In 1998, in an effort to integrate post Cold War into the Western world, the member nations of the G7 pact— the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Italy, invited Russia to their little club making it the G8. But with Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the world leaders of the G7 countries voted to kick Russia out.
Under military occupation, with Ukrainian TV stations shut down on the peninsula and no debate on the matter, Crimean voters yesterday voted nearly 97% in favor of leaving Ukraine and joining Mother Russia. Democracy in action.
For centuries, nearly anyone with any wealth or political power in the Mediterranean region has conquered the small Crimean peninsula, since its location on the Black Sea has provided someone with some sort of advantage. The Greeks, Venetians, Huns, Goths, Romans, Turks, Mongols and Tartars have all planted their flags there. So when Russia rolled in a couple weeks ago, taking over the semiautonomous region with the claim it was protecting Russian citizens, it was another event in the long history of conquering Crimea. Shortly after it had Ukranian military bases surrounded, Russia said they were going to let Crimeans vote on their future— but as it turns out, that vote doesn’t have a “Russia, nyet” option.
Periodically throughout history, Russia gets a hair up its ass to invade another neighboring country— Finland will back me up on this— and in this short week so far, Russia has flooded the Ukranian peninsula of Crimea with over 16,000 troops and counting, claiming that in the turmoil in the Ukraine, Russian citizens in Crimea are being killed. Shit just went all crazy.
Russia has been getting a tremendous amount of shit the last couple days on the Olympic accommodations in Sochi still being under serious construction right before the opening of the Games. Some of it’s real, some isn’t, but in a story not from The Onion, earlier today, Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak said that he knew everything was hunky dory in the half-built Sochi hotels, because of all the hidden surveillance cameras in the showers. Later, officials denied there are no shower cams, because ha ha that’s silly Russia would never do that. But when your country is getting hell for your lack of planning, you don’t send out a top government official to blame “western media” for making you look bad and then say shit like “because we’re secretly watching you shower”.
With the Olympics two days away, Sochi is still a half finished, barely functioning construction site
To be fair, every time there’s an Olympics or World Cup, the host city gets all kinds of shit from every angle on how things won’t be ready in time. It happened with the Beijing Olympics and with the Athens Olympics and even though Brazil still has plenty of time for its World Cup later this year and the Rio Olympics in 2016, people are wondering if they’ll be ready, though they definitely will. Sochi seems to be a different story all together, with government corruption putting the games forty billion over budget, and with opening day only two days away, international reporters and athletes are filling the resort town, and repeating back via Twitter and Facebook of the total clusterfuck Sochi is at this point. Venues still under construction, 3 hotels barely starting construction, unpaved roads, stray dogs, and the hotels journalists have checked into have intermittent electricity and internet, foul smelling water (when it works) and rooms that are falling apart or unfinished. Oh, and there’s still a lot of uncertainty about safety against terrorists who would love nothing more than to wreck hell. Go Russia!