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In this Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 photo made available by Presidential Press Service on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to a translation during an interview to Russian and foreign media at the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, which will host Winter Olympic Games on Feb. 7, 2014. President Vladimir Putin once again has offered assurances to gays planning to attend the Sochi Olympics, but his arguments defending Russia’s ban on homosexual “propaganda” to minors show the vast gulf between how he understands the issues and how homosexuality is generally viewed in the West. In an interview with Russian and foreign television stations broadcast Sunday, Putin equated gays with pedophiles and spoke of the need for Russia to “cleanse” itself of homosexuality as part of efforts to increase the birth rate. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

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