October 6 - The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Torch Relay will kick off its four month journey on Russian soil alongside the "White Stick" international charity music festival in Moscow tomorrow when it tours around many of the city's most famous landmarks.
After the Flame was lit last weekend at Ancient Olympia it spent six days in Greece before a Handover Ceremony here yesterday, marking its transfer to Russian Olympic officials, including the country's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak.
The Flame arrived at Moscow's Vnukovo International Airport by airplane and was delivered by Kozak, Dmitry Chernyshenko, the President and chief executive of Sochi 2014, and former speed skater Lydia Skoblikova, winner of a record six Olympic gold medals at Squaw Valley 1960 and Innsbruck 1964.
They were met at the airport by the Relay Motorcade, decorated in Sochi 2014 Relay's orange patchwork quilt design, which transported the delegation to Red Square, where ten Torchbearers will run through the grounds of the Kremlin.
The Olympic Flame was delivered by Aeroflot flight SU 7101, with the airline performing the duty as technical Partner of the Torch Relay.
A special Honour Guard troop greeted the Flame by the stairs of the specially commissioned Athens to Moscow flight.
Having travelled to Moscow, the Torch is due begin its 65,000 kilometre journey around the world's largest country at Vasilyevsky Spusk next to St. Basil's Cathedral in the Russian capital before being taken south to Moscow State University.
On Tuesday (October 8) it will then wind its way, predominantly along the Moscow River embankment, back towards Red Square.
It will also visit the Moscow metro, the Ostankino television tower and local schools and hospitals with more than 500 participants running about 150 to 200 metres with the Torch.
These Torchbearers include almost a dozen former Olympic and Paralympic champions, including five-time synchronised swimming gold medalist Anastasia Davydova and former figure skater Irina Rodnina, a three-time gold medallist in the pairs and the only pairs skater to win 10 successive World Championships, which she did between 1969 and 1978.
Others carrying the Flame range from International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, Prince Albert II of Monaco, to 98-year-old actor Vladimir Zeldin, who starred in numerous famous Soviet films and is the oldest living People's Artist of the USSR.
The festival forms part of the Sochi 2014 Cultural Olympiad in Moscow and was organised by Games Ambassador Diana Gurtskaya, a well-known Russian blind singer who has ecorded duets with various well-known foreign singers, including Ray Charles and Demis Roussos
In a further illustration of the cultural as well as the sporting credentials of the Torch Relay, the event will feature a number of high profile celebrities including prominent singers and pop-stars as varied as as Lev Leshchenko, Tamara Gverdtsiteli and Dima Bilan.
It will then conclude with a performance by the legendary Balkan musician and composer Goran Bregović, who is taking time out of an American tour to perform.
The festivals will be held alongside a series of events in Moscow marking the Torch's presence.
The White Snake festival held alongside the action will be one of thousands of events taking place over the last Olympic cycle as part of the Cultural Olympiad.
After 2010 was the "Year of the Cinema", 2011 the "Year of the Theatre" and 2012 the "Year of Music" 2013 has been the "Year of the Museum."
As well as the festival this has already included numerous exhibitions, shows and competitions, along with forums, workshops and educational programmes
The Olympic organisers hope to "involve every resident of the country in this grand celebration of music which will maintain and increase the cultural riches of our country."
As if to emphasise the diversity and all-embracing nature of the Relay, the "White Stick" festival will include student participators from many neighbouring nations who will perform alongside Russian singers and musicians
Participants will appear from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.
Ahead of the more extreme nature of the visits to the North Pole and Space to come, the festival and the tour around Moscow, should mark the perfect start to the Russian journey and will continue the strong cultural values espoused throughout the Greek leg.
October 2013: Nick Butler - Tradition, inclusivity and power of Flame emphasised once again as Sochi 2014 takes up the Torch
October 2013: Olympic Flame passed from Greece to Sochi 2014 in celebration of communal values
October 2013: Olympic Flame reaches Acropolis on eve of handover to Sochi 2014
September 2013: Nick Butler - Ancient Ceremony and President's inaugural address brings to life strengths, weaknesses and significance of Olympic Movement
September 2013: Sochi 2014 Olympic Flame lit in stirring event combining Olympian values old and new