President Vladimir Putin’s Olympic venture put the workings of contemporary Russia on vivid display. The Sochi Olympics were designed to symbolize Russia’s return to great power status, but subsequent aggression against Ukraine, large-scale corruption, and the doping scandal have become the true legacies of the games. The Kremlin’s style of governance through mega-projects has had deleterious consequences for the country’s development. Placing the Sochi games into the larger context of Olympic history, this book examines the political, security, business, ethnic, societal, and international ramifications of Putin’s system.
1. Introduction: How Putin’s Political System Led to Olympic Corruption, Military Adventurism and State-Sponsored Doping
2. The 2014 Sochi Olympic Mega-Project and Russia’s Political Economy
3. Political and Civil Society and the Sochi Olympics
4. Security: Fighting Terrorism and Strengthening the Military
5. International Issues: Circassians, the Former Soviet Countries, and the West
6. The Legacy of the Sochi Olympics
Putin’s Olympics rightly and repeatedly
reminds us that in the process of creating the Sochi experience, Putin, like his autocratic and
authoritarian predecessors, broke a lot of eggs in order to make this cake.
Catherine A. Schuler, University of Maryland