Archive for February, 2007

Seven sportsmen – seven medals

Sochi News February 26th, 2007

Seven Sochi’s sportsmen have returned from Open Russian Kickboxing Championship Among Students in Chelyabinsk (Ural region) which welcomed 300 fighters from all over Russia, and brought back seven medals! I couldn’t find more details of the championship, but lists their names.

  • Minas Kadian («Atlan») – gold
  • Rasul Arakichev («Atlan») – gold
  • Arsen Nagabedyan (Junior sports school of Olympic reserve) – gold
  • Kazbek Zubairaev («Atlan») – silver
  • Karlen Akopian («Legioner») – silver
  • Ramil Mustafaev («21-Vek») – silver
  • Artem Sarkisian («21-Vek») – silver

«Atlan» is a very well known Muay Thai / Kickboxing club in Sochi. Several Russia, CIS, and Eurasia champions came out of it.

Gas pipeline accident in Sochi

Sochi News February 26th, 2007

Another energy related accident occurred in Sochi a couple of days ago. I didn’t want to write about it then because news reports were giving conflicting information and it didn’t look like a major accident. As turned out it was, but certainly not as big as what happened in Sochi recently. Here’s what happened this time.

February 22nd an accident occurred on a Maikop-Sochi gas pipeline. As the specialists were working on the problem they had to shutdown all city’s boiler-houses (which for the people meant no heat or hot water), and on February 24th afternoon they had to cut of gas to the public. This affected everyone who is using natural gas from Dagomys to Adler (that’s most of the city). By the end of the same day works on a pipeline were completed, and few hours later all boiler-houses were operating. Heat and hot water came back, but gas was still not coming. That meant everyone started using electrical devices to cook which in turn affected city’s electric system, and several parts of the Central district were left without electricity.

Right now most of these problems are fixed, though, as many as 60 000 people still do not have gas. Apparently after works like this, the restoration of the gas flow must be controlled by the specialists, because if air made its way into the pipes and mixed with gas, it potentially creates an explosive mix. To get every single house to get gas back will now take no less than two weeks. 35 specialists from neighbouring cities are coming to join 150 local specialists to speed up the process.

Krasnodar real estate analysis

Development, Other stories February 25th, 2007

If you’re looking for investment opportunities in Russia and in Sochi, you maybe interested in reading the web log of Denis Andreev who is involved in Real Estate business in Krasnodar Krai region (where Sochi is located).

Here are a couple of links to his English language posts:

“Sputnik” theater has been demolished

Development, Sochi News February 25th, 2007

Sputnik theater in SochiNot too long ago Sochi’s main theater – Sputnik – has been demolished, to make room for a new business center. This almost 50 years old building was located in the very center of the city, and had rather unusual architectural design. Its hard to imagine center with out this building, it was on of Sochi’s landmarks. But I still think it was a right decision. It was old theater, uncomfortable seats, and … it awfully smelled inside :) Last time I was there this past September, and it smelled as if we were in a shelter for homeless people. I wouldn’t go there again. I’m surprised it lasted there for so long. However, I wish they’d build something more cultural to replace it, not a business center, because this location is very close to many other tourist attractions – “Riviera” park, sea port, sea-front near lighthouse, shopping centers, and right across Sochi’s main post office building with its new fountains.

Here are a couple photos of “Sputnik” I found on Flickr: Read the rest of this entry »

Sochi residents will be well compensated

Development, Olympics 2014 February 25th, 2007

Krasnodar Krai governor Aleksandr Tkachev said during a press conference in Sochi that people, whose houses are located on the land where Olympic projects are planned, will be compensated, “their houses will be bought using real market prices”. The real market prices jumped incredibly in this region (as well as in Big Sochi and all neighbouring regions).

“There are very few of such buildings – about 3%, and theoretically, they will have to be demolished… Our projects and solutions are ready. But I want to stress, that nothing will be done without consent of our citizens. No mass demolition will be done” – said governor Tkachev.

He also said that up to 150 families may be affected. And that those families that built their houses illegally(*) are being helped to legalize their property, so if necessary they can get compensation.

(*) some people in Russia built houses first, with hopes to legalize them later, though the courts or bribes. Unfortunately this was not uncommon in Russia, especially in the 90’s. But with our new minister of ecology and for some other reasons this has become a risky business.

As I wrote before, people who live in the Imeritinskaya Valley, where Olympic stadiums are planned, are concerned that they will loose their houses and not be compensated according to the value. The concerns come after several recent similar conflicts between Moscow gov’t and Moscow residents.

Interesting thing happened with these people during IOC visit. “Greens”, who are protesting against Olympics in Sochi, included them to their group for the meeting with IOC commitee last week, but later had taken them of that list. “We think that “greens” wanted to use us in their protests against the Olympics in Sochi. But they took us from their list after they found out that we are not against the Olympics, and that we just want to protect our rights…” – said one of the residents.

IOC commission completed its tour of Sochi

Olympics 2014 February 25th, 2007

“Sochi bid doesn’t have weak spots. Maybe some questions and issues that need to be resolved” – said Chiharu Igaya, head of the International Olympic Committee Evaluation Commission during final press conference after weeklong inspection of Sochi’s 2014 bid. He said, “there are so many venues and facilities to be built in the future. You’ve got only seven years to go. To coordinate all of these works may be a challenge”.

