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Thread: Sochi 2014 - Olympic Winter Games (official site)

  1. #41
    edvalais
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxmixiv View Post
    А в Швейцарии зато десятиминутная поездка в общественном транспорте стоит столько, что омский пенсионер за эти же деньги может кататься целый месяц, не вылезая из автобуса.
    In the nearest town to where I live (I live on top of a mountain), you can use public transport for 90 minutes for 1.5 Swiss francs (60 roubles, in the UK it's free for pensioners). If you're saying a Russian pensioner can travel for a month on this, then this makes the несусветные деньги spent on Sochi seem all the more astronomical.

    Another question: who here does NOT believe that corruption played no part in Sochi winning the Olympic bid (or Russian winning the bid for the football world cup)?

  2. #42
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    What's new about corruption at Olympics bid?

    BBC News | World | Timeline: Olympics corruption scandal
    Corruption and the Olympics

    I can go on. It appears that EVERY bid the MOC ever held throughout history was corrupt, so what?
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  3. #43
    edvalais
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    What's new about corruption at Olympics bid?

    BBC News | World | Timeline: Olympics corruption scandal
    Corruption and the Olympics

    I can go on. It appears that EVERY bid the MOC ever held throughout history was corrupt, so what?
    I'm not referring to pseudo-corruption, as outlined in the link you gave, but unequivocal, direct bribes. I personally believe that this is how Russian won the Olympic bid.

    Incidentally, it's interesting that you directed me to the Transparency International link. Of course, in Russia TI has to designate itself a "Foreign Agent". Why is this? It was Putin's response to the US Magnitsky Bill - and we all know the profound cesspit of corruption and violence that forms the basis for the Magnitsky tragedy.

    Russia is a great country. In my view, its people deserve better. I'm not convinced that the money spent on the Olympics (and the associated vast levels of bribes) could not have been more sensibly used. However, as I said before, I think the games went pretty well and I'm pleased that they've put Sochi on the map.
    Hanna likes this.

  4. #44
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    I'm not referring to pseudo-corruption, as outlined in the link you gave, but unequivocal, direct bribes. I personally believe that this is how Russian won the Olympic bid.
    The words 'unequivocal' and 'personally believe' don't sound quite right in the same sentence. So, in case of some other Olympics games the accusations in bribery of the MOC are 'pseudo-corruption', but simply because you 'personally believe' in something makes Russia 'unequivocally' guilty. Okay



    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    Incidentally, it's interesting that you directed me to the Transparency International link. Of course, in Russia TI has to designate itself a "Foreign Agent". Why is this?
    What? Is it not true? Has Transparency International moved its HQ to Russia when I wasn't looking?
    Seriously though, TI is NOT a foreign agent. It's a foreign organization. But when TI establishes in Russia something called 'Русская национальная правдивая организация' (Russian national truthful organization) for example AND ALSO this organization goes straight into the Russian politics then and only then this organization must add 'A Foreign agent' prefix to its name so that people would know that it's not in fact Russian and not in fact national. What concerns 'truthful' part - that's up to people do decide. What's wrong with this concept? I think, people are ought to know who are they listening to. Such 'agents' are not even forbidden to do politics here. They simply have to wear that 'agent' sign.

    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    It was Putin's response to the US Magnitsky Bill - and we all know the profound cesspit of corruption and violence that forms the basis for the Magnitsky tragedy
    Sergey Magnitsky's death is probably a tragedy, but such things happen. People die due to lack of medical attention (ok, even because the officials who were responsible for his continued good health in prison were corrupt). Such tragedies happen now and then around the globe but the whole matter was blown out of proportions. What I know is a) Magnitsky himself was not so 'innocent' as he's depicted in the Western media; b) Mr. William Felix Browder who was up to his ears in corrupt schemes with several high-ranked officials lost a great deal of money. It was then and only then, when Magnitsky was ordered to start throwing shit into the fan about 'thievery', etc. The problem was simple - Browder underestimated his Russian partners. He thought they were civilized enough to start throwing the shit back at him in the court, but they chose a more direct approach - no man = no problem. Personally, I believe that it was Browder who set up Magnitsky; and c) nobody would care about Magnitsky's death if Browder hadn't existed.
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  5. #45
    edvalais
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    I'm simply stating that, in my opinion, Russia secured the Olympic games by bribes. Can I prove it? No, but it is my belief. If you were to ban these type of statements on internet forums, there would be little discourse.

    I referred to the Magnitsky case to highlight the level of corruption in Russia. You yourself refer to the corruption surrounding this sad figure. In this regard, we appear to agree.

    What is Putin's official salary? I think it's about $190,000. How does he afford the watches he wears. In your opinion, is there any link between him and the palace in Gelendzhik? If there is, how on earth does he afford it?

