Thursday, December 19, 2013

Putin Clears The Decks For Sochi Olympics With Pardons

In a surprise move near the end of his annual press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a pardon for rival, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and clemency for the Pussy Riot girls remaining in prison. These pardons signal Putin’s absolute confidence in his personal power and the importance to him of the Russian winter Olympics to begin in Sochi in February. Putin has placed his personal prestige on the line with his $50 billion investment in building the Sochi Olympic infrastructure. He cannot let anything happen to spoil his big day.

Putin’s move was timed to counter the growing list of heads of state including Obama, Harper, Hollande and Merkel who are refusing to attend. His pardons gave his Western rivals less to complain about.

Left unresolved is the world gay and entertainment community’s boycott of the Sochi Olympics in protest over Russia’s anti-gay laws and Putin’s own anti-gay stance. Even with a turnabout in policy towards gays, Putin must fear the threat of pro-gay protests in Sochi by attendees, gay participating athletes and their sympathizers.


  1. Stage: International Arena

    Character: Putin. He is misunderstood. He loves the youth, vigor, and parade at Sochi's parade, but has to hide it.
    Stage: Sochi.
    Condition: State of flux. Sochi used to be a Muslim town before 1864, but no more.
    Sidekick: Medvedev.
    Sidekick Action: flirtation with accommodation for the Sochi's Muslims, but not delivering.
    Results: Stay tuned.

  2. Overall, all this (the above comment) shows that, Sochi is the theater where Putin will attract more international approval of (the French) the GĂ©rard Depardieu variety, who are to fat to stay in France.

  3. - Medvedev will diver more democracy, if Putin let's him.
    - OK
    - But do not hold your breath.