104 The Unknown Russia: The Russian South

The Unknown Russia: The Russian South

Posted on April 20, 2008 by

Sochi, Russia 1

All people know Russia is a Northern country with snow, frost, cold winter. All keep in mind pictures of taiga, Siberia, polar bears and vodka. Well, it’s all true, we all know now that 65% of Russia is covered with permafrost, but there is one fact than less people know. Russia has a territory that is located more to South than Milano, Nice, Monte Carlo and other places of European South. And this territory occupies more square than France or Germany. Meet Sochi, the Winter Olympics 2014 host. This Russia doesn’t look like Russia at all, maybe the next place for your vacation?

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104 responses to “The Unknown Russia: The Russian South”

  1. Anti-Putin says:

    Looks great!

  2. delusr says:

    Mind blowing images and I thought Australia was the luck country.

  3. Citrom says:

    Looks like the last resort of humankind.. i mean its like hawaii without americans and global warming, but with fresh air and silent mountains and a nice sea view.

    • Kesang Tseten says:

      bwahaha, how true.

      its probably a great place to holiday.

      • petehix says:

        True, but the problem is when the tourist industry starts sending the holiday-makers there then it won’t be so peaceful for long.
        Everyone wants to go somewhere peaceful, problem is – the more people that do the less peaceful it becomes.
        It’s the upsetting part.

        So go go go! While you can still enjoy it! 😛

    • TN_Mercer says:

      Now if we could just get all the damn non-americans out of Hawaii, it might be fun to visit again.

      • pedro says:

        You mean the natives? Ask them how they feel about the late invasion of Californians or they having to fight your wars.
        From Wikipedia:
        “”Despite some opposition in the islands, the Newlands Resolution was passed by the House June 15, 1898, by a vote of 209 to 91, and by the Senate on July 6, 1898, by a vote of 42 to 21, ANNEXING HAWAII AS A US TERRITORY. Its legality continues to be questioned because it was a United States Government resolution, not a treaty of cession or conquest as is required by international law.””
        Damn non-Americans indeed…

        • Joe says:

          Have you been to Hawaii, most tourists are NOT Americans. Oh yeah, the natives ARE AMERICANS!

          • Makea says:

            I AM a native Hawaiian and we are not Americans; they illegally stole our lands and forced their citizenship down our throats.

            Iraq isn’t the only country occupied by the Americans!

            Before anyone makes any crazy statements, we’ve heard them all:
            1. You’d be talking German if it weren’t for the American military during WW2
            – Sorry buddy, we already do talk a foreign language – English. The American occupiers outlawed our language and forced our children into schools to learn English and forbid the teachings our culture. Thankfully in recent times we are trying to bring our language back.

            2. You’re lucky the USA military is there
            – Why? They use us as a shield for the west coast of America. I don’t feel any safer being occupied by America, we’re a huge target for terrorism because of the occupation.

            3. If the Americans leave, Hawaii will be in economic ruins
            -Our tourism industry thrives on non-American tourists. They spend more and stay longer than the Americans.
            – All the fiber optic cables that link Asia to the US are hubbed in Hawaii; we already have a thriving tech industry.
            – The absence of the American military will make it easier for foreign investment by countries such in the middle east and Russia.

            BTW, American commenters, don’t speak for me or my people. We’ve suffered under your rule for far too long. My people have the highest rate of imprisonment, heart disease, substance abuse, poor education and various other deficiencies compared to the non-Hawaiian population. We’ve had none of these problmes under our own self governance. Yes, we had our own constitution and form of DEMOCRATIC government similar to modern day England. Don’t try and make wild claims of us being subjects under a monarchy, that really isn’t very accurate.

            We also are the smallest ethnic group in Hawaii and it’s projected that our race will become extinct sometime in the next 20 years. What a great benefit forcefully being American!

            • Kimo says:

              I’m native Hawaiian too and the Japanese OWN Hawaii… The more haoles (whites) the better. At least they teach our kids and aren’t too good like the Japanese! Sure some are rich a holes but most are cool, and good people.

