Vladimir Putin’s propaganda operation is in full swing in the run-up to the Sochi Olympics. Russian TV even featured footage of him at a Persian leopard sanctuary, calming a cub who had just attacked two journalists.
But journalists are having the first laugh of the Olympics by reporting on the shambolic preparations for the event, which include a venue that often resembles a construction site rather than the gleaming sports megaplex that Putin promised would be created with the huge $51 billion investment his government has poured into the Olympics — ten times the cost of the last Winter Games in Vancouver.
Journalists report their own hotel rooms are often either not ready, or are lacking basic items such as running water, light bulbs, shower curtains, door handles, or even doors themselves. Apparently, there are not enough room pillows for athletes, so other guests in Sochi are being asked to give up theirs.
The best rundown of the disaster is from the Hollywood Reporter, which details “the challenging conditions amidst the chaos.”
No doubt President Putin will cause some heads to roll over all this incompetence. Let’s just hope that isn’t done in public as part of a new Olympics event.