Russia has imposed a ban on all new building in Sochi to fight the illegal construction of apartments and hotels in the city preparing to hold the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The governor of the Krasnodar region, which includes Sochi, said the ban was necessary because about 800 buildings had gone up illegally in recent years. Courts are to rule on whether they should be torn down.
State television showed bulldozers destroying one residential building and pointed to the shoddy construction of others that made them dangerous to live in.
Gov. Alexander Tkachyov says illegal construction has long ''infected'' resort cities along the Black Sea coast, but ''the scale of this disease in Sochi is simply astonishing.''
Almost all of the Olympic venues and hotels need to be built from scratch.