Sochi has become Russia’s second capital. In the balmy seaside resort built by Stalin, Vladimir Putin can escape Moscow’s maddening crowds, swimming in the Black Sea, meeting a world leader and hitting the slopes all on the same day. This blog, which first appeared on Medium, looks at the changes Sochi experienced in the run-up to the 2014 Winter Olympics.
For decades, the principals at a boxy, two-story kindergarten in downtown Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, unwittingly pored over their lesson plans just a few feet above one of the city’s most sacred sites.
Based in Berlin and Moscow, I’ve reported from the former Soviet empire since 1996. I started working as National Public Radio’s Moscow correspondent in December 2016. Before that I contributed to Reuters, Slate, Bloomberg and The Moscow Times, among others.