The United Nations has criticised the Russian government’s work on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, saying it risks causing irreversible harm to the pristine Caucasus environment, Oliver Bullough comments for IWPR.
By Oliver Bullough in London for IWPR
Russia has not hosted the Winter Olympics before, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin – who regularly skis in the mountains above Sochi himself – worked hard to secure the games.
The report, in which the UN Environment Programme called on officials to do more to monitor the effects of the building work, comes after the Worldwide Fund for Nature, WWF, strongly rebuked the supposedly "green games”.
Both statements will have been an embarrassment for Putin’s government, but that embarrassment may get far worse if activists from the scattered Circassian nation have their way.
They say the Russian government should apologise for the 1864 destruction of their people ...
(Reuters) - A Muslim diaspora is demanding the Sochi 2014 Olympics be canceled or moved unless Russia apologizes for the 19th century deaths of many of their ancestors in the location where the Winter Games will be held.
The Circassian diaspora, Muslim indigenous people from the northwest Caucasus now scattered across the globe, join a swelling list of opponents to the Games -- from environmentalist group Greenpeace to Amnesty International.
Circassians argue the Sochi Games are as insensitive as hosting a sporting competition on the grounds of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.
2014 marks 150 years since a tsarist military campaign wiped out 300,000 Circassians in and around Sochi. Although recorded by Russian imperial historians in 1864, no nation has recognized the deaths as genocide.
Deportations and turmoil led many Circassians south to Turkey and elsewhere, and their seven million or so descendants are spread across ...
A small group of protestors stood near the Russian House at Science World to raise awareness of the forced migration of 1.5 million Circassians in 1864. The protestors say that the Sochi 2014 games will take place on the "bones of their ancestors." (CHAD GIBSON, 24 HOURS)
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