Sochi is Vladimir Putin’s project. Estimated to cost just over 50 billion dollars, it dwarfes all other previous editions and even eclipsed the cost of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.
The event occurs after a stellar year for the Russian President, who brokered a deal over chemical weapons in Syria to save an ally, scored a victory in the Snowden affair, and thus saw him topping Forbes’ “World’s Most Powerful People” rankings. He also won a geopolitical tussle over Ukraine – initially.
But, as the games kick off, many are wondering if it is downhill from here. Sochi has become a focal point for all that the West sees wrong with Russia. The intensity and breadth of the negative coverage has done Russia no favors.
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