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European Journal

Russia: Dispossessed for the Russian Dream

Sochi used to be a modest resort city on the Black Sea coast. But in preparation for the Winter Olympics the entire region has undergone a radical transformation. People who once lived on the sites of the sporting venues or in the 'security zones' have been forced to move away.

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In 2007 Sochi won the right to host the 22nd Winter Olympics. After that, construction companies descended on the city of 400-thousand people. As much as 50 billion euros is being spent on sports facilities, roads, railway lines and bridges. Vancouver put on the 2010 games for just a tenth of that sum. But Russian president Vladimir Putin wants to present his vision of the perfect Olympics -- whatever the cost.