Putin Lights Olympic Flame on Red Square

Russian President Vladimir Putin lit a cauldron with the Sochi 2014 Olympic flame on Sunday in a grandiose ceremony on Moscow’s Red Square marking the beginning of a relay that will see the flame visit almost every corner of the country.

After two days in Moscow, the relay will go north to St. Petersburg before flying to Russia’s Far East, looping around the Kamchatka Peninsula, down to Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean, and back west across southern Siberia via Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake.

Highlights of the relay are scheduled to include a trip up Russia’s highest mountain, Elbrus, and the sending of an unlit torch into space. The torch will end up in the Black Sea resort of Sochi for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics on February 7.