Seven years under construction at a reputed cost of over 40 billion Euro, the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia are the most expensive sporting event in history.  But the Games also had a human cost.

On 11 September 2013, 22-year old Moldovan, Mihai Cernisov, was electrocuted while working on the Fisht Stadium construction site in Sochi, the host city of the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Mihai was an illegal migrant hired by a local company contracted by RZDstroy, a subsidiary of Russian state-owned giant Russian Railways.

Ghosts of Sochi is a Journalismfund.eu-supported cross-border investigation by journalists from the UK, Romania's theblacksea.eu and Novaya Gazeta in Russia, reveals how bad oversight of subcontractors in Sochi created a climate of corruption and woeful safety practices, causing hundreds of undocumented migrants to die.

Today, 100,000s of migrants build another grand sporting project for the World Cup in Russia in 2018, while new laws fail to bring the workers the rights they deserve.

Team members

Craig Shaw

Craig Shaw is a British journalist and editor of The Black sea Project.

Craig Shaw

Lina Vdovîi

Lina Vdovîi is a Moldovan-born journalist. She started working as a reporter for Opinia Studenteasca in Iasi, Romania.

Roman Anin

Roman Anin is an award-winning Russian journalist.

Grant of € 8.300, allocated on 20/12/2013

need resources for your own investigative story?

Journalismfund Europe's flexible grants programmes enable journalists to produce relevant public interest stories with a European mind-set from international, national, and regional perspectives.


support independent cross-border investigative journalism

We rely on your support to continue the work that we do. Make a gift of any amount today.