    The "Foreign Agent" law was just a childish reaction to the Magntisky Bill. Idem - the law banning American couples from adopting Russian children. This was spiteful and actually unkind. Some of these couples wanted to adopt handicapped children, who will now have to endure the horrors of a Russian orphanage. Why didn't Putin spend the $50bn on building more children's homes?

  6. #46
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    it is my belief
    Understood. Would you also believe if I tell you that every Olympic bid winner paid bribes to the MOC? No? I thought so, because we only believe in what we want to believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    I referred to the Magnitsky case to highlight the level of corruption in Russia. You yourself refer to the corruption surrounding this sad figure. In this regard, we appear to agree.
    You know what? Corruption costs European economy 120 billion euros a year | Reuters
    Corruption exists everywhere, and it's not like only Russia has this disease. Of course, I agree because I've never ever heard of a honest politician or a government official in any country.

    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    What is Putin's official salary? I think it's about $190,000. How does he afford the watches he wears. In your opinion, is there any link between him and the palace in Gelendzhik? If there is, how on earth does he afford it?
    The watch, yes. You know what? I think the president of Russia should wear expensive watch and go by the best limo one can find. We're not Zimbabwe or Ivory Coast, and if our president has a nice gold watch - I'm glad for him. No, really. Am I envious? No! No way I would trade places with him. So let this watch be, because I'm having much more fun in my life than he is.
    As for the rest (I heard his personal wealth amounts up to $43 bn making him the richest man in the world) - let people believe in what they want to believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    The "Foreign Agent" law was just a childish reaction to the Magntisky Bill.
    A good and timely reaction nevertheless. I fully approve.

    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    Idem - the law banning American couples from adopting Russian children. This was spiteful and actually unkind. Some of these couples wanted to adopt handicapped children, who will now have to endure the horrors of a Russian orphanage. Why didn't Putin spend the $50bn on building more children's homes?
    Such rhetorics reminds me of Sharikov (a character from M. Bulgakov's 'The heart of a dog'). He also suggested that everything should be expropriated and divided equally. Russia is a rich country and we have money for both Olympics AND orphan houses (in fact, this laws that prohibited adoptions to foreigners has drawn the media attention to the orphanage problem in Russia and the statistics of domestic adoptions has improved greatly).

    'endure the Horrors of a Russian orphanage' - that's nice. Heard it somewhere or invented yourself? BBC perhaps... or was it NY Times?

    An orphan house from Russian hell:
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  7. #47
    Почтенный гражданин DrBaldhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    I'm simply stating that, in my opinion, Russia secured the Olympic games by bribes. Can I prove it? No, but it is my belief. If you were to ban these type of statements on internet forums, there would be little discourse.
    So what? Even if we got this by bribing, who is to judge? It is my belief that it is the typical funding source for the Olympic Committee as an organisation.

    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    What is Putin's official salary? I think it's about $190,000. How does he afford the watches he wears. In your opinion, is there any link between him and the palace in Gelendzhik? If there is, how on earth does he afford it?
    Because he is Batman. And as a Batman he provides us with a great mystery about when he actually sleeps. Because it seems like he never does.

    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    The "Foreign Agent" law was just a childish reaction to the Magntisky Bill. Idem - the law banning American couples from adopting Russian children. This was spiteful and actually unkind. Some of these couples wanted to adopt handicapped children, who will now have to endure the horrors of a Russian orphanage. Why didn't Putin spend the $50bn on building more children's homes?
    Is American FARA law adult enough?
    Also we will no longer give our kids away to the parents we can't charge for a crime against them.

  8. #48
    edvalais
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    I've noticed that there is essentially a "soviet" attitude to criticism of Russia on this site. Critics are accused of being informed by the biased western media. The absurd "Foreign Agent" tag is symptomatic of this paranoia. It shows that some in Russia still have a foot in the past. This is a shame because you can't move forward properly like this.

    In fact, I get most of my information about Russia from the Russian media and from meeting Russians.

    I invite you to ask yourselves this question: if the Magnitsky scandal had never happened, if there had been no Magnitsky Law in the US, would Russia have still banned Americans from adopting Russian children? In my view, no. The ban was a direct riposte to the Americans - it was cold-war "tit-for-tat". It logically follows from this that the motive for passing a new Russian law which directly affects (and in my opinion, negatively affects) the lives of thousands of Russian children has nothing to do with childcare or improving their prospects: it was passed solely because a country far away passed a law which itself had nothing to do with childcare. This is irresponsible and very very sad, because the only real victims in this are the Russian orphans.

