Russian official insinuates Sochi hotel bathrooms under surveillance

A Russian official may have gaffed on Thursday when he insinuated that hotel bathrooms in Sochi are under surveillance. According to the Wall Street Journal, deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak tripped up while responding to critics of the country’s hospitality shortcomings.

 “We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day,” he said.

The Journal reports that a spokesperson for Kozak addressed the media later in the day, and attempted to disarm the prime minister’s comments.

He [the spokesman] said there was surveillance on premises during construction and cleaning of Sochi’s venues and hotels and that is likely what Mr. Kozak was referencing. A senior official at a company that built a number of the hotels also said there is no such surveillance in rooms occupied by guests.

As a writer stateside it’s nearly impossible to sift through all the information and propaganda pouring out of Sochi. (the area is probably somewhere in-between the urban decay reported by media and Valhalla described by Russian politicians). At this point, however, any story from the Games sounds plausible.

With the eyes of the world judging every misstep, one of the few certain truths is that Russian brusqueness is not helping the country or the Games’ global perception.