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Old Feb 7th 2013, 07:25 PM
MeMyselfAndI MeMyselfAndI is offline
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Default Sochi

The city of Sochi, in Southern Russia, and its neighboring satellite towns such as Adler, are full of activity today. A year is left until the city hosts the 2014 Winter Olympics and construction workers, engineers, organizers, volunteers, and officials are racing ahead of the clock to prepare.

A forest of construction cranes is blocking out the sky


Monumental venues are going up, such as the Central Stadium "Fisht"


The Bolshoi Ice Palace



The "Shaiba" Ice Arena


The "Ice Cube" Curling Center


"Adler-Arena" speed-skating stadium


"Russkie Gorki" skiing complex


New 5 star hotel "Radisson-blue Congress and Resort Sochi"

Do not ask me what the name means... I guess they just made up something that sounded American and fancy lol

New railroads are being built


Mountain skiing center "Roza Khutor" on Aibga Mountain in may 2011
and in November 2012
New funicular cars for "Roza Khutor"


Testing at the new trampoline complex
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Old Feb 7th 2013, 07:25 PM
MeMyselfAndI MeMyselfAndI is offline
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There are negative aspects too, however.

A young village girl near her family's house, which was forcibly taken from them, according to human rights groups, and is being wrecked to make way for sewage pipes to the Olympic Village complex
Two women from the same family cry next to their destroyed home


Apartment blocks under construction where authorities say they will put the displaced village families
Villagers say it will not make up for their former large houses and farmland, and that their way of life is being destroyed and demolished completely, in the name of the Olympics...

For many locals though, for now, at least, life simply goes on, as always. Local men fish next to Olympics-related construction, in November, 2012


And right under another Olympic site, villagers plat their vegetables, like they do every season, in February 2012


Security will also be greatly tightened. 14 objects are being built for the Internal Affairs Ministry, including a new OMON base, in addition to one in nearby Krasnodar

and a kinological (police dog) center
http://news.flmaster.kz/?n_id=8808

I heard military units would also be deployed to Sochi for the Olympics.

I think we may just pull this off lol The only question for me is, indeed, the price paid by local people, the villagers. Some merely grumble about congestion on the roads and rising grocery prices; but others, as the above photos show, are losing their homes and live-hoods... Is the damned Olympics really worth that???
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Old Feb 7th 2013, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Sochi

Yes, I hope Russia has deep pockets. That kind of construction infrastructure is wildly expensive and it is quite unlikely that Winter Olympics revenues will cover even half the cost of that construction.

It takes some serious high-quality management and marketing - and a lot of existing infrastructure in order for Olympics to generate profits (or even to cover costs) - and that's with the high profile Summer Games where revenues are so much higher. And broadcasting from Russia will not be sitting in the prime time North American EST TV time-zone, so not so much tv revenues will be available. The biggest tv revenues in the world come from North America EST. That's why so many events are put at odd hours - in order to hit prime time in the US eastern seaboard.

If you have to build everything, it will be big money loser. Vancouver will be paying for their recent Winter Olympic extravaganza for a couple of decades to come. They lost a bundle.
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Old Feb 7th 2013, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Yes, I hope Russia has deep pockets. That kind of construction infrastructure is wildly expensive and it is quite unlikely that Winter Olympics revenues will cover even half the cost of that construction.

It takes some serious high-quality management and marketing - and a lot of existing infrastructure in order for Olympics to generate profits (or even to cover costs) - and that's with the high profile Summer Games where revenues are so much higher. And broadcasting from Russia will not be sitting in the prime time North American EST TV time-zone, so not so much tv revenues will be available. The biggest tv revenues in the world come from North America EST. That's why so many events are put at odd hours - in order to hit prime time in the US eastern seaboard.

If you have to build everything, it will be big money loser. Vancouver will be paying for their recent Winter Olympic extravaganza for a couple of decades to come. They lost a bundle.
The funny thing is, the people actually doing the building, most of whom are the same old Ex-Soviet Central Asian migrant workers used for all other construction work in this country

probably are getting very little of that money. Much of that money was taken by organized crime groups, mafia, who control the construction business. In fact, Aslan Usoyan

the mafia boss recently killed in Moscow, is said to have been assassinated over his (very extensive) Olympic interests in Sochi

