Got a Problem With Olympic Construction in Sochi?

sochi ringsIn the days leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia the press was writing about . . .  well . . . the press.

Specifically, the state of their hotel rooms. Oh, and stray dogs.

I’m sure Russian Olympic officials were also cursing the timing of Twitter’s roll out just a few weeks earlier of the ability to tweet photos:

Hopefully none of these Tweeters (Twitterers?) live in Russia. Yevgeny Vitishko, a Russian environmentalist, who unfortunately does, was sentenced this past week to three years in a penal colony. (yup, not prison, but a “penal colony,” which sounds very Escape From New Yorkish)

Vitishko, an outspoken critic of the Olympic construction work at Sochi, was co-author of a report chronicling the ecological consequences of the 2014 Winter Olympics. According to officials, he was sentenced for allegedly spray painting the word “thief” on the fence of a pro-Putin regional governor, which he denies.

Why an apparently prominent environmentalist would spray paint the word “thief” on a fence, I don’t know. “Polluter” maybe or “Raper of Mother Earth” perhaps. But “thief”? Sure, I get it that “thief” could be shorthand for stealing or wasting natural resources, but you would think he would have been a bit more descriptive if he did it. Plus, the guy looks like he’s pushing 50 which, when I last checked, is way above the median age range of taggers. Many are saying that the case is politically motivated.

And then there’s the sentence itself. I’m no expert in Russian law so I don’t know whether a three year sentence for graffiti is typical or not in Russia, or whether there’s a criminal enhancement for spray painting the fence of a Pro-Kremlin governor, but three years, ouch! Here in Oakland it’s called street art.

3 Responses to “Got a Problem With Olympic Construction in Sochi?”

  1. Jonathan

    This is a sweet post. I have seen a few of the pictures above but all in different places. I am stunned that they were so unprepared. Don’t they decide the olympics about 7 years in advance? It seems like everything should have been in the stage about a year before they started in order to make them ready on time. I do road construction so I do know about planing ahead and what meeting a deadline means.


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