- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
RFE/RL catches a boo-boo on the London Olympics website’s listings for some members of the Russian team:
Kazakhstan and Tajikistan were Soviet republics back when boxer Sergei Vodopiyanov and wrestler Khasan Baroev were born in the 1980s. But the now independent countries might be surprised to see the birthplaces of these athletes listed as "Kazakhstan Region (RUS)" and "Dushanbe (RUS)."
But perhaps the most contentious entries are for two wrestlers from the Caucasus. Denis Tsargush, the site says, hails from "Gudauta (RUS)" — a city in Abkhazia, the Georgian breakaway republic that Russia and a handful of other nations recognize as independent. And Besik Kudukhov was born in "Yuzhnaya Osetia (RUS)" — that’s Georgia’s other breakaway republic, South Ossetia, that Moscow also recognized as an independent state after a brief war with Georgia in 2008.
It seems like a simple "SOV" designation could solve the problem.