Browsing Category: "Sochi News"

Few short news (Nov ’08)

Development, Olympics 2014, Sochi News November 30th, 2008

Since I’m still not finding much time to write more about Sochi, here are some short news that have been happening recently:

Financial crisis and Sochi investment projects

Amid the global financial crisis and the news that many investors are wrapping up their big real estate projects all around Russia and around World, not a single investor withdrew from the already concrete Olympic projects in Sochi – which is good news. However, new investors are not so quick to jump in anymore, so, the promised Government’s financial guarantees will come handy after all, I guess.

Georgia changes it’s mind

Georgia, which was one of the first to congratulate Russia on winning the Olympics bid, and who’s president said he supported Sochi bid from the beginning.. Same Georgia which then started a war on the first day of the Olympics in Beijing – something that western media was quick to call “Russian propaganda”, but more recently admitted it was Georgia who started it, and finally even Georgian president admitted giving the order to attack South Ossetia after high ranking Georgian official publicly said the same thing… That same Georgia few days ago tried to appeal to IOC to move Olympics from Sochi to another city – the move that IOC has quickly dismissed.

I think now Georgian or Abkhazian question in Sochi Olympics formula is finally closed forever: Georgia attacked Abkhazia (along with Ossetia) → Georgia lost → Russia officially recognized Abkhazia’s independence, which means Abkhazia can help with constructions and will benefit from increased tourism flow to the region → Russian troops will anchor for now in Abkhazia to ensure the region’s stability → IOC acknowledges Sochi is a safe city for the Olympics, the World class event – the cycle is complete for the next decade.

Explosions investigation

Three persons were detained in connection with explosions in Sochi that occurred earlier this year. No details yet, though.

Sochi Mayor Quits

Sochi News October 31st, 2008

Recently elected (four month ago) Sochi mayor has quit last night. The official reason — health problems. He’s getting back surgery which will have him out for over three months. But I found interesting what Fetisov (legendary hockey player; today he’s one of the top sports officials in Russia) said: Mayor, of course, is an important figure, but today this process is controlled Prime Minister (Vladimir Putin), and the President (Dmitriy Medvedev), and I think that mayors retirement can not affect any details in Sochi Olympics preparation plans… Is maoyr of Sochi has become an insignificant position due to the such attention for above? Is it a lot harder to get a “piece of pie” of Olympic money? .. I think these are the things people will talk about. Meanwhile another person was set to be acting mayor. He’s not Sochi native, which again wll piss off many residents.

I’m in Russia!

Sochi News, Sochi-Travel.Info October 24th, 2008

Hey guys! I’m sorry i haven’t written anything in a while, but there is a little change in my life — after thirteen years living in the USA I’m back in Russia giving it a try :-) Unfortunately I’m not in Sochi, as it’s tough to find an IT job there. I’m in Saint-Petersburg. And I’m a lot closer to Sochi now, plan to visit it more often, and for sure will keep this blog going!

I did go to Sochi a month ago, and you can find some photos from my trip on my Flickr account. Unfortunately, I forgot my notes on what I wanted to blog about in NY. I’ll try to remember, though, at least about the Investment Forum and how it’s organization affected people there.

Couple of hours ago, though, there was a little scare here in Russia when news agencies reported SkyExpress flight from Sochi to Moscow was being seized by unknown person, and that he demands for the plane to turn to Vienna, Austria. However, the flight safely landed in Vnukovo airport in Moscow, and the person who tried to “seize” the plane was arrested. Turns out the person who started the whole thing is a 30+ yrs old man who was released from psychiatric hospital, where he spent last six years, several hours prior to boarding the plane. On the plane he passed a written note with his demands and a bomb threat to the pilot via flight attendant. It’s all over now, though.

Oh, btw, good news for those of you who are in Moscow right now, or plans to be there real soon — SkyExpress has a good deal on Moscow-Sochi flights right now. Check it out on their website »

Anyways, now back to the happy stuff :-) Below are some of the photos from my trip. You can see the rest of them here: photos of Sochi – 12 pages + 8 pages from my friend’s wedding in Sochi which includes many photos outside.

