ORENBURG, Russia, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- The Olympic torch ended its Asian journey and was carried back into Russia where it is to travel through the Caucasus region into Sochi, officials reported.
The torch was carried by regional Deputy Gov. Oleg Dimov from Asia to Orenburg, Russia, over a bridge crossing the Ural River Sunday, Russian sports news agency R-Sport reported.
The bridge is seen as a symbolic divider between Asia and Russia.
Later Sunday Gov. Yury Berg and 2012 London Paralympic swimming champion Pavel Poltavets lit an Olympic cauldron in Orenberg, R-Sport said.
The torch was carried Monday to two cities on the Volga River, Syzran and Tolyatti.
The torch is scheduled to conclude its journey -- which began Oct. 7 in Red Square in Moscow -- Feb. 7 during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics at Sochi. It will have traveled 40,000 miles.