Russia is preparing for the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014. But environmental protectionists are sounding the alarm. The Olympic village is being built in the middle of a nature reserve.
The largest contiguous nature reserve in all of Europe and Western Asia lies in the western Caucasus. Part of it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Now the Russians are building infrastructure for the Olympics there, including ski slopes, cross-country tracks, ice hockey stadiums, dormitories, access roads, and parking lots. Environmental protectionists object that unique forests with rare animal and plant species have already been severely damaged.