With the 2014 Winter Olympics four months away, Russia's role as host has been tarnished for many by outrage over its “homosexual propaganda” law that threatens to imperil gay athletes and spectators who openly represent their sexual preference.
But the International Olympic Committee performed its final inspection of the Sochi venue last month, and despite the "serious floods that have turned much of the city into a quagmire and ongoing protests from campaigners for LGBT rights," the Washington Post reported, "an IOC delegation praised the 'magnificent' venues and promised a 'fabulous experience.'"
Now in light of new revelations that Russia will deploy "some of the most invasive and systematic spying and surveillance in the history of the Games," it may be the case that the LGBT uproar has been overshadowing lesser-known concerns about possible threats of violence targeting the the venue, which is located in the volatile North Caucasus.
Experts say that while they think a successful strike by Islamic separatists against the Olympics is unlikely, the Kremlin’s methods of preventing terrorism may create more complications for the unstable region.
Having been able to contain—but not totally extinguish—the violence in Chechnya, the territory where alleged Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were born, and its neighbors Dagestan and Ingushetia, where Islamic rebels have been at arms for two decades of secessionist contention, Putin is now calling for a “new security push” in the region.