Sochi Mascots Ride Tank

Russian militarism in Ukraine has undone any public relations benefits of the Sochi Olympics.

Russian militarism in Ukraine has undone any public relations benefits of the Sochi Olympics.



via Bob Murray

FILED UNDER: Humor, Quick Takes, World Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. DC Loser says:

    You think Putin cares about public relations?

  2. James Joyner says:

    @DC Loser: Yeah. Why hold an Olympics otherwise? It’s a huge money loser. Putin is trying to signal that Russia is a real country, not a developing country with aging nukes.

    That’s not to say that PR is his only, or even chief, general concern. I’m just saying that was the main driver of the Sochi games.

  3. Andre Kenji says:

    @James Joyner:

    Why hold an Olympics otherwise?

    Personal pride. That´s why so many dictatorships LOVE the Olympics.

  4. Bet the Ukraine wishes they still had some of those strategic nuclear weapons they gave up back in the 90s.

  5. Pinky says:

    Depends what we mean by public relations. If we mean positive feelings, then moving on Ukraine negated Sochi. If we mean public appearance of being a superpower, then both moving on Ukraine and hosting the Olympics enhance that image (to the extent that the Olympics were a success).

  6. Pinky says:

    The more I think about this, the more obvious it becomes. Of course Putin doesn’t care about public image in the “everybody love me” kind of way. He’s all about looking powerful. Sports and tanks – it’s perfect.

  7. gVOR08 says:

    @Pinky: @James Joyner: Plus he got to push a lot of the Olympics money to his cronies.

  8. Pinky says:

    There was a recent article by Victor Davis Hanson about Putin, that you guys dismissed as praise. It was about this. He’s not looking to be domesticated. He never had interest in that. The disapproval of international organizations means nothing to him. He’s a serial killer. He’s the BTK Killer during his off years. Not repentant, not weak, just resting. Well, he’s done resting. He sees an opportunity, and he’s taking it.

  9. JohnMcC says:

    @Pinky: Well, although a good bit of your analysis of Pres Putin is probably correct — or as correct as psycoanalysis from a great distance based on mass media can be correct — it is irrelevant. Pres Putin saw a political and diplomatic disaster and moved quickly to make the best recovery possible. The plans to seize Crimea were no doubt sitting there on the shelf ready to use; the Ukrainians tossed out their Russophilic government; the plan was put into effect. If you are saying that Pres Putin is showing unusual courage or recklessness or whatever, well — OK.

    What would be interesting would be a thought-experiment in which the Ukrainian revolution occurred and then Pres Putin calmly and humbly negotiated a new economic treaty with the new Kiev government. What would the Russian imperialists in Moscow have done? In other words, what is the constituency for imperialism in Russia?

    Until we can answer that question, we’re all just wasting time and electrons.

  10. Sunn says:

    Hey guys, do you really think that it’s all will pass the same way as Yugoslavia and Iraq? Read th history first, learn a bit about relationship between Russia and Ukraine. Who, when and where was welcomed and given. Ask yourselves who’s got the benefits of all that nightmare occurs there at Ukraine and be sure that it was well prepared. Than you’ll talk about mascots seizing “poor free people of Crimea” Throw the rubbish out of youre heads, try at least once to think a bit.

  11. JohnMcC says:

    @Sunn: Care to specify which ‘rubbish’ we dispose of or ‘who’s got the benefits of that nightmare…’ and what makes you so d@mn*d smart?