Indoor pool in Stalin's Sochi dacha: Flickr Focus of the Week

Jennifer Karmon

Russian dictator Joseph Stalin feared assassins and couldn't swim, but he still enjoyed a refreshing dip in the sea. So if you can't bring Stalin to the ocean, you bring the ocean to Stalin. His dacha (or villa) on the Black Sea in Sochi was equipped with a small indoor pool -- "so small it more closely resembles an oversized sunken bath," says CNN -- filled with trucked-in seawater that reached his shoulders. "He liked walking alone in the water," writes Haaretz.

Through Friday, Yahoo Homes is looking at Stalin's Sochi dacha as our Flickr Focus of the Week to coincide with the Winter Olympics. Come back each day to see another space in the residence, plus the story behind it:

Monday: The grounds of Stalin's Sochi dacha.

Tuesday: Stalin's study.

Today: Stalin's indoor pool.

Thursday: Stalin's billiard table.

Friday: A slideshow wrap-up.

More about Yahoo Homes' new Flickr Focus of the Week feature

Each week, we're going to select one Flickr user's home, work and/or project to feature on all five weekdays. Loosely, our plan is to start with a broad slideshow on Monday, then take slightly deeper dives into specific aspects of the Flickr user's photos on the successive weekdays.

We'd love your feedback and suggestions as this work in progress evolves. You can email us at Or, if your questions are specific to one week's focus, leave questions and suggestions at the bottom of the blog posts. Yahoo Homes promises to keep a close eye on the comments section -- and sometimes, the person whose home or work we're featuring will also participate in the comments to answer your questions, too.

For future installments, we very much welcome your submissions at Toot your own horn or someone else's! This would be a fantastic opportunity to spread the word about a designer, contractor (before-and-after pictures would be fabulous), home stager, blogger, even perhaps real estate agent (maybe one who specializes in period properties?) -- anyone who does creative home-related work that can be illustrated in photographs. Just go to to join Yahoo Homes' Flickr group and share photos; that's where we pull our photos from.