The Sochi 2014 Madness must end Now!
Once again, for Russia’s own good as much as its own, we call upon the world to divest Russia of the 2014 Olympic games. If this cannot be accomplished, we call upon all civilized nations of good faith to boycott the games and hold their own alternative.
The Russian government spent nearly $120 million preparing its athletes to compete at the Vancouver 2010 Olympiad, over five times more than it had spent preparing for the 2006 games in Turin, Italy.
The result? Russia’s medal count decreased substantially, not even placing it in the top 10 gold medal winners, and the head of the preparation effort was forced to resign. Russia was absolutely humiliated before a slack-jawed world. The head of Russia’s biathalon team, which experienced the most spectacular of all Russia’s team breakdowns, stated: “We don’t produce skis, modern waxes and lubricants, and Russian rifles are 20 percent more inaccurate than German ones and do not correspond to international standards.”
What this means is simple: Russia’s leaders in the Kremlin were totally unable to supervise the nation’s use of precious millions, which were squandered to shocking ill effects. In their efforts to blame underlings, Russia’s prime minister and president did not accept one iota of blame for themselves, much less did either one resign.
And what about Sochi? Even more vast sums are being spent by a country whose citizens don’t rank in the top 130 in the world for life expectancy. And the Kremlin tells us that it is capable of managing that expenditure and bringing off the games successfully, just as it bragged that the $120 million spent on Vancouver would yield at least 30 medals. The claims about Sochi are, of course, every bit as ludicrous and dishonest as were the claims about Vancouver.
As we document in today’s issue, Russia is seriously neglecting many public health issues and other public concerns, such as child smoking, as it diverts massive resources away from such projects to the games, and it is not even able to pay the workers who are building the games; in today’s issue we document their shocking deprivation and suffering.
If we consider on the appalling waste of desperately needed funds and the prospect of more national humiliation for Russia, both on the playing fields and as hosts, we do not think any more reasons are necessary to justify immediately stripping Russia of the hosting duties, for its own good. We feel the argument makes itself.
But there are, of course, many other equally important reasons that cry out for divestment.
First, placing the games in Sochi is horrifically dangerous. Russia is facing unprecedented outbreaks of violence throughout the Caucasus region, and the risk of terrorism against the games is simply far too great. The world is gambling with the lives of its young athletes by sending them to Sochi, and it has no right to do so. They will go wherever the games are held, and the world owes it to them to hold them someplace safe.
Second, Russia simply doesn’t deserve the games. It’s barbaric crackdown on civil society, its reversion to a Soviet past that glorifies the mass murderer Josef Stalin, and it’s bloodthirsty invasion of Georgia have disqualified Russia from being considered a civilized member of the community of nations. To hold the games in Russia is to give the malignant forces of the Kremlin propaganda weapons they can use to suggest that the world has ratified the Putin regime. This is blasphemy against the very notion of democracy and all those who have been sacrificed on the alter of Russian dictatorship.
Third, as we document in today’s issue, Russia is recklessly destroying the regional ecology to build the Olympics venues. The United Nations has just issued a scathing report condemning Russian atrocities against the natural environment, and the IOC is now being forced to investigate.
And fourth, allowing Russia to build the Olympic venues in Sochi will do irreversible environmental harm to Sochi. The invaluable Paul Goble documents that harm in today’s issue, and Russian environmentalists on the front lines confirm that the Kremlin is butchering the natural world on the Black Sea coast in order to build venues of absolutely no value to ordinary Russians, at horrifying expense.
“we call upon all civilized nations of good faith to boycott the games and hold their own alternative.”
Russia is horrified by this Boycott! All barbaric, insane, corrupt, warlike Russians are scared of the Boycott. The capital of Russia is going to move from Moscow to Vasjuki! “Civilised nations” joining the boycott are: LR, Andrew, RTR, Georg, Ari Virtanen, and Bohdan (sorry if I forgot somebody, guys). And if seriously, thank you all so much for not coming to Sochi, the air will be much cleaner there.
” Russia’s medal count decreased substantially, not even placing it in the top 10 gold medal winners, and the head of the preparation effort was forced to resign.”
All this is absolutely unrelated to OGs in Sochi. In the history, there are many countries that were not so great in the number of medals count, but that organized excellent olympics.
“placing the games in Sochi is horrifically dangerous. Russia is facing unprecedented outbreaks of violence throughout the Caucasus region, and the risk of terrorism against the games is simply far too great.”
Placing the games in Sochi is MUCH SAFER than anywhere in the US, as US is a continious target of terrorists, in response of the US imperial warlike and barbaric politics (using terms of LR) in all regions of the world. If you mean Georgia as a home of potential terrorists, then this is not serious. Georgia is a small pet now (small dog barking at the Russian Elephant), as even small small provocation from their side will fairly cause a volley of Russian missiles, and… there will be no Georgia anymore… but OGs will continue.
