Beautiful Sochi: Come for the terrorism, stay for the garbage

An interesting battle broke out yesterday between Putin apologists and the online community at Reddit.

Sadly for Putin, Reddit won.

You see, it all started when someone by the name of “Eye-Have-You” posted a link on Reddit to a series of “you are there” photos of Sochi, Russia, where the 2014 Winter Olympics are taking place in only two weeks.


The photos show Sochi to be a bit of a not-ready-for-prime-time mess, with unfinished buildings and garbage everywhere. Soch is the most expensive Olympics in history, with over $50 billion in costs, of which perhaps half have been reportedly stolen.  Here are only a few of the photos that were posted, with a decidedly Russian accent to the captions IMHO:


Beautiful Sochi: Come for the terrorism, stay for the garbage.

unfinished-sochi unfinished-hotel-sochi

But then the Putin-philes struck back and posted their own photos of a fabulously-finished Sochi:


What did the naysayers forget to show you?  Well, there’s Sochi’s gorgeous press center (in fact, there are so many photos of the press center that you kind of wonder what else is finished):sochi-press-center

And some bleachers in a stadium, somewhere:


And best of all, Sochi’s world-famous 800 year old castle that sits beautifully on the Mediterranean, and Sochi’s gorgeous old Catholic church that’s just a convenient short walk from the sea.


sochi-church-maltaThe only problem, of course, is that Sochi is on the Black Sea, not the Mediterranean – a good 600 miles or so away.

And as for that castle and church – they’re actually in Malta. Which might account for why that other guy “forgot to show you” them:


Fort Saint Angelo de La Valette, Malta (credit: Larmignatl)

So, I suspect you won’t be surprised to hear that this gorgeous rotunda isn’t in Sochi either.


Yep, you guessed it: Malta.

Malta's Rotunda, via Shutterstock

Malta’s Rotunda, via Shutterstock

Now, sure, maybe two weeks out from the Olympics there’s still not even electricity yet in Sochi to turn on the street lights:


And maybe the sidewalks still need a bit of work:


But nobody holds a candle to the Russians when it comes to building those beautiful old forts:


Well, except the Maltese:


Fort Manoel, Malta via Shutterstock

(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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