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Sochi 2014 - New Olimpstroi Head? Security Concerns, Support Decreases

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Moscow's Novaya Gazeta weekly reported Wednesday that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin plans to appoint a new head for the state-owned corporation that deals with the construction of the venues for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

Vladimir Potanin, head of the investment group Interros, may become the third head of the Olimpstroi in three years.

English People Daily reports that according to Novaya Gazeta, the frequent reshuffle in the state corporation shows the Kremlin's nervousness because construction of Olympic venues is at a snail's pace and the multi-billion funds allocated for the project is disappearing.

Meanwhile Alexander Bortnikov, chief of the FSB, the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, said he believed that Islamist groups would try to force the cancellation of the Games but Reuters reports he didn't mention any specific plots.

State-run RIA news agency quoted Bortnikov saying, "threats from al-Qaeda were the reason for the cancellation of the Dakar 2008 road race...Militant leaders have clearly expressed their intention to play out a similar scenario on the eve of the 2014 Olympics".

There are reports that public support in Russia for the 2014 Winter Games has been decreasing dramatically. Only 37 per cent of respondents were sure that the Olympic Games in Sochi would be a success, according to the pro-government public polls agency VTSIOM.

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