News / Europe

Putin Addresses Security Concerns at Sochi Olympics

Russian President Vladimir Putin answers a journalist's question during a televised news conference in Sochi, Jan. 19, 2014.Russian President Vladimir Putin answers a journalist's question during a televised news conference in Sochi, Jan. 19, 2014.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin answers a journalist's question during a televised news conference in Sochi, Jan. 19, 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin answers a journalist's question during a televised news conference in Sochi, Jan. 19, 2014.
Michael Bowman
Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country will do “whatever it takes” to ensure security at the upcoming Olympics in Sochi. Putin’s comments come less than three weeks before the start of the Winter Games, and amid a continuing terrorist threat in his nation.

The Russian leader spoke resolutely about massive security preparations in and around Sochi.

“The job of the Olympics host is to ensure security of the participants and visitors. We will do whatever it takes,” he said.

Putin spoke in an interview that aired on ABC’s This Week program.

The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning for Americans planning to attend the games, saying the event presents “an attractive target for terrorists.” Last month, suicide bombers carried out deadly attacks in Volgograd, some 650 kilometers north of Sochi.

The Russian leader said security operations extend well beyond the Olympic Games.

“We have adequate means available to us through the [Russian] Federal Security Service, the Interior Ministry, and armed forces units that will provide security. If necessary, all those tools will be activated,” he said.

Putin said care is being taken to ensure that rigorous security operations to not impede the Olympic Games.

Asked about Russian laws targeting homosexuals, Putin asserted that everyone has equal rights in his country. He described Russia’s treatment of gay people as “softer” than that of other countries where homosexuality is a capital offense. He said Russia does not criticize other nations’ laws, and that Russia’s laws deserve the same respect from the international community.

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by: JKF from: Great North (Canada)
January 20, 2014 4:08 PM
Security is like quality= it can't be added to the product after it was produced. Security needs to start at the design and planning stages, and be part of the processes/program right until the product(s), Games in this case, are fully completed. I think it is a great mistake, to not have involved all the Western nations that can significantly contribute to the betterment of all security aspects. The big question arises as to how the security aspects were dealth with at the earlier phases of the development, design, and production of the facilities. It is clear that since the criminal dastardly terrorist incidents, no effort was spared by Russia, but what about during the construction of the sites/venues?

by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
January 19, 2014 8:44 PM
Why should all of the world take his assurances, his U-turn for their face value? The house of cards that “Jack” has built in 14 years of his ruthless rule looks very fragile and not worth of trying out after his heavy handed tactics in resolving be it basic human rights or political opponents or independence of the judicial system, corrupt and abusive police.

by: S. Belmont from: UK
January 19, 2014 4:21 PM
yeah sure... really reassuring... why would anyone want to go see this decrepit ugly stink place... Sochi...?? and Muslims suicide bombers on top of it... i rather drink Egyptian beer in Iraq...

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