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In 2011, then-President Dmitri Medvedev described Northern Caucasus Resorts as an endeavor to “show how we can beat poverty and terrorism with tourism.” The project aims to piggy-back on the anticipated spectacle of the Sochi Olympics, which aims to accentuate all that is attractive in Russia’s southwest corner, while concealing anything undesirable.
The dismissal of [Chairman of Northern Caucasus Resorts] had the added consequence of throwing the corporate structure of Northern Caucasus Resorts into turmoil, further damaging its appeal to outside investors. That may be Putin’s intention. The tourism project is viewed as Medvedev’s creation, and its downfall would be a vehicle for Putin to reassert his political dominance over the former president.