Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Online Discussion: Sochi In The Spotlight

A police officer stands near a checkpoint at the RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping Center in Krasnaya Polyana near Sochi.
A police officer stands near a checkpoint at the RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping Center in Krasnaya Polyana near Sochi.
With the Winter Olympics beginning in Sochi in just over two weeks, questions continue to linger -- about the security situation, about the Russia's controversial "gay propaganda" law, and about alleged corruption that has made these games the most expensive in Olympic history.

In the first in our series of conversations about the Sochi Olympics, RFE/RL's Brian Whitmore led a discussion on January 23 with guests in Moscow and Prague about the dynamics that may distract the world from the actual competition. (Also here and on YouTube here.)


Irina Lagunina -- Director of RFE/RL's Russian Service, Radio Svoboda, where she previously served as a senior broadcaster and host of the daily analytical radio journal “Time & World.” Prior to joining RFE/RL in 1995, Lagunina worked as the foreign policy and diplomatic editor for the Russian magazine “New Times" and the “Moscow News.” She was in the media pool of the Russian Foreign Ministry, covering the end of the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, wars in the former Yugoslavia, and ethnic conflicts in the former Soviet Union. She also contributed to the 1999 study “Kosovo News & Propaganda War” by The International Press Institute in Vienna, Austria.

Anastasia Kirilenko -- Correspondent with RFE/RL's Moscow bureau, where she has worked since 2009 and is the author of several investigative reports, most recently about the Sochi Olympics. Kirilenko has an MA in journalism from Moscow State University and graduated from the Faculty of International Relations and Law at Novosibirsk State University of Economics and Management in 2006. She has also contributed to the online platforms "Caucasian Knot" and "Courier International."

Ekaterina Sokirianskaya -- North Caucasus project director with International Crisis Group, supervising activities and advocacy efforts in the region. Before joining ICG, she held positions at the Memorial Human Rights Center from 2007-08 in Russia's republics of Chechnya, Daghestan, and Kabardino-Balkaria, and was a researcher and programs supervisor for the republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia, and North Ossetia. Sokirianskaya holds a doctoral degree from Central European University, has taught courses as assistant professor at Chechen State University, is a member of the Expert Council with the Ombudsman of the Russian Federation, is a board member of International Memorial, and is the author of numerous publications, public lectures, and successful short documentaries.

Brian Whitmore, Moderator -- Europe desk editor for RFE/RL's Central Newsroom and author of "The Power Vertical" blog.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
January 24, 2014 02:52
Migrant workers complaints is an irony that Serbs must know,
At least since Tolstoy's Caucasian story "Serbian Roulette",
When in name of "Slavic Unity" Serb officers would go
Fight for Russian Empire in Caucasus and betrayed.
It shamed "brave" Russia - Russia killed Serb hero.

It is how they are, the treasonous breed of Varanga,
Read "Dream of the Chaldeyka" for Biblical Empires,
Where Russia would breed-out, pinning it on "Vanda",
Repopulating Human Civilization for the bloody Czars
And instead of pay would give bullet to the hired guns.

Or they lure the brothers-Slavs to build Olympic Sochi,
To Glory of annexed from Georgia and Caucasus land,
Only to be used like slaves, steal their pay and gloating
About dividing Slavs with Germans, playing a dirty hand
And breeding Russia-Prussia Neanderthals vulgar gangs.

"Brat'ya Pravoslavnye" - how short can be one's memory?
While Georgia for Millenniums created World Civilizations,
Defending life and dignity of nations, including Slavs, many
Paid with lives - because: " What was done to your nations
They would do to us" - you building "Sochi monumentation"!

Monument to the breeding treason-legacy Russia in our land
And influx into Eastern Europe German and Austrian Empire,
Along with Russia-Empire busted CIS, now Ukraine is banged
And Georgia partitioned. A Moral Center is not Russian "ugar",
But our World, including Slavs, now betrayed by Russia-swing.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
January 24, 2014 17:47
Ah, this Sotschi - it's just horrible! All the enslaved foreign workers, all the money stolen by corrupt officials, all the poor dolphines enslaved by Putin in order to spread cheap propaganda among brainwashed Russian public...
One can only hope that the Beavuses will be so disgusted by all this that they will boycot the games, so that those who follow the Games on TV will not have to look at their ugly fat faces distorted by excessive consumption of genetically-modified food in McDonalds :-)).
In Response

by: Anonymous
January 27, 2014 09:41
i want see what will happen next year with fifa world cup ....

by: Anonymous
January 27, 2014 09:43
what about south american illegal workers in USA ?

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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