News / Europe

Death Toll Rises in Russia Blasts

Relatives gather around the coffin of a victim of an explosion at a funeral in Volgograd, Dec. 31, 2013.
Relatives gather around the coffin of a victim of an explosion at a funeral in Volgograd, Dec. 31, 2013.
VOA News
Russian officials say three more people have died as a result of the two suicide bombings in the southern city of Volgograd Sunday and Monday, bringing the death toll to 34 with dozens more injured.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Russian authorities have increased security in and around Volgograd in the wake of the bombings.

In Monday's attack, a bomb blast ripped apart a trolleybus, killing 16 people and injuring 30 others. A day earlier, a suicide bomber detonated explosives at the security entrance of the city's main train station in an attack that left 18 dead.

A spokesman for Russia's main investigative agency said the bomb in Monday's explosion was similar to the one used in Sunday's attack, confirming suspicions that they may be linked.

The Kremlin said Monday Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the country's counterterrorism agency to step up security in Volgograd and elsewhere across the country.

Russia's foreign ministry compared the attacks to similar acts of terrorism in the United States, Iraq and Nigeria. They called for international solidarity in countering terrorism and the "ideology of violence that feeds it as well as extremism".

Anatoly Ermolin, a veteran of Russia's special security forces, told VOA's Russian Service that what happened in Volgograd was a planned terrorist act and carried out professionally. He says it is a "layered attack" which may not be over, adding that the goal was to have the whole country talking about it in the lead up to New Years celebrations.

U.S. National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden condemned the attacks in Russia, saying the United States stands with the Russian people against terrorism. Hayden's statement says the U.S. government has offered its full support to the Russian government in security preparations for the upcoming Olympic Games.

The attacks came just weeks before the Winter Olympics open in Sochi, about 650 kilometers southwest of Volgograd. Islamist militants had threatened to attack civilians and disrupt the Winter Games.

The International Olympic Committee expressed its condolences over the bombings, but says it is confident of Russia's ability to provide security at the Games.

Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov says no additional security measures will be taken in Sochi in the light of the attacks in Volgograd, adding that "everything necessary has been done."

Russia has introduced some of the most stringent security at any international sporting event, including a limited access security cordon around the entire city of Sochi and requiring spectators to have accreditation documents which include passport details and contact information.

Authorities initially said Sunday's blast was set off by a female suicide bomber from Dagestan - a republic in the nearby volatile North Caucasus. But authorities later said they believe the attacker was a man.
 
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
December 31, 2013 8:28 PM
To Zayetsev from USA

I'm not sure that the recent blasts are from the Islamic and international terrorism and I wouldn't jump into hasty conclusions. Russia is in a dire state with its appalling record in abusing basic human rights, gagged mass media, rigged elections. So Russia under Mr. Putin's rule has got its own agenda when anybody and at any time maybe imprisoned for life in the country with planted drugs and weapons.


by: zaytsev from: USA
December 31, 2013 10:43 AM
Putin vows "total elimination of Islamic Terrorism..." and everyone applauds... what if Israel espoused such a vow..?? you would see the UN become apoplectic... and "Gennady" here wonders about the "political message" of the islamic terrorism massacre of women and children on a bus and a train station...

look, I read somewhere on the VOA comments that Russia will not be able to survive this Islamic Terrorism - and I agree - I was born in Russia


by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
December 31, 2013 8:57 AM
The tragedy of the Russian nation and injustice is that it is held for hostage and cannon fodder while the real target for the masterminds is protected and safely guarded. Strangely, but no one questions what is the political message behind the attacks in the country with dozens political prisoners, without independent mass media and rigged elections.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid