In an apocryphal story, Grigory Potemkin, lover of Catherine the Great of Russia, is said to have built fake portable villages to impress Catherine during her visit to Crimea in 1787.

Crimea had been annexed by Russia from the Ottoman Empire in 1783. Devastated by the war and with the Muslim inhabitants under suspicion from the Russians, it’s said that Potemkin set up these mobile villages along the route of Catherine’s visit and populated them with his own men dressed as (happy, smiling) peasants.

The term Potemkin Village has stuck despite the story being untrue and Wikipedia lists many instances…

Mark Dalgarno

Freelance Agile Coach | Interim Manager | Agile Programme or Project Manager. Conference Organiser. Improver.

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