Russia has been hit with a pair of suicide bombings just six weeks short of the upcoming Winter Olympics in the seaside city of Sochi.
Suicide bombers at a train station and on a trolleybus killed more than 30 people within 24 hours in the southern city of Volgograd, raising the security threat less than six weeks before Russia hosts the Winter Olympics.
At least 14 people died and 27 others were injured when a man detonated a bomb in the trolleybus during rush hour after 8:10 a.m. local time, the Health Ministry said on its website. The blast yesterday near a metal detector at the entrance to the city’s train station killed 17 people and injured 45 others, according to the ministry.
The twin bombings come as Russia prepares to stage the Olympics in February in Sochi, a Black Sea resort close to the violence-wracked North Caucasus region. Volgograd, which suffered another suicide bombing on a bus in October, is about 700 kilometers (435 miles) northeast of Sochi.
“If another attack happens closer to Sochi, it will be a catastrophe for the Olympics,” Alexei Malashenko, an analyst on the North Caucasus at the Moscow Carnegie Center, said by phone. “Three bombings in the space of three months means that terrorist activity is becoming systematic.”
For years Russia has had to deal with terrorist attacks by Islamic militants, due in large part to Russia’s insistence at holding the region of Chechnya. The majority of the Chechen people are Muslim, and would prefer independence as a sovereign nation. Russia is very concerned about continued attacks as the Olympics near, partly because rebel leaders have called for an increase in violence over the coming weeks.
These Olympics in Sochi could become very memorable for all the wrong reasons if Russia is unable to defend Sochi from the Islamic terrorists.
It’s interesting and instructive that we are on opposite sides of Russia in most world political matters. We’ve even chosen opposite sides in the Middle East, and yet both of our nations are gravely concerned with Islamic militarism and terrorism. The reason? While we see different angles of the Middle Eastern geopolitical situation – the Islamic radicals only see one when they look at the non-Muslim world… infidels. In the eyes of the Islamic radical, we are all the same. It doesn’t matter if we are American, Russian, British, French, Australian, or Chinese… we are all the same and we will all be dealt with similarly.
Perhaps our political leaders should consider this as they continue to bicker and choose sides in the Middle East. Maybe it would make more sense for us to work with each other than it would for us to work with these Islamic states?
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