Farewell to Sochi

If you had told me before the Olympic Games opened in Sochi, Russia, two weeks ago that Russia would not only keep the games entirely free of any terrorist events but would also decisively win both the gold and total medal count races, I would have said the games were going to be a spectacular success story, one that would convert Vladimir Putin from a saint to a god in the eyes of his countrymen.  The fact that these things actually did happen and yet the games must be viewed as largely a failure shows the depths to which Putin’s neo-Soviet state has sunk. Current events outside the games conspired, first and foremost, to hurl Russian success at Sochi off the front pages.  First Putin’s much ballyhooed “victory” in keeping Ukraine out of the European Union exploded into breathtaking failure, dramatically undermining Russian power, as Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovich was driven from office and into hiding by a massive, earthshaking popular...(Read Full Article)