International Studies: Interdisciplinary Cultural and Political Journal


The aim of the article is to analyze the change of the Russian Federation’s international image in the light of two significant events: the Olympic Winter Games in 2014 in Sochi and the annexation of Crimea. According to the first hypothesis, one of the main aims for hosting the Olympic Games was to improve the international prestige of Russia. Shortly after the Olympics Russia increased its activity in Eastern Ukraine, which resulted in the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. Therefore the article is also aimed to investigate whether by annexing Crimea Russia squandered the possible positive effects of hosting the Olympics in terms of its international image.


International image of Russia, Olympic Games in Sochi, Annexation of Crimea, sport and politics


Amelidou, Pinelopi B., The 2004 International Relay: a Greek around the world with the Olympic Flame, [in:] J. J. Macaloon (Ed.), Bearing Light: Flame Relays and the Struggle for the Olympic Movement, pp. 126–138, Aningdon: Routledge 2013.

Annexation of Crimea by Russia? Tusk talks about the new Jalta, 18 March 2014, http://wiadomosci.dziennik.pl/polityka/artykuly/453705,aneksja-krymu-przez-rosje-donald-tusk-mowi-o-nowej-jalcie.html 20 May 2014.

Barney R.K., Bijkerk A.Th., Carl Diem’s Inspiration for the Torch Relay? Jan Wils, Amsterdam 1928, and the Origin of the Olympic Flame, [in:] Schaus G.P., Wenn S.R. (Eds.), Onward to the Olympics: The Historical Perspective on the Olympic Games, pp. 253–261, Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2007.

Belarus Says Russia’s Annexation of Crimea Sets a ‘Bad Precedent’, 24 March 2014, http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/belarus-says-russias-annexation-of-crimea-sets-a-bad-precedent/496633.html 16 May 2014.

Borger J., Barack Obama: Russia is a regional power showing weakness over Ukraine, “The Guardian”, 25 March 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/25/barack-obama-russia-regional-power-ukraine-weakness 16 May 2014.

Brenner A., Tatar leader: referendum’s results ‘predetermined’, 16 March 2014, http://www.dw.de/tatar-leader-referendums-results-predetermined/a-17500078 16 May 2014.

Burns J.F., Protests of China Make Olympic Torch Relay an Obstacle Course, 7 April 2008 “The New York Times”, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/07/world/europe/07torch.html 14 May 2014.

Chadband I., Sochi 2014: Dismay for Vladimir Putin as Russia crash out of Winter Olympics ice hockey tournament to Finland, “Telegraph”, 19 February 2014, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/winter-olympics/10649343/Sochi-2014-Dismay-for-Vladimir-Putin-as-Russia-crash-out-of-Winter-Olympics-ice-hockey-tournament-to-Finland.html 14 May 2014.

Croft A., Siebold S., NATO suspends cooperation with Russia over Ukraine crisis, 1 April 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/01/us-ukraine-crisis-nato-idUSBREA2U1UF20140401 21 May 2014.

Danilova M., Karmanau Y., Ukraine Protests: Anti-Government Demonstrators Clash With Police In Kiev, “Huffington Post”, 21 January 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/21/ukraine-protests_n_4635120.html 16 May 2014.

Delany M., O’Flynn K., As Sochi gets Olympics, a gold medel for Putin, “The New York Times”, 5 July 2007, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/05/sports/05iht-SOCHI.4.6519083.html?_r=0 8 May 2014.

Dewey C., Journalists at Sochi are live-tweeting their hilarious and gross hotel experiences, 4 February 2014, “The Washington Post”, http://www.washington­post.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/02/04/journalists-at-sochi-are-live-tweeting-their-hilarious-and-gross-hotel-experiences/ 14 May 2014.

EU imposes new sanctions against Russia after Putin signs bill annexing Crimea, 21 March 2014, http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/03/21/russian-upper-house-approves-annexation-crimea/ 21 May 2014.