            • KIMO IN KONA says:

              99% if not 100% of native “Hawaiians” are mixed, that means part white, etc. In 2000 89% of native hawaiians voluntarily reported being mixed, so get over the racial demands because there are no 100% Hawaiians left, alcoholism and disease wiped them out- most of the disease came from Asian colonists! If the US left, the Chinese or russians would take over and treat us worse. Also “Native Hawaiians” lived under brutal Alii dictatorships, where the royalty owned everything and anyone could be killed for crossing the kings shadow- Kamehameha only took over the islands because he had British GUNS! Hawaii was never 1 united peoples, and they weren’t even the first. National Geographic is studying in Kaua’i, and they believe the Hawaiians killed off the Manehune (Hobbit People) who built the fish ponds, The Tahitians (Hawaiians) did this 800 years ago when they arrived as a raiding party- ”

              SO THEY HAD IT COMING!!!

    • TPL says:

      Lol why do you think it’s called “GLOBAL Warming”, because it’s isolated to Hawaii? Hawaii has some of the freshest air on the planet, and that is why they use the Hawaiian Islands for Climate Measurements and Air Quality Standards. Besides, Global Warming is an entire Farce. No doubt, this Russian Territory is stunningly beautiful, but keep your comments to subject matters upon which you retain the proper knowledge.

      • Kova says:

        TPL,if you are just going to post comments like that, then maybe you could do the rest of us a favor and just stop posting until you get off your high horse and have removed the blinders.

  4. adios says:

    Эх Россия,ты такая разная.

    Фотки классные,сам бывал в Сочи в начале 90-ых.Был в Абхазии на озере Рица.Помню на границе первый раз увидел БТР,интересно было,очень.Мамка говорит что в то время ещё стреляли,по ночам были слышны выстрелы.Я не помню,малой был,тут главное что я живой.Я выжил в 90-ые=)

  5. Atru says:

    amazing photos!

    I wanna live there!

  6. KBR says:

    I am 100% that after the Sochi 2014, this place will become the new Monte Carlo for the new Rich of Western Europe. It is beautiful, I find better than Saint Tropé, or Monaco. But pictures can deceive. So I think it is worth a trip, to see it with my own eyes.

  7. dancer says:

    this is one of the places where the KGB heads spent their holidays. I was there already (though I wasn’t a KGB). It is a WONDERFUL place. There is sth about what you say, KBR.

  8. Viktor says:

    wow, i didn’t know russia has that beautiful places… one picture really looks like taken from an island in te carribean sea… mindblowing and making me speeckless! thanks english russia for showing me one of my next destinations for vacation 😉

  9. VoDkA says:


  10. JerryBarada says:

    With territory like this, why in Gods name did they make Moscow the capital?

  11. John from Kansas says:

    With that criteria, your vacation options are limited.

  12. Frank says:

    Fascinating and lovely. I’m seeing an incredible number of species here, reminding me slightly of areas in South Carolina or Northern California. I do wonder how many of these species are native and how many are imported… one doesn’t generally see stands of palm trees in temperate zones marked by the large evergreen forests seen here. Nonetheless, this is a truly lovely looking resort, and I’m now quite anxious to visit someday 🙂

  13. Bullshift says:

    I wonder who pays these monkeys to make their incoherent “DEMOCRACY” comments all over the web?

  14. daniel says:

    More appropraitely titled the russian west

  15. deepfreezevideo says:

    Looks better than California.
    Screw vacations, I’m taking the Rosetta Stone CD’s, brushing up on my Russian and MOVING there.

    • castle says:

      well when it becomes a touristy spot, there will be no need for Russian, it’ll be like a lot of the places in Mexico,almost all English speaking and a full urban development and then you’ll have wasted your time.

  16. D Legal says:

    What a beautiful place. It makes me wonder why more travel companies and travel books don’t promote this area of Russia.

  17. Jordan says:

    Looks like the resort from “The Prisoner” TV show.

