Putin's record on democracy and human rights is under scrutiny at the Games, and he has been heavily criticized abroad over a law banning the spread of "gay propaganda" among minors which opponents says discriminates against homosexuals.
Anger over the law has prompted speculation that there could be protests at the Games but competitors are banned by the International Olympic Committee from protesting during their events or on the medals podium.
After nearly two years behind bars, two members of Pussy Riot, an all-women's group, were freed in December under an amnesty. Putin has dismissed suggestions the amnesty was merely intended to ease criticism of his human rights record before the start of the Games.
(Reporting by Dmitriy Rogovitskiy, Writing by Timothy Heritage, editing by Ed Osmond)