With just months to go before Russia is due to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, cranes still tower over muddy construction sites in the palm tree-lined city, as it tries to complete its multi-billion dollar transformation into a winter sports hub. If everything goes according to plan the Games will be a showcase for Russia's achievements under President Vladimir Putin, the culmination of a six-year personal project on a truly Soviet scale. But the President's dream could still be crushed if Sochi is not ready on time, protests break out over a Russian law banning "gay propaganda" or Islamist militants attack the Games. 38 PHOTOS

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