Looking Back on Sochi

LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld has published the final installment of her series on Sochi over on the powerful and influential American Thinker blog. Here are the links to the full series:

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Reviewing the Opening of the Sochi Games

LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld has had two pieces this week on the powerful and influential American Thinker blog reviewing the first week of competition at Sochi.  The first essay reviewed the disastrous and humiliating preparations and opening ceremony (and marked Kim’s 100th column for the website) while the second essay addressed the hilariously false claim by Russophile nutjobs that Russia is somehow being singled out for failure this year and that Sochi is a games just like any other.

On the medal front, Russia’s performance has not been among the standouts. The nations who have really distinguished themselves in the first week so far are Germany (which leads the gold medal count with a whopping 6), Norway (which leads the total medal count with 13) and the USA and Netherlands, which both sport double-digit medal counts and achieved the three dominating performances so far, Netherlands taking every place on the medal stand in men’s 500 and 5000 meter speed skating and the USA doing so in men’s slopestyle skiing.  Canada is also threatening to win the total medal count, though its unclear if it can sustain its momentum.

Russia has only two gold medals, one of them coming in the “sport” of team figure skating that was just invented this year and the other in pairs figure skating, and only nine total medals.  However, it did get the one gold it would have wanted if it could get only one so far, returning to glory in pairs skating.

For Russia, the biggest event of the games through the second weekend will come two days from now when it faces off against the USA in ice hockey.  Though the result likely won’t have any decisive impact on the hockey medals, it’s a match Russia desperately wants to win and one that will tell the world a lot about Russia’s chances for gold in hockey, the one medal it wants to win more than any other.

Dark Clouds over Sochi Russia

An article in the Moscow Times about Russia’s security measures in Sochi makes for disturbing reading.

It reports that U.S. National Counterterrorism Center director Matthew Olsen told the Senate Intelligence Committee last week:

The biggest issue from my perspective is not the Games themselves, the venues themselves.  There is extensive security at those locations — the sites of the events. The greater threat is to softer targets in the greater Sochi area, in the outskirts beyond Sochi, where there is a substantial potential for a terrorist attack.

So it seems that the anti-Russia terrorists have a horrifying litany of options available to them if they want to avoid the security cordon around the actual Olympics venues in Adler and Krasnaya Polyana:

  1. Attack Sochi-bound traffic in Moscow, far from the Sochi “ring of steel.”
  2. Attack “soft targets” like hotels and restaurants in Sochi itself, just outside the “ring of steel.”
  3. Attack a Russian city left unguarded and previously inaccessible as Russian security forces are diverted en masse to Sochi.

As to the third option, one wonders if the people of Russia were asked whether they’d be willing to sacrifice one of their cities to a Dubrovka or a Beslan in order to keep the Sochi venues safe from harm.

Moreover, the MT reports:  “It seems that Sochi is indeed experiencing problems with accommodating all the security personnel sent to the city. Last month, two police officers from St. Petersburg tried to flee from Sochi, saying that living and working conditions were ‘inhumane,’ Fontanka.ru reported. The news article featured a photograph of two police officers sleeping on the floor in a tiny room.”

So it seems that there are already questions as to how firm the “ring of steel” around the Olympics venues in Sochi actually is.  If security personnel are being forced to live like animals, it’s a safe bet that they are at least a little distracted from their work, and therefore vulnerable.

The security operations are secret, but the general preparations for the games are not, and a recent photo spread in the Washington Post provides disturbing proof of how sloppily the latter are proceeding. The Post shows that stray dogs roam the streets, which are still covered with mud and innumerable construction projects which have not been completed, and that the hotel rooms lack basic amenities such as phones.

If Russia can’t get such simple things right, how likely is it that the security preparations have been flawless?

Russia Beyond the Headlines Pumping out Lies about Sochi

This week the Winter Olympic Games commence in Sochi Russia, and the Kremlin’s propaganda vortex known as Russia Beyond the Headlines is going into overdrive pumping out propaganda designed to twist and pervert the facts about the games in the Kremlin’s favor, hoping to paper over the long list of hideous and embarrassing defects inherent in Russia’s effort as host. Over on the powerful and influential American Thinker blog, LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld has all the details.

U.S. to Americans on Sochi: Just Don’t Go.

In a humiliating blow to Russia, the U.S. government has warned Americans not to attend the Sochi Olympic games because of the overwhelming risk that Russia will not be able to protect the games from terrorism and may not be able to deliver proper medical care in the event of a terrorist event.  Coming on the heels of the U.S. announcement that no cabinet-level U.S. official will attend the games, this announcement is devastating to Putin’s prestige.  Over on the powerful and influential American Thinker blog, LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld reports the details.

Putin’s Peril in Volgograd

Over on the powerful and influential American Thinker blog, LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld shows why Putin can’t win in the Caucasus and therefore his only response to the Volgograd bombings will be to continue working hard to silence his critics with the neo-Soviet politics of repression.  Amazingly, Putin has still not made any effort to address his fellow citizens about the terrifying wave of attacks sweeping Southern Russia as the Sochi Olympics draw near.  This is a dereliction of duty in the highest order, and shows Putin has nothing to offer his country other than a return to the failed Soviet past.

Tide of Negative Press Sweeps over Putin and Russia

Putin is always late, like a schoolboy, embarrassing his country.

Putin has failed Russia’s villages, and is now reduced to bribing people to leave them as ghost towns.

Putin can’t even keep the lights on in Sochi, and in desperation has cancelled Christmas for its workers.  Meanwhile, yet another Olympic torch bearer burst into flames. Ouch!

Despite a personal appeal in halting English by Putin, Russia loses its World Expo 2020 bid.

While obsessing in a paranoid manner about threats from abroad, Putin is recklessly ignoring the virulent toxins with the body Russia that look poised to destroy the country.

These are these are stories that the BBC, NBC, the Wall Street Journal, the Telegraph, USA Today, the Moscow Times and the Financial Times are telling about Russia. They speak for themselves, don’t they?

Russia and its “Danger Games”

Cynics on Russia though we may be, not even we dared to dream that Russia could humiliate itself so badly in the conduct of the Winter Olympics before the Games ever even started.  We always thought the event itself might collapse in failure, both on the playing field and off, but we never imagined Russia could drag the games into such a miasma of failure during the mere preparations.

Over on the powerful and influential American Thinker blog, LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld has all the horrifying details.  All the terror you possibly could ask for, just in time for Halloween (which, by the way, Russia is now trying to ban).