SOCHI SCENE: Sochi heats up

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 19, 2014 at 9:35 am •  Published: February 19, 2014
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SOCHI, Russia (AP) — For an Olympics that was expected to be volatile from a political and security standpoint, the first 10 days of the Sochi Games were surprisingly quiet.

Russian officials took pains to try to eliminate distractions, secure the city and keep the focus on the games themselves, and they were largely successful at first. But over the last few days, a handful of demonstrations and confrontations have started to bubble to the surface to upset the tranquility that had been firmly established.

Russian punk group Pussy Riot created a big stir on Tuesday when two members were detained and then ran through the streets of Sochi being chased by cameras after they were released. On Monday, Vladimir Luxuria, an Italian gay rights activist, walked through Olympic Park shouting "gay is OK" before she was eventually escorted from the grounds.

"To be honest, we don't have a day-to-day discussion on who may or may not want to do a demonstration in the park," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said when asked about Pussy Riot's intention to stage protests in the park. "What I would say is, if they did, it would be wholly inappropriate."

Later in the day, members of the Cossack militia struck six members of Pussy Riot with horsewhips and used what appeared to be pepper spray after the band tried to perform under a sign advertising the Sochi Olympics.

— By Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

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Associated Press reporters are filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu


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