Gibson O., Sochi 2014: the costliest Olympics yet but where has all the money gone?, “The Guardian” 9 October 2013, http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2013/oct/09/sochi-2014-olympics-money-corruption 9 May 2014.

Gibson O., Sochi Games held up as a symbol of Olympic extravagance and waste. The Guardian, 5 February 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/feb/05/sochi-games-olympic-extravagence-cost-winter-russia 9 May 2014.

Glanfield E., German government disowns former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder after he is pictured in bear-hug with Putin despite tensions over Ukraine, “Daily Mail”, 29 April 2014, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2616177/German-government-disowns-former-chancellor-Gerhard-Schroeder-pictured-bear-hug-Putin-despite-tensions-Ukraine.html 20 May 2014.

Grytsenko O., Ukrainian protesters flood Kiev after president pulls out of EU deal, “The Guardian”, 24 November 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/24/ukraine-protesters-yanukovych-aborts-eu-deal-russia 15 May 2014.

Harrison V., Sochi: Most expensive Olympics yet, 17 January 2014, http://money.cnn.com/2014/01/16/news/most-expensive-olympics 9 May 2014.

How many athletes and countries took part in the 2014 Games in Sochi?, n.d., http://registration.olympic.org/en/faq/detail/id/194 9 May 2013.

I want Sochi Games to show the world a new Russia – Putin,19 January 2014, http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_01_19/photo-Interview-of-Vladimir-Putin-President-of-the-Russian-Federation-to-Channel-One-Rossiya-1-ABC-News-BBC-CCTV-television-channels-and-Around-the-Rings-agency-6631/?slide-1 9 May 2014.

IOC 2014 Evaluation Commission Report, 2007, XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014. Lausanne.

Irish J., Pennetier M., Pineau E., France won’t cancel warship deal with Russia: sources, 12 May 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/12/us-france-russia-mistral-idUSBREA4B05920140512 21 May 2014.

Karamichas J., The Olympic Games and the Enviroment, Palgrave Macmillan, London 2013.

Karmanau Y., Isachenkov V., Vladimir Putin admits for first time Russian troops took over Crimea, refuses to rule out intervention in Donetsk, “National Post”, 17 April 2014, http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/04/17/vladimir-putin-admits-for-first-time-russian-troops-took-over-crimea-refuses-to-rule-out-intervention-in-donetsk/16 May 2014.

Karnaukh M., Counting the cost: How much did Russia spend and earn in Sochi?, 2 May 2014, http://rbth.com/business/2014/05/02/counting_the_cost_how_much_did_russia_spend_and_earn_in_sochi_36321.html 9 May 2014.

Kaufman M., The gold and the bad at the Sochi Olympics, “Miami Herald”, 23 February 2014, http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/02/23/3954583/the-gold-and-the-bad-at-the-sochi.html 14 May 2014.

Kirschbaum E., Barkin N., German government distances itself from Schroeder after his Putin meeting, 29 April 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/29/us-ukraine-crisis-germany-schroeder-idUSBREA3S0S620140429 20 May 2014.

Kobierecki M.M., Sports dimension of the cold war confrontation on the example of rivalization in the Olympic Games medal table, “Wizje i Rzeczywistość”, Vol. 9, p. 37-67, Gdańsk: Studia Gdańskie, 2012.

Kobierecki M.M., Political implications of the Olympic Games host city bidding procedure, “Zeszyty Metodyczno-Naukowe Akademii Wychowania Fizycznego im. Jerzego Kukuczki w Katowicach”, pp. 102-106, Katowice: Wydawnictwo Akademii Wychowania Fizycznego w Katowicach, 2010.

LONDON 2012, n.d., http://www.olympic.org/london-2012-summer-olympics 9 May 2014.

Mackinnon M., How Putin’s Sochi dream was shattered by Ukraine’s nightmare, 22 February 2014, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/how-putins-dream-of-sochi-was-shattered-by-the-nightmare-of-ukraine/article17042500/?page=all 9 May 2014.

