Vladimir Putin
  • In this image taken Monday Oct. 28, 2013 Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, left, exit a commuter train at the newly built Adler railway station at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, southern Russia. Russian Railways is building the most expensive piece of Sochi infrastructure, a 48-kilometer (30-mile) highway and railroad link between the airport and the Alpine venues that has already cost the government 270 billion rubles ($8.5 billion).

    IOC President Thomas Bach is confident that all athletes and visitors at the Winter Olympics in Sochi will be treated equally regardless of "race, gender or sexual orientation."

    LAST UPDATE : Oct 30, 2013, 5:33 PM EDT
  • In this Tuesday, May 15, 2012 file photo people walk in downtown Grozny, capital of Chechnya, southern Russia. Central Mosque is at the background. The capital of Chechnya, rebuilt after two devastating separatist wars in the 1990s, boasts the largest mosque in Europe. With money and backing from Moscow, the thuggish Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has brought a degree of stability to the republic, although attacks still take place.

    In the words of President Vladimir Putin, the four-month Olympic flame relay will "show the world Russia as she is and as we love her."

    LAST UPDATE : Oct 07, 2013, 10:10 AM EDT