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Still no mosque in Sochi as Winter Games approach
As the world prepares itself for the Sochi Winter Olympics, which kicks off this weekend, Russia is preparing itself to host tourists from all over the world who are due to arrive at the Black Sea venue in the Caucasus.
However, while the location of the games is somewhat of a controversian issue, particularly for the Circassian diaspora who were driven out of their homes in Sochi in the millions by the Russian tsar in the late nineteenth century, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Circassian Muslims, the lack of a mosque in the city is also attracting criticism.
Despite preparing for this year's winter games since 2007, in what Russian president Vladimir Putin describes as "the biggest construction site on the planet," the lack of a mosque for Sochi's 20,000 Muslim residents may be a cause for concern for a city that is supposed to be hosting guests from all over the world.
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