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Volgograd bombings threat to Winter Games …

  • January 2nd, 2014
  • Posted by EU Australia

Tension surrounds the lead-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics, starting 7.2.14,  after this week’s two suicide bomb-attacks in Volgograd. Volgograd wreck

RESPONSE TO ATTACKS

A young woman insurrectionist, so-called “Black Widow”, set off a bomb at the Volgograd main railway station (picture below) on Sunday, leaving 18 or more people dead. The woman, 26, had been married to a fighter killed in Dagestan, and reportedly, earlier to at least one other, also killed. A second suicide bomber blew up a trolley bus in the city on Monday, with 16 killed.

volgograd stationThe Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has visited the city, vowing to “annihilate” the terrorist movement menacing the show-case Olympic event.

He said he would do everything needed to make the Sochi games the safest ever held.

INSURRECTION

The threat to spoil the games, and the governability and stability of Russia, comes from the separatist movement in the North Caucasus region, which takes in the republics of North Ossetia–Alania, Ingushetia, Chechnya and Dagestan.

The armed rebels revived an independence movement as the Soviet Union, and Russian Federation began to collapse in the early 1990s, leading elements pushing to set up an Islamist theocratic state.

It’s brought on a determined and repressive reaction from the Russian government, with deployment of heavy troop concentrations – notably after the first election of Vladimir Putin to the presidency.

The insurrectionists’ widespread use of terror has seen several major attacks both in the disputed region and in Moscow, with some 20 suicide bombings in the last ten years.

GENERATIONS OF LOATHING

The conflict has an extremely fraught and ugly background; bad feeling conceived over generations.

The Republic of Chechnya invoked the pity of the world when made the subject of reprisals under the Stalin regime, 1944-48. Separatists had mounted a strong revolt in the Soviet rear as they struggled in the Great Patriotic War against invading Germans.
In the aftermath, mass deportations out of the republic in freezing rail wagons, and the massacre of civilian s by troops of the NKVD, predecessor to KGB security, saw vast areas denuded of population and cultural treasures destroyed; up to 200 000 people were killed  —  between one-quarter and one-third of the population.

INSECURITY

Volgograd mapThe malice of this modern-day movement that has no time for games, has caused an intense security cordon to be put into place in the Sochi area; to provide safety for a world event of good will and celebration.

Problems with the security appear more likely in the form of attacks in other parts of Russia, evidently on the rail approaches, the key routes of access available to most visitors.
volgograd city open...
Volgograd, itself a city of history, with today a little over one-million people, was once called Stalingrad, and before that Tsaritsyn.

Its railway station is an entreport for Sochi, the resort town on the Black Sea where the Caucasus Mountains come down to the coast.

FRIGID TREATMENT

Sochi logoThe Winter games have already received some frigid treatment by the international community, over the weak record of the state on human rights, specifically mistreatment of homosexual people; see EUAustralia Online, Ending 2013: Russia’s Amnesty …, 19.12.14.

Olympic officials have been taking note, and taking some action in response to the bomb outrages this week.

In Australia, the government said it was monitoring the situation though not intervening to impede any participation by athletes; and the Australian Olympic Committee said it would restrict the movement of team members outside of the Sochi area.

Reference

Michael Carayannis, Sochi Winter Olympics: Travel restrictions placed on Australian athletes after terrorist blasts, SMH, Sydney, 31.12.13.
http://www.smh.com.au/sport/winter-olympics/sochi-winter-olympics-travel-restrictions-placed-on-australian-athletes-after-terrorist-blasts-20131231-303wq.html#ixzz2pBwVdDwd, (2.1.14).

Sergei Karpov ,Russia’s Putin meets Volgograd bombing victims, Reuters, London, 1.2.14. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/01/us-russia-blast-idUSBRE9BU05E20140101, (2.1.14).

Sochi 2014 7th February – 23rd February, (Home), Sochi. http://www.olympic.org/sochi-2014-winter-olympics, (2.1.14).

Pictures   blog.heritage, jewishpress, wikipedia

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