Krasnaya Polyana mountains

My sis on Krasnaya Polyana

Sochi: Lenin looking over new construction in Sochi

Sochi - where Past meets present: Vladimir Iljich looking over new buildings

Sochi sea port

Area near airport in Adler's center

Sea port in Sochi is one if the brightest attractions

Sochi sea port

My friends wedding

My friend's wedding

City and residents found compromise on Olympic venues land

Development, Olympics 2014, Sochi News August 20th, 2008

Olympic venues constructions start moves closer to the reality as Sochi administration and the residents of the Imeritinskaya Valley, where the Sochi 2014 Olympic Park will be located, reached compromise on where the residents will be relocated.

Russia offered exceptionally compact plan, where all the competition venues would be within 30 miles of each other. It will consist of two parts: mountain region, hosting sliding and skiing events, and sea-side region, where ice venues will be located. The sea-side region will be located in the Imeritinskaya Valley of the Adler district. There were several concerns with this location, the biggest one being a question of what to do with the people who live there now. Government has promised to make everyone happy, but with realty prices in Sochi skyrocketing after the successful Olympic bid, residents of “Imeritinka” (as locals call Imeritinskaya Valley) did not trust government to be good to its word. Most recent conflict was in the end of July, when locals did not allow city’s officials to their territory to measure their land.

But it appears that long fought battle is over. Earlier Sochi administration officials said that comromise has been reached, and not a single person will be relocated from the areas of Olympic construction without having their social issues taken care of first. And today Alexander Tkachev, governor of Krasnodarski Krai, signed first nine of 138 orders to take over real estate properties for the Olympic construction.

What is the deal

The details of the deal are as follows: residents will be able to choose between a new house in the eastern Imeritinskaya Valley build by the city, and a residence paid for by administration. For those who will choose to live in eastern part of Imeritinskaya Valley, the administration is allocating 66 hectares for the real estate properties where brand new houses will be built, as well as all necessary infrastructures. In addition to this, new cultural-historical center will be established to preserve traditions of the Old Believers community who live in Imeritinka as well.

It sounds like a really good deal. Especially considering that some parts of the Imeritinka has little to none of basic infrastructure.

First nine household will be relocated until the end of this year, while the rest of them during next 1,5-2 years span.

Explosion in Sochi: new details

Sochi News August 9th, 2008

There are a few important details on explosion in Sochi. Or I should say explosions – plural.

This isn’t the first explosion this year in Sochi, and it isn’t the first with human casualties. It is, in fact, fourth. I didn’t write about previous ones because.. well, because of the same reasons I don’t blog every day — no time, and plenty of other information I’d happily share. Also, the investigators weren’t officially linking them together, which meant it could be criminal related, not terror.

All that changed today. All four explosions are now  Read the rest of this entry »

Violence near Russia’s southern borders

Russia, Sochi News August 7th, 2008

Two major disturbing (to say the least) developments hit Southern Russia today: blast on one of the Sochi beaches, and Georgia waging new war on it’s breakaway republic – South Osetia.

Blast on Sochi beach

Custom made bomb exploded on a beach in Loo — town in Greater Sochi located in Lazarevsky district — around 10:30am. Two people died — 22 years old woman, student from Ukraine, and 31 years old man from Rostov-on-Don, Russia. Number of injured varies between 8 and 13 in different sources. Interfax agency reports 8 people in hospitals as of late evening Sochi time. Witnesses say the girl was blown into pices.

Government, including federal, took this incident very seriously. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev instructed his rep. in southern Russia to take the investigation under his personal control. Unfortunatelly, at this point there is no information about who and why could have set the bomb up. $85 000 is offered for any information helpful for the investigation.

War in Osetia

After fifteen years of relative peace in Osetia, after years of arms build up by Georgia following it’s defeat from this small republic, after very recent surge in pro-Georgian and anti-Russian publications in US media, and right after recent war games held together with US army in the region, Georgia officially declared war on it’s breakaway republic South Osetia, which borders Russia’s South.

