“What are you doing in Sochi? Sure, it’s a ghost town.”
“How do you know that?”
“All the newspapers say it.”
I’ve had that conversation (and variants of it) on numerous occasions since I first arrived in Sochi at the end of November. The Western press decided to create a narrative that Sochi was a ‘white elephant’ shortly after the Olympic Games and the reputational damage is hard to shake off.
However, if Russia's Black Sea pearl is a chalky proboscidean, the Moon is made of cheese.
Happily, many of the more credible elements in the mainstream media have finally seen the error of their ways and are suddenly issuing more balanced evaluations of the Sochi situation. Nonetheless, some of the usual suspects in Russia-bashing have yet to warm to reality, a concept they frequently struggle with.