By now I’m sure you’ve seen the tweets and tales of misadventure and squalor that awaited journalists who’ve congregated in Sochi, Russia for the Olympics. Some of it makes the most Spartan stuff I dealt with in the military look luxurious.
— Sochi Problems (@SochiProblems) February 6, 2014
— Sochi Problems (@SochiProblems) February 4, 2014
— Stacy St. Clair (@StacyStClair) February 4, 2014
Via Gizmodo comes a WSJ report on the situation. The Russians can be quite reassuring. Not.
The WSJ reports that Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak is downright peeved at visiting journalists from the west. He claims the journos are deliberately trying to sabotage the Olympics as well as to undermine Russia’s international reputation by sending back false reports that depict Sochi’s often amusing lack of preparation for the games. So far, they’ve only received 108 “registered” complaints. According to Kozak, it’s all a sham. Consider what the hidden surveillance cameras have detected:
“We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day,” he said. An aide then pulled a reporter away before Mr. Kozak could be questioned further on surveillance in hotel rooms. “We’re doing a tour of the media center,” the aide said.
The Russians quickly walked that back, claiming that the hotels have “absolutely no” video surveillance systems. But the country is known to hack pretty much everything and to listen in on pretty much all electronic communications. It’s Putin’s place, the other Russians just live in it.