  18. Artur says:

    Sochi is crowded, beaches are rocky, dirty and mostly private and the black sea is often cold. I prefer polish baltic sea. There is no something like private beach in Poland, you have acces everywwhere because they mustn’t enclose beaches, sand is beautiful, and there is also cheap in poland. The only disadvantage it that the weather isn’t as good as in southern europe, but some people (like me) think that 25 degrees is quite enaugh.

    • void says:

      Why exactly Polish Baltic coast? Are you Polish?

      • Artur says:

        I’m german, but i have family in poland. It’s cheaper than german shore, people (especially older) wear thier bath suits :), everything is a little bit more… wild. The main reason is what I said before – the shore (except the ports and military bases) is open and free, you can walk through dozens of kilometers, not like in Italy or Crimea or Sochi. I wasn’t in Sweden, Danmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuana or Russia so I can’t tell – maybe is better there.

    • robot says:

      you totaly exaggerate. especially the part with the private beaches, nearly all of them are either wild or public. its not dirty atleast not more then anywhere else. colder then the baltic sea that must be a joke. but its true that it is crowded and unfortunately only a few sandy beaches along the coast.

      i was in sochi, btw a town not far away from there, and at the baltic sea but not in poland but in germany, so i know the differences between the diffrent seas personally.

      i dont see how you can prefer it when you havent been there.

      • Artur says:

        I wasn’t at the russian baltic coast, but I was in sochi. Black Sea WAS cold, even when the air temperature was about 25*C, but maybe beacause it was september.

  19. none says:

    WOW WOW WOW…i think you russians have kept that part a secret so no one else shows up.
    WOW i think im moving there NOW!

  20. ana says:

    you people are crazy. this is nothing special. i am russian and i rather go to indonesia or thailand or hawaii. blah not worth visiting

  21. Darfur Tibet says:

    Wait! Where’s the obligatory anti-American troll? Oh, there you are, delusr. You had me worried.

    Wait till you’re up to your ears in Chinese. At least we haven’t murdered 100 million of our own. Some of yours, maybe.

  22. Nick says:

    We got this territory fully in our possession only in 19-th century 🙂
    And it was pretty swampy AFAIK – it started to look like real paradize only after extensive bog reclamation works in the first half of 20-th century.

  23. scorp says:

    Sochi isn’t really that pretty, but now it is changing fast, we will see what it will be like in 2014.

    As for the nature… yes, it is as good, as on the photos.
    I don’t like the Black sea because there are jellyfishes near the beaches (unlike Mideterennian sea, where they don’t show up near the coastline for some reason), but that’s my own silly issue.

  24. Jake says:

    Sorry, I don’t think I’d be vacationing in Russia! How about North Korea? Or if you want some really nice areas with major gang violence how about Mexico? Thanks for the 2 pops too!

  25. aca says:

    so they chose the warmest russian place for winter olympics?

  26. Richard S. says:

    I wonder if there are any world class golf courses there… Do Russians like to golf?

  27. Kirill says:

    Красиво, но я Крым обратно хочу

  28. elena says:


  29. PALGOLAK says:

    I wish that you would provide some indication of where in southern Russia these pics were taken.

    Like where exactly is that river valley with the thickly-forested steep hills, about a third of the way down the page?

    Inquiring minds need to know!

  30. OK,
    Now we are attacking…Oh no wait I am dead

    Richard Nixon

  31. Pavel says:

    Its like a cross between socal and norcal. :p

  32. Mensajero says:

    Why didn’t Napoleon invade there? Nice weather, babes, fine art? Nice place.

  33. Ugly American says:


    I never would have guessed Russia had anything like this.

  34. You would think that it was the Bahamas or a tropical island
    Never mother Russia

  35. Rack says:

    That’s weird, my anti-spam Word is “Stalin”.

