Monday, March 22

Russia's New Gulag - The Sochi Olympic Site

Now comes news that many workers at the Sochi Olympic site are basically being turned into forced laborers as they have not been paid for their work in months:
Hundreds of workers at an Olimpstroi-funded construction site in Sochi have not been paid in months, with some complaining that they are going hungry after giving up their passports as collateral to get food at grocery stores.

The scandal is the latest to hit Russia’s $13 billion effort to ready the Black Sea resort for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Residents displaced by construction for the games have complained that they are not being adequately compensated, while environmental activists say the work is blighting the region.

About 180 people were not working Friday, exasperated by months without pay and desperate for food, said Sergei Dykhalov, who was hired by general contractor Moskonversprom as the site’s crane operator for 36,000 rubles ($1,200) a month.

He said he hadn’t his salary since December. - La Russophobe
I find this pretty shocking given that Russia is so eager to show off Russia to the world. Just what kind of Olympics site are they planning to build without spending any money and starving the workers expected to build it? Even discounting the suffering that they are putting the local residents through and the workers, just how do they plan to overcome the inevitable negative publicity this will eventually generate? The whole point of hosting the Olympics in Sochi was to show off Russia. Well, that will happen, but not as they plan it to. So that leaves making money for a select few. I wonder how successful Putin will be at fleecing the Games given that money has to be thrown at it first. Might he be planning to blackmail Russian and International companies operating in Russia to contribute? I wouldn't doubt it. But why would he bother to use the Olympics to generate more cash? He has easier ways to do it than trashing the Olympics and a city in the process.

This is yet one more example of why Russia should no longer be considered a world power. The main stumbling block of kicking the country to the curb is it's veto on the UN Security Council.

Russia's New Gulag - Powered by North Koreans - Sept 2009

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