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As Russia Contends With Regional Violence Near Sochi, Expert Predicts 'Gulag Olympics'

World  (tags: Sochi, world, violence, politics, police, Sochi Olumpics, Russia, security, government, conflict, corruption, freedoms, society, news )

- 1689 days ago -
The North Caucasus, where Winter Olympics host city Sochi is located, is still 'one of the worst regions in the world for violence.'

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Anteater Ants (122)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 4:08 am
What about the US?

Alexandra Rodda (180)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 6:07 am
Omegosh! Glad I'm not going. There's no doubt poverty, history and religious zealots to make this a real powder keg.

. (0)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 7:03 am
I feel so bad for the competitors, it's bad enough living with the anxiety to do well. Now, compound this with the anxiety that the games can be disrupted, even dismantled.

Winn A (179)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 7:36 am

Theodore Shayne (56)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 9:51 am
Glad I'm not attending. The Chechens were happy to be left alone before the Russians started their smear campaign and then used the false pretenses to invade their homes.

Malgorzata Z (198)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 12:27 pm

Jonathan Harper (0)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 12:39 pm

Birgit W (160)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 12:46 pm
Boycott the Olympics in Russia!

Marija M (29)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 1:18 pm
noted, tks

Past Member (0)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 2:00 pm
Not a good idea holding them in Russia I think

Nelson Baker (0)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 2:11 pm
The IOC needs some self evaluation. How could they have ever approved such a dangerous site? It did not become that dangerous overnight.

Colleen L (3)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 2:46 pm
I agree that we should think twice about doing anything in Russia. Thanks Cal

Joanne Dixon (38)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 3:45 pm
Cal, I placed a link to this post in the "Bloody Olympics" group. I encourage everyone to check this group out. It's at

S J (130)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 4:22 pm
Let's wait and see what will happen.

Thanks Cal

Mary Donnelly (47)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 4:45 pm
Fascinating post.

Fiona Ogilvie (565)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 4:48 pm
It is disgusting what Russia is doing for the Gulag Olympics. Meanwhile, self serving Brazil will probably sell to any buyer the world's largest and most vital rainforest so that they can host a grand Olympics. When the Olympics were started who would have ever thought that hosting nations would lose their sense of right and wrong to glorify themselves.

Roger G (154)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 4:53 pm
noted, thanks

Robyn Vorsa (4)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 8:16 pm
The ongoing discrimination of the LGBTQI community. The Arctic 30, the drilling in environmentally sensitive areas. Who in their right minds would support the Sochi Olympics?

SusanAWAY A (219)
Tuesday October 8, 2013, 8:54 pm
Noted and shared

Frances D (133)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 12:33 am

Dogan Ozkan (5)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 2:41 am

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 4:02 am
Thank you Joanne! You saw this post before I did....
I RE-POSTED it in the group "Bloody Olympics" under the title, "GULAG OLYMPICS". But I gave you credit for finding it! That title is more descriptive...
Thank you Joanne and Cal!

I invite everyone concerned about the Olympics, LGBT Rights, Russia, Putin dictatorship and increasing violation of ALL Civil Rights in Russia, Olympic Winter Games Sochi February 2014 BOYCOTT...
to check out the Care2 Group "Bloody Olympics".
There are - several! - Petitions on the subject in that Group. There will be UPDATES; as well as more Background Information. It is an Activist group, to Petition and take other Actions as they arise - Boycotts, demonstrations at Russian Embassies, writing letters, etc. So if you're frustrated and want to DO something...

Thank you Joanne for introducing the group!

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 4:11 am
'The International Crisis Group reported earlier this month that in the North Caucasus, “Europe’s worst armed conflict” where “deficits of democratic legitimacy and accountability, grave human rights violations and officials’ impunity have contributed much to the spread of conflict,” at least 1,225 people were killed in 2012 and 495 in the first six months of 2013.

Sochi, however, is expected to be highly militarized throughout the Olympics, and is at a distance from the region’s more hostile areas. Dagestan lies 396 miles to the east of Sochi, and Chechnya 345 miles, in mostly tough terrain. [You remember, that's where the family of the alleged Boston bombers is from.]

The Kremlin's safety measures include plans to mobilize some 40-50,000 soldiers and police officers, who have been running security drills in anticipation, and unleash two drone helicopters, says Sufian Zhemukhov, the Heyward Isham Visiting Scholar in Russian and East European Studies at George Washington University.

