Sochi a social media disaster area

Putin with a Sochi local

KeallHauled

Chris Keall

The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics aren't turning into a great showcase for Vladimir Putin's Russia - at least, not as viewed via Twitter, where Western journalists are trying to out-do each other with grungy hotel and tumbledown infrastructure pics.

It seems stray dogs are plentiful (despite government exterminators targeting them with poison and traps), but light bulbs, hot water, internet and shower curtains are in short supply.

Even when things are spic and span, the construction priorities seem a little unconventional. A public toilet with a mirrored ceiling? Bling bling!

At least security is tight. An attempt to hijack a flight from Ukraine and divert it to Sochi was foiled (it's not clear what the hijacker was after, but presumably it wasn't shower curtains).

Below is a selection of the top  tweets from the global press core who have descended on Sochi (and they have descended en masse. The Wall Street Journal alone has 16 correspondents in the small Russian city on the Black Sea coast. Old media aint quite dead yet).

Google got in on the sport, too, splashing what Maurcie Williamson might call "a big gay rainbow" across its home page, along with the Olympic charter of non-discrimination. A law signed by Putin in July bans pro-gay "propaganda". On the upside, Putin's government pardoned thousands of jailed dissidents, perhaps in a bid to regain the public relations upper hand.

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