Putin, recalling Boston Bombers, wants Sochi Safe - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Putin, recalling Boston Bombers, wants Sochi Safe

Posted: Updated:

By ANGELA CHARLTON

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — President Vladimir Putin pointed Wednesday to the Boston Marathon bombings as a big reason for the intense security around the Winter Olympics that Russia is kicking off this week.

The Chechen brothers accused of the 2013 Boston attacks hailed from just a few hundred miles (kilometers) away from the Olympic sites at Sochi. This Black Sea town and neighboring Caucasus Mountains are readying to host world leaders, thousands of athletes and many more spectators at the Feb. 7-23 games.

Twin bombings in another southern Russian city in December have heightened terrorism fears around the Sochi events.

Intelligence agencies from multiple countries will be working together around the clock at a special headquarters in Sochi, Putin said while visiting Olympic sites Wednesday.

"In the U.S., people died at a marathon, during the G-8 there were terrorist acts in the London subway," he said, according to Russian news agencies.

Putin rose to power and popularity 15 years ago on law-and-order, hard-on-terrorism policies that critics say go too far and suppress human rights. He had long warned the West about the dangers posed by Chechen rebels, and urged closer security cooperation with Washington after the Boston Marathon attacks.

Putin has made security central to the Olympic project, in which he has taken an unusual personal interest.

Despite hang-ups and criticism and higher costs than any Olympics in history, Putin told athletes and staff Wednesday that "Russia is ready to host the games."

The Olympic zone on the Black Sea shore still looks like a construction area. Some hotel rooms aren't quite finished. And electricity outages occasionally disrupt the intense security measures.

Putin obliquely referred to the unfinished nature of some sites, calling Sochi "the world's biggest construction project." The construction started largely from scratch, as workers filled in swamp land on the shores of the Black Sea for the skating arena, hockey stadium and other key sites, and built up ski facilities on what had been largely untapped slopes.

Putin proudly oversaw the raising of a Russian flag in front of Olympic venues, but didn't mention other criticism he and Russia have come under about the games: corruption in building projects, pressure on environmental activists, anger over a Russian law seen as infringing on gay rights, even a campaign to shoot stray dogs in Sochi's streets.

Humane Society International sent Putin a letter urging him to stop targeting the dogs. Calling it "not only inhuman but ineffective," the group in a statement recommended mass sterilization and vaccination instead.

Putin also gave a pep talk to Russia's Olympic athletes, after the national disgrace of winning just 15 medals in Vancouver in 2010.

Fans "will be watching your every appearance with the greatest attention," he is quoted as saying. "We are all counting on you."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two arrested in scrap metal theft

    Two arrested in scrap metal theft

    Thursday, August 21 2014 2:56 PM EDT2014-08-21 18:56:55 GMT
    DEVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - On August 20, 2014, Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office deputies from the Deville Substation responded to 100 block of Fred Redwine Road in Deville in reference to the theft of tractor parts and other heavy metal items.More >>
    DEVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - On August 20, 2014, Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office deputies from the Deville Substation responded to 100 block of Fred Redwine Road in Deville in reference to the theft of tractor parts and other heavy metal items.More >>
  • Ice Bucket Challenge made to Tioga Detectives

    Ice Bucket Challenge made to Tioga Detectives

    Friday, August 15 2014 5:38 PM EDT2014-08-15 21:38:12 GMT
    TIOGA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - In November of 2003, the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office lost one of its most devoted and hard working Detectives we have ever had. More >>
    TIOGA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - In November of 2003, the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office lost one of its most devoted and hard working Detectives we have ever had. More >>
  • RPSO arrests Alexandria man in firearm theft case

    RPSO arrests Alexandria man in firearm theft case

    Thursday, August 21 2014 2:51 PM EDT2014-08-21 18:51:06 GMT
    (KALB News Channel 5) - On August 14, 2014, Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the 3800 block of LA 121 in Boyce in reference to a burglary.More >>
    (KALB News Channel 5) - On August 14, 2014, Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the 3800 block of LA 121 in Boyce in reference to a burglary.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KALB. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.