Sunday, February 09, 2014

The Overlooked Geopolitics of the Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony

While most of the world was focused on rainbow colored gloves as part of the "Olympic Gay War" over Russia's "anti-Gay Propaganda" Law, people seem to have overlooked the obvious problem of showing country maps as part of the parade: disputed borders.

While the display was well neat, certain border calls and very strategically placed clouds made for interesting maps that so far have not started the standard geography war (maybe everyone is distracted with the homosexuality issue).

Nagorno-Karbakh were covered by clouds though lights can be seen.  This way Russia follows internationally recognized borders but avoids overtly offending nationalistic Armenians.


Israel was given the Golan Heights, West Bank, and even the Gaza Strip (which it no longer claims).  Very surprisingly given Russia's long support of Arab causes.


Very well placed clouds leave the status of Kashmir up in the air.


Hard to tell because of NBC's poor job but their graphic gives Kosovo back to Serbia.  If anyone knows what the map on the floor I would be grateful to know.


Additionally, the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas were left off Argentina's map because there spot was taken by the athlete's entrance ramp.  Sadly, NBC did not show what Georgia's map looked like.  It would be interesting to know if Russia gave Abkhazia and South Ossetia to Georgia or if they were covered by clouds in order not to offend anyone.

UPDATE:  Reader Rob From Amersfoort pointed out that Russia did use clouds to cover Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

3 comments:

Rob From Amersfoort said...

See http://cyxymu.livejournal.com/1500198.html. Abkhazia is indeed hidden by clouds (and South Ossetia is hardly visible).

Catholicgauze said...

Thank you, Rob from Amersfoort!

Twelve Mile Circle said...

How very creative of them. I must admit that it slipped past me... showing the effectiveness of their technique.