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Sochi Olympics: The good and the bad

London: Tuesday marks the 1-month countdown to the start of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, a defining moment on the world stage for Russia and Vladimir Putin.These games are among the most contentious in Olympic
India TV News Desk January 06, 2014 18:55 IST
India TV News Desk
London: Tuesday marks the 1-month countdown to the start of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, a defining moment on the world stage for Russia and Vladimir Putin.
These games are among the most contentious in Olympic history, embroiled in controversy over terrorist threats, human rights, gay rights, cost overruns, corruption and environmental damage.
  



But is it all doom and gloom for Putin's pet project?
  
Before the Olympic cauldron is lit on Feb. 7, it's time for a look at the good and the bad for Russia's first Winter Games.

The negatives:
  
TERROR THREAT: The two bombings in Volgograd -- which killed 34 people in suicide attacks on the rail station and a trolley bus -- have escalated the security alarm. Sochi is located on the edge of the Caucasus region, where insurgents are seeking to create an Islamic state. Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov has urged his fighters to attack the Sochi Olympics, which he described as "satanic dances on the bones of our ancestors." A massive security apparatus will be in place for the games, meaning painstaking metal-detector, X-ray and other checks for athletes, spectators and media. Ticketholders will need to obtain "spectator passes," providing passport and other information to authorities. Email, phone and internet usage will reportedly be monitored by Russian security agencies. Putin is expected to attend many Olympic events, causing further security lockdowns. A heavy presence of Russian security forces could turn the games into an armed camp and undermine any prospect of a welcoming, festival atmosphere.