BY ANGELA CHARLTON
SOCHI, Russia -- A pseudo-lesbian pop duo, a famed opera singer and a romp through Russian history await viewers as the Sochi Winter Olympics launch Friday with an opening ceremony meant to showcase to the world the ultimate achievement of Vladimir Putin's Russia.
In a provocative choice, Russian singers Tatu will perform before the 3,000 athletes march through a stadium on the shores of the Black Sea, one of the many newly built facilities in the most expensive Olympics in history.
The women in Tatu put on a lesbian act that is largely seen as an attention-getting gimmick. It contrasts with the very real anger over a Russian law banning gay "propaganda" aimed at minors that is being used to discriminate against gays. Some world leaders and activists have protested the law, and President Barack Obama is skipping the opening ceremony and sending a delegation that includes prominent gay athletes instead.
Tatu will perform Not Gonna Get Us, about two young women fleeing people who don't understand their love.