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Sochi . . . safe?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I know there will not be many snowHeads heading that way for the Games themselves and there are lots of differing personal/ethical/environmental and political reasons not to go.

But I bet you never thought that there were links to the Sept. 11 events all in the mix. Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Sultan has his murky finger in many ugly pies inc. the events in the US AND London's 7/7 event . . . It is worth reading this http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2013/08/saudi-russia-putin-bandar-meeting-syria-egypt.html#

and this is a shorter and 'thinner' analysis http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/robert-parry/53441/the-russian-saudi-showdown-at-sochi

I really hope that this winter is safe for everyone, but once the Games are over would you ever consider heading that way for a holiday?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The Saudis have been involved in one way or another in all Islamic terror. The Brits & US still want to get into be with them.Plus they still operate some of worlds worse human rights .
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
There are people/groups who will do anything to undermine/destroy Putin.

They view The Winter Olympics as their big chance.
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I agree with stanton, the accounts of their involvement in Islamic terrorism have been too frequent and detailed over the years to be mere rumour. Their perverted foreign policy in the Middle East will just cause further destabilization.

I can't say I'm Putin's biggest fan but I wouldn't be upset if he gave the Saudis a proverbial 'slap'; he can't afford to let Olympians be exposed to terrorist danger.

And no, I can't say I'd ever consider visiting.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Wed 1-01-14 21:20; edited 1 time in total
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Hells bells. Heavy.
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thecramps, Today's life is . . . ignore at your peril.
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Nothing I can do about it, so why should I worry. Got enough on my plate without worrying whether some cranky idiots of one political persuasion/Abrahamic faith or another are going to blow me up.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I'm bisexual, therefore hated by Russia and by Islam.... so no, I would not set foot near it!!!
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I fear these games will be remembered for all the wrong reasons
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I don't think anything will happen during the games, security service will seal the entire area off (as of 7th Jan afaik) and refuse entry to anyone even remotely suspicious. Plus total surveillance both physical and digital.

Not the best way to enjoy sporting events though.
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Masque wrote:
thecramps, Today's life is . . . ignore at your peril.


Your not Piers Morgan by any chance?
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What do you think Volgograd was about?
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I think the Wintr Olympics are likely to be safe, so the security situation wouldn't stop me going. I spend enough time in Russia anyway.

However, I certainly wouldn't go to Sochi afterwards. Mainly because all the Russians I have spoken to about the 'Black Sea Riviera' say it is a complete sh**hole. Why do you think they all come to the Alps? Very Happy

crazy_skier_jules, So you are saying that just because you are bisexual you wouldn't go to any Muslim country or any country that is not 100% LGBT friendly?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Some of the feedback from coaches & athletes about test events has been interesting to say the least
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/01/photos-sochi-russia-olympics-caucasus

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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I would go as long as I don't have to share a transfer with Davman in a Massif Soleil Transfers taxi Toofy Grin
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Got to say it but this was one of the dumbest IOC decisions ever made . . . It's the sort of choice that gives credence to the alleged graft rumours.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
crazy_skier_jules, it's not printed on your passport. Your sexuality should not stop you going to any country.
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Masque,
Quote:

Got to say it but this was one of the dumbest IOC decisions ever made .

I don't see why. China had the Olympics and they have to be worse on almost every conceivable level. Russia had it before and the only complaint was about Afghanistan.
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foxtrotzulu, Tell me why the location infrastructure was suitable at the time of application. I agree that China was a stretch but it had an infrastructure to improve on and not one to build from scratch in a location that at best is under political stress.

You do actually know where Sochi is Puzzled It's about as Russian as my Grandmother and she tried to kill the first Bolshovic that came into her village.
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Masque, no, of course the infrastructure wasn't suitable at the time of the application. That's why they have since built it. Many host cities use the Olympics as the catalyst to massive infrastructure development. Can't see a problem with it. In addition Sochi DID have an infrastructure that may have been a bit pants but you forget that it is a resort city that is used to coping with large numbers of visitors.

Yes, there is political stress. But that has been true of other successful host cities too and even totally stable hosts can be targets for terrorism etc.

