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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Putin: No discrimination in Sochi

January 18th, 2014
03:07 PM ET

It's now less than three weeks until the Sochi Winter Olympics begin, and preparations have not been without controversy. Russia has come under international pressure since its parliament passed a law last summer outlawing "gay propaganda", and one of the big questions has been how gay athletes and visitors will be treated when they arrive for the games.

Addressing volunteers near Sochi yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin downplayed these fears, stating that gay and lesbian visitors won't face prosecution as long as they "leave children in peace".

Becky asked CNN's correspondent Nic Robertson about the response to the President's remarks.

"The issue there of gay people coming to Russia – athletes and visitors – how are they going to be treated? He said they'll be treated properly. But of course there's a real concern here that while President Putin speaks like this many people take that language to sort of conflate his conflating the issue of homosexuality with paedophilia, and it has lead to a rise in abuses of gays in Russia right now."

Nic emphasized the importance of these games for Putin's domestic and international reputation. "A lot rides on this for him."

Becky also asked Nic about the general atmosphere around the city. "It's buzzing. Wherever you go in this city right now workers seem to be trying to get the last of the trees in, fill in the holes in the road, get the ground levelled out straight, put ramps up next to steps – they haven't finished putting on all the handrails if you will. So it really does seem to be a sort of race to get this place ready in three weeks."

Text: Putin says gays 'can feel safe' at Sochi Winter Olympics

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Filed under:  Olympics • Russia • Sochi

Mikhail Khodorkovsky released from prison

December 23rd, 2013
02:02 PM ET

Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky arrived in Germany after Russian President Vladimir Putin released him Friday following more than 10 years in prison, the German Foreign Ministry said.

Khodorkovsky's son, Pavel, told CNN in a text message that he flew to Germany to meet his father.

In a statement following his release, Khodorkovsky said he asked Putin to pardon him on November 12, "and I am glad his decision was positive." He further said "the issue of admission of guilt was not raised" in the discussion.

He went on to personally thank those who followed his case and supported him and said he was "constantly thinking of those who continue to remain imprisoned."

Becky Anderson speaks to Pavel Khodorkovsky about the news his father has been granted amnesty less than a week after he told her about his doubts that the Amnesty law would result in his pardon.

Watch: Khodorkovsky: Amnesty unlikely for father 

Khodorkovsky: Amnesty unlikely for father

December 19th, 2013
01:46 PM ET

Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to pardon jailed oligarch and Kremlin opponent Mikhail Khodorkovsky, he said Thursday.

This comes as Russian lawmakers backed a sweeping amnesty law Wednesday and as the nation's human rights is in the spotlight as the country prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.

The amnesty, to mark the anniversary of the adoption of Russia's post-Communist constitution in 1993, will be applied to thousands of Russian prisoners, the state-run RIA Novosti reported.

Becky spoke to Pavel Khodorkovsky about his thoughts before this "unlikely" announcement.

Bolshoi Ballet acid attack trial begins

October 30th, 2013
12:57 PM ET

The trial begins for the three men accused of the acid attack on Sergei Filin, the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet.

Read: Bolshoi Ballet star denies masterminding acid attack on Sergei Filin

CNN's Phil Black gives you latest on the trial that has rocked Russia's most prominent cultural institution.

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Filed under:  Russia • Video

Khodorkovsky's decade behind bars

October 28th, 2013
02:40 PM ET

Formerly one of the wealthiest people on the planet, Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested in 2003 initially on charges of fraud.

CNN's Jonathan Mann speaks with the son of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Pavel, who has been campaigning for his release since his imprisonment 10 years ago.

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Filed under:  Russia • Video
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