Russia suicide bombings will not affect Sochi Olympic security
Security at the Sochi Olympics will not be increased due to two suicide bombings the last two days in Volgograd, Russian Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov said Monday.
“All necessary measures are envisioned at the Olympic Games in Sochi,” Zhukov said, according to ITAR-TASS news agency. “No other security measures will be taken due to the terrorist act in Volgograd because everything is done.”
More than 30 people have been killed in explosions Sunday and Monday in Volgograd, a city of more than one million people about 400 miles northeast of Sochi.
A suicide bomber killed 14 on a bus in Volgograd on Monday. Authorities believe it was the work of the same group responsible for a bomb set off at a railway station Sunday, according to The Associated Press.
In October, another suicide bombing took place on a bus in Volgograd. In July, a Chechen rebel leader called for militant attacks on the Sochi Olympics.
Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered extra security nationwide after the attack Monday.
“I have personally written to the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, to express our condolences to the Russian people,” said International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach in a statement Monday. “I am certain that everything will be done to ensure the security of the athletes and all the participants of the Olympic Games.”
The U.S. government offered full support.
“We would welcome the opportunity for closer cooperation for the safety of the athletes, spectators and other participants,’' National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said.
The Sochi Olympics will include new security measures such as a “spectator pass” in addition to normal tickets. Spectator passes “require providing passport details and contacts that will allow the authorities to screen all visitors and check their identities upon arrival,” according to the AP.
Also, special troops, drones and speed boats will keep a close eye on the area in and around Sochi during the Games, which begin Feb. 6.
One of Russia’s most celebrated athletes, two-time Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva, calls Volgograd home.
“It is hard for me to talk now,” Isinbayeva told ITAR-TASS, according to Agence France-Presse. “None of my family or loved ones suffered. But I feel terrible, simply terrible.”