- © RIA Novosti. Mikhail Mokrushin
© RIA Novosti. Mikhail Mokrushin
MOSCOW, December 30 (R-Sport) - Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov said Monday that no extra security measures would be adopted for the Sochi Olympics despite two apparent terrorist attacks in Volgograd killing at least 29 people in the last two days.
Zhukov's words are the first time since the attacks that a top-ranking Russian official has addressed renewed concerns that the February 7-21 Winter Games in the Black Sea resort could be targeted.
"Concerning the Olympic Games in Sochi, all necessary security measures are provided for, and extra security measures in light of the act of terrorism in Volgograd will not be taken, because everything needed is done," he said.
A bomb explosion on a trolleybus in Volgograd on Monday morning killed at least 12 people, less than 24 hours after 17 were killed in an apparently similar attack at the city's railway station.
Monday’s bomb blast, if it is confirmed as a terrorist incident, would make it the third attack on the city in two months.
The 2014 Winter Olympic Games, a major prestige project for President Vladimir Putin and Russia, open on February 7 in Sochi, located about 430 miles (690 kilometers) from Volgograd.
The Olympic torch relay is due to reach the city on January 20, when pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva is due to light the Olympic cauldron.
In October, the head of a Federal Security Service department that deals with Sochi safety issues said "our security measures will be unnoticeable and in no way will inhibit the movements of Olympic guests."
He also claimed the measures would pale in comparison with the London 2012 Summer Olympics.
"If you remember London, on the roofs of houses there were snipers and rocket complexes, despite the protests of the locals. ... There were also military personnel on the streets, but we will not have this," he said.
Russian authorities are putting several areas in and around Sochi on lockdown from January 7 until March 21 as they look to minimize the opportunity for disruption at the country's first-ever Winter Olympics.
Russia faces a huge challenge in providing a safe Games because Sochi is located near the country's volatile North Caucasus region, the base for an Islamist insurgency that has claimed responsibility for several terrorist attacks in recent years. Early reports indicate the perpitrator of Sunday's railway station blast had links to Dagestan, the country's most troublesome province in recent years.