The Sochi Paralympics are now over, and the few remaining journalists, international athletes, and spectators at the Russian Black Sea resort have now gone home. When historians look back on the Russian games, not only the specter of the Russian invasion of Ukraine will loom over the games, but also Russian behavior at the games.
The Open Source Center has written an analysis of Russian music played at the games. The melodies may have gone over non-Russian-speakers’ heads, but for those that do know Russian, there was no question about the message.
When the Russian team entered the stadium for the Paralympic opening ceremony, organizers played “Goodbye America,” a 1985 song given a second wind in Russia in the 2000 anti-American crime thriller Brat-2, mixed with “For You, Homeland,” a song written a couple of years later expressing support for the Russian army. According to Svobodnaya Pressa—as related by the Open Source Center analysis—state media played the same “For You, Homeland” song during the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia.
Alas, it wasn’t just as the Paralympics. The Open Source Center’s Russia analysts also observed that during the Olympic Games’ closing ceremonies, Russian authorities played an instrumental version of a song that called for Alaska’s return to Russia. So much for peace and brotherhood. Perhaps it is time for the International Olympic Committee and other federations to take note and deny Russia hosting privileges for any future international games or expositions.