SOCHI -- Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić was in Sochi on Friday, where he has had his picture taken with the Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
Nikolić is in Sochi for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics later in the day.
The photograph, that also shows Nikolić's wife, Dragica Nikolić, was posted on Instagram and captioned, "A cordial meeting with the president of the Russian Federation."
Nikolić recently posted a photo showing him with U.S. President Barack Obama, also on his Instagram account.
Ahead of his trip to Russia, Nikolić said he had decided to attend the opening ceremony in order to give support to peace and the fight against terrorism.
In postings on social networks on Friday, Nikolić also revealed that beside Putin, he had conferred with presidents of China, Lithuania, heads of state and government from the region, as well as with UN chief Ban Ki-Moon.
Rivals Tried to Discredit Sochi’s Olympic Bid - Putin.
MOSCOW, February 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a documentary aired late Friday that a rival nation vying to host the 2014 Winter Olympics ran a dirty tricks campaign in an atttempt to derail the eventual winning Sochi bid.
In the documentary, which was shown on state television channel Rossiya 1, Putin said Sochi 2014 promotion leaflets were shoved under doors of hotel rooms occupied by members of the International Olympic Committee on the night before the final vote in 2007.
Under IOC rules, campaigning is strictly prohibited during the run-up to the vote.
“Do you know what saved us? CCTV cameras in hallways recorded that it was done by our rivals posing as us. It didn’t help them,” Putin said.
Putin did not name which country he believes was responsible for the alleged bid disruption attempt.
Sochi won the right to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games during an IOC session in Guatemala in July 2007 after a close race with South Korea's Pyeongchang and Austria's Salzburg.
In the days, weeks and even months leading up to the Sochi Winter Olympics of 2014, the Western mainstream media have been trying to ruin the excitement by picking apart every tiny - often made-up - flaw they could lay their hands on - from strange toilets to hiking up paranoia over explosives being brought in in tooth paste tubes. RT's Anastasia Churkina takes a look at the hysteria.
Spread fear, toilet humor! MSM guide to 'Worst. Olympics. EVAR!'
RT.com February 06, 2014 20:22
Mainstream Media's Sochi Olympics Hysteria, Part 2.
RT America Feb 10, 2014
Olympic athletes are showing more and more impressive results as the days of Sochi 2014 go by, stealing the show from the mainstream media's poisonous stories that have been attempting to turn sports into politics. RT's Anastasia Churkina reports.
Last Edit: Feb 10, 2014 19:22:00 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Sochi Parade of Nations Map Stirs Confusion in Bulgaria.
Novinite.com Sports | February 8, 2014, Saturday // 11:28
A screen grab showing Bulgaria’s map during the parade of nations at the Olympics opening ceremony in Sochi has stirred confusion among pundits.
Several Bulgarian online news sources claimed late on Friday that the map was wrong, arguing it had “added” foreign territories (namely the Foreign Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Western Trace) to the country.
Articles about the alleged “blunder” later also appeared in Macedonian media.
However, as Internet forum users have pointed out, the map actually shows Bulgaria’s correct boundaries.
The map simply appeared distorted because of the angle from which the footage was shot.
The map simply appeared distorted because of the angle from which the footage was shot. Screen grab courtesy of Offnews.bg
US man faces charges after making hoax claim of Sochi attack.
By Reuters Media on Feb 7, 2014 at 11:11 a.m.
PHILADELPHIA - A U.S. man who tipped off the FBI that his stepson planned an attack at the Sochi Olympics faces criminal charges after admitting he made up the claim in an attempt to recover a safe, U.S. officials said on Friday.
Federal investigators said the man sparked a search in the United States and Russia after he called an FBI tipline to falsely claim he overheard his stepson having a Skype chat in Russian in which he made threatening remarks.
"He's gonna kill somebody or a lot of people," the man, 69-year-old Lawrence Reinhard of suburban Philadelphia told the tipline in a January 15 call, according to court papers filed by FBI agent Michael Bantner.
"Somebody needs to catch him before he does something horrible in Russia ... to the American embassy or the Olympics that are taking place in two weeks," Reinhard said, according to court papers. "That's what concerns me the most, because he's that crazy."
Reinhard told the tipline he had seen bomb-making instructions on screen and believed his stepson, a Russian national with a U.S. green card, was already in Russia
The report prompted Federal Bureau of Investigation officials to fan out to interview the stepson's friends and associates, while Russian security services attempted to locate the suspect, according to court papers.
FBI officials then learned that Reinhard had accused his stepson of stealing a safe containing guns, jewelry and cash, and asked why he had not reported the threat to the local police investigating that crime.
