Russian President Places Security On High Alert Ahead Of 2014 Sochi Olympics
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered security forces to be on high alert "to protect against attacks by militants ahead of next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi," according to Thomas Grove of REUTERS. Russia "is battling an Islamist insurgency in the Caucasus region," stemming from two separatist wars in its Chechnya province. Grove reported "a suicide bomber killed three policemen on Thursday" in the Caucasus province of Dagestan. When addressing senior officials from the Federal Security Service domestic intelligence agency, Putin said, "All anti-terrorist forces should be at the highest level of alertness and readiness." He added, "The most important thing here is the protection of people's lives." Putin continued, "It is necessary to provide reliable anti-terrorist protection of ... large-scale public, international events soon to take place in our country." Grove reported that next year's Olympics in Sochi have been declared a target by the Caucasus Emirate group, "which claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport" in Jan. '11 that killed 37 people (REUTERS, 2/14).