Quote:
Death of Russian mobster sparks fears of turf war in Sochi

Aslan Usoyan, known as 'Grandpa Hassan', is said to have controlled empire including property in Winter Olympics host city
Fears of a brewing mafia war have begun to grip Russia three weeks after a top mobster was killed, as rival clans seek control over his vast empire, including prime property in the Olympic host city of Sochi.
Rival clans are said to be eagerly eyeing property and businesses once overseen by Aslan Usoyan, better known by his mob name "Grandpa Hassan". Usoyan oversaw a vast empire that was particularly strong in Moscow and Sochi, the site of next year's Winter Olympics.
"Where there is money, there is organised crime," said Sergei Kanev, a veteran crime reporter for the newspaper Novaya Gazeta. "[Sochi] was his fiefdom. He considered it a second homeland."
Criminal interest in the city, long a favourite weekend destination of the president, Vladimir Putin, has grown exponentially since it won the right to host the Games, according to security sources. A senior Russian official said on Sunday that Russia would spend more than 32.3bn on the Winter Olympics, making it the most expensive in history.
With a year to go, attention has begun to focus on the Black Sea resort. Putin said on Monday that he would use Russia's G8 presidency next year to host the organisation's annual summit in the city.
Russians have been flocking to Sochi's beaches since the days of Stalin, who favoured the city's atypically Russian subtropical climate and peppered it with neoclassical mansions and palm-tree-lined boulevards.
They now stand overshadowed by towering construction sites after developers poured in on the news of the Olympics win. Some 400 highrises hotels and blocks of flats are currently under construction.
News of the Olympics win also brought a wave of suspected mafia violence. The most high-profile attack came in late 2010 when Eduard Kakosyan, known as Karas, was gunned down by a man on a motorcycle. He was said to be one of Usoyan's top lieutenants in the city.
"[Usoyan] was like a governor here, but from the criminal world," said a source close to the security services in Sochi. "It's like a second government."
Although Usoyan, like all true vory v zakone, or "thieves-in-law" a once hard-won status bestowed upon the highest ranks of Russia's criminal underworld owned no property himself, he was believed to maintain ties to many businesses in the city.
The security services source said the city's picturesque boardwalk, as well as many hotels and restaurants, were believed to be under Usoyan's purview.
Viktor Teplyakov, a local MP from the ruling United Russia party, denied that was the case. "Many years ago there was an 'overseer' but after he was killed, no other criminals came to Sochi," Teplyakov said. "The city is very safe."
Teplyakov has fought off rumours in the Russian press that he had ties to Usoyan: "I am far from the criminal world no meetings, no calls, no contacts."
The source close to Sochi's security services said an eerie quiet had descended on the city. "Everyone is waiting to see what will come next," the source said. "It's sure that something will happen. The money is too big for everything to just sit still."
Usoyan, an ethnic Kurdish Yezidi from neighbouring Georgia, was 75 when he was killed by a sniper after leaving his favourite Moscow restaurant, and makeshift office, on 16 January. He was buried with little fanfare four days later in a cemetery on the capital's outskirts.
Usoyan was one of Russia's most high-profile thieves-in-law. He was tasked with overseeing his mafia clan's obshchak a term applied to the clan's common fund and doling out its cash.
His death removed one of the most powerful players in the Russian mafia, reviving fears of a 1990s-style gang war.
Since Usoyan's murder in mid-January, Russia's underworld has been hit by further assassinations and arrests. Most have centred around Rovshan Dzhaniyev, an ethnic Azeri who is among those rumoured to be suspected of ordering the hit on Usoyan.
On 20 January, a lieutenant of his in Abkhazia, the breakaway Georgian region that borders Sochi, died after being targeted in a drive-by shooting in the republic's capital, Sukhumi.
Just over a week later, another thief-in-law, Rufat Nasibov, better known by his mob name Rufo Gyandzhansky, was shot dead in Moscow. A Russian security services source told the Rosbalt news agency that Nasibov was responsible for the clan's "security operations, including the removal of enemies". Dzhaniyev himself was unexpectedly detained in Azerbaijan's capital Baku on the same day.
Dzhaniyev's arrest could be a sign that the security services, which maintain close ties to security agencies in many post-Soviet states, were seeking to stave off all-out conflict in Russia's powerful underworld.
"Most people don't want a war," said Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University who specialises in the Russian mafia. "It's a bit like the runup to world war one no one wants a war, no one expects a war, but tensions have built up to such a pitch that there is a risk that what might seem to be one shooting can start the whole process rolling."
He said open war would be an embarrassment to Moscow, illustrating its "failure to deal with the problem properly in the last 15 years".
Russia has worked hard to present its powerful mafia as something that died with the 1990s coinciding with Putin's rise to power. In 2008, Putin's protege Dmitry Medvedev, then president, shut down the chief interior ministry department devoted to fighting organised crime.
"We thought it was a joke," said an official who served in the department until its closure, on condition of anonymity. "There isn't a business in Russia that isn't under somebody [in the mafia]."
Mobsters of all levels now enjoy high protection from members of the Federal Security Service, the source alleged.
"We would arrest this guy or that guy and he would make a call and I was told to let him go," the source said, adding that agents were often bought off for a one-time fee of $300,000 and monthly payments of $10,000-$30,000.
A US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks in December 2010 cited a Spanish prosecutor devoted to dismantling Russian mob activities abroad as saying the country functioned as a "virtual mafia state", referring to the co-dependence of the mob and the state.