Morello C., Englund W., Witte G., Crimea’s parliament votes to join Russia, “Washington Post”, 17 March 2014, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/crimeas-parliament-votes-to-join-russia/2014/03/17/5c3b96ca-adba-11e3-9627-c65021d6d572_story.html 16 May 2014.

Most expensive Olympics in history: Sochi 2014 Games to cost over $50 billion, 4 February 2013, http://rt.com/business/sochi-cost-record-history-404/ 9 May 2014.

Olearchyk R., Ukraine protesters make deal to end Kiev city hall occupation, 16 February 2014, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/4227f7fa-96ff-11e3-809f-00144feab7de,Authorised=false.html?_i_location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fcms%2Fs%2F0%2F4227f7fa-96ff-11e3-809f-00144feab7de.html%3Fsiteedition%3Duk&siteedition=uk&_i_referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kyiv­post.com%2Fcontent%2Fukraine-abroad%2Ffinancial-times-ukraine-protest­ers-make-deal-to-end-kyiv-city-hall-occupation-336923.html#axzz31rlpDk00 16 May 2014.

Olympic Charter, International Olympic Committee, Lausanne, 2013.

Otto P., Russia tourists avoid our resorts. The crisis in Crimea will cause a loss to Polish hoteliers, “Gazeta Prawna”, 2 April 2014, http://biznes.gazetaprawna.pl/artykuly/788060,rosyjscy-turysci-omijaja-nasze-kurorty-wszystko-przez-sytuacje-na-ukrainie.html 20 May 2014.

Parkin B., Buergin R., Merkel Says Russia Risks Harm to Self With 19th-Century Ways, 13 March 2014, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-13/merkel-says-russia-risks-harm-to-self-with-19th-century-methods.html 16 May 2014.

Pigman G.A., Rofe J.S., Sport and Diplomacy. An Introduction, “Sport in Society”, Vol. 17, No. 9, 2014.

Polityuk P., Zinets N., Ukraine Protests: 3 Killed As Police Clash With Demonstrators In Kiev, “Huffington Post”, 22 January 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/22/ukraine-protests-deadly-clashes_n_4641928.html 16 May 2014.

President Hollande: France doesn’t recognize Crimea’s annexation by Russia,19 March 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/president-hollande-france-doesnt-recognize-crimeas-annexation-by-rus­sia-339992.html 20 May 2014.

Report by the IOC Candidature Acceptance Working Group to the IOC Executive Board, XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014, Lausanne, 28 April 2006.

Rosenberg S., Putin’s hopes to burnish Russia’s image with Sochi 2014, 6 February 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26062757 9 May 2014.

Rubin, Trudy, Why Putin wanted the Sochi games. Miami Herald, 9 February 2014, http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/02/09/3924354/why-putin-wanted-the-sochi-games.html 9 May 2014.

Russia Awarded Its First Winter Games, July 5 2007, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2007/07/04/AR2007070401298.html 8 May 2014.

Russia’s $9.4B road to Sochi latest in long line of Olympic boondoggles. (2014, February 7). http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2014/02/07/sochi-olympic-price-tag-soars-critic-slams-road-that-could-have-been-paved-with/ (2014, May 9).

Russian parliament approves troop deployment in Ukraine, 1 May 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26400035 16 May 2014.

Salem H., Walker S., Harding L., Conflict fears rise after pro-Russian gunmen seize Crimean parliament, “The Guardian”, 28 February 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/24/ukraine-crimea-russia-secession 16 May 2014.

Sevastopol and Crimean parliament vote to join Russia, referendum to be held in 10 days, 6 March 2014, http://rt.com/news/crimea-referendum-status-ukraine-154/ 16 May 2014.

Smale A., Shear M.D., Russia Is Ousted From Group of 8 by US and Allies, “The New York Times”, 24 March 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/25/world/europe/obama-russia-crimea.html?_r=0 21 May 2014.

