Well, after all the bad press that Russia was getting with these "anti-gay propaganda" laws, the PR drive in the run-up to Sochi has begun.
Putin has released 20,000 prisoners, including the 2 members of Pussy Riot that were still in jail (Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina).
In addition to this, oil tycoon (and former richest man in Russia) Mikhail Khodorkovsky was also pardoned.
And there is also speculation that the 30 Greenpeace protesters that were arrested in September will also be released.
The question is - will these gestures have the desired effect in making up the ground lost by bringing in the anti-gay laws.
Please be aware, I am only starting this thread to tell you about this story. I am not going to be visiting it again, as I try to avoid politics like the plague!