http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013...ster-war-sochi
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Old Feb 7th 2013, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: Sochi

No surprises there. Once the mafia is involved, you can guarentee that Russia is going to lose big money here. And even then, the facilities constructed are going to be built like shit. That's how the mafia makes money from construction - by substituting inferior cheap crap concrete for the real stuff.

Montreal is STILL paying off their 1976 Summer Olympics. I think they lost over $1 billion back in 1976 dollars. The Olympic stadium has been falling appart since they built it. And yes, Montreal is the organized crime capital of Canada and Quebec is the most corrupt Province in Canada.
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Old Feb 7th 2013, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Sochi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
No surprises there. Once the mafia is involved, you can guarentee that Russia is going to lose big money here. And even then, the facilities constructed are going to be built like shit. That's how the mafia makes money from construction - by substituting inferior cheap crap concrete for the real stuff.

Montreal is STILL paying off their 1976 Summer Olympics. I think they lost over $1 billion back in 1976 dollars. The Olympic stadium has been falling appart since they built it. And yes, Montreal is the organized crime capital of Canada and Quebec is the most corrupt Province in Canada.
Indeed... Well, I doubt Putin will allow them to embarrass the country too much

But, yeah... All this makes me wonder: how many respectable countries will want to attend an Olympics mired in corruption and organized crime, tainted with the mistreatment of dirt-poor migrant workers, and local villagers unfairly expelled from their homes; not to mention the site itself is soaked in the blood of the Adyg people, its original inhabitants ethnically cleansed from the area after the Russo-Circassian war, when Russia took it over.
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Old Feb 7th 2013, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: Sochi

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Originally Posted by MeMyselfAndI View Post
Indeed... Well, I doubt Putin will allow them to embarrass the country too much

But, yeah... All this makes me wonder: how many respectable countries will want to attend an Olympics mired in corruption and organized crime, tainted with the mistreatment of dirt-poor migrant workers, and local villagers unfairly expelled from their homes; not to mention the site itself is soaked in the blood of the Adyg people, its original inhabitants ethnically cleansed from the area after the Russo-Circassian war, when Russia took it over.
Bejing hosted Summer Olympics and it was a big success (with lots of horror stories about building it). Corruption is pretty common, but I do agree, contemporary Russia could be a bit of a culture shock for pampered and politically correct western media types that tend to swarm all over these type of international events.
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Old Feb 8th 2013, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: Sochi

The total budgeted cost appears to be about 185 billion rubles or some 6 billion USD. As budgets go and with the 'assistance' of the mafia, that will probably be double or more. Where the 6-12 billion USD revenues are meant to come from is anyone's guess.
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Old Feb 8th 2013, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
The total budgeted cost appears to be about 185 billion rubles or some 6 billion USD. As budgets go and with the 'assistance' of the mafia, that will probably be double or more. Where the 6-12 billion USD revenues are meant to come from is anyone's guess.
The construction appears to be ideal for conversion to a gambling mecca.
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Old Feb 8th 2013, 02:15 PM
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The construction appears to be ideal for conversion to a gambling mecca.
I do not know about gambling, but this is what many are worried about, all that infrastructure that is being built and added to the city right now, the stadiums and arena and trampolines and hotels, etc, what will become of it all after the Olympics? Will it sit empty and unused and eventually deteriorate to the point where they will simply knock it all down? The government says it will spend on programs encouraging youths in the area to take up winter sports and use the venues in that way. I certainly hope so...
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