At that point, Reinhard began to change his story, investigators contend. He told them he overheard the words "bomb" and "Sochi," and later admitted to exaggerating some details in an effort to get better results in finding his stepson, who he believed was responsible for the theft of the safe, prosecutors charge. He said he "may have had a few drinks" before making the tip call, they charged.
FBI agents located the stepson at a New York-area airport, where he had been headed to Russia to visit a sick relative. He was cooperative and allowed agents to inspect his luggage. He was not detained after questioning.
Reinhard was charged with lying to federal investigators and making a hoax bomb threat and released on bail after his arrest. He is due in court for a hearing on February 14.
His attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Post by TsarSamuil on Feb 10, 2014 18:58:29 GMT -5
Putin Against Turning Sochi Into Gambling Zone.
SOCHI, February 10 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that he was against turning Sochi into a gambling resort after the Olympics, because the Black Sea city would then lose its traditional holidaymakers – middle-class families with children.
The Kommersant newspaper reported in December that the proposal had been voiced by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as the government sought ways to offset losses expected to be made by businesses that invested in the development of Sochi ahead of the Olympics.
“We already have a gambling zone on the border between the Rostov Region and the Krasnodar Territory, and we even allowed them to access the Black Sea coast. In my opinion, it would be impractical to set up another zone in the region, although it would certainly make things better for investors,” Putin said at a meeting with members of the Sochi Olympic public council.
The Kremlin banned gambling in Russia in 2009, except for four designated zones across the country. These zones are located in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, the country’s Far East, the southern Krasnodar territory and Siberia’s Altai region.
Putin said that turning Sochi into a gambling zone “would create an atmosphere that would prevent our citizens from spending their holiday here with their families.”
With a price tag of over $50 billion, the Sochi Games are the most expensive Olympics of all time. Putin said the money was invested to make Sochi attractive for middle-class tourists, not for a small group of rich visitors “who can afford losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a casino.”
Putin said the priority for the coming years would be to make the most of the infrastructure built for the Olympics.
“We should put into operation everything that had been created and ensure that it works efficiently,” the president said.
Post by TsarSamuil on Feb 10, 2014 19:03:32 GMT -5
U.S. feeling shut out of Russian security operation at Sochi.
latimes.com By Brian Bennett 11:31 AM PST, February 9, 2014
WASHINGTON -- U.S. intelligence officials are frustrated that the Russian government is withholding information about threats to Olympic venues coming from inside Russia, several lawmakers said during talk shows Sunday.
"We aren't getting the kind of cooperation that we'd like from the Russians in terms of their internal threats," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said in an appearance on "Fox News Sunday."
"It means that we're less effective in protecting our people, and that's a frustration," Schiff said.
More than 70,000 Russian security officers have been deployed to protect the Olympic venues in Sochi. Russian President Vladimir Putin describes the layers of security around Sochi as the "ring of steel."
The United States has set up a command center in Sochi with some 150 security personnel from the FBI, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
The American ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, said the U.S. is "quite satisfied" with the cooperation coming from Russian security officials.
"We always want to know more and if you work in the intelligence business you always want more information from any interlocutor, from any partner country," McFaul said.
"That said, we do not have an interest in embarrassing the Russians. We have exactly the same interests with them when it comes to the security of everyone here in Sochi," he said, speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press" from the Olympics.
Last week, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration banned passengers flying from the U.S. to Russia from bringing liquids in their carry-ons. The alert was based on intelligence that terrorists might try to smuggle explosives onto airplanes inside toothpaste tubes.
Some of that information came from Russian officials, Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation."
But King, who sits on both the House Intelligence and Homeland Security committees, said the Russians aren't cooperating to the same extent as the Chinese, British and Greeks did during previous Olympic games.
"They are still reluctant to give intelligence that they feel would allow us to determine their sources and methods, and also there's still a certain amount of pride, I believe, that they feel they can handle a lot of this on their own," King said.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said on "Fox News Sunday" that the Russians, so far, have been cooperative when it comes to sharing information about potential terrorist operations planned outside of Russia.
"When it comes to internal operations, I think less so. That's where we'd like to work more closely with them," McCaul said.
Along with the possibility of bombs being planted on aircraft flying into Sochi International Airport, another major threat comes from suicide bombers potentially exploding themselves at train and bus terminals around the region, McCaul said.
McCaul toured the security installations in Sochi last month and said the Olympic Village in Sochi appeared to be well fortified. But McCaul said he thinks there is a "high degree of probability" that a bomb will detonate in the surrounding region, where Russia has been fighting an Islamist separatist movement in Chechnya, Dagestan and elsewhere.
