BBC World Service

Will Volgograd attacks scare off Olympic tourists?

Artyom Liss Dec 30, 2013
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BBC World Service

Will Volgograd attacks scare off Olympic tourists?

Artyom Liss Dec 30, 2013
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Two suicide bomb attacks in the Russian city of Volgograd have raised questions about the country’s security and preparedness to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

“I think a lot of people in Russia are in shock” says the BBC’s Artyom Liss, based in Moscow. “Most people are just concentrating on the day-to-day but there is a very palpable sense of unease, certainly here in Moscow and in other parts of Russia as well.”

Volgograd is about 600 miles to the Northeast of Sochi. The state-controlled media have regularly assured its audience that the insurgency was under control and that the Sochi games would be “the safest Olympics in history.”

Russia was already expected to spend about $50 billion on the games and it’s expected they’ll boost security but some analysts have suggested Putin used security funding to keep watch on his political enemies rather than fight terrorism.

“A lot of the security experts are saying this amount of money and this amount of resource and effort could have been better spent trying to infiltrate those extremist cells and trying to tackle them.”

With six weeks until the games are scheduled to begin, it’s too soon to say if the attacks will reduce attendance at Sochi.

 

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