A second set of Russian bombings has helped to contribute to the fears being raised around the upcoming Winter Olympics after two unprecedented attacks. While many remain concerned for the safety of those attending and competing in the February 2014 Winter Olympics, Russian authorities and the International Olympic Committee has insisted that the site of the games will be completely safe given the layers of security that will be in place.
The suicide bomb attacks took place in Volograd, a mere 400 miles away from the city of Sochi where the Olympics will take place. No one has yet to claim responsibility for Sunday’s blast at the Volograd railway station or Monday’s bus explosion, but they come only months after Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov threatened new attacks against civilian targets in Russia, including the upcoming Olympic events.
The two Russian bombings killed 31 people combined and wounded another 104, according to Russia’s health ministry. As of late Monday, 58 victims still remain hospitalized with many in dire condition.
Suicide bombings have been taking place in Russia for years now, but the insurgency seeking to create an Islamic state has been confined to the North Caucasus region in the past few years. The two attacks in Volgograd triggered the notion that militants are making a point to show their reach outside their native region.
“The attack demonstrates the militants’ capability to strike at soft targets such as transport infrastructure outside of their usual area of operations in the North Caucasus,” Matthew Clements, an analyst at Jane’s, said in a note. “Although the very strict security measures which will be in place at the Sochi Games will make it difficult to undertake a successful attack against the main Olympic venues, public transport infrastructure in Sochi and the surrounding Krasnodar territory will face an elevated risk of attack.”
Alexei Filatov, another veteran of Russian security forces, also predicted that terrorists will try to step up their attacks before the Olympics per KCTV5.
“The terrorist activities will increase as the Sochi Olympics get closer, and they will get increasingly close to the area,” Filatov wrote on his blog. “For those who order terror attacks, it serves as an opportunity to deal a blow to Russia on global stage.”