Securing the Sochi Olympics: Three Things to Know

January 29, 2014

Securing the Sochi Olympics: Three Things to Know
Explainer Video
from Video

Despite ramped-up security efforts in anticipation of the 2014 Winter Olympics, concerns persist over terrorist threats facing the games. CFR Distinguished Visiting Fellow Raymond W. Kelly highlights three things to know about the threats and response preparedness in Sochi:

More From Our Experts
  • A Restive Region: "The area surrounding Sochi is one of the most volatile regions in not only Russia, but in the world," says Kelly. The Caucasus Emirate, which claimed responsibility for the recent suicide bombings in Volgograd, has declared that it will target the Olympics. Proximity to Dagestan and Chechnya, as well as the disputed territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, further fuels concerns over stability.

More on:

Defense and Security

  • Challenging Scale: While any large-scale public event presents a high-stakes target for terrorism, the setup and scale of the Sochi Olympics presents increased security challenges. In particular, the thirty-mile distance between the two Olympic clusters will require security forces to cover a much larger area and also secure the high-speed rail that links the clusters, Kelly says.

More on:

Defense and Security

  • Response Preparedness: Russia has taken extensive steps to secure the games, and participating countries, including the United States, are taking additional precautions. "While it is generally held that security at the Olympics is the job of the host country and the IOC [International Olympic Committee]," Kelly says, "should anything happen, the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, and a few other countries will be leading a coordinated response."

More on:

Defense and Security

More on:

Defense and Security

Up
Close

Top Stories on CFR

United Nations

Trump has revealed himself to be a man resistant to compromise, with few qualms about going it alone when he doesn’t get his way. For the leaders gathering for the UN General Assembly this week, the question hanging in the air is simple: Is that all there is to American diplomacy?

Hungary

The European Parliament’s vote to reprimand Hungary over its growing authoritarianism has tested the EU’s readiness to stand up to illiberalism within the bloc.

South Korea

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in has had more success than many expected in Pyongyang for his third summit with North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong-un.