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    Anti-corruption campaigner says Putin's friends feeding off "over-priced" Sochi Olympics

    euronews (in English)

    by euronews (in English)

    An anti-corruption campaigner has said Russia is overspending on the Winter Olympics and politicians and businessmen are profiteering.

    Alexei Navalny, who has previously led anti-Putin protests, says Russia’s Olympics are already five times more expensive than the 2010 Olympics. And he is quite clear why he thinks this is.

    “Initially the whole Sochi project was conceived in a way that would not only produce the Olympic Games,” he says, “but would also enrich some small number of Putin’s close friends.”

    Navalny accuses Putin of enriching his friends by awarding them building contracts at a cost several times more than those to build similar facilities elsewhere.

    But one Sochi resident seemed unsurprised.

    “Corruption is quite possible,” he said. “This is Russia.”

    Navalny says Russia has already spent $50 billion on the games, that’s 36.5 billion Euros.

    He also contradicts claims that private companies have financed half of it claiming public funds were channeled through state-controlled companies portrayed as private.

    He says the private sector has contributed just four percent of overall costs.