Migrant workers the key to Russia’s smooth-running World Cup
Behind the veneer of Russia’s smooth-running World Cup are legions of migrant workers from Central Asia, who built the stadiums and keep them running, staff concession stands, and clean up after fans who revel through city streets.
They are among millions of migrants who perform menial jobs across Russia, and face routine police harassment and ethnic profiling. They are accused of depressing wages and plotting terrorism, yet unlike in Europe or the U.S., no one talks of building a border wall to keep them out. That’s because they form a pillar of the economy and aid Vladimir Putin’s geopolitical strategy — and without them, Russia might not have managed to host a World Cup at all.