December 17, 2013
Russia has announced a large security operation for the Sochi Olympics, with 10,000 troops already on the ground.
The troops will be in the Black Sea resort city for three months, the interior ministry said, while also saying that they would not get in the way. Russia has promised a safe Olympics and has allocated $50 billion to the security effort. The troops will wear not military uniforms but outfits similar to Olympics organizers, but of a different color.
An estimated 18,000 troops guarded the 2012 Summer Olympics, in London.
As part of the expanded Sochi security plan, all spectators will need accreditation. People wanting to enter the Olympic Park will have to have tickets purchased by showing a passport number and photo. Organizers of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 employed a similar system.
Security will also be tight surrounding the ski facilities, in the mountains near Sochi, and at transport hubs. Watching silently from the skies will be a serious of surveillance drones, which Russian security will deploy over stadiums, railroads, and roads, transmitting images all day and night to a security command center.
Observers reported a few mock counterterrorist operations in Sochi in the past few weeks.
The Winter Olympics Games run February 7-23.