Russian Village Used, Abused, and Forgotten by the Olympics


Kimaev fears the waste will seep through the porous limestone and into the water reservoirs below, which provide drinking water for the entire region.

The mines are owned by Russian Railways, the country's largest company, whose head is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The company did not return repeated requests from ABC News for comment.

Residents of Ashtyr had hoped that, once the Olympics began, once the incessant demands of construction ended, their pleas might finally be heard. Yet to date the water has to be trucked in weekly. Authorities started to pave the town's road, but are doing a sloppy job, laying down asphalt directly on top of the mud.

Calls from ABC News to the Sochi mayor's office went unanswered.

Zamesin said he has not received a response either.

"They don't say anything, just that everything will be OK. Same thing they told us seven years ago. We hear the same thing over and over again," he said.

Zamesin said he hears they will start mining again once the Olympics are over.

"We are going to lie down in the road to prevent them from doing it," he pledged. "All of the village has agreed, even the elderly and kids."

Even with that defiant pronouncement, he conceded the sad truth about Ashtyr.

"We feel like we are forgotten. We feel like we are behind the fence of the Olympics and everyone has forgotten about us," he said.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 22374751.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...