Opposition figurehead and long-term corruption whistleblower, Alexei Navalny, has unveiled a masterful piece of Olympics research one week ahead of the commencement of the Games.
Navalny’s dynamic, colourful, English-language, interactive website offers an ‘Encyclopedia of Spending’ that reveals the more egregious anomalies in what is now an infamous and record-breaking Olympics budget of $45.8 billion – just over half of those funds coming directly from the federal pocket. The website is full of juicy scandals, illegal waste dumps, ecological destruction, and documents the nepotism of the Bilalov brothers and the Olimpstroy office building contract.
It also names and shames the likes of Arkady Rotenberg, a number of whose companies were contracted for 20 different Sochi projects; and billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, who seems to have got a hotel built for him by the state as part of the Sochi construction; and it documents some of the additional hidden costs behind the project – such as the estimated $53.8 million already needed to clean up a gigantic waste disposal site near Loo village.
Much of this information has already been made public in recent months, but to see it all in one place is pretty staggering. See for yourself. This is recommended and highly entertaining reading. Even Dmitry Medvedev’s ski instructor appears to have won a Sochi contract…