Russia’s president Vladimir Putin ordered intelligence agencies today to step up efforts to secure a volatile region near next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi city, saying the situation was not improving fast enough.
“Despite evident positive shifts, the situation in the North Caucasus is improving too slowly,” Putin told his Security Council, a body which advises him on security and defence, five months before the start of the February event.
“We are also facing destructive anti-Russian activity from a number of foreign states … which still see North Caucasus as a foothold to destabilize Russia overall, to cause us economic damage, undermine Russia’s global influence and activity,” he said
“Let them first of all look after themselves … They have plenty of violations themselves,” he said.
Vladimir Putin has already signed a decree imposing restrictions on freedom of movement and assembly near Olympic venue Sochi – an order which campaign groups say violates human rights.
The Kremlin has amassed a huge security infrastructure in region around the Black Sea resort town to prevent attacks on the games by Islamist militants involved in nearly daily violence in the nearby North Caucasus.
Putin urged the council to “mobilize all law enforcement bodies” to tighten security.