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Sunday, March 23, 2008

PostHeaderIcon 4,000 to lose homes to Vladimir Putin’s Winter Olympics

2014 Winter Olympics logoMore than 4,000 people are facing eviction to make room for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, according to campaigners, who say that many will receive little or no compensation.

“My family has lived on this land for five generations,” said Dmitry Drofichev, a farmer. “We are being offered a fraction of what the land is worth. They’ll have to bulldoze me and the house to make me move.”

The authorities have already begun forcibly removing people from areas where Olympic facilities are to be built. Fifteen families of refugees from a war in the neighbouring republic of Abkhazia have been evicted from the outskirts of Sochi where they have lived for 15 years. They have nowhere to go.

Residents fear systematic evictions after the Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, passed a bill known as the “Olympic law”, which will speed up the confiscation of property. Typically, land offered to those facing eviction is said to be in remote and rundown areas and payments are far below the value of the property appropriated. (...more)

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