“It’s barbaric crackdown on civil society, its reversion to a Soviet past that glorifies the mass murderer Josef Stalin, and it’s bloodthirsty invasion of Georgia have disqualified Russia from being considered a civilized member of the community of nations.”
FYI, Josef Stalin is mostly glorified in his homeland, Georgia, where there is even a museum of Stalin (in Gori). Also, Georgian attack started the war with Russia (and not in the opposite way), as EU report states. Your claims suck. Finally, most barbaric, warlike, and insane nation in the world are american gringos who bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, and who have thousands of military bases and actions worldwide.
“And fourth, allowing Russia to build the Olympic venues in Sochi will do irreversible environmental harm to Sochi.”
This is absolutely not your business, and you have not enough competence to judge about this. Better go back to your drugs.
“During its heyday, the Big Red Machine boasted astronomical medal counts, peaking at 161 medals, including 66 gold between the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul and the Winter Games in Calgary. The United States managed only 100 medals in those Games combined. ”
“Russia still outperforms medal expectations based on the size of its economy, a strong predictor of Olympic success, but the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early ’90s truly marked the end of an era of global domination. ”
Good heavens! This sounds like things were better for Russia when it was the Soviet Union!
Actually AG, Stalin is venerated in Russia much more than in Georgia, after all, he is was recently voted the 3rd greatest Russian of all time, remember.
Then there is the plan to put up massive posters of Stalin to venerate the “great leader” in time for the 9th May “victory” parades, then there is the new ode to Stalin in the Moscow metro, and the NEW museum venerating Stalin in Volgograd (aka Stalingrad) which was opened a couple of years ago.
Meanwhile, in Georgia the public want the Stalin museum closed and his LAST statue removed, a statue and museum that were a magnet for Russian soldiers who came to worship their hero during the 2008 war, which if you had actually bothered to read the IFFC report about the war, was caused when Georgia (in the words of the report) over reacted to multiple military provocations by the separatists and their Russian backers, and should have “shown more restraint”, however the report also categorised all Russian actions, particularly the unprovoked invasion of west Georgia, the unilateral recognition of the independence of separatist areas, and the ensuing Russian led ethnic cleansing of Georgians by Russian and separatist troops as preplanned and completely illegal.
Actually, let the games go ahead in Sochi.
What better example to show the world what a corrupt bankrupt state Russia is?
How could the current KGB thugs survive such a humiliation?
I agree: first they are gonna ignore any boycott anyway; they are just going to show on TV every day that the whole world WANTS to come to Sochi and the average Ivan will swallow that. Secondly, Dokku Umarov has already announced his plan for the “OG” and it’s gonna be “festive”. So, a couple of thousand dead at Sochi seems like a nice score card for Puti-Vedev.
You sound like an Islamic terrorist. You must be a russophobe.
America’s worst urban neighborhoods are less menacing than Russian police.
if you would allow me : I would say America’s worst neighborhood is still much safer and cleaner than Russian best neighborhood.
I don’t think so, and I have a good sample of experience to compare. In US, you can easily find very bad places in many big cities which are ABSOLUTELY DANGEROUS (fully occupied by gangs), while most of Russian cities are rather safe. Even small (and presumably save) cities in US can have very dangerous parts. One example from my own experience is Palm Beach whose certain parts are very dangerous, as dangerous as the worst parts of Atlanta, Detroit, or LA.
Please read this as well
kavkazcenter had a good wright up on this article today
Nobody could be surprised that if at the head of Russian state and of Russian biggest corporation, 70% are people coming from FSB – close to Putin , that in such criminal and corrupted political regime, the police will not be other than what it is.
Medvedev-Putin could not change who they are: it is impossible.
Only a political change in the country like the one who happened in 2004 in Georgia could make the reforms in the police and elsewhere.
Because the Russians , in their great majority, accept – and some – benefit of this criminal “dictatorial” system – acting all as Russian slaves – following a long tradition of violence above the laws, because of this sad situation, there will be probably no change at all in the years and decades to come.
One day when they will wake up – hopefully sooner than later – there is a risk it will be much too late.
They have lost these last 30 years – they will lost the next 20-30 years.
For the same reason they stay the enemies of European countries and of the rest of the World.
By all means let the Games be in Sochi . The
kremlin geniuses who so zealously guarded their
borders from the eyes of ” foreigners ” , are
letting the whole world in to see what a dismal ,
depresssing , dirty sewer drunken russia is
really like !