According to information received and published by The Guardian, Russia's Federal Security Service — a successor agency of the Soviet-era KGB — plans "to ensure that no communication by competitors or spectators goes unmonitored during the event." The newly amended Sorm system, which is Russia's telephone and internet spying system, has been described by experts as the NSA's "Prism on steroids."

Paul Goble, owner of the blog Window on Eurasia and professor at The Institute of World Politics said Moscow has Olympic security “locked down.”

“We’re talking helicopters, we’re talking horses, naval presence,” Goble said. “This Olympics is under lock and key. It will be nothing like China. Instead, it’ll be like a gulag Olympics.”

With an estimated total cost of $43 billion, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games were previously the most expensive in history, but the 2014 Sochi Olympics is set to break China’s record, with an estimated total cost of over $54 billion.

All the money, however, has not necessarily meant that the construction around Sochi and the Olympic arena, known as “The Fish,” has been smooth.

“The North Caucasus is still one of the worst regions in the world for violence. East to west,” Goble explained. “With all this security—if you put all the sources around Sochi, you pull them from somewhere, and you can’t control everything… The area is a mess—fences don’t fit together, underpasses are falling apart—they’ve messed up the infrastructure so much that terrorists could use it to orchestrate an attack… Putting the Olympic games in Sochi is like putting them in Beirut—it is outrageous.”

But the stepped-up security ought to deter rebels, Goble predicts.

“Are there groups that would like to embarrass Moscow?” he asked. “Absolutely. Are there groups that would love to? Yes. But there is going to be such a military presence in the Sochi Olympics that trying to go in there will be suicidal. It would be so difficult that there aren’t many people who would take the risk involved.”

In fact, according to experts, the games may serve as a pretext to throw Russia’s weight in the area.'

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 4:31 am
See also a previous News Item, 'Putin's Downhill Race, by Amy Knight - New York Review of Books'.

CORRUPTION is why the IOC REFUSES TO MOVE THE GAMES now in the face of International outcry...

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 4:40 am
From the previous Care2 News Item, 'Putin's Downhill Race':

'In addition to the unfavorable climate, Nemtsov and Martynyuk go on to point out other risks of having the Olympics in Sochi. A major problem is the enormously large amount of energy that will be required. Sochi, a city of only a half-million people, is woefully inadequate for this task. In 2012, more than a thousand power outages -- an average of three a day in various parts of the city -- occurred there because of the poor condition of the electricity network.

The construction of facilities for the Olympics is being carried out by more than 16,000 migrant workers from the former Soviet republics. According to the report's authors, in 2012 alone forty construction accidents and twenty-five deaths occurred in the preparations for the games:[WHAAAT???!!!]:

"The poor quality of construction and violations of technological rules and regulations are related to the use of cheap and unskilled labor. A paradoxical situation arose: despite the astronomical budget,…the building workers often did not receive their hard-earned pay. The money ended up in the pockets of the main clients, general contractors, subcontractors, and subsubcontractors…. We can only speculate what the quality of the facilities built will be."

The authors observe that many of the contractors have not met the deadlines for completion: "This means that the last stage of preparation for the Olympics is being carried out in an emergency mode, and no one cares about the quality and technology used." [OMIGOD!]

Moreover, the authors predict, visitors to the Olympics in Sochi, which is known for its road congestion, will encounter traffic jams that could make Moscow streets seem tranquil in comparison:

"Due to the influx of high-ranking officials of Putin's government and official delegations, who are used to having the traffic halted to allow them to speed by, the situation on the roads of Sochi will become a real nightmare."

Adding to the concerns about the Kremlin's planning for the Olympics is the controversy over the draconian anti-gay legislation, including a ban on "homosexual propaganda", signed by Putin in June. The Interior Ministry, which controls the police, has said that this law will be enforced during the Olympics. Gay activists are calling for a boycott by participants in the games.

Nemtsov and Martynyuk make only passing reference to the possibility of terrorism at the Olympics, noting that Sochi is part of the notoriously volatile North Caucasus. In fact, Sochi is located just 250 miles from the republics of Chechnya and Dagestan, where Islamist rebels have their base.'

Bob hardly here P (394)
Wednesday October 9, 2013, 6:23 pm
thanks Cal

Sonny Honrado (5)
Thursday October 10, 2013, 11:00 pm
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