  9. #49
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    In fact, I get most of my information about Russia from the Russian media and from meeting Russians.
    Russian media is also biased. But that's beside the point. I don't even care how or why this law about 'foreign agents' was effected. To my personal opinion this blocks the outside propaganda messages and if it works - fine. What IS propaganda? It's an appeal to emotions of not very bright people. Thinking and smart people will see through the propaganda and know its value, but we have stupid people here too. When they are said 'This HONESTY, Inc Ogranization's experts proven that Russian government is very-very bad' - well that's one message. And another one 'This Foreitn Agent 'Honesty, Inc' Organization's experts proven ...." - that's quite another one.
    I insist that the Russian government should have the only and monopolized right of brainwashing its own population. No one else should be allowed. (I'm not joking, I'm dead serious)


    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    I invite you to ask yourselves this question: if the Magnitsky scandal had never happened, if there had been no Magnitsky Law in the US, would Russia have still banned Americans from adopting Russian children? In my view, no. The ban was a direct riposte to the Americans - it was cold-war "tit-for-tat". It logically follows from this that the motive for passing a new Russian law which directly affects (and in my opinion, negatively affects) the lives of thousands of Russian children has nothing to do with childcare or improving their prospects: it was passed solely because a country far away passed a law which itself had nothing to do with childcare. This is irresponsible and very very sad, because the only real victims in this are the Russian orphans.
    That's one point of view. The ban was a direct riposte to the Americans indeed, so what? You sound as if there was something bad in it.
    As for the 'horrors of a Russian orphanage' - that's still remains questionable is it so hellish being an orphan in Russia and is it so good being an adopted by a couple of foreigners.
    And again, even if this was not intended, the number of domestic adoptions has increased since the ban. That's good.
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  10. #50
    edvalais
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    The ban was a direct riposte to the Americans indeed, so what? You sound as if there was something bad in it.
    Yes, there is "something bad in it". If a parliament passes a law which affects orphans, I'd like to think that the primary motive is to improve their lives. The only motive here was symbolic - to attack a very small group of Americans. It is an indication of the type of people who sit in the Duma that they were quite prepared to use Russian orphans - some of them handicapped - as pawns in their silly game.

    Getting back to the Olympics, I wonder what the long-term impact will be? What perception will remain of your country? Here in Switzerland it has very much focused people's minds on the central role played by Putin. The night before the opening ceremony there was a documentary on Swiss television which discussed his supposedly vast fortune. For many of the Swiss I speak to, Putin and Russia are synonymous. If, as some people claim, Putin is corrupt, what does that say about the country he runs? The answer I get on this site from Russians is a shrug of the shoulders: "So what? What if billions of dollars have been wasted in bribes on the Olympics? What if handicapped Russian orphans have to stay in the orphanage? мне наплевать!"

  11. #51
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    I'll start from the end of your message:
    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    What if handicapped Russian orphans have to stay in the orphanage? мне наплевать!
    More or less that's true, I don't give a @#$! about starving children in Africa, dying wild nature and other terrible things. Well, when I hear somebody tells me about it I'll agree 'How awful! What a shame! Tsk, tsk, tsk..." but that's about all I would do. I found out that many people in the world try to look like they do care (you, for example - how exactly corrupted Putin poisons your existence?)


    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    Yes, there is "something bad in it". If a parliament passes a law which affects orphans, I'd like to think that the primary motive is to improve their lives. The only motive here was symbolic - to attack a very small group of Americans. It is an indication of the type of people who sit in the Duma that they were quite prepared to use Russian orphans - some of them handicapped - as pawns in their silly game.
    Well... First, the law about orphans should have been passed long ago (that's my opinion). Second, if the Duma found it convenient to pass this law AND to attack some group of Americans - I don't care either. Third, and the most important: there is a common misconception about Putin's being an absolute monarch here. That's not true. Despite his seemingly authoritarian style of government, quite often the domestic affairs are decided (much to my disappointment) not by him but by the government officials and the Duma. Generally, our Duma is not overly bright and sometimes passes laws that are either not going to work or simply self-contradictory. Russia is NOT Putin and Putin is NOT Russia. Relax.

    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    Getting back to the Olympics, I wonder what the long-term impact will be? What perception will remain of your country?
    Oh, they will soon forget about the Olympics. I'm sure Putin will do something more terrible to talk about.

    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    Here in Switzerland it has very much focused people's minds on the central role played by Putin. The night before the opening ceremony there was a documentary on Swiss television which discussed his supposedly vast fortune. For many of the Swiss I speak to, Putin and Russia are synonymous.
    What? The Swiss do care about Russia? They saw one 40 min. biased documentary and dare to judge? Come on! That reaction is the same as mine (tsk, tsk, tsk). People DO NOT care about anything outside their house/street/town/country.

    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    What if billions of dollars have been wasted in bribes on the Olympics?
    I watched a documentary stating that many of the IOC officials in the past were former Nazis. I read in a newspaper that the bribes at the Olympic bid of 1988 were as astronomical as they supposedly were in Sochi. Same with Nogano, Albertville, Salt Lake city, etc.

