Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Navalny Report Details Sochi Corruption Claims

Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny published an analysis of Russia’s spending for the 2014 Winter Olympics on Monday alleging that billions of dollars have been stolen and siphoned off for the benefit of top state officials. President Vladimir Putin is linked to the corruption through a $64.2 million road built to an exclusive ski resort, and lucrative contracts for businessmen with whom he reportedly enjoys close ties, according to the Navalny report. Allegations of large-scale corruption have dogged preparations for the Sochi Games, which are due to begin on February 7. Russian officials initially estimated that the Games would cost over $50 billion, making them the most expensive Olympics in the history of the event. However, Putin said earlier this month that only $6.5 billion had been spent on staging the competition, while the remainder was invested in local infrastructure development. Putin also denied that there was any large-scale corruption in the preparations for Sochi, and has challenged critics to produce evidence of graft.


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