Welcome to Control Risks' Russia/ CIS RiskWatch

Welcome to the second edition of Control Risks’ Russia/CIS RiskWatch newsletter.
As I write this, Moscow is preparing to welcome Usain Bolt, Mo Farrah and hundreds of other stars from the world of athletics when the International Athletics (IAAF) World Championships come to town at the end of the week. This is just one of dozens of major events due to take place across the region in the next decade – including winter and European Olympics, FIFA World Cup, Formula 1, winter and summer student games, and any number of international championships, such as hockey and aquatics.
Done right, these events promise to present the country and region in a whole new light, sweeping away tired old stereotypes and presenting a confident and contemporary face to the world. The benefits to the region in terms of infrastructure, investment, and positive PR could be (excuse the pun) game changing. But success is far from assured, and often such major events leave a legacy of over-spend, corruption, and “white elephants” – just ask any resident of Montreal, Sydney, Athens or Nelspruit, South Africa.
In this edition we take a closer look at some of the first events to have been held. In the first article, Senior Country Analyst Steven Eke and I examine the success of last month’s international student games, held in Kazan: how it was bigger than the London Olympics, what the administration got right, and what it means for the city and its region. In the second article, Crisis and Security Consulting Associate Director William Hopkirk spends a day at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow and reflects on what the almost-empty stadium says about the Russian approach to risk management. Finally, following a recent visit to Sochi, site of the upcoming Olympic Winter Games, we present an audio slide show demonstrating that, while much progress has already been made, much still remains to be done.
As always, we welcome your comments and feedback on the newsletter, and wish you a productive – and sporty – summer.
Best regards,

Tim Stanley 

Tim Stanley
Market Director, Russia/CIS