"I hope I'm wrong in this assessment, but you're talking about an area of the world where suicide bombers go off all the time," McCaul said.
By David Sherfinski The Washington Times Sunday, February 9, 2014
Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the level of security at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia is "quite appropriate" and "very good" based on what she has seen and what she's heard from athletes competing there.
Ms. Napolitano, who is heading up the United States delegation to the games, said that security is always an issue at such large events, whether it's the Super Bowl or the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
"With respect to Sochi, we've been received well," she said in an interview from Sochi that aired Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
Ms. Napolitano, now the president of the University of California, also said she hasn't seen any signs that gay athletes have not been made to feel welcome despite Russia's anti-gay laws, but that it is an area in which President Obama and the U.S. clearly have some disparities with Russia.
The Jamaican bobsleigh team is coming back after a 12 year absence from the Olympic Games, the bobsledding legend Winston Watts told RT in an exclusive interview, adding that the team is very serious about their big moment.
Post by TsarSamuil on Feb 11, 2014 13:46:02 GMT -5
Diagnosing Sochi Media Coverage: Virulent Russophobia - Sochi, ‘Pussy Riot,’ and the battle for Ukraine.
Antiwar.com by Justin Raimondo, February 10, 2014
Any illusions some naïve soul may have had about the objectivity of the US media has been dispelled by their embarrassing performance at the Sochi Olympics: the chorus of whining complaints might as well have been written for them by the US State Department – which, come to think of it, is entirely within the realm of the possible given the imperious tone. The water, the toilets, the hotels – nothing pleases our pampered media divas, whose hatred of all things Russian oozes from between the lines of their "reporting" like pus from an old wound.
All the antipathy we saw aimed at Russia during the cold war years is now being revomited up by the political class, albeit in a new flavor: instead of genuine martyrs like Andrei Sakharov and Alexandr Solzhenitsyn being lionized, we see the professional provocateurs of "Pussy Riot" elevated by Western media to the status of "dissident" stars. Why do these heavily made-up show biz types merit our attention? Well, didn’t they desecrate a Russian Orthodox cathedral by stripping off their clothes, screaming obscenities, and insulting parishioners? Clearly this is the type of "dissident" the American media can get behind. (Try that in New York City, ladies, and see what happens.)
Our shameless media is always eager to place itself at the disposal of the State. If it isn’t David Gregory calling for the arrest of Glenn Greenwald, it’s the ubiquitous Richard Engel of NBC "News" – tireless cheerleader of US-sponsored "revolutions" abroad – deliberately downloading a virus onto his computer and then pontificating about how the minute you enter Russia you are bound to be "hacked."
In the midst of this orgy of Russophobia, the foul-mouthed Victoria Nuland’s leaked conversation went viral over the Internet, exposing the real extent of Washington’s stake in the latest anti-Russian campaign, Ukraine being the battleground this time. Not that it wasn’t fairly obvious before, what with US diplomats demanding an end to government "repression" against rioting violent "protesters," but the Nuland intercept made the strings tying the Ukrainian opposition to Washington starkly visible.
But wait – didn’t the cold war end with the downing of the Berlin Wall and the implosion of the old USSR? So how did it get reignited – and who lit the fuse?
It started, as so many of these overseas vendettas do, when the Russkies earned the ire of the neocons by 1) Overthrowing communism, thus depriving several leading neocons of their jobs as professional anti-communists, 2) throwing out the hated oligarchs, who had looted what was left of Russia after the commies got through with it, and 3) refusing to go along with the Iraq war, and blocking US intervention in Syria. Granting Edward Snowden refuge was the absolute last straw – a tactic that inverted the familiar cold war narrative by casting the Russians as the patrons of dissidence and the Americans as their relentless pursuers.
Yes, this is my ultimate proof that we have indeed entered the Bizarro Era, where up is down and history stood on its head: even the terms of the Russo-American propaganda war have been reversed. It used to be that Russian propaganda was the worst of the worst: wooden, unconvincing, ideological gibberish expressed in the crudest possible terms. The Americans, on the other hand, were relatively sophisticated about it, covertly spreading Washington’s party line through a multitude of mostly center-left "fronts," like the Congress for Cultural Freedom and Encounter magazine, which weren’t exposed until well after they had served their purpose.
Now, however, those roles are reversed, and it is the Americans who are stumbling over themselves trying to make Sochi (and Putin) look bad, and only revealing their utter incompetence – while the Russians broadcast Nuland’s vulgar king-making to the world.
