The below statement, by one of Putin's closest confidants, Sergey Ivanov, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office, truly evokes the spirit (which the current Russian president reflects) that led Peter the Great to create an imperial city on the marshy mouth of the Neva river at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea:
I haven’t been for quite a long time at the mountain cluster in Krasnaya Polyana [one of the Sochi Olympics sites].--Sergey Ivanov, President Putin’s chief of staff and a veteran security professional, as quoted in RT. Image from entry, with caption: Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort in Krasnaya Polyana near Sochi
Last time I was skiing there myself. But it was like an ordinary Russian village. Now, I couldn’t recognize it when I came yesterday night. I had a feeling that I am in Switzerland, or in Austria, or somewhere in Central Europe, the Alpine republics. It was really good. And it is good.