Jan 07 2014

The State of US-Russia Relations Before the Winter Olympics

Just a month before the Winter Olympics kick off in Sochi, Russia, President Vladimir Putin has spent $2 billion on security measures. Two suicide bombings in the nearby city of Volgograd in December which killed more than 30 people have raised serious concerns about terrorist actions during the games. Putin had harsh words for the perpetrators, calling for their “complete annihilation.”

The security measures are unprecedented for Olympics games and cover a zone that has been dubbed “the ring of steel.” Within the zone, people will be subject to massive levels of surveillance, and in the skies above, fighter jets and drones will enforce security.

Russia has a lot to prove with international and particularly US attention fixated on the country that has opposed US interests in Syria, Iran, and Libya, and been criticized by the US media for its position on gay rights and crackdowns on freedom of speech. Former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on a talk show over the weekend said “Were it my choice, I would not vote for Russia to hold the Winter Olympics or the Summer Olympics.”

GUEST: Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian Studies and history at New York University and Princeton University, author of Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War and a contributor to the Nation

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