More than 200 miles above the Earth yesterday, humanity got a peek at the official logo of the next FIFA World Cup , which will take place in Russia less than four years from now. Russia made quite a show of the unveiling, too, tasking the job to its three cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station.
Live video footage of the soccer tournament's logo aired  on primetime Russian television. Immediately afterwards, sports officials also blanketed the Bolshoi Theater in an impressive light show, narrating the Cup's migration from Brazil to Russia.
Hosting the World Cup, the planet's single most popular sporting event, is sure to be a major moment for Russia on the world stage, where Moscow's reputation has suffered over the past several months, after violence in Ukraine has washed away most of the good will created by the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Good will is also in short supply among Russian social media users, admittedly, and the logo for the 2018 World Cup became the target of mockery  the moment it went public. RuNet Echo presents some of the jokes now circulating on Russian-language Twitter.
— Лентач (@oldLentach) October 28, 2014 
Душевненько pic.twitter.com/O7h1AWTUpZ 
— Иосиф Сталин (@StalinGulag) October 29, 2014 
— _ (@sobaka__) October 28, 2014 
Обратная сторона ЧМ-2018. pic.twitter.com/mBQZDMfbHR 
— Белка Пекарь (@BBelbro) October 29, 2014 
World Cup 2018 [viewed from] the other side.
Ахаххах pic.twitter.com/MbAD53g8pz 
— Рустем Адагамов (@adagamov) October 28, 2014 
Вот тоже отлично сделано) pic.twitter.com/3C0UkvjptB 
— Олег Океанч (@olegnovikovkh) October 28, 2014 
This one is also done quite well. :)
The logo itself isn't actually Russian-made. The design belongs to BrandiaCentral, a Portugal-based branding agency that beat out six other firms, including some Russian companies.