SOCHI, Russia — Driving on a highway past the glitz of Sochi’s coastal Olympic Park, traffic rolls over a place where a family once called home. Alexey Savelyev and his wife, Natalya, had their house destroyed two years before the Olympics to make way for the road.
“We had our house taken, our only house,” Alexey said. “There was no compensation at all.”
Alexey, 39, and Natalya, 31, stood in a neighbor’s yard on Wednesday, across the highway from where they once lived. Their neighbor’s property is a few hundred yards wide and about as long.
At one end is a two-story wooden building with a metal roof — their neighbor’s home — and at the other, two corrugated metal shipping-container-sized boxes sit in mud alongside tossed sinks and rusted bed frames.
“We put the boxes here because we have no place to live,” Alexey said, “because instead of a house, there is a road now.”