January 24, 2014

For Putin, Everything Is Riding on Sochi

Brett Forrest, ESPN The Magazine

The Associated Press

Like almost no national leader before him, Putin has expended personal capital on these Olympics. In 2007 he presented Russia's Olympic bid -- speaking in both English and French, which surprised most everyone -- to the International Olympic Committee in Guatemala. He then pledged $12 billion from the state budget to build the Sochi Olympics from scratch. (The 2010 Vancouver Olympics cost $7 billion.) The first of that $12 billion flowed into Sochi from the state starting in late 2007, funding the construction of ski resorts, roadways, rinks and power plants. It soon became clear that Putin's estimate would have to be adjusted. Considerably. Last February RIA Novosti, Russia's state media service, announced that the Olympics had cost the government $50 billion, transforming Sochi into...

Read Full Article ››

TAGGED: Vladimir Putin, Russia, Sochi Olympics


January 14, 2014
Human Rights Buried Under $51 Billion Games
Mark Cunningham, GMF
In less than 30 days, the world will turn its attention to the 22nd Winter Olympic Games in the Russian city of Sochi, which is already touted as being the most expensive in Olympic history. Although the preeminent international... more ››
January 21, 2014
It's Time to End the Olympic Games
Charles Lane, Washington Post
Supporters speak of the Olympics as a “movement,” as if the Games were some sort of insurgent force for good, not the leviathan they are. What we really need is a movement to get rid of them. more ››
January 23, 2014
Terror Threat to the Sochi Games Is Real
Ronald Crelinsten, Ottawa Cit.
Sochi is sandwiched between mountains and the Black Sea, and is therefore quite easy to protect. A “ring of steel” surrounds the venue, including cameras, drones, and some 40,000 police and military personnel. It would be... more ››
January 20, 2014
Gay-Baiting Before the Olympics
New York Times
As the Winter Olympic Games approach next month in Russia, it is hard to tell whether President Vladimir Putin wants to play the role of genial host or homophobic scold. In remarks Friday to workers preparing the Games, the... more ››
January 20, 2014
Putin Lost in Translation
Daily Telegraph
Was Andrew Marr too deferential in his interview with Vladimir Putin yesterday? Grilling a former KGB officer who wrestles polar bears is never easy, especially when the translation seems to be defective. Perhaps the BBC... more ››