Potemkin village


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Potemkin village

Something that is made to seem very grand, elaborate, and/or prosperous for the purposes of impressing others, but which in reality has no real worth or substance. Taken from a story about Russian minister Grigory Potemkin (1739–1791), who allegedly erected false, painted façades to mimic a thriving, successful village along the Dnieper River in Crimea to impress the visiting Empress Catherine II. The tightly controlled totalitarian country is often accused of creating a Potemkin village each time it televises some event, a meager attempt to convince the outside world that its people are happy under the thumb of the dictatorship.
See also: Potemkin, village

a Potemkin village

a sham or unreal thing.
Count Potemkin ( 1739–91 ), a favourite of Empress Catherine II of Russia, reputedly ordered a number of fake villages to be built for the empress's tour of the Crimea in 1787 .
See also: Potemkin, village
References in periodicals archive ?
The DPRK is a land of illusions in which things are rarely what they seem--a Potemkin village on an unprecedented scale.
Two hundred years later, cynical denizens of Atlanta's poorest communities might wonder if the Olympic stadium and the surrounding Olympic village amount to a modern Potemkin village.
Still, Branstetter suspected, the display of advanced fishing vessels in Leningrad may have been the industrial equivalent of a Potemkin village.
If the ITC's sanctions don't cause the media to stop publishing CITACs absurd claims once and for all," said USWA Legislative Director William Klinefelter, "the embarrassing showing of 25 people at their so-called rally should at least reveal CITAC's anti-tariff campaign for the Potemkin Village that it is.
To preserve this illusion, western dignitaries are arriving in staged visits to the Libyan capital, a virtual Potemkin Village show in which they pretend their new guy is in control.
I believe that under the dictatorial watch of Mayor Duterte, he has successfully converted Davao City into a Potemkin village, "a pretentiously showy or imposing facade intended to mask or divert attention from an embarrassing or shabby fact or condition" where like in the Animal Kingdom, "some are more equal than others.
It was a Potemkin village scene come to London's East End.
The weary Americans will believe the good news they create and begin to withdraw--and we will tear down the farcical Potemkin village and establish the rightful Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in its place.
The enterprising businessman landed himself in jail for some questionable tactics -- including setting up a Potemkin village along Ventura Boulevard with false storefronts to entice people to the area.
What the Chinese think they know about the outside world is often a Potemkin village.
IT HAS BECOME A COMMONPLACE TO SAY THAT New York is no longer hospitable to artists, that Chelsea is a sort of Potemkin village fronting for a city whose economic realities make it increasingly difficult to keep a practice going, and whose Disneyfied ambiance provides diminishing incentive to try.
They look like a Potemkin village of brick townhouse fronts, with large multistory office buildings towering above them.
He even participated in the notorious Potemkin Village trading floor, a fake trading room that EES threw together to impress visiting stock analysts.
Although new Christian Coalition President Don Hodel and Executive Director Randy Tate tried to insist that the group is non-partisan and exists simply to "educate" voters, portions of the Potemkin Village CC leaders tried to erect kept collapsing, exposing the raw partisanship that lurked just beneath the surface.
The result of this duality -- an authoritarian establishment and a Potemkin Village democratic faE*ade -- is that Russia occupies a unique geopolitical no-man's land.