January 01, 2012

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland
Mikhail Mordasov

“Together we will prepare an international event on the grandest scale, an international celebration, and a celebration for all the Russian people. We cannot allow even a single Russian citizen’s experience of this celebration to be tainted by problems that arise in the course of this work. No one should have any problems, and if they arise, they should be resolved in a just manner.”

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, February 2009

In the spring of 2009, Sochi residents clung to the words of their powerful prime minister, uttered when the city was still in the earliest stages of building up to the 2014 Olympic Games. In April 2009, the main Olympic Park was largely a layer of debris being shoved back and forth by bulldozers. The legendarily productive Rossiya farm, a former kolkhoz, had already been knocked down, but construction crews had not yet begun working, and locals planted radishes among the ruins to gain some benefit from the warm spring and reap at least one harvest.

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