Circassians once called the area around Sochi their homeland. They were displaced during the Russian conquest of the Caucasus in the 19th century.

Circassians, who are predominantly Sunni Muslims, say punitive raids and ethnic cleansing carried out by the Russian during and after the conflict amounted to genocide.

Historians estimate that more than 600,000 Circassians were killed and at least as many deported to the Ottoman Empire.

"For us it's like if someone wants to organise the Olympic Games at Auschwitz, can you imagine that?" Sencer Shumaf, a member of the NoSochi2014 protest movement said.

IBTimesUK presents portraits of the Circassian people. Read more about the Circassian genocide in this article by Umberto Bacchi.