The balmy city of Sochi, Russia was chosen in July of 2007 to be the host of this year’s winter Olympics; however, due to current events, the world’s confidence in choosing that location is being shaken. Sochi has been rocked in the past few weeks by threats and allegations, both physical and political. Politicians have begun to bring to light a long list of supposed corruption in the delegation of funds for the Olympic facilities and jihadists have begun slowly moving attacks towards the venue and issuing threats of more if they are not called off. With all the attention drawn to Russia in anticipation of the games, these threats and allegations are made even more serious and damaging, especially to Russia’s already shaky image.
Sochi, the host of this year’s Olympic Games, is located along the southwestern part of Russia, specifically along the coast of the Black Sea and is a close neighbor to the country of Georgia, in which Russia has tense relations. Georgia broke away from Russia/USSR and became an independent country in 1991 (“Georgia Profile”). The coastal city is also in close proximity to the turbulent North Caucasus region which is being hard hit by social and political unrest as an extremist Muslim regiment attempts to gain power and footing. It is from this region that some of the most terrifying threats against Sochi have come from.
Just a few weeks ago, two women suicide bombers attacked, killing a total of 31 innocent civilians and injuring many more a few hundred kilometers from Sochi in the Russian city of Volgograd. It was from the turbulent region of the North Caucasus that they are said to have hailed from. The suicide bombers are thought to be a part of the more recently termed group of ‘black widows’, or women whose jihadist husbands have been killed. Well known Jihadist and radical, Doku Umarov, is said to have instructed and urged the attack because he wants to prevent the Olympic Games from occurring (“Russian…experts”).
And keep them from occurring, they might have. In 2012 Russian military forces found a horde of weapons, mortars and homemade bombs in close proximity to Sochi, believed to have been meant for the games. If the stash had gone uncovered the results could have been disastrous, either stopping the Olympics completely or taking a massive amount of attention away from the games and placing it on the insurgents (Jenkins). Now, as the games quickly approach and threats become more serious, Russia is on high alert and Putin is being forced to reroute funds and military to the Olympic grounds in order to combat any threats of terrorism.
Terrorism is not Vladimir Putin’s only battle with the Olympics games, however. Politicians have been continuously and loudly crying foul as the games get set to commence. Most notably, cries of corruption have been running rampant. These cries have been called out since 2007 when Sochi was chosen and bids began to pour in for the rights to build the Olympic city and its...