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Olympic torch relay to meet New Year in Kazan

December 31, 2013, 12:01 UTC+3

Over 3,000 police officers will guard the Olympic torch relay in Kazan

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© ITAR-TASS/Andrei Starostin

KAZAN, December 31. /ITAR-TASS/. In the last day of 2013, the Olympic torch relay takes place in Tatarstan’s capital, Kazan. At 04:00 GMT, its start was announced by Russia’s Minister of Communications and Media Nikolai Nikiforov. Kazan’s stage began in the Flags Avenue in the Universiade village. Then, the torch carriers started running in turns through the central streets of Kazan.

The relay’s route goes through Ekiyat puppet theatre, Old Tatar settlement, Kazan Kremlin, as well as important Universiade facilities. The torch relay will end at the Kazan-Arena stadium. Before the torch carriers arrive, an entertainment program will take place in front of the stadium.

Over 3,000 police officers will guard the Olympic torch relay in Kazan. This amount of law enforcement officers is planned, and no additional security measures are needed, as told by the republican Interior Ministry’s representative Lenar Davletshin.

The high point of the relay stage would be the ceremonial lighting of the Olympic flame on the stadium. Tatarstan’s Prime Minister Ildar Khalikov will do it at 10:30 GMT (14:30 Moscow time).

Earlier it was planned that the lighting ceremony would take place at midnight. However, later this idea was rejected “due to law enforcement issues during hours of darkness”, Tatarstan’s Ministry for youth, sports and tourism reported.

On Wednesday, the Olympic fire will head to Izhevsk.

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