The clock ticks down to the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi, but the city looks less than ready for the Games to begin. The stadium for the opening ceremony alone has yet to be completed.
“Russia is not famous for its efficiency so delivering all this on time will be a statement to the world,” reports CNN’s Phil Black.
“It's one reason why President Vladimir Putin is taking such a personal interest.”
Dmitry Grigoriev, manager of the speed skating venue, Adler Arena, says the Kremlin’s regular visits and direct oversight have made a big difference.
"I'm not going to say why or how. But it has, believe me,” Grigoriev says.
But overhauling the city's Soviet era infrastructure remains Sochi's other challenge.
“The skyline is a mess of cranes and partially completed buildings, many of them much needed hotels,” Black reports.
Security is also a major concern at the Games because Russia's Islamic terrorists have promised to disrupt them.
Like Putin, Sochi's Mayor Anatoly Pakhamov insists somehow it will all be ready in three months.
But organizers can barely depend on mother nature to deliver the white stuff in this subtropical region of Russia where snowfall is patchy.
“That's why they're storing vast amounts of last season's snow, just in case.”