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Paris, Russia, to turn French for World Cup semifinals

Posted at 2:49 PM, Jul 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-10 14:49:04-04

They’re getting the World Cup croissants ready in Paris.

The Russian village of Paris, that is.

The village just outside the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod is embracing its French links ahead of the World Cup semifinal match between France and Belgium.

The village cafe is decorated with images of the Eiffel Tower and is preparing croissants for the game, plus a Russian menu for any French guests who might happen to drop by. The village fire station is setting up benches outside for the crew’s friends and relatives to watch the game and has hung a French flag from an old fire truck.

“We’re going to support France today because our home is known as Little Paris,” Mayor Sergei Gromov said. “We were supporting Russia but now that it’s turned out like this (with Russia eliminated), we’re going to support France and wish it success.”

The village’s full name is In Memory Of The Paris Commune, a reference to a socialist rebellion in 19th-century France. The name is so unwieldy most locals use Paris for short.

Not everyone in Paris is pro-France, though. Elena Vasilyeva said she will cheering for Belgium.

“They’re a real team,” she said. “I like them more.”