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.
Based in Berlin and Moscow, I’ve reported from the former Soviet empire since 1996 for NPR, Reuters, Slate, Bloomberg and The Moscow Times, among others. I currently write for Foreign Policy and am a Global Fellow with the Wilson Center in Washington.