Friday, August 29, 2014

The Power Vertical

Podcast: The Political Games

Sports seems to be the last thing to come up in discussions about the Sochi Olympics.
Sports seems to be the last thing to come up in discussions about the Sochi Olympics.
In less than a month, the most expensive Olympic Games in history will start. But in the run-up to Sochi, there has been little discussion about sports.

Instead, the focus has been on politics, human rights, and the ever-present threat of terrorism.

What will LGBT activists -- and athletes -- do at the Games? How will the Russian authorities respond? Will Chechen militant Doku Umarov pull off a terrorist attack as he has pledged to do? And how will the Sochi Olympics, which have been shrouded in controversy almost from the outset, make Russia look to the world?

Such questions are overshadowing ones about who will take home the most Olympic gold.

In the latest "Power Vertical Podcast," we discuss the upcoming Sochi Olympics and what they might portend politically. Joining me were co-hosts Kirill Kobrin, editor of the Moscow-based history and sociology magazine "Neprikosnovenny zapas," and Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University and author of the blog "In Moscow's Shadows."


Power Vertical Podcast -- January 10, 2014
Power Vertical Podcast -- January 10, 2014i
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by: Wayne Krumbach from: Garden City, MI
January 11, 2014 12:19
Russia's run up to the Olympic Winter Games has been hit a speed bump, because of terrorist attacks that cause the New Year's celebration to be called off. And that's not all, there's so much beef about an Olympic boycott going on. Olympic countries including the U.S. Don't want another one just like 1980 and neither do I. I hope there's security in not just this year's Olympics in Sochi, Russia. But also the 2018 FIFA World Cup that will also take place 4 years from now. Let's hope history will not be repeated.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
January 11, 2014 16:44
Ah, these Olympic Games in Russia - they are just horrible!
All those people who get deported from the Sotschi region to concentration camps in Siberia,
all those foreign workers who get exploited under inhumane conditions in construction,
all the ecological damage and damage to cultural monuments of the region,
all the corruption because of which the price-tag of the Games went up from the initial € 12,99 to some € 50 billion,
all the terrorist threats that are constantly hovering over everyone becuase of these damn Games,
all those gay rights that get violated because all the Russian gay athlets have been beaten up, humiliated, extorted and assassinated.
I propose that all the people of good will should BOYCOT these games and that the United Nations General Assembly would prohibit Russia to organize ALL SORTS OF sprorts events in the future.
In this latter case, the RFE/RL could finally go back to its traditional topics, such as the Eurovision contest (from which Russia should also be excluded) or the sad fate of belugas in the Black Sea :-)).

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
January 12, 2014 08:51
By the way, guys, it looks like the Eurovision is also becoming an endagered specie - have a look:
VIDEO: Eurovision Doomed? Crisis forces mass exodus of participants -

by: Anonymous
January 14, 2014 01:22
the lack of objectivity is so obvious
they're getting a result diametrically opposite

About This Blog

The Power Vertical is a blog written especially for Russia wonks and obsessive Kremlin watchers by Brian Whitmore. It covers emerging and developing trends in Russian politics, shining a spotlight on the high-stakes power struggles, machinations, and clashing interests that shape Kremlin policy today. Check out The Power Vertical Facebook page or

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