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A woman sells hand-woven scarves and blankets for small change at the Black Sea resort Sochi, Russia on Wednesday, August 13, 2008. The government has pledged to invest $12 billion to transform the Soviet-era resort town into a Mediterranean-style retreat. <br />
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As the mountainous Black Sea resort Sochi, Russia, prepares for the Winter Olympic games scheduled there for 2014, it emerges as a place replete with contradictions -- glitzy clubs and impoverished street vendors, progress and repression, Westernization and former Eastern bloc ideologies.