President Vladimir Putin’s Olympic venture put the workings of contemporary Russia on vivid display. The Sochi Olympics were designed to symbolize Russia’s return to great power status, but subsequent aggression against Ukraine, large-scale corruption, and the doping scandal have become the true legacies of the games. The Kremlin’s style of governance through mega-projects has had deleterious consequences for the country’s development. Placing the Sochi games into the larger context of Olympic history, this book examines the political, security, business, ethnic, societal, and international ramifications of Putin’s system.

chapter 1|20 pages


How Putin’s political system led to Olympic corruption, military adventurism, and state-sponsored doping

chapter 4|20 pages


Fighting terrorism and strengthening the military

chapter 5|1 pages

International issues

Circassians, the former Soviet countries, and the West

chapter 6|26 pages

The legacy of the Sochi Olympics