Expert opinion
Sochi threatened
30 January, 2014
Russia created a special 11-km wide zone deep in occupied Abkhazia

For almost two months Sochi will host athletes, public figures and journalists from up to 90 countries. It should be a matter of honor for President Putin to ensure security for all of them in the face of routine threatsto blow up the entire Olympics,by North Caucasian fighters to the Kremlin. Such subversive attacks are feasable from any direction, be it land (mountains flanking Sochi from the east), air,
or sea (the western flank).
Terrorists may even launch a drone strike on the Olympic village. Spotting and especially downing such small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) is a herculean task. The Russian special services may try to mute frequencies that could be used for the remote control of UAVs. Another, much more dangerous, threat from the air is hijacking a passenger plane and crashing it into the Olympic village – as happened in the United States on 11 September 2001.
Russian special services are tightening security rules at airports and prohibiting passengers from carrying vessels containing liquid of any sort. During the Olympic Games special agents will be assigned to passenger planes to prevent any chance of suicide bombers getting on them.
If such security measures fail and a threat of air attack on the Olympic village grows imminent, military helicopters, destroyers and missile systems will be in place to counter the threat. According to some reports, the Bombora military base located in Gudauta in
occupied Abkhazia already hosts a squad of MIG-29 destroyers which will have to protect the southern approach to Sochi. The other three directions will be covered by destroyers from airstrips in North Caucasus.
Specifically, the Adler airport maintains a squadron of military Mi-24 and transport Mi-8 helicopters. Mi-24 helicopters are capable of countering old An-2 type planes which are used in agriculture for spraying pesticides over fields, and which could be seized by terrorists at district airports.
The last line of air defense are missile systems (TOR-M1s), a part of which are stationed right in the center of Sochi city.
The chance of sea attacks also needs to be taken into account, especially when, during the Olympic Games, the Sochi port will harbor cruise ships serving as hotels. Ships and motor boats of Russian Black Sea Fleet and Russian FSB border troops are abundantly present in waters outside the Sochi port, while the waters of the port itself are heavily guarded by military divers.
One month before the start of the Olympic Games, Russia created a special 11-km wide zone deep in occupied Abkhazia, and controls it heavy-handedly. This is not a coincidence - this part of the Russian-Georgian border that runs along the Psou river lies just five kilometers away from the Adler Airport. By carving out the 11km border zone, Russian special services tried to rule out even a theoretical chance of 120mm mortars hitting the Adler airport.
Finally, there is the threat of so-called sleeping bombs. There is a great chance that terrorists have already managed to plant explosives in stadiums or hotels of the Sochi Olympic village which were under construction for years. In other words, the hell machines could already be at their destinations, and wait only for someone to pull the trigger.
One need not go far for a precedent. Back on 9 May 2004, Chechnya President Ahmad Kadirov was killed by an explosive planted under the VIP seats of the Grozno stadium. It turned out that it was an artillery bomb submerged in the concrete at the time of the stadium’s construction.
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