  36. valiant says:

    It looks really beautiful. My only concern is regarding to the Police and their dealings with non Russian tourists. I am Spanish and visited three years ago Crimea (part of Ukraine) spending two weeks in a balnearium and the place was also very beautiful, very Mediterranean in temperature, lots of palaces… The tourists spots I visited, the city of Yalta included were safe, walked at night and even took several times taxies. I really liked the place, although the food was not that special (although liked the local wines and kind of champagne). However, I felt safe and repeat I look very Spanish (they though I was Italian)and however, I was not ever stopped by the police… And I really don´t know about visiting Sochi (I am sure during the Olympics it will be fine though), don´t like being stopped and asked for my papers and a little money… Anybody visited the place and who is not Russian?

  37. adios says:

    ey tronko,yo soy de España.etava en Sochi y en Abjazia tam vien,al lago Rica(Ritsa?),en año 1991 o 1992.4 dias en tren desde Moscu,dispues 4 dias para volber,pero he pasava buenos dias.dispues de Norte al Sochi,con palmeras,mar,sol…..ehhhh joder macho.y ahora estoy en España con Mediaterraneo,chokolate y climat de puta madre.toros tam bien.

  38. wackyruss says:

    Sochi truly is an interesting place. My sister has been to Sochi. Russia is such a massively huge place. There are so many different kinds of land, climate, and environments!

    Hooray for Russia! Hooray for Sochi!

    Za vas!

    • Thank you for your comment! Real well educated Russians always respect and welcome people from other countries to come to Russia and check it’s most beautiful places! Intelligent part of Russia respects other nationalities and thinks that more people from West should come to us!

  39. Chuvak says:

    Screw the States, I am moving back to mother Russia!

  40. Itzak says:

    No gang violence in Sochi.
    What a joke. Your whole governement is gang related

  41. Mayan’s stopped writing the calender on 2012.

    There will be no 2014.

    Hope they were just interrupted !!


  42. Jojik says:

    so, go to IRAQ. it’s already rather democratically

  43. 3kolone says:

    this pictures reminded me to american south … houses look the same …

  44. Jessas says:

    guess this place belongs already to the mafia,

  45. Pros says:

    Ты осёл

  46. WOW!!! I want to go there. That place is absolutely beautiful. I love to travel. I wish I spoke something besides English.

  47. Argentinian Red says:

    LAST !!

  48. Mixas says:

    So, do you mean we should stay out of florida too?

  49. too muchvodka says:

    Russia has a huge touristical potential. Top notch destinations like St Petersburg and Moscow, old and interesting cities in the Golden and Silver rings around these two cities, huge areas with the wildest nature one can imagine with forests, mountains plains and even deserts. Coastal areas in the south (like you can see here) and in the north (the Finnish Gulf is really beautiful and would be a nice place to visit – if better developped), the area around Lake Baikal. And yet, a smal country like Belgium attracts two times more tourists than Russia. The day when Russia starts building some tourist infrastructure, gets rid of all the administrative hurdles one needs to take before even entering the country, and, especially, the day Russians stop freaking out when they even think about the possibility that foreigners would be visiting their country, tourism would be a really booming industry. But as far as Russia remains the most xenophobic country in the world, don’t get your hopes up too high.

  50. w says:

    looks dull and unexciting

  51. Northerner says:

    Probably the most beautiful place one can find in Russia!

  52. Svenchik says:

    Looks like a corner of the world where I can forget about western life

  53. CBETA says:

    I’ve been there.
    Its quite gorgeous!

  54. CBETA says:

    Loved it there when I was little.
    Gotta find my pix

  55. sarah123 says:

    It doesn’t exactly look like this in real life. It’s dirty and air conditioned places are scarce. Not the same comfort either: A 3-star hotel here looks and feels like a hostel in Europe or America.

  56. Ghost says:

    That is very cool. I had no idea Russia had such a tropic location. I always pictured it as the land of snow and ice. Thanks for the beautiful pics!

  57. xoopss says:

    It’s great place! My mom was there many years ago =) She was on Michaels Jacksons Sister concert =))) I don’t remamber her name – probably Jannet ^^

    That greatest thing is that now there is something about +10+15 but when u climbe up to place where will be the Olympic games in 2014th there is a snow mountains etc =))) U can have some fun in the snow and then come down to +15 and palms =)))

  58. snegovina says:

    wow, here’s I see not only pics of Sotchi but KISLOVODSK as well! Pics # 20-24 are not Sotchi. These are Kislovodsk, Mineralnye Vody. Even Putin and Medvedev have their own apartment there.
    Moreover – the climate in Kislovodsk is unique and reminds Switzerland.
    Welcome to Kislovodsk – the resort centre on Russia 🙂
    I love my Motherland.

