The Sochi Olympics, due to be held next February, will be the biggest international event hosted by Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. While the event aims to affirm Vladimir Putin’s international legitimacy and power, the Games have also emerged as a touch point for corruption and all types of abuse.
Sochi is a peculiar choice for the Winter Olympics. With a lush subtropical climate and very little infrastructure, this small seaside resort town is one of the very few places in Russia where snow is scarce in winter. Located a few hours’ drive from the North Caucasus, an extremely volatile region well known for Salafist insurgency movements, Sochi is also a not obvious choice for security reasons. Last year, nearly 600 insurgents, security forces and civilians died in the region.
A cauldron of cost overruns and corruption
Since the beginning, preparations for the Sochi Games have been…
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