The Road to Russia is Paved with Good Intentions

Care to guess what this glass represents? Answer after the jump.

Russia is spending eight billion dollars — yes, that’s “billion” with a “B” and it’s dollars, not rubles — on one single road running from Adler to Krasynaya Polyana in preparation for the Sochi 2014 Olympiad.

Esquire Russia has calculated that if this road were paved with caviar instead of asphalt, the entire roadway could be covered to a depth of 1.1 centimeters in super-expensive black caviar.

It is, in other words, the world’s most expensive road — being built by a country where the people do not rank in the top 125 nations of the world for adult lifespan.

9 responses to “The Road to Russia is Paved with Good Intentions

  1. A shrine-like museum dedicated to Chechnya’s late President Akhmad Kadyrov, father of the current Chechen President Ramzam Kadyrov, opens in Grozny.

    The museum glorifies Kadyrov, a former rebel the Kremlin installed as Chechnya’s president after driving separatists from power in the second of two devastating wars in the province.

    Kadyrov, installed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in 2000 when he was president and was replaced by his firebrand Moscow-backed son Ramzan, three years after his death.

    Both separatist rebels who fought against Russian forces in the first Chechen war in the mid-1990s, they switched sides by the second conflict by the end of the decade.

    Built of Spanish and Iranian marble and crowned by a half-tonne chandelier of 790 lamps and 20 kg (44 lb) of pure gold, the complex is reminiscent of museums dedicated to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and U.S. rock legend Elvis Presley.

    In the large garden encircling the museum outside, a 36-metre (118 ft) gold obelisk celebrating the Soviet World War Two victory looms overhead.

  2. Russia, oh Russia; always building monuments to the past and never working for the future!

    • @On that day in 2004, Akhmat Kadyrov was attending a holiday parade in Grozny’s main stadium when a massive bomb exploded under the VIP area where he was sitting. Thirty others were also killed.

      Actually not that “massive”. There were 2 howtitzer shells planted under his seat, but only one exploded. Even a Russian governor-general just next to him lived (lost his legs etc).

  3. I do not see the Kremlin shills anymore??? What happened????

  4. Tell us something we don’t know….

    Dmitry Medvedev admits Russia has made no progress in fighting corruption

    Dmitry Medvedev has admitted that his administration has made almost no progress in fighting corruption since he took office two years ago.

    Mr Medvedev has repeatedly singled out corruption as one of Russia’s biggest problems and he pushed through anti-graft legislation shortly after taking office in 2008.
    Berlin-based NGO Transparency International named Russia joint 146th out of 180 nations in its Corruption Perception Index released last November, saying bribe-taking was worth about $300 billion (£196 billion) a year.

    “No one is happy with our action against corruption,” Mr Medvedev told a meeting of lawmakers and officials. “I know of no significant successes in this direction.”
    “Often efforts towards fighting corruption are limited to energetically signing papers,” he said.
    Mr Medvedev, who is halfway through his four-year term, faces growing criticism that he has failed to implement any significant reform. His efforts to reform the judicial system and boost democracy have been criticised as superficial.
    He recently complained that officials are routinely failing to fulfil his orders.
    Foreign investors consistently name corruption as one of the most serious barriers to doing business in Russia. Swedish furniture retailer IKEA said last year it was halting further expansion in Russia because of “the unpredictable character of administrative procedures in some regions”.
    Russian drivers often keep 500 rouble (£10) notes in their cars to pay off traffic police. Small businessmen say it is impossible to operate without paying off everyone from local police to fire inspectors.
    Many Russians openly mock senior officials with lavish lifestyles who claim to earn middle-class incomes.
    Medvedev, declared a 2009 income equivalent to 3.34 million roubles (£75,000). His political mentor Prime Minister Vladimir Putin declared 3.89 million roubles (£88,000).
    Mr Putin has in the past dismissed suggestions that his wealth amounts to billions of dollars as “rubbish”.

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