There were two horrifying news stories out of Russia last week for those who care about the fate of the world’s Olympic athletes in 2014.
First, in one of the most spectacular humiliations in the history of the Russian airline industry, which is saying quite a lot, the Sukhoi Superjet, supposedly Russia’s great hope to reenter the world’s aviation markets, crashed into a mountain in Indonesia while in the middle of a marketing pitch to show the world how great it was. Remember when a plane crash wiped out an entire Russian hockey team? Is the world really going to subject its precious amateur athletes to this kind of barbaric risk in the world’s most unfriendly skies?
Then, Russia admitted that highly active and sophisticated terrorist operations against the Winter Olympics, to be staged in the Russian city of Sochi in 2014, are already underway.
The risks to the world’s athletes if they are foolish enough to try to travel to Sochi less than two years from now are almost too horrifying to contemplate. To reach the games, the world’s athletes will be faced with flying in the world’s most dangerous skies, and even if they manage to land safely they will essentially become targets in a shooting gallery on the streets of Russia.
Perhaps an even more horrifying story, though, was the account of Facebook signups for a so-called “walking protest” through Moscow in opposition to the return of the dictator Vladimir Putin to power. Where tens of thousands were signing up just months ago, now the numbers have fallen by 90%. Despite seeing all this horror, Russians quite simply just don’t care, just as they didn’t care in Soviet times. They will let their government run amok.
Russia is simply incapable of protecting the athletes from all manner of horrors, ranging from the mundane to the obscene, and the leaders of the world’s nations are acting with ultimate recklessness in allowing their athletes to travel to Sochi.
NOTE: This post has been translated into Russian and published by INOSMI.