Monday, 20 January 2014

Geopolitics of Sochi Winter Olympics

The North Caucus bordering Georgia and Azerbaijan to the south. The port city of Sochi is at the far Northwest on the Black Sea in Russia on the left near the border with Abkhazia. 
Sochi: Bringing Olympic spirit back to the games. The West's Media campaign against Russia

The Geopolitics of Sochi Winter Olympics

Now the most expensive Olympics in human history, the 2014 Winter Olympic site in Sochi was literally built from scratch in a span of five months. Russia particularly Putin is somersaulting backwards and left to right to showcase Russia's grand improvements and friendlier face to the world. His larger worry is not only image but the continual insurgency and terrorist attacks in the North Caucasus. Russian counterrorism and security forces ie FSB has been deployed across the Olympic site and wider city.  Sochi is at the left side tail end of the North Caucasus region on the Black Sea. Ironically, the town itself is one of the safer cities and regions in the Caucus. However, it has faced several threats from Al Qaeda like terrorists in the aftermath of Volgograd metro bombing. Volgograd is the new name for the former city of Stalingrad. It was not a coincidence the terrorists chose it to send their message of fear to Russia and the wider world. Since 1990 when a couple of North Caucasus autonomous republics Chechnya, Ingushetia, Ossetia declared their independence from the then Soviet Union until now, a militant insurgency relabeled as terrorism by Russian security forces since September 11 attacks has been ranging across North Caucuss destabilizing Chechnya, ingushetia, Daghestan and even the more peaceful regions closer to Sochi. Several metro stations in Moscow and other Russian cities have been bombed by both female and male suicide bombers. The last time Russia hosted the Olympics was in 1980 summer in the capital Moscow. The United States boycotting the Olympics for political reasons.

CNN has reported that the United States has sent one warship/aircraft carrier to the Black Sea on standby to evacuate all the American athletes in case a terrorist strike does occur. Which raises the question if the US is allowed to breach other nation's territorial and sea space in that manner. The United States is not the only country threatened by terrorism. Every other country participating in the winter Olympics from Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America also face threats against their athletic citizens from missing Black Widows and militants. Russian security forces are still running up and down Sochi, have created a Ring of Steel to block any breach of security by lone gunmen or terrorists and searching for possible attackers and militants in Daghestan. Russia security wants to reassure the world that citizens visiting will be safe. However, the anxiety is high among everyone: athletes, local Sochi residents, government and the media.

Terrorism in Volgograd 

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