Smith M., Eshchenko A., Ukraine cries ‘robbery’ as Russia annexes Crimea, 18 March 2014, http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/18/world/europe/ukraine-crisis/ 16 May 2014.

Sochi 2014 Venues, n.d., http://olympic.ca/sochi-2014-venues/ 9 May 2014.

Sochi 2014, n.d., http://www.olympic.org/sochi-2014-winter-olympics 7 May 2014.

Sports, n.d., http://www.olympic.org/sports 9 May 2014.

Swift A., In US, Record 68% View Russia as Unfriendly or an Enemy, 27 March 2014, http://www.gallup.com/poll/168110/record-view-russia-unfriendly-enemy.aspx 21 May 2014.

Traynor I., Ukraine’s bloodiest day: dozens dead as Kiev protesters regain territory from police, “The Guardian” , 21 February 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/20/ukraine-dead-protesters-police 16 May 2014.

Ukraine crisis timeline, 8 May 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-26248275 16 May 2014.

Ukraine crisis: Russian officials targeted by sanctions, 29 April 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26672800 16 May 2014.

Ukraine crisis: Yatsenyuk is PM-designate, Kiev Maidan told, 26 February 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26359150 16 May 2014.

Ukraine parliament pushes through sweeping anti-protest law, 16 January 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/16/us-ukraine-law-idUSBREA0F12M20140116 16 May 2014.

Ukraine unrest: Protesters storm regional offices, 24 January 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-25876807 16 May 2014.

Ukraine: Deadly clashes around parliament in Kiev, 18 February, 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26236860 16 May 2014.

Ukrainian president and opposition sign early poll deal, 21 February 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26289318 16 May 2014.

UPDATE 2-OMV and Gazprom press on with Austrian branch of South Stream gas pipeline, 29 April 2014, http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/04/29/omv-gazprom-southstream-idINL6N0NL63I20140429 21 May 2014.

Vaughan J., Sochi 2014: a $46bn sporting chance, “Telegraph”, 6 September 2013, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/rbth/features/10290219/sochi-2014-most-expensive-olympics.html 9 May 2014.

Wachnicki M., Afhganistan supports the annexation of Crimea. Who else accepts the Crimean affiliation with Russia, 24 March 2014, http://wyborcza.pl/1,75477,15675315,Afganistan_poparl_aneksje_Krymu__Kto_jeszcze_uzna­je.html 6 May 2014.

Walker P., Batty D., Olympic torch relay cut short amid Paris protests, “The Guardian”, 7 April 2008, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/apr/07/france.olympicgames2008 18 May 2004.

Walker S., Winter Olympics torch relay nears end of long and bumpy road to Sochi, “The Guardian”, 4 April 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/feb/04/winter-olympics-torch-relay-sochi 14 May 2014.

Walker S., Winter Olympic volunteers bring color and cheer to Sochi from across Russia, “The Guardian”, 16 February 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/feb/16/winter-olympic-volunteers-sochi-russia 14 May 2014.

Walker S., Sochi Winter Olympics: who is going to the opening ceremony?, “The Guardian”, 5 February 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/05/western-leaders-boycott-sochi-winter-olympics 14 May 2014.

Wiertz S., Sochi the most extravagant Winter Olympics ever, 6 February 2014, http://www.dw.de/sochi-the-most-extravagant-winter-olympics-ever/a-174118577 9 May 2014.

Williams O., Sochi 2014: First British arrivals impressed by venues, 1 February 2014, http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/winter-olympics/25996333 14 May 2014.

Winter Olympics 2010: medal table, 28 February 2010, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/winter-olympics/7248639/Winter-Olympics-2010-medal-table.html 14 May 2014.

Wong E., 8 May 2008, Olympic torch reaches Mount Everest summit, “The New York Times”, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/08/world/asia/08iht-everest.2.12702024.html 14 May 2014.

Zarakhovich Y., The Sochi Olympics: A win for Putin, 5 July 2007, http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1640197,00.html 8 May 2014.

First Page


Last Page