Ukraine has been a battleground in the new cold war since the early days of the new millennium, back when the "Orange Revolution" was all the rage in the Western media and the martyrdom of Viktor Yushechenko was the driving narrative that toppled the pro-Russian government of the "Party of Regions," the Eastern-oriented pro-Russian party then in power.
The official story, as pushed relentlessly in the Western media until it became the Conventional Wisdom, was that Yushchenko, the pro-Western ex-central banker and presidential candidate, had been poisoned by the KGB for daring to defy Putin and his Ukrainian sock-puppets.
This story began to unravel, however, when several medical authorities – including the former chief diagnostician of the facility that treated Yushchenko, Dr. Lothar Wicke – called it into question. Yushchenko didn’t help matters when he refused to cooperate with the Ukrainian investigation into the matter, and suspicion turned to certainty when his old campaign manager, David Zhvania confessed that the whole thing had been a fraud from the beginning. A reporter who dared interview Zhvania was hauled into police headquarters and interrogated for seven hours. Perhaps Yushchenko’s decline into his present status of political irrelevance can be traced to his response to Zhvania’s confession – he accused Zhvania, the godfather of one of his children and once his closest confidante, of being the culprit!
So much for the Putin-did-it narrative.
What’s happening today in Ukraine is a replay of an old struggle that cannot be resolved except by the partition of the country, which is not a real nation but merely an administrative unit of the old Soviet Union. This article explains the cultural divide well: the truth is that Russian is the language of choice in Ukraine, and as far as the Internet is concerned, Ukrainian language sites come in third behind Russian and English.
Yet the historical antipathy to Russia still lives in the Western part of the country, where the opposition is strongest, and where – not coincidentally – support for the Germans during World War II was greatest. I may be in danger of violating Godwin’s Law, but the undeniable legacy of wartime pro-German sentiment is felt in the growing influence of ultra-rightist groups such as Svoboda and outright neo-Nazi organizations within the opposition. They are the shock troops of what they call a "national revolution," providing the organizational muscle for violent takeovers by the opposition of city halls around the country. The brazen brazen anti-Semitism of the anti-government protesters has been studiously ignored in most of the Western media – but this is just a function of their requisite Russophobia, which frames every news story from the region in cold war terms.
Nuland’s cursing out of the EU is just a dispute among thieves about who gets the loot; the Germans have a different candidate in mind to preside over the EU takeover of the country, while the Americans have their own plans – with a different cast of beneficiaries. What’s revealing about her little exchange with an underling is the casualness with which the Americans move Ukrainian politicians around on the chessboard, just like the Kremlin used to. One doubts Putin exercises half as much influence over Yanukovich.
Confirming George Orwell’s theory that sport, international games, and militant nationalism are all inextricably intertwined, Sochi is the stage on which the new cold war is being fought. The battlefield is in the column inches given over in the Western media to the alleged shortcomings of Putin’s "Potemkin Village," as the critics are calling it. However, the nature of their complaints – the lack of luxuries to which they feel entitled, and which much of the rest of the world goes largely without – just underscores the utter cluelessness of Western propagandists posing as "reporters." They fail to understand why this makes them look bad to everyone outside of Brooklyn’s hipster precincts and Washington’s tonier neighborhoods.
The post-cold war strategy of the Americans has been to encircle the Russians, building an iron wall of alliances and military bases from the Baltic Sea to the steppes of Central Asia. The Clinton administration set up a special department devoted to development of Caspian Sea energy resources, and made a determined outreach to the post-Soviet potentates of the various ‘stans – ruthless dictators like the President-for-Life of Kazakhstan and the former despot in charge of Turkmenistan, who has been called the Kim Jong Il of Central Asia. The series of "color revolutions" in the former Soviet republics, from Georgia to Ukraine to Kyrgyzstan, were all generously funded and directed from afar by US government agencies, with the Western media playing a familiar role as their echo chamber.
The same scam is being played out in the media today, with the viciously anti-Semitic and violent "opposition" portrayed as heroes of "democracy," and the pro-Russian factions (a majority of the country) cast as villains. And looming over this trumped up scenario is the threat of Western intervention, as in the case of Kosovo and Bosnia. The media’s war against the Russians is the kind of virtual onslaught that can ultimately result in a military offensive – we saw this in the run up to the invasion of Iraq, as well as the Balkan wars, and we are seeing it again in the propaganda campaign waged against the Iranians in the past few years.
That’s why we founded Antiwar.com in the first place, way back in 1995 or thereabouts: because the Western and specifically the American media was playing such a vanguard role in ginning up wars. Their warmongering was so brazen that we couldn’t let it go unchallenged.
