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With just a year to go until the Winter Olympics in Russia, President Vladimir Putin and the President of the International Olympic Committee held a ceremony at the Ice Palace in Sochi.

The Olympics are a priority for Putin, who hopes to show how far Russia has come since the collapse of the soviet Union in 1991.

But the preparations have been far from straight forward; many of the venues remain unfinished and there have been stories of corruption and construction delays.

As a result of this Putin sacked top Russian Olympic official, Akhmed Bilalov, after publicly ridiculing him in front of television cameras on Wednesday.

This is already set to be the most expensive games ever with the cost expected to reach around 37-billion euros, five times the original estimate.

There are also security concerns regarding a nearby Islamist insurgency, as well as worries about environmental damage and allegations that some workers have been underpaid.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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