    Besides, let's speak about facts. We don't know how big were the bribes, we don't even know if they were actually paid. We know that the Russian government has spent about 50 billion dollars during the last 7 years to prepare the site for the Olympics. They didn't include the bribes in the budget or did they? And what YOUR interest in those amounts? Envious that you're not the member of the IOC?
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  12. #52
    Почтенный гражданин DrBaldhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    I've noticed that there is essentially a "soviet" attitude to criticism of Russia on this site. Critics are accused of being informed by the biased western media. The absurd "Foreign Agent" tag is symptomatic of this paranoia. It shows that some in Russia still have a foot in the past. This is a shame because you can't move forward properly like this.
    We all have a foot in the past, because history is inseparable. Actually I also have question: what do you put into the meaning of the word "Soviet"?
    Because today it can have many meanings to many people. To some people it may mean dark past that should be forsaken, to some other people it may mean nostalgia, and to some it may mean neither of it but a legacy they have the right to claim and not be hesitant of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    I invite you to ask yourselves this question: if the Magnitsky scandal had never happened, if there had been no Magnitsky Law in the US, would Russia have still banned Americans from adopting Russian children?
    In my humble opinion it would be done sooner or later. Scandals about Russian orphans being abused by their American adopters had begun long before Magnitsky Law was issued. The latter happened to serve a reason to even out American reaction to Dima Yakovlev Law. The thing I dislike about that is that both these laws gear the names of of two dead people who personally had nothing to do with that.
    One more thing, we didn't only ban foreign adoptions but also copied the option to ban certain American officials.

  13. #53
    edvalais
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    I don't give a @#$! about starving children in Africa, dying wild nature and other terrible things.
    Let's be positive: what DO you give a @#$! about? Money? Sex? Having the latest iPhone?

  14. #54
    edvalais
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrBaldhead View Post
    One more thing, we didn't only ban foreign adoptions but also copied the option to ban certain American officials.
    Again, another purely symbolic gesture. The American officials will just shake their heads and smile - whereas the Russian chinovniki/judges/police/politicians etc who stole enormous sums of money via the "Magnitsky" fraud and hid it away in the States, in bank accounts and property near to where their children study, will no longer have access to all of that. THAT is why they were so furious at the Magnitsky Law.

  15. #55
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    Let's be positive: what DO you give a @#$! about? Money? Sex? Having the latest iPhone?
    Let's say the continued well being of me and my family.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  16. #56
    edvalais
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    Let's say the continued well being of me and my family.
    So you don't quite perform the full Russian striptease - you leave something on...

  17. #57
    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    Again, another purely symbolic gesture. The American officials will just shake their heads and smile - whereas the Russian chinovniki/judges/police/politicians etc who stole enormous sums of money via the "Magnitsky" fraud and hid it away in the States, in bank accounts and property near to where their children study, will no longer have access to all of that. THAT is why they were so furious at the Magnitsky Law.
    I agree. Also, we've all seen Yanukovich's retinue quietly disappeared on its own in an hour after the "asset freezed and visa bans" were declared to be introduced by the EU.

  18. #58
    Властелин maxmixiv's Avatar
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    It is sad, but in ex-USSR states the richest people are not businessmen, sportsmen or actors: they are politicians. The president MUST be very rich, and the governors MUST be quite rich (i.e. control many businesses directly). Otherwise, how would they rule?

    And you are right, edvalais, many ugly things are considered "normal" among some Russians. We are cynics now.

    It seems, that the only deadly insult to the "average Russian" is the hint that some "foreigners" are going to teach us.
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

  19. #59
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by edvalais View Post
    Russia is a great country. In my view, its people deserve better. I'm not convinced that the money spent on the Olympics (and the associated vast levels of bribes) could not have been more sensibly used. However, as I said before, I think the games went pretty well and I'm pleased that they've put Sochi on the map.
    I agree with this. Olympics is pretty corrupt to begin with...

    Apparently there were quite a few people, including RF citizens who would have loved to do serious damage to the games. I am glad they didn't succeed. I didn't really watch it, but it seems nothing went seriously wrong apart from that missing ring in the Olympic logo.

    And yes, I think Russians need to get rid of corruption. Hard handedly if needed. Anyone who is found to take a bribe and his boss - get sent to a remote corner of Siberia, for mandatory 6 months anti-corruption training! And double it if they re-offend.
    Nobody will take Russia seriously if the businessmen are one step up from a mafioso or white-collar thief, and all politicians can be bought.

    And Switzerland really is a working example of democracy, I think - with the referendums.
    I don't think most countries dare to have referendums though - they can't handle all that democracy... Or they only have them when they are certain what the outcome will be - such as the Scotland referendum.

  20. #60
    edvalais
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    Алексей Навальный о том, сколько стоила на самом деле Олимпиада в Сочи |

    By an incredible coincidence, now that the games are over, Navalny has been put under house arrest...

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