I will let you follow this with propaganda sources you trust (if you don’t have favorite one, you can start with Interfax New Agency‘s news feed, which is updated almost live, RIA Novosti, and Russia Today – all in English), but here where it is located geographically:

2000 Russian girls in bikini: Cosmo-blog updated

Events, Sochi News August 6th, 2008

Remember the recent post about Cosmopolitan-Russia getting hundreds of girls on a Sochi beach for the Guinness World Record? Well, they finally updated their official blog with a lot more photos and videos from the event! Go check it out :)

Cosmo.Ru on the Beach

Bikini Girls in Sochi

Photo (c) Cosmopolitan-Russia & Alexander Popov

I also found great set of photos from this Bikini Boom in Sochi event on Flickr, you can see it here: Bikini Boom in Sochi.

Russian Girls in Sochi

Photo (c) simam @ flickr

Cycling: ProTour in Sochi from 2009 onwards

Events, Sochi News August 1st, 2008

UCI ProTour be run in Sochi from 2009 onwards. The inaugural race would take place from May 20 to May 24 2009. Here is Sochi-part of the «ProTour heading East» news article by

As mentioned above, a five day event in the Sochi region will be run from 2009 onwards. The resort area is the location for the 2014 winter Olympics and holding a top-level cycling event there is part of the Russian government’s plan to tie other sporting events in with this.

The drive to have a ProTour race goes all the way to the top; Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was involved in that and will send his deputy PM Alexander Zhukov to supervise the race. The latter will act as the chairman of the race organizing committee.

For many years the area has hosted the GP Sochi, a 2.2 race which was held in April of this year. This will remain, with a new event in the same area being added to the highest rung of the calendar. «Sochi has been having its own race for the last 55 years. We are going to leave it there and have this ProTour race separately,» Gusyatnikov said. «The plan this year is to have a trial race, running from the 10th – 14th of September. Then next year the new [ProTour] race will be held.

«It will be the Tour of Sochi. Some people want to called it the Tour of Sochi 2014 to underline the Winter Olympics connection, but personally I am against that because we don’t want to mix up the sports.»

The first edition of the race will be five days long and is pencilled in to take place from May 20th – 24th. It will be developed over time, with additional roads being built in the area for this purpose. It may also become longer in duration, depending on how the first few editions go.

Read the rest of this entry »

The bikini fest sets new Guinness World Record in Sochi

Events, Sochi News July 20th, 2008

Cosmo Bikini AustraliaAn event organized by Cosmopolitan-Russia magazine has set new Guinness World Record on «Riviera» beach in Sochi! Around 2000 girls in bikini have formed huge “COSMO.RU” for Cosmopolitan commercial just yesterday, on July 19.

With this event, Cosmo-Russia took relay passed to them over by Cosmo-Australia, which set previous record of organizing 1010 women to spell out “COSMO” on one of the Austraila’s beaches, and creating a new category in the Guinness World Record book.

Some early reports last night talked about 1602 ladies and “ruCosmo” being spelled out. But the official CosmoRussia blog says that around 2000 ladies were registered (exact number will be announced after all lists are compared). All girls who participated in the event received gifts —  red bikini and bag with a letter they were part of during this event.

Here are a few photos from the event posted on the, and you can find a lot more in hi-res on their official blog.

Cosmo Record Event: Bikini girls in Sochi, Russia

Cosmo Record Event: Bikini girls in Sochi, Russia

Cosmo Record Event: Bikini girls in Sochi, Russia

Cosmo Record Event: Bikini girls in Sochi, Russia

Photos by
And if you here only for photos of girls in bikini, you can check out Austraila’s event photos here.

Tornado in Sochi (photo)

Multimedia, Sochi News July 17th, 2008

Tornadoes are actually quite common in Sochi, though are not as large as the ones destroying whole towns in USA. However, in Sochi they often cause havoc as well. Twisters in Sochi usually form over the Black Sea during stormy weather, then coming down crushing at the city. Two years ago in August, strong tornado came in destroying residential houses (our family friend’s house was almost completely destroyed — and these are brick houses!), part of «Youzhnye Kultury» park, and many buses on overnight bus parking, causing public transportation interruption in Adler for the next few weeks.

I Found these amazing photos at by Alex A. Bel. , I’ve never seen one this big over there! They have more, check ’em out. These photos are from Adler district.

