Twin blasts in the Russian city of Volgograd have left Russians and Sochi Olympic enthusiasts rattled – but not as rattled as the dozens who were injured in the deadly attacks.
The first attack occurred over the weekend when an explosion at Volgograd’s main train station killed 17 people and wounded at least 35. The second blast happened on Monday when at least 14 people were killed and dozens more injured in a bombing on a trolleybus in Volgograd. The second suspected suicide bomb hit the trolleybus near a busy market during the morning rush hour.
A spokesman for the country’s federal investigation agency said the twin explosions were terrorist attacks – and not the kind of terrorists who hate public transportation, but the kind of terrorists who are involved in the Islamist-inspired insurgency against Russian rule in Chechnya and Dagestan (or so it’s speculated…)
“This strike, which was cynically planned for the period of preparations for New Year’s celebrations, is one more attempt by terrorists to open a domestic front, sow panic and chaos, and trigger religious strife and conflicts in Russian society,” said a statement Monday by Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The attacks come just weeks before Russia will host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, about 430 miles away from Volgograd. Despite the recent violence, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach insisted after Monday’s bombing that they feel “safe and secure” holding the games in Sochi – because, well, what else is he going to say? He also added that the Sochi Olympic Games will not require any extra security measures to be taken because “everything needed has already been done.”
But on the bright side, at least the bombings have temporarily distracted the international community from Russia’s anti-gay laws. Now athletes can concentrate less on being outed and more on not getting blown up.