Dmitry Kozak, the deputy prime minister responsible for the Olympic preparations, seemed to reflect the view held among many Russian officials that some Western visitors are deliberately trying to sabotage Sochi’s big debut out of bias against Russia. “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.
And then it was onto damage control.
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.
You wonder after this whether Mr. Kozak will be reassigned to serve as Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of Snowstorms in Siberia.
Press reports about hotel conditions have been brutal and hilarious with pictures of gross looking water. Tweets have been even more withering. Look at this article.
And here are some of the ones showing up as you read this post:
— lawblob (@lawblob) February 6, 2014
Sochi hotel to reporter: Don't let "very dangerous" water touch your face http://t.co/Xszdzsk5PV
— HuffPost Green (@HuffPostGreen) February 6, 2014
— HuffPost Canada (@HuffPostCanada) February 6, 2014
Can the hotel horror stories be true? Oh yes. Who’s been sleeping in my bed? Sochi Horror Show pic.twitter.com/j3O8y55Fhw
— Kevin Eason (@easonF1) February 6, 2014
In my Sochi hotel. You're welcome to pop by and sit forlornly in my Chairs of Desolation. pic.twitter.com/msoqXAIcj4
— cathalkelly (@cathalkelly) February 5, 2014
— Charles Ellis (@charles_r_ellis) February 5, 2014
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) February 5, 2014
— Kevin Bishop (@bishopk) February 4, 2014
Sochi hotel not quite finished, & has no record of my reservation. I'll go to the bar while they try to sort it. Oh. pic.twitter.com/HQjAm4UMHY
— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) February 4, 2014