Do I know where Sochi is? Yes. How Russian is Sochi? Well, it's been part of Russia since 1864 and by my reckoning that is longer than a few host cities have been part of their nation. Antwerp 90 years, Seoul <40 years, Berlin (1916) 45 years, etc. in addition 70% of the population of Sochi are ethnic Russians (The UK is <85% ethnic British). All in all I'd say Sochi is pretty Russian.

I have no idea what nationality your Grandmother is or where her village is, so I'm afraid that point slightly passed me by.

For reasons that escape me there seem to be a large number of people desperate for Sochi to fail, and I simply don't understand why. Let's see how it goes and then take a view. Personally I wouldn't have given the Olympics to Sochi, but only because it is a bit of a sh**hole.
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foxtrotzulu wrote:

For reasons that escape me there seem to be a large number of people desperate for Sochi to fail, and I simply don't understand why.


Because they don't want to show support for a murdering thug?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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Jude1,

1. It's Russia holding the Winter Olympics, not Putin personally. Russia is a great deal more than just Putin.
2. Human rights are arguably better respected in Russia than they are in China, Brazil or Qatar and I'm quite sure many would point out that the UK record on human rights is hardly blemish free.
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foxtrotzulu wrote:
Jude1,

1. It's Russia holding the Winter Olympics, not Putin personally. Russia is a great deal more than just Putin.
2. Human rights are arguably better respected in Russia than they are in China, Brazil or Qatar and I'm quite sure many would point out that the UK record on human rights is hardly blemish free.


id question your point 1 putin owns a lot of theland and has a massive personal investment Cool
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iskar, I wasn't aware of any direct personal investment. I had a quick google but couldn't come up with anything. Do you have a source for that?
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They were hardly welcoming of the BBC team reporting from there earlier this week, I think it was Panorama.
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http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/kuwait-must-reject-proposed-homophobic-medical-tests-migrant-workers-2013-10-11


Dot. wrote:
crazy_skier_jules, it's not printed on your passport. Your sexuality should not stop you going to any country.


.
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thecramps wrote:
Hells bells. Heavy.


I fear for your life... Toofy Grin
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Heck, I've enjoyed visits to a number of gay bars over the years in a number of countries which have repressive governments, including memorably bars in both China & Russia!

However, the idea of myself and my partner going to Sochi during the Olympic or near afterwards seems impossible to countenance; why? Well, the games have become so entangled with so many issues, including the issue of personal liberties and sexual identity (although corruption and lack of effective democracy seems the more pressing issues to me) that going there to simply watch sport would leave me feeling like one was either ignoring the elephant in the room or by adapting ones behaviour in one-way-or-another was becoming guilty of appeasing unpleasant politicians.

I'll spend my money somewhere else thanks. Perhaps go touring in Georgia or Iran, instead.... they're both on my to-do list, despite all the jolly good reasons not to go to either place! Though at least a visit to either of them, right now, wouldn't be during a political storm which touches on an aspect of my personal life.

Does that explain why a gay person or couple might not fancy a trip to Sochi?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
You have nothing to prove but you have yourselves to think of - it sucks, but thats the way it is.

As you said, go somewhere else, some where its not an issue - if you're expecting the rest of the world to catch up - it won't (straight away). A couple of gays won't change anything that the local society already hasn't.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
foxtrotzulu wrote:
Jude1,

1. It's Russia holding the Winter Olympics, not Putin personally. Russia is a great deal more than just Putin.
2. Human rights are arguably better respected in Russia than they are in China, Brazil or Qatar and I'm quite sure many would point out that the UK record on human rights is hardly blemish free.

About the UK human rights record, this is a direct quote from Lloyd George 'We have to reserve the right to bomb the niggers'. Your point is valid, but Putin's stance on LGBT is just archaic, the developed world accepts gay people. In my opinion its shocking that they discriminate like that.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Lorde,We should be careful in thinking that this is the view of Putin alone. The new law enjoys the overwhelming support of the Russian population. We should also remember that it is only 10 years since the UK repealed section 28, so to accuse Putin for being archaic when he is such a short step behind the UK may seem a bit much.

