TODAY | January 06, 2014
>> now a month away from the start of the winter olympic games in sochi . vladimir putin inspected more venues over the weekend, this as security forces prepare for a massive operation. a 1,500- square mile ring of steel around the city. nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel is in sochi , good morning to you.
>> reporter: good morning, matt. behind me is the stadium where the opening ceremony will take place. performers right now are inside of it rehearsing. security has been overshadowing the build-up to these games, but russian officials insist, they will be safe.
>> reporter: just one month to go until the sochi olympics and russia does seem ready. there's snow, and in case it gets warmer, russia has 1 million cubic meters of it frozen in reserves. the stadiums are built, although there's still some construction. the head of sochi 2014 told us russia is on schedule.
>> yes, no doubt. we're absolutely ready. we were training, learning for seven years.
>> the official clothing for the games is out, too. sochi was once a sleepy, soviet retreat between the mountains and black sea . it's been completely transformed. russia didn't have a ski village at the base of the slopes outside sochi , so it built one. this entire town is brand new. so are hundreds of miles of roads and train tracks leading here with more than $50 billion spent so far, many think this is the most expensive olympics ever. this is vladimir putin 's baby. he's been testing out the venues. these games may be as much about showing that the russian bear is out of hibernation as they are about sports. but terrorism has come back to russia . two attacks just last month. and the militant leader of the muslim north caucuses says the games are a target. russia 's response is hard to miss. tens of thousands of police and intelligence agents have descended on sochi , watching for terrorists. and according to investigative journalists, watching everyone who comes here after the government last november passed a decree to collect logs of data.
>> your computers and phones are going to be tapped, officially?
>> yes. all your communications will be exposed to the russian secret services .
>> reporter: sochi will put russia back on the world stage, getting ready for the sports may prove to be the easy part. and tomorrow, security restrictions will be tightened even further. a so-called ring of steel put in place requiring people to have special badges to get anywhere near the olympic