 


Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan (1918-20): Origins, Milestones and Legacy


Undoubtedly the emergence of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan (ADR) was the by-product of a broad range of processes and dynamics in and around of the Caucasus, the developments in the Tsarist Russia as well as in the neighbouring countries of the Russian Caucasus, the Ottoman Empire and Persia. The elites of the ADR, both of Muslim and of non-Muslim faith were socialized in the late Romanov period. Azərbaycan dilində

By Zaur Gasimov

Pitfalls of Eurasian Multiculturalism


Putin’s regime promotes a vision of Russia as a state of Eurasian civilisation. According to him multiculturalism is an integral part of the Russian identity. But the large Muslim population is considered as second-class Russian.

By Adam Balcer

The EU and its Ever More Volatile Strategic Environment

In the past few years Europe faced several severe challenges both internally and externally. The way how the EU will deal with issues such as a changed security environment is crucial for its further development.

By Bart Kerremans