Although focused on Sochi, the Russian President will fight to hold sway over Ukraine
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On Feb. 7, Russia’s attention will turn to the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where President Vladimir Putin is hoping that Islamist terrorists don’t spoil the event he hopes will showcase to the world a dynamic and strong Russia. But even before the Games begin, Putin finds Russian strength and influence being severely tested on a daily basis a few hundred miles from the Olympic venue — in Ukraine, a former Soviet republic now torn between Russia and the E.U. What Putin decides to do in a nation he believes should remain in the Russian sphere of influence could have an impact on the region at least as lasting as whatever happens in Sochi.