Sochi: World’s Newest Ghost Town

By Slava Tsukerman

Sochi Olympics were the most expensive Olympics in history, with it’s cost exceeding $50 billion. Its costs were higher than all the 21 prior Winter Olympics.

Corruption was a major factor in the high costs.   Sochi prices were two, three or more times higher than the world average. By some estimates, the overall scale of theft in the project amounted to 50-60 percent of the budget .

Sochi Olympics are over, but it doesn’t mean that the spending has stopped. Now there is a big problem with the maintenance of the infrastructure.

Evgeny Gontmakher, deputy director of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) had predicted :  “I think that some of these improvements are simply going to be cast adrift.” Today, these predictions are coming true. Especially noticeable is what happening with the new residential areas and hotels.

After Games were finished tens of thousands of volunteers and law enforcement officials (100,000 guards worked at the Olympics), staff and officials, athletes and guests of the Olympics left Sochi, leaving a small town built for the Olympics on the outskirts of the city near the Olympic Park. Today this town is empty and wind howls through the streets.


The pavement of this street of empty new hotels starts subsiding.

There are many plans for the use of what has been built for the Olympic Games in Sochi. But many experts are looking at these plans with skepticism. Here is an opinion of Andrei Zaostrovtsev, a lecturer at the M-Centre at the European University, St. Petersburg and professor of the Higher School of Economics:

“Pyramid of Cheops brings income to Egypt today. We can say that it has paid off. But it was built more than four and a half thousand years ago. Maybe something built in Sochi also is going to generate revenue in another four and a half thousand years. As a museum object … “

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Updated: April 1, 2014 — 8:51 pm

1 Comment

  1. Slava Tsukerman and NewsLanc should have done the honorable thing and4 note that the photographs are from blogger Alexander Valov, who posted photographs of the area on Blog Sochi under the headline “Dead City.”

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-sochi-ghost-town-russian-blogger-20140328,0,5240422.story#ixzz2xqKCplRr

    EDITOR: We apologize for the oversight. We will review future practice.

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