Journalists may have been tweeting about their hotel nightmares in Sochi, but the Russian government says it has proof the whole thing is overblown—because it's been spying on people in their hotel rooms.
The Internet has been ablaze with what the Washington Post dubbed the "hilarious and gross" experiences journalists covering the 2014 Olympics were having in their hotels:
My hotel has no water. If restored, the front desk says, "do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous." #Sochi2014
— Stacy St. Clair (@StacyStClair) February 4, 2014
But, as the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, Russian officials dismissed the claim, with deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak confidently asserting that hotel surveillance footage showed things were fine (emphasis added):
Kozak, the deputy prime minister responsible for the Olympic preparations, reflected the view held among many Russian officials that some Western visitors are deliberately trying to sabotage Sochi's big debut out of bias against Russia. "We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day," he said. An aide then pulled a reporter away before Mr. Kozak could be questioned further on surveillance in hotel rooms.
So maybe journalists have "creepy government surveillance" to add to their list of hotel issues. Of course, they probably should have been on their guard already, since, as NBC's Richard Engel reported recently, the State Department has warned travelers that they should "have no expectation of privacy, even in their hotel rooms" when they go to Sochi.