Maybe they can put up Potiomkin Sochi ,
complete with stadiums and virtual reality
olympic venues , what the hell , they have done it
before , the moskvenes are great at spreading
it wide and piling it deep . That is their national
Let The Games Begin !!!
The Olympic games have long been in the hands of a corrupt and incompetent club of elitists who resist any imposition of accountability, honesty or integrity towards their private playground. No wonder they don’t want to punish Russia for exhibiting these traits.
I don’t want any young athletes to be put in harm’s way but I hope that the Olympic committee remains in denial right up until close to the games so that it is too late to relocate them, even in a limited form and then cancel them for 2014. Maybe such a high profile failure would help people reconsider how the games are managed and challenge some of the unrealistic views people have about Russia.
sorry, off topic – but a friend in moscow just sent me this: (google translation and link below)
Тандем Медведев — Путин будет управлять страной и после 2012 года, программа «Чистая вода» будет доведена до воплощения, несмотря на критику, а комиссия РАН по борьбе с лженаукой мешает модернизации России — об этом в онлайн-интервью «Газете.Ru» рассказал спикер Госдумы, глава высшего совета «Единой России» Борис Грызлов. Глава партии также сообщил, что будет расследовать ситуации, если уровень голосования по открепительным превысит 10%, заверил, что скупкой голосов ЕР не занималась — «дорого», а также пообещал участвовать в дебатах, если будет выдвинут на федеральных выборах.
Tandem Medvedev – Putin will rule the country after 2012, the program “Clean Water” will be brought to realization, despite the criticism, and the commission RAS against pseudo-science hinders the modernization of Russia – this in an online interview “Gazeta.ru” said Speaker State Duma, the head of the supreme council of “United Russia” Boris Gryzlov. The head of the party also said that he would investigate the situation, if the level of voting by absentee exceed 10% assured that buying votes is not involved in the EP – “expensive” and promised to participate in the debate, if it is nominated for a federal election.
In many ways, Gryzlov is to Putin what Rasputin was to Czar Nicolas II. And all of Russia can’t wait for Gryzlov to repeat Rasputin’s heroic death, the sooner the better.
No, because Czar Nicolas II was a weak personality and Rasputin was a strong leader; while it is opposite in Putin and Gryzlov case.
If you invest enough money, you can even make olympic games on Mars (well, more or less).
So, I’m afraid, they will probably pull this out.
Even if the oil is cheap, it’s not such a big money after all and they can always “milk” some oligarchs.
The good point is that it probably give Georgia some break, I doubt that they will attack it until 2014.
I hope Georgia will develop economically, so that Russians will start to run away from Sochi and other regions to Georgia. That would be a great thing.
“The good point is that it probably give Georgia some break, I doubt that they will attack it until 2014.”
Russians will only respond if Georgians attack first. That was the case in 2008 as well, when Georgians attacked South Ossetia first. If the new Georgian attack will happen, the Russian response will be likely much more “disproportional” than before. Saakashvili should think about this before taking any action.
“I hope Georgia will develop economically, so that Russians will start to run away from Sochi and other regions to Georgia. That would be a great thing.”
Sochi region is not a region of Georgia, even hypotetically. So, even if Georgia will show 20% of economical growth (what I doubt), nobody will “run away” from Sochi.
Actually, in 1917, 80% of the population of Sochi were ethnic Georgians.
They were exterminated by the Bolsheviks.
Oh and by the way, the IFFC report listed multiple Russian aggressions, both military and political, against Georgia in the several years leading up to the war.
The IFFC found that Georgia had every right to retaliate against separatist attacks, but should have “shown restraint” in the circumstances.
By the way, quite a few Russians come to Georgia to escape the oppressive regime of Putin, Oleg Panfilov for example, and Alexander Bondarev
Andrew wrote: By the way, quite a few Russians come to Georgia to escape the oppressive regime of Putin, for example, Alexander Bondarev
Bondarev, who has been living in Paris for the past 30 years, told RFE/RL that he spent his youth in Tbilisi and loves Georgia.
Let me understand: you think that Bondarev wants to escape from France because France is ruled by Putin? You are even dumber than I thought.
I never said Bondarev was living in Russia, I said he was Russian (he had joint Russian-French citizenship) who thinks that it would be better to be a Georgian citizen than a Russian citizen, he gave up his Russian citizenship in order to become a Georgian citizen.
He believes that Georgia is on the right track, while Russia is degenerating into fascism.
You are quite an idiot, however it is the nature of vermin such as yourself to misunderstand reality.
Bondarev lives in France and is a French, not Russian, citizen.
If we are to believe your logic, Bondarev “comes to Georgia to escape the oppressive regime” of Sarkozy.
my private sources from russia told me minutes ago,that today´s country-wide demonstrations are very bloody,because the police is brutally harassing the demonstrators.Already dozens of wounded,many seriously among them.More info later.
