2) Conflict Zone
The North Caucasus region has seen insurgencies in Chechnya and the republics of Dagestan and Ingushetia which have led to armed rebellion and terrorist attacks in the Russian interior.
Ekaterina Sokirianskaia, the North Caucasus project director for the International Crisis Group calls the area “the most-active insurgency crisis in Europe”. Good choice of venue then Mr Putin.
A month ago suicide bombers from the region killed more than 30 people in Volgograd. That was the third suicide bomb in two months, all because of troubles in this area.
To attempt to secure the area, Games officials have basically set up what amounts to martial law. They’ve drafted in 30,000 police officers to Sochi. That’s roughly three times the number of officers that police the entirety of Greater Manchester.
This influx of officers entered Sochi in early July and equate to about one officer per 10 residents. So the atmosphere isn’t exactly “Olympic party time”.
The Games last less than three weeks but Putin has decided to extend this martial law for an extra two months just in case. Is that over egging it a bit? Maybe not – the worry is that any potential terrorist that wants to hit Putin where it hurts has had a full 6 years to prepare.
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