The Suicide Bombings
As you may know there were suicide bombings on December 29th and December 30th. Both attacks tallied 34 total deaths in the city of Volograd. While Volograd is very far from Sochi, where the Olympics are held, there is still a lot of security concerns. Rightfully so, might I add. With a rise in fear will come a rise in security and where there is a rise in security will come a rise in cost. These bombings are going to add to an already costly Olympics (which we will get to next).
Most Expensive Olympics Yet
It is no secret that Putin is tying to assert dominance and ‘wow’ the world through the Olympics. This is going to come at a huge cost, more specifically a $51 billion pricetag. This is $11 billion more than the extravagant Beijing Olympics two years ago. A lot of this comes from a new road system that is getting paved to make access to the sites easier. $8.7 billion are being used just in preparing for the events and the new road system definitely helps add to that price. A Russian Esquire article notes that it would have been cheaper to cover the entire roadway in 1cm deep beluga caviar.
The Corruption in Mother Russia
It doesn’t sound like Putin has much support for these costs. He has since defended himself by stating the improvements would have come whether or not Sochi was hosting this years Winter Olympics or not. Deputy prime minister in charge of Olympic preparations. Dmitry Kozak, is on record saying only approximately $6 billion of the $51 billion are Olympics related. It’s hard to take that in as a full-truth, just as it’s hard to believe a road and railway cost $8.7 billion. There have been accounts from Bloomberg Businessweek which outlines an account of a worker whose firm was hired to work on Sochi improvements. Apparently it resulted in a payment fiasco where government officials were being paid off with his money. This wasn’t the first time this happened to this man and he warned reporters to not make too much of his story.
Now I get what Putin is trying to do. Asserting his dominance and flashing his wallet is strictly a power move. There is also reason to believe that the Olympics are getting more and more expensive and Putin can’t help that. But Russia is known for corruption and shorting firms from their payments. Anything to get money in certain hands and at the expense of hard working citizens at that, it’s something Russia has done before and isn’t ashamed to do again. It’s scary to think the amount of corruption that is going on behind the scenes. If we already know of this much what else is there that the former head of the KGB is hiding from the rest of the world? How much pertains to us in other countries? Is it any of our business how much Putin decides to spend? Time will only tell, maybe it won’t. All I know is I am excited to see what this new railway and roadway looks like. I’m expecting gold-plated and diamond-encrusted everything. Trinidad James would be proud.
I have to give credit to Bloomberg Businessweek. Much of my information and pictures came from their wonderful article. Tell me how you feel about the cost of Sochi, whether you care or not, I want to know. Are you excited? What’s your favorite event? As always, thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow by clicking that button up and to the right. Twitter handle link is down below!