Your “private sources” are nothing else than the lying German Nazis.
what kind of president would resign because their countries’ team did badly at the olympics one year?
other than that, thanks for the article. it actually makes some valid points without being intensely dramatic.
Apology demanded for mass murder before 2014 Olympics
TBILISI – A Muslim diaspora is demanding the Sochi 2014 Olympics be cancelled or moved unless Russia apologises for the 19th century deaths of many of their ancestors in the location where the Winter Games will be held.
The Circassian diaspora, Muslim indigenous people from the northwest Caucasus now scattered across the globe, join a swelling list of opponents to the Games — from environmentalist group Greenpeace to Amnesty International.
Circassians argue the Sochi Games are as insensitive as hosting a sporting competition on the grounds of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.
2014 marks 150 years since a tsarist military campaign wiped out 300,000 Circassians in and around Sochi. Although recorded by Russian imperial historians in 1864, no nation has recognised the deaths as genocide.
Great link, Elmer. Thanks!
You are very welcome. If you don’t mind, I have one more.
It doesn’t strictly deal with hosting. Rather, it’s the Savik Shuster Show again, the 3-hour Friday version. As you know, Savik left Russia and went to Ukraine for the sake of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press.
On Friday, March 19, 2010, the topic was the poor performance of the Ukrainian in Vancouver. He had past and recent Ukrainian Olympic medal winners on the show.
And Savik came up with a very, very interesting idea. He showed a chart. Russia spent over $110 million, with a disastrous result. Canada spent about $110 million dollars, with excellent medal results. The US spent about $50 million dollars – with excellent results (very cost-effective, per Savik’s comment).
He showed other countries as well. His conclusion? Those countries that are NOT CORRUPT did the best!
The chart shows up in about the first 10 minutes of the program – I don’t know if there’s a way to capture it and post it.
The discussion also points out that people in the former soviet republics still look to the government to do everything for them, although Lillia Podkopayeva, the Olympic gymnast, pointed out the concept of “self-made” (using the English word) in the discussion.
In the US and other programs, the Olympic bodies are official bodies – but in the US, for example, money is raised from donations, sales of Olympic items, corporate sponsorships, etc – not the government.
The discussion was very frank, open and free – Victor Petrenko, the Ukrainian ice skating gold medalist, called in from New York to join in the discussion about why Ukrainian Olympic athletes should stay in Ukraine to help the Olympic program.
He also had the “Red Foxes” at various intervals on his show – very foxy dance group from New York apparently.
Savik should learn Ukrainian Finally. As a thank you to the people that made his presentations possible, with their sacrifices. Ukrainian independence is why Savik Shuster has survived. Many Ukrainians paid the ultimate price for the use of their native language, even recently the Singer Bilozir.
Mr. Bilozir was a classmate of Volodymyr Ivasiuk, who became a revered pop composer and was found murdered in a forest outside Lviv in 1979. The two shared a love of music – often jotting down musical ideas during particularly mundane school lectures. At a time when artists and composers were urged to write material to glorify Soviet ideals, Mr. Bilozir refused and his rise to popularity, with his ensemble Vatra, was hindered. Nonetheless, as a result of the public’s love of their material, the group flourished against all odds. Yet, there were concerts where performance of Mr. Bilozir’s songs was limited to only two or three selections out of an entire Soviet-content concert. From a musical perspective, Mr. Bilozir was a unique composer. His material was always positive and optimistic, even in the 1980s, when Ukraine was not yet independent and Ukrainian folk songs were frowned upon.
The Ukrainian fine language, that is being ignored could be helped. It is not very hard to make such an effort, since Ukraine has accepted him so well. But the reality is that the man is working for a station owned by the Party of Regions that supported Yanukowich. Known sarcastically as the Party of Russia.
Sadly the Ukrainian state is being taken apart, very quickly and its constitution ignored by the present regime. Moscow is quickly bringing it to an acceptable conjoining with its forces well entrenched.
Since the Ukrainian failures are really mirroring failures caused by the pressure on Society that is coming from the Kremlin’s representatives in places of power in Ukraine. The mismanagement is like the rest of the country.
The latest change is that of building a bridge over Kerch Straits from RaSSiya into Crimea for the Sochi Olympics.
Imagine a highway into the Crimea, dominated by a band of Separatists and a Naval Base from a country that refuses to this day, to define a border. Especially since the Rashan Duma claims Crimea as theirs.
Just last week there was a book burning of Ukrainian History books they did not like. There is no way to accommodate Mascali, since giving in an inch they take a mile.
Staphylococc epidemy in Sochi
barbaric killing of homeless animals in Sochi
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