As strong sides of the bid were named strong public and political support, and Sochi’s unique geographical location. They also said that they are confident that Russia can provide solid security for the Olympics.

Accent on ecology

Development February 21st, 2007

$400 million will be spent for keeping safe environment in Sochi, including $130 mil for Sochi National Park.

Some of the new Sochi facilities will be built to use sun battery power and the energy created by processing domestic waste, reports «Rossiiskaya Gazeta» daily. Also purifying and waste disposal facilities will be reconstructed.

Sochi railroad will get an alarm system

Development February 21st, 2007

An alarm system that will warn about falling rocks will be implemented on the railroad between Dagomys and Central districts, reports North Caucasus Railroads.

Education exhibition and conference took place in Zhemchuzhina

Sochi News February 21st, 2007

With acceptance of federal program to develop Sochi as a year-round resort, the city is bracing for rapid development. It means we’ll need a lot of well educated working people really soon. According to there are 4296 children who will complete the “main” school course and 3309 will graduate from high school this year in Sochi. And they all need to decide where they want to go next.

Make your choice” education exhibition and conference, which took place in “Zhemchuzhina” hotel this year, is designed to help them do just that. Many higher and professional education schools gathered here to tell this year graduates what they have to offer. They bring their teachers, and the students who demonstrate their skills acquired in their school. has following information on education schools in Sochi: there are 19 000 students learning 43 professions in 16 higher ed schools and branch of schools; 5 000 students are learning 39 professions in 14 professional schools.

I just want to add that in Sochi there is really only one big university – Sochi State University for Tourism and Recreation.

The high-school course in Russia is 11 years, and the “main” course (also called “complete middle school education”) is 9 years. After 9 years “main” course the students can decide to continue with the high school, and complete all 11 years – this will give them the opportunity to apply to a university, an institute, or an academy (all five or more years of higher ed), OR they can continue their education in one of the “specialized professional school” which is usually additional four years of ed. directly related to getting a profession (for example in construction, food industry, or in music) and experience in it. The first choice of higher education will often give a higher paid job, with better possibilities of professional growth. The second choice gets people a job quicker, since they can have a profession and some experience by the time they are 19-20 years old, however these jobs often pay less. Kids who choose the professional ed after 9 years of school can still complete the high-school course by attending “evening school” which are high schools operating during evening hours.

Quote of the day (Putin)

Olympics 2014 February 20th, 2007

«Russia is planning to spend huge amount of money to develop this region, around 12 billion dollars. Almost two thirds of it will go into infrastructure: roads, solving ecological issues, communications, to improve people’s lives. This money will be used to unite people from all over the world around sports. We will use this money not to buy guns, not to buy ammunition, not to buy combat aviation, not to buy tanks. We will use this money with one purpose, so the people from around the planet could gather here, in Sochi, on our territory, and extend hands to each other. We will do everything to ensure Sochi will become worthy capital of the 2014 Olympic Games.»

Vladimir Putin during meeting with the members of the IOC evaluation commission on their first working day in Sochi.

Nike Free Mountain 2007

Events February 19th, 2007

Nike Free Mountain 2007 competition will be in Krasnaya Polyana from March 1st to March 3rd. Program includes freeride and jibbing (sub-style of freestyle that uses obstacles such as trees, stumps, rails, etc.) competitions, and will gather around 200 skiers and snowboarders from Russia. Prize fund is $15 000 US.

Nike regularly sponsors other sport and adventure competitions in Sochi in spring and summer.

IOC begins their tour of Sochi

Development, Olympics 2014 February 19th, 2007

The biggest news in Sochi today is that IOC evaluation group, which arrived a day before, has begun their five day tour of the city. I guess we won’t get any on the results or even rumors, at least not ’till all three candidate cities are toured by IOC. The only kind of reaction from the evaluation group was that they were amazed by the mountains/sea view of Sochi’s during landing. Meanwhile the city will be “hit” by over 80 cultural programs  this week, most of which (if not all) will have “in support of Olympics in Sochi” slogan. Some of these events will be visited by IOC. They will also meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who will probably confirm once again government’s financial commitments and promises of completing all constructions on time.

Actually this is the weakest point of Sochi’s bid – having everything done on time. That is because 80-90% of all Olympic projects must be created from the ground up. There were previous talks about hiring American and European companies to help Russian companies to manage all the construction, as Americans and Europeans have a lot of experience in managing projects this big.

New electric trains for Sochi

Development, Olympics 2014 February 19th, 2007

Thirteen new electricity-powered trains will operate in Sochi if the city will be selected as Olympics host. These trains will have three carts of different comfort levels, and they will travel with speeds of up to 140 km/h. New trains will have A/C, automatic temperature control, powered sliding doors inside, fire fighting systems, and a lot of other hi-tech cool stuff. These trains will operate between Adler and Tuapse.

Fears and hopes with possibility of the Olympics

Development, Olympics 2014 February 17th, 2007

This week has seen, probably, most heated arguments from opposers and supporters of hosting Olympic Games in Sochi. Not surprisingly, though, IOC officials will visit Sochi in a few days on their last tour of the city, before they select an official host in June.

So, lets take a look at both sides (long post) Read the rest of this entry »

Agury waterfalls [YouTube]

Multimedia February 17th, 2007

This is a video clip of Agury waterwalls in Khosta district. It was probably taped in spring, because during summer there isn’t that much water in the river.