Bruce Berglund, “How Putin Played the Game: Russia and International Sports in the Post-Soviet Era” (video recording)

“How Putin Played the Game: Russia & International Sports in the Post-Soviet Era” (Talk by Dr. Bruce Berglund, Calvin University, 16 November 2022)

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, governing bodies in world sport banned Russian athletes and removed events from Russia. Leaders of these organizations referred to Russia’s unprovoked attack on its neighbor as cause for their unprecedented actions. They did not refer to Vladimir Putin’s use of their sports for political ends over the previous two decades, building Russia’s global standing and “sportswashing” his government’s actions. This talk explores how Putin adopted the Soviet model of using sports for politics, both at home and abroad, and discusses why the actions of world governing bodies are long overdue.

About the Speaker

Bruce Berglund taught courses on Russia, Eastern Europe, and modern war for the Calvin History Department for 15 years. A three-time Fulbright scholar, he has written about nationalism, religion, and politics in the region. His latest book is The Fastest Game in the World: Hockey and the Globalization of Sports (University of California Press, 2021). Follow him on Twitter at @brberglund

This event is sponsored by the Calvin University Historical Studies department. Check out our YouTube channel for more recordings of past events!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s