  59. Jane says:

    I like ski resort of Krasnaya Polyana that located 60 kilometers (37 mi) from the center of Sochi. The Caucases Mountains are absolutly beatuful and Krasnaya Polyana offers many chalets, hotels, and restaurants.

  60. Dita says:

    You remember old Russia. Today there are a lot of changes. I lived near Sochi 10 years ago but when I vizited it in 2008 I was very surprased! Today Sochi is the most worm beautiful plase in Russia!

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  62. GEORGIAN says:

    This Russia doesn’t look like Russia at all because it was Georgian territory before dumb georgian Orjonikidze gave it to russians…

    • danielle says:

      Yes, Texas was once part of Mexico. So were California, Arizona and New Mexico. We took it from them! And the territory of Mexico was taken from the native peoples there by the Spanish who forced them to abandon their old beliefs and convert to Catholicism and enslaved them. Their diseases killed many as well. Not so different from what the Europeans did to the native peoples in the rest of the U.S. (We rather tended to herd the natives like so much cattle wherever we wanted and by force if necessary. Once we realized that our diseases were very fatal to them, we would infect blankets, etc., given to them with smallpox and other things in order to reduce populations.)

  63. Tech Guy Hawaii says:

    Yes, Sochi looks great. I hope they do not overdevelop it!

    Yes, we are much the same, The U.S. and Russia, keep the good attitude brother!

    I’m a white 16 year old looking to go to college in Russia… I will go to M.I.T. first, Then look at Russian schools, which are best for engineering? And yes I hope that Barack Obama is not a figurehead for the oligrachs and Fed Reserve bankers, but I don’t believe it. We are stuck until we take on the bankers who destroy our economy so we have to borrow our way out of the recessions/Depressions they create… WATCH THE MOVIE ZIETGIEST!!!

    AND Yes, I am learning Russian!

  64. Vlad says:

    That is NOT true…
    BTW Do You know that Georgia was a part of Russian Empire 100 years ago? Now Georgia is independent contry.I want to ask one more thing. Is it true that Texas was Mexican state?
    USA was against Maxico? It is hard to belive!:) How can peace and democracy maker country do such horrible things like war?!

  65. […] Sochi, Russia. Yes, this is Russia! This is the site that will host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. It is situated at about the same latitude as Northern California (and Toronto, but yet has palm trees). http://englishrussia.com/?p=1873 […]

  66. Cigarettes says:

    This is a peace of paradise.

  67. SURO says:

    There is a strong mafia in Sochi.One part of sochi is held by Armenians, another by Georgians and everyone lives like brothers.All the most important people in Sochi, the mayor, police chief, know and get paid and everyone works together.

  68. […] Russian photo gallery: http://englishrussia.com/ Topics: Russia Tags: Palm trees, Russia Sochi, russian nature, sochi, […]

  69. […] post: English Russia » The Unknown Russia: The Russian South 20 April 2008 11:07am – Uncategorized « Malta…. Yalta… Open / Download […]

  70. vanessa says:

    The south of russia or russia in general is amazing. i love this country

  71. nightkraawler says:

    first off ..I wanna say that the first half of the comments …I really enjoyed…the whole hawaiian anti american thing and the people tearing into this area of russia…awesome.. but here is what I see. americans entertain themselves by drinking beer.. russians drink vodka..result…drunkeness.. why? because thats what we do …be it russian, american , we work all week 5-6 days whatever…and then we spend what time we have free doing the family thing, the drinking with buddies thing.. and go back to work…thats it . maybe we’ll do some traveling maybe not …but my point is that we are a lot more alike then we are different.and what our governments do is as much our individual control as is the weather.

  72. Marko says:

    This is grat place

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