Last Edit: Feb 16, 2014 8:33:49 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
It's day 5 of the Sochi Winter Olympics and this is a moment of triumph for the Russians. Millions of fans tuned in to watch the pairs figure skating that's just wrapped up an event very close to the hearts of many people. And the home team did not disappoint taking both the Gold, and Silver.
In US, headlines write themselves: Cold War imagery resurrected in Sochi bashing.
RT.com February 13, 2014 10:04
The campaign to boycott the Sochi Olympic Games in the Western media appears to be thriving on almost the same imagery was used three decades ago, at the peak of the Cold War, to project fears of the USSR ahead of the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
For months leading up to the biggest sport event of the year widespread calls to boycott the 2014 Sochi Olympics saturated the Western media and social networks.
With numerous online and offline boycotts, protests and petitions around the world it led to a number of world’s leaders not attending the opening ceremony of Sochi Olympic Games. Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and David Cameron chose to ignore the festivities, a move criticized by Thomas Bach, head of the International Olympic Committee.
Sports should not be “used as a stage for political dissent or for trying to score points in internal or external political contests,” Bach said at the games’ opening, praising those world leaders who did visit the ceremony.
The Sochi 2014 Olympics have become a catalyst for anyone dissatisfied with Russia’s internal or external policies to exercise their wittiness with sharp caricatures, overblowing certain problems to catastrophic proportions.
In such a manner, legislation that outlaws propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors has been presented to the international community as a full-scale crackdown on the gay community in a potentially dangerous place for Olympic Games visitors.
The only gay bar in Sochi was eventually “mobbed by foreign journalists eager to capture how the local gays live now that Russia… is internationally known for hating gays,” New Republic wrote. Having interviewed several people inside the bar the author of the article came to the conclusion that “the only people who bother them, it seemed, were the foreign journalists.”
Andrew Craig, author of several books on news coverage in America, sees nothing surprising in the way foreign correspondents have been desperately seeking persecuted Russian gays.
“That’s a classic case that happens all over the place when reporters think they know what the story is and all they are trying to do is to find someone to attach a name and a face to a story that’s almost written in a reporter’s or editor’s head,” Craig told RT.
However, the LGBT theme has become pretty much the only fresh idea in the Olympics-bashing campaign, while most of the others seem to be based on Cold War era stereotypes. Handcuffs, barbed wire and malicious-looking bears have migrated from the magazine covers of 34 years ago to those of 2014.
Western phobia of Moscow’s military might was prevalent in 1980’s, when it was inspired by the USSR’s presence in Afghanistan. And the same phobia seems to still exist in the 21st century, despite Russia not being engaged in any military conflict.
The fall of the Berlin Wall has left the world without a major symbol of totalitarian oppression. The substitute, however, seems to have been found in the image of the Kremlin wall.
Another idea, that’s not particularly fresh is drawing parallels between the Nazi Germany, the 1980 Moscow Olympics and the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. This is nothing short of an insult for millions of Russians whose grandparents sacrificed their lives to battle fascism.
Barb-wired Olympic rings have dominated caricatures both in the past and present. In the Soviet Union it was used as an effective tool to call attention to a relative lack of freedoms in the ‘totalitarian Soviet system’. For the new Russia, it has been mostly used to signify the increased security measures implemented for the safety of the Games’ athletes and visitors.
Olympic rings in the form of handcuffs have, in both 1980 and 2014, been used to symbolize the lack of human rights in the USSR and modern-day Russia.
Even Russians who are critical of the government have found this old-school smear campaign upsetting and irritating. A collection of old magazine covers has recently appeared in a Global Identification blog, prompting an outpouring of negative comments.
“These are familiar themes both to the public but also to the owners and also many of the old-time reporters,” Andrew Craig told RT. “So people fall into a comfortable pattern that actually extends back many decades. People just took the old magazine covers and said ‘Let’s just update it for this Olympics.’”
The 1980 Games’ boycott was of course nothing enjoyable. In the long run, however, it’s been mostly forgotten inside Russia, which cherishes the warmest memories of the first Olympics it hosted.
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Jan 10, 2020 14:27:01 GMT -5
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Mar 15, 2020 10:48:19 GMT -5
Deleted: On FB, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok etc.
Apr 19, 2020 4:29:09 GMT -5
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May 18, 2020 9:10:02 GMT -5
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Jun 20, 2020 3:10:01 GMT -5
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Jun 28, 2020 13:54:49 GMT -5
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Jul 15, 2020 14:52:53 GMT -5
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Aug 30, 2020 13:48:17 GMT -5