Twister in Sochi, Russia, July 2008

Tornado in Sochi, 2008

10th Century Byzantine church unearthed in Sochi

Sochi News July 15th, 2008

This is actually pretty cool – few days ago archeologists finished digging up Byzantine church from 10th Century in Lesnoe Village in Adler district of Sochi – that’s were my father was born! :)

Archeologists believe this church was build by Greeks who were trying to convert locals to Christianity. However, when Byzantine Empire got weaker, the church was abandoned. Looking at the video clip by local TV agency «Kuban» there appears not much left of it. However, archeologists, and students from Sochi colleges who are helping out, have found some remains and ancient objects which were turned over to specialists for study.

The locals were visiting this church (or whatever was left of it, anyways), which they call Church of Saints Constantine and Elena, for a long time, and on the big holidays priest comes over for church services – this is not surprising, as Lesnoe is all Greek village. Archeologists started working on this location a year ago.

New sea route links to Sochi for the summer season

Sochi News July 2nd, 2008

Hydrofoil Boat SochiNew Sochi – Novorossiysk sea route has been recently lunched for summer season. It will operate daily, except Mondays, between June 15th and August 31st. The hydrofoil (called Kometa, or Comet, in Russian ) trip lasts approximately 3 hours, and the ticket prices are: adult ticket is around $60 (1365 rubbles); kids older than 5yrs old – around $45 (1023 rubles), and kids under five with parents ride for free.

Here’s scheduler for Sochi/Novorossiysk route:

From Novorossiysk to Sochi, daily except Mondays:
Leaving: 9:00 (9:00am)
Arriving: 12:15 (12:15pm)

From Sochi to Novorossiysk, daily except Mondays:
Leaving: 18:00 (6:00pm)
Arriving: 21:15 (9:15pm)

Phone numbers in Novorossiysk port (probably only in Russian):

Ticketing in Novorossiysk Sea Port: (8617)-60-22-84
General Information: (8617)-60-23-24
Information in Novorossiysk Sea Port: (8617)-60-23-47

Btw, there are also daily buses going from Novorossiysk to Sochi, two leaving in the morning (7:50 & 10:50), and one at night (21:50). Information phone number: (8617)-64-42-79.

Coming soon: “Kinotavr” film festival and International cinema-market

Events, Sochi News June 1st, 2008

Kinotavr old logo19th Open Russian Film Festival Kinotavr 2008 will take place in Sochi on June 7 – 15 this year. The official website is (Eng), and you can read my article with photos about last year’s «Kinotavr 2007» here. If interested to go, shop around, at least for the air fair, as prices listed on their tour website are pretty crazy.

During the same time — June 5-10 — Sochi will host 75-th Russian international cinema-market (Kinorynok or Kinorinok). This biggest event of the Russian and xUSSR republics’ film industry takes place three times a year, twice in Moscow (March & December) and in Sochi. It attracts over 1000 representatives from film studios, distribution companies, film producers, creative groups, movie theatres, and companies producing wide range of equipment and services for the film industry.

The official website of the event, with programme, floor layouts, photos, etc., is (Rus)

Geographically, these two events will be happening very close to each other, right in Sochi’s center.

Here are a few photos from previous Kinorynok events: Read the rest of this entry »

Special deal on direct Sochi-Vienna flights

Sochi News June 1st, 2008

Russian page of Austrian Airlines lists special price for roundtrip direct flighs to Sochi — 13.655 RUB which is around 370€. This doesn’t include taxes and other fees, so you should check with Austrian on the details. The announced prices are valid through the end of July.

Here’s the link to announcement (in Russian).

3G network in Sochi soon

Sochi News June 1st, 2008

MTS - Mobile TeleSystemsMTS, Russia’s largest mobile telecom company, announced few days ago that it’s “technically ready” for commercial launch of 3G network in Sochi, as well as two other cities – Yekaterinburg and Kazan.

With the new 3G network, MTS will allow users to benefit from faster data transfer speeds (up to 3.6 Mbps) as compared to the current 2.5G EDGE network. Also, special 3G services will be offered, including video telephony, 3G roaming and mobile TV.

Read full press release »

The only other company I know that launched 3G in Russia is MegaFon, the third largest Russian carrier. Though right now, if I remember correctly, it is only available in St.-Petersburg, and they haven’t announced what other cities they are planning to expand it to next.