Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The Sochi Olympics Under Putin's Law

Last month's issue of Outside Magazine has an excellent article about the havoc and destruction brought to Sochi by the preparation for this February's Winter Olympics. I'm not surprised that Putin is doing whatever he wants in this supposedly public and protected corner of Russian wilderness, but to read many first-hand accounts of Putin's forces crushing various attempts by citizens to end illegal construction or bring attention to previously protected natural habitats is astonishing. One such mission by these concerned citizens is to investigate an illegal compound (named Moonglade) on or near a Unesco world heritage site. It is rumored that Putin has built one of his palaces there. At the moment, everything and everyone going to this palace is flown in by helicopter. Russia has already been warned by Unesco to stop the construction of one road, but it is reported in Outside's article that another road is under construction, this one coming in from the other side of the property.
It's embarrassing that the Olympic Games are awarded to countries (really their leaders) that are going to permanently destroy homes and natural beauty to put on a sporting event for two weeks. Sochi will never be the same and the people of the region, if they profit at all from this, are eventually going to be left poor with a nice selection of bulldozed-over nature preserves.
Thank you, Outside, for bringing to your readers a better understanding of Putin's dirty methods.

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