Stalin's study in his Sochi dacha: Flickr Focus of the Week

Jennifer Karmon

This week we're looking at Joseph Stalin's favorite dacha, his retreat in Sochi on the Black Sea, as our Flickr Focus of the Week.

There, evil isn't just banal, it's kitschy. The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger calls Sochi "the Jersey Shore of Russia" and refers to the dacha museum, with its "creepy wax statue of the dictator," as "a popular tourist stop" (Russia's top destination, according to one website).

It is genuinely horrifying to think what kind of business he conducted at this desk in his study. "Stalin spent months at a time in his camouflaged dacha, orchestrating the Great Terror of the 1930s," writes the Australian Broadcasting Co. A January 1948 edition of Pravda and "happy family snaps" complete the tableau, says Haaretz. "There’s no trace of the lists of those arrested in the Great Purge of the 1930s, on which he would scribble next to names the order 'beat, beat.'”

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.