By now, you've surely heard the harrowing stories about how the Sochi Olympic village is a hellscape of stray dogs, weird toilets, and unfinished accommodations. Well, according to the Russian official in charge, everything's cool! And he has the surreptitious surveillance footage to prove it.
The WSJ reports that Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak is downright peeved at visiting journalists from the west. He claims the journos are deliberately trying to sabotage the Olympics as well as to undermine Russia's international reputation by sending back false reports that depict Sochi's often amusing lack of preparation for the games. So far, they've only received 108 "registered" complaints. According to Kozak, it's all a sham. Consider what the hidden surveillance cameras have detected:
"We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day," he said. An aide then pulled a reporter away before Mr. Kozak could be questioned further on surveillance in hotel rooms. "We're doing a tour of the media center," the aide said.
See, the 100,000 people being put up by the government in Sochi have nothing to worry about. Sochi's hotels aren't in shambles. The surveillance systems work just fine. [WSJ]
Update: Perhaps not surprisingly, Russian officials have walked back the "surveillance" claim; the Journal has updated its original report to include the following:
A spokesman for Mr. Kozak later on Thursday said there is absolutely no surveillance in hotel rooms or bathrooms occupied by guests. He said there was surveillance on premises during construction and cleaning of Sochi's venues and hotels and that is likely what Mr. Kozak was referencing. A senior official at a company that built a number of the hotels also said there is no such surveillance in rooms occupied by guests.
Image via AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky