Friday, July 5, 2013

 

Russia:37,000 police to secure Olympic Games in Sochi.

Will the 2014 Olympics in Sochi be safe after a Chechen rebel's threat? Russia says 37,000 police will be on guard and security has been tested.


MOSCOW — Russia's interior minister says that 37,000 police officers have been deployed to protect the 2014 Winter Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in the wake of Chechen militant threats to use "maximum force" to stop the Olympics.

Russia's interior minister said Friday that 37,000 police officers have been deployed to protect the 2014 Winter Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, repeating official assurances to make the Olympics safe despite the threat of an Islamist insurgency in the region.

Vladimir Kolokoltsev said on state Rossiya 24 television that a multi-layer security system in Sochi is fully compatible with demands of the International Olympic Committee.

He added that it has proven its efficiency in test events there.

Earlier this week, a top Chechen rebel warlord called on militants to disrupt the Sochi Games, which he described as "satanic dances on the bones of our ancestors." 

The statement by Doku Umarov marked a reversal of his last year's order to his fighters to avoid hitting civilian targets because Russians in Moscow were taking to the streets en masse to protest against Putin.

Dagestan, which lies about 300 miles east of Sochi, has become the center of the epicenter of violence with Islamist rebels targeting police and other officials in near-daily shootings and bombings.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the elder of the two ethnic Chechen brothers who are accused of staging the Boston Marathon bombings, spent six months last year in Dagestan. Russian investigators have been trying to determine whether he had contact with local Islamic militants.


Kolokoltsev didn't refer to Umarov's statement or talk about the Islamist insurgency in his televised comments, but he vowed that the Sochi Games will be better protected than the Boston Marathon.



"As for the sad experience with the Boston event, I think our efforts and readiness can't be compared to that," he said. "We are getting ready at the maximum level."

The Interior Ministry's branch in southern Russia said that one of its officers was killed and another three were wounded Thursday in southern Chechnya when they stepped on landmines left by the militants whom they were trying to pursue in southern Chechnya. 

It said that additional forces were sent to the area to continue the search.

On Thursday, Nikolai Patrushev, the head of Russia's presidential Security Council, said that special services of several other nations will closely cooperate with Russian security agencies to protect the Sochi Games.

Doku Umarov
Chechen separatist leader Doku Umarov threatened to use 'maximum force' to disrupt the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.


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