06 February 2013

RUSSIA : 07 Feb UPDATE: Putin Visits Sochi, Fires Olympic Official; Medvedev's Position Weakens; Another Dmitry Attack Video Appears; Jailed Oligarch Khodorkovsky Interviewed.

     President Vlad Putin visited Sochi...site of the 2014 Winter Olympics...and after warning about soaring cost overruns...fired local Olympic official Akhmed Bilalov...publicly scolding him for costly delays.
    Local officials admitted to mismanagement, delays and corruption.
    The Sochi venue is 2 years behind schedule...and now estimated to cost $50 billion.
    It is Russia's first international event since the fall of the Soviet Union.

    Back in Moscow...PM Dmitry Medvedev has suffered a number of personal setbacks.
    A scathing anonymous attack video suddenly appeared...and 3 insiders told Bloomberg that Putin is frustrated with Medvedev's failed efforts at boosting economic growth... increasing only 3.4% in 2012.
   A Putin loyal newspaper described the PM as 'underperforming'.
   A presidential advisor claims Medvedev, 47...is in a 'very precarious position.'
   Medvedev didn't help his standing by delivering what many called a 'poor' keynote speech at Davos.
   Former FinMin and Putin ally...Alexei Kudrin...is again being touted as possible PM.
   Then-President Medvedev fired Kudrin in 2011.

 AND...TO READ: A 60 minute Medvedev 'treason' video appeared on YouTube...slamming him as weak...and responsible for the 2011 overthrow of Russian ally Gaddafi.
    It's the 2nd Medvedev attack video to appear in 6 months.

   ALSO: Reuters interviews jailed former oil billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky, 49. 
    He believes Putin's efforts to intimidate citizens from protesting...and killing Russia's 'Snow Revolution' will fail.