more photos are here >>>
Photograph by Thomas DworzakA migrant worker walks through frigid puddles near the building site of a shuttle-train station on the road to Krasnaya Polyana, where the skiing and sledding events will take place. Nearly every venue for the Sochi Games has been built from scratch.
Photograph by Thomas DworzakKrasnaya Polyana has been transformed by 20,000 migrant workers, including these Uzbeks riding a bus, who helped build the alpine Olympic sites. Many abuses against laborers have been reported—including denial of pay.
Photograph by Thomas DworzakDuring February daily highs in the alpine areas can top 40°F, raising questions about the venue for the winter games. Russia has installed a massive snowmaking operation to ensure that the slopes are kept well covered.
Photograph by Thomas DworzakBalmy weather makes the Black Sea coast a perfect setting for an elite youth camp.
Photograph by Thomas DworzakChildren in the breakaway region of Abkhazia stop play to watch a car pass by. Recognized by Russia but seen by most of the world as part of Georgia, Abkhazia borders the area containing the Olympic sites.
Photograph by Thomas DworzakAt places like Sochi and Krasnodar, a historic base for defending imperial Russia, authorities have brought back the Cossacks to help maintain order.
Photograph by Thomas DworzakMuslims attend prayers at the central mosque in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkariya, a region east of Sochi where militants have attacked local security forces.
Photograph by Thomas DworzakAt the Yermolov Cadet School in Stavropol, Russia, young boys and girls undergo military training. Some will join a new generation of Cossacks, who in times past were the shock troops of the Russian Empire.
Photograph by Thomas DworzakCircassians tour their ancestral homeland in the Caucasus, where the Russian Empire carried out a brutal military campaign in the 19th century.
Photograph by Thomas DworzakA memorial for Russian border guards who died in a 2002 helicopter crash is a reminder of a more recent conflict: the fighting with Chechnya.
Photograph by Thomas DworzakIn February 2013 Russian forces patrol an area where an Olympic stadium is under construction. The Caucasus Mountains loom in the background.
Photograph by Thomas DworzakA young woman parties at a bubbly nightclub in Sochi, long a favorite destination for bone-chilled visitors from other parts of Russia.
Photograph by Thomas DworzakRosa Khutor Alpine Resort was constructed to help Russia win its bid for the Sochi Games. At a cost of more than $50 billion, these Olympics will be the most expensive ever.
Photograph by Thomas DworzakA giant ad promotes a resort complex for the 2014 Olympics. Critics say it uses fascist-inspired imagery.