• Winter Olympics

Russia ramp up Sochi security

ESPN staff
January 7, 2014
Vonn out of Olympics

Russia has put one of the largest ever Olympic security operations into effect, with the start of the Sochi Winter Olympics one month away.

The BBC report that the December 29 and 30 bombings in Volgograd, which claimed the lives of 34 people, have intensified fears over more attacks.

More than 30,000 police officers and interior ministry troops are being deployed, with concern over the threat of terrorist attacks from the North Caucasus region - where the perpetrators of the bombings are believed to have travelled from to Volgograd.

Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov, the most wanted man in Russia, has called on his fighters to target the Games.

"Starting January 7, all divisions responsible for ensuring the guests' security at the Games are being put on combat alert," Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov said. "Every facility will be put under protection and a space-based monitoring system will be launched."

Two security zones are being established, with a "controlled zone" near Olympic venues limiting access to ticketholders with proof of identity. A further "forbidden zone" will be set up in large areas around Sochi. All vehicles must be registered locally or have special accreditation, while sales of firearms, ammunition and explosives are also banned.

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