Putin gives start to Olympic torch relay

President Vladimir Putin has given a start to the Olympic torch relay.

President Vladimir Putin has given a start to the Olympic torch relay.

He lit the provisional Olympic cauldron in Red Square on Sunday. From there the fire will be carried throughout Russia and delivered to Sochi on February 7, 2014.

The torch, lit in Greece on September 29, arrived in Moscow earlier on Sunday. It was met at Vnukovo 3 airport and taken to Red Square under motorcycle escort.

The torch will set off for its journey through Russia on Monday.

Russian swimmer Anastasia Davydova, a multiple winner of European and world championships, will be the first to carry the torch, which will cover more than 65,000 kilometers, passing through 130 cities in all of the country's 83 constituent territories, before it arrives in Sochi for the Olympics opening ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7.

About 14,000 appointed and 30,000 volunteer torch bearers will replace one another in carrying the flame. More than 130 million people will be within one hour's travel from its route.

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