News / Europe

    Russia Searches for ‘Black Widow’ Suicide Bomber in Sochi

    Terrorism suspect Ruzanna Ibragimova on a Russian police leaflet, Jan 21, 2014.
    Terrorism suspect Ruzanna Ibragimova on a Russian police leaflet, Jan 21, 2014.
    VOA News
    Russian police are on the hunt for a potential female suicide bomber in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, where the Winter Olympics are set to begin next month.
     
    People in Sochi say police have distributed photos of the female suspect, who is said to be the widow of an Islamic militant from the predominantly Muslim region of Dagestan. She has been identified as 22-year-old Ruzanna Ibragimova, nicknamed “Salima.”
     
    The Associated Press reports police are also searching for two other women suspected of being possible suicide bombers.
     
    Russian officials have blamed the so-called “black widows” of slain insurgents for previous suicide attacks in the country.
     
    Men claiming to be from an Islamist militant group identifying itself as Vilayat Dagestan speak, in this still image taken from video posted on the Internet on Jan. 20, 2014.Men claiming to be from an Islamist militant group identifying itself as Vilayat Dagestan speak, in this still image taken from video posted on the Internet on Jan. 20, 2014.
    x
    Men claiming to be from an Islamist militant group identifying itself as Vilayat Dagestan speak, in this still image taken from video posted on the Internet on Jan. 20, 2014.
    Men claiming to be from an Islamist militant group identifying itself as Vilayat Dagestan speak, in this still image taken from video posted on the Internet on Jan. 20, 2014.
    On Sunday, an Islamic militant group from Dagestan posted a video online claiming responsibility for last month’s deadly suicide bombings in Volgograd, which killed 34 people. The two men in the video also threaten attacks at the Olympics. It is unclear when the video was made.
     
    Thousands of athletes and spectators from all over the world are expected to travel to Sochi for the Olympic Games, which will feature competitors in a variety of winter sports, including skiing, skating and ice hockey.
     
    The U.S. military pledged Monday to make air and naval support available to the Russian government as it makes security preparations for the Olympics. A Pentagon spokesman said in a statement that support -- including two U.S. Navy ships in the Black Sea -- will be available if requested "for all manner of contingencies.”
     
    Andrew Kuchins, the director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, told reporters Tuesday that Sochi is not the only city Russia needs to worry about when it comes to Islamist terrorists.
     
    “You don’t necessarily have to hit Sochi to spoil the games. A series of Volgograd attacks would terrorize the whole of Russia and spoil the games and that will be a great tragedy," said Kuchins.
     
    Russian President Vladimir Putin said in comments broadcast Sunday that his country will do "whatever it takes" to ensure security at the Olympics. He spoke about massive security preparations in and around Sochi and said: "If we betray weakness, betray fear - display our fear - then we will be helping terrorists achieve their goals."

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.