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The capital of the world’s first communist country has become a study in contradictions on the eve of Eastern Europe’s first World Cup. In Theatre Square, across the street from the Bolshoi Ballet, a granite statue of a stern-faced Karl Marx is now flanked by bright red, white and blue banners greeting visitors in two languages. A few miles away, in a courtyard fronting Luzhniki Stadium — site of both the tournament’s opening game and the final — a massive likeness of Vladimir Lenin in a winter overcoat rises from behind a souvenir venue, ostensibly standing watch over the kind of consumerism the real-life Lenin led a revolution to repel. Neither Marx nor Lenin lived long enough to see th... Full story

13 June