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Entries in Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics (43)


Olympic University Progress

Recently, I returned to view the construction site of the Olympic University being constructed on Orzhonikidze Ulitsa in Sochi.  I last photographed the site about 8 weeks before.  As with most construction projects in Sochi, there is rapid progress.  From the photos below, you can see the changes:






Hidden Sochi

Yesterday, Inside Sochi newsletter included a feature on "Hidden Sochi".  Sochi has a number of attractions that are unknown or hidden to outside travelers who come for the beaches or mountain resort activities.  Please take a look at the photos from "Hidden Sochi".


More On Abkhazia's Election

Over the last several days, I have had a number of inquiries from observers about current events in Abkhazia. Several asked about what I observed during the election and what it means for stability.

As I mentioned before, I went to several polling stations and all seemed fair and democractic.  I spoke to a number of  election observers over the next several days and did not hear a complaint about the electoral process. I did hear several remarks that Abkhazia is apparently further along the path of democracy than many of the nations that refuse to recognize it.  This is not the only criteria in the recognition process, but it is an important indicator of what Abkhazia has achieved despite enormous difficulties.  Although only a handful of nations now recognize Abkhazia, I heard recently that several are seriously considering the move.

Abkhazia is a stable place.  There is no sense of unrest or political instability.  Russian troops are not patrolling the streets nor are Russian officials manning the organs of government.  It is a calm and peaceful nation working to develop and integrate with the rest of the world, despite all of the misinformation and propaganda spread by political leaders in the Republic of Georgia.  

I hope that foreign policy experts, tourists and investors will not be dissuaded by the misinformation. If they investigate Abkhazia, they will see the same thing I see: a beautiful, underdeveloped, subtropical paradise for tourists just across the border from one of the world's largest markets.  I spoke to several election observers who saw things the same way.

All three of the Presidential candidates, including President-Elect Ankvab, stressed that Abkhazia needs to seek outside investment and political ties.  Although President Bagapsh died, this reality has not changed. 

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