We now regard discrimination against gay people to be 'wrong'. An absolute, not a question of opinion. I'm not sure the rest of the world sees it that way. In fact, to a large proportion of the world's population homosexuality is an 'absolute' wrong. My point is that we have to regard both attitudes as opinions and then we have to ask to what degree are other nations allowed to have opinions different from ours? Personally I regard the subjugation of women under Islam to be a far greater affront to human rights and human dignity than the ban on gay propaganda. Do remember this is not a ban on being gay.

Surely, to some extent we have to accept that other countries have different cultures and if we boycott every country that fails to confirm to our view of what is 'right' then our world becomes very small indeed. I am not talking about respect for Putin, but about a degree of respect for the Russian people, even if WE consider them to be wrong.

I presume you won't be watching the World Cup?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Would I go to Sochi for the Games? No. I think watching skiing is pretty dull really.

Would I go to Sochi for a skiing holiday? Love to. I love Russia.
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foxtrotzulu wrote:
Lorde,We should be careful in thinking that this is the view of Putin alone. The new law enjoys the overwhelming support of the Russian population. We should also remember that it is only 10 years since the UK repealed section 28, so to accuse Putin for being archaic when he is such a short step behind the UK may seem a bit much.



Section 28 forbade local authorities from "promoting homosexuality". It did not create a criminal offence. Wrong-headed as it was, it was largely symbolic in effect.

In Russia it is a criminal offence to make available to a minor any "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" and there has been at least one arrest. "Gay pride" marches have also been made illegal.

Section 28 and the situation in Russia are not remotely equivalent.
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dogwatch, Fair point,they are not equivalent. But they are similar in the sense that they are both steps taken by the state to prevent the promotion of 'non-traditional sexual relations'.

I did wonder whether one of the factors behind Russian thinking was the concern over their shrinking population. I doubt this is relevant as although their population is still declining the birth rate does seem to have picked in the last few years. I fear the situation is simply born out of Russia remaining a deeply conservative society.
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I would be more worried about terrorism than anything else.

The Olympics have previously been targeted by terrorist groups and threats have been made with regard to Sochi. Given the recent upsurge in activity in the region and previous spectaculars (Beslan and the Moscow theatre) I would be very careful if I were to consider attending the games. Having said that the Russians have well motivated, resourced, trained and experienced security and intelligence agencies who are well aware of the threat.

However, I would not go even if I could as I do not think that the risk is worth it.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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Lorde wrote:
foxtrotzulu wrote:
Jude1,

1. It's Russia holding the Winter Olympics, not Putin personally. Russia is a great deal more than just Putin.
2. Human rights are arguably better respected in Russia than they are in China, Brazil or Qatar and I'm quite sure many would point out that the UK record on human rights is hardly blemish free.

About the UK human rights record, this is a direct quote from Lloyd George 'We have to reserve the right to bomb the niggers'.


Which party is Lloyd George in? Is he one of those UKIP blokes?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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Close, Liberal!!
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foxtrotzulu wrote:
Personally I regard the subjugation of women under Islam to be a far greater affront to human rights and human dignity than the ban on gay propaganda.

I wouldn't say it's "greater affront". It's actually the same thing! Namely regarding one group of human as inferior than the rest. Just the detail of which group... (granted, the smaller number of gay people makes it easy to ignore)

And the fact it's usually veiled in religion making it that much worse.

Quote:
My point is that we have to regard both attitudes as opinions and then we have to ask to what degree are other nations allowed to have opinions different from ours?

Russia wanted to be viewed as a developed, civilized country. But it's not living up to the standard. Instead, the latest law is showing the world it's willingness to stoop to the same level as Saudi Arabia...
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I don't think it's fair to put Russia on the same level as Saudi. It may not be the UK, but then they have never pretended that it is. Russia is an infinitely freer country than Saudi. Perhaps one should compare it to India? Except that in India the corruption is worse and homosexuality is actually illegal. I'm quite sure India would like to be seen as a civilised country. I dare say many Indians consider their society more civilised than ours.

My question is, to what degree should we accept that different countries have different values from our own?
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