With the 2014 Winter Olympics just weeks away, world leaders, including President Barack Obama, have announced that they will not be attending the Games in the Russian city of Sochi. But while reports indicate that the absences are in response to Russia’s ongoing LGBT rights abuses, this week’s terrorist attacks in Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, may be pointing at an alternative—some very real security concerns.
Russia’s southern city of Volgograd, located in the Federation’s unstable North Caucasus region, was targeted in a second suicide bombing on Monday when an explosion hit a trolleybus during the morning rush hour. The first attack, which killed 17 people at the city’s main train station, took place only 24 hours earlier.
At least 32 people have been killed in the two bombings over the last day.
Authorities have labeled the events terrorist attacks, according to Russian media, and have launched a security mission of more than 260 search groups and 142 investigative squads working to secure the city. So far, over 80 people have been detained in the “whirlwind anti-terror sweep.” No groups had claimed responsibility for the attacks as of Monday night, but reports have said that suspicion has largely fallen on Chechen separatist groups.