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Organizers Say 65 World Leaders Coming To Sochi

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a video conference in Bocharov Ruchey residence in Sochi on February 6
Russian organizers say a record number of world dignitaries are coming to the Sochi Olympics, triple the amount that attended the 2010 Vancouver Games.

Dmitry Chernyshenko, head of the Sochi organizing committee, told the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that 65 heads of state and government and international organizations are expected to attend Russia's first Winter Olympics.

The IOC said on February 5 it was aware of 44 world leaders coming to the games.

Chernyshenko's figures could be higher because of the inclusion of international organizations.

Some top world leaders are not attending.

They include President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and German President Joachim Gauck.

The Olympics take place come amid Western criticism of Russia's record on human rights and its law banning gay "propaganda" among minors.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa