December 30, 2013 10:00 am -

volgograd-russia-bomb-explosion-site_20131230055408660_660_320With six weeks to go until the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, one can safely assume Russian authorities are scrambling not only to secure their cities but contain public relations damage as Islamists strike a for the second time in as many days in Volgograd:

Russian officials say a suicide bomber blew himself up on a trolleybus, killing at least 14 people and wounding nearly 30 others. The latest attack came one day after at least 17 people died in a suicide bombing at the city’s central rail station.

The explosion ripped away much of the bus’s exterior and broke windows in nearby buildings. The BBC reported that the explosion took place near a market in the city’s Dzerzhinsky district. It virtually paralyzed public transport in the city, forcing many residents to walk long distances to get to work.

Volgograd, a city of 1 million people formerly known as Stalingrad during the Soviet era, is located approximately 425 miles due northeast of the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, site of next February’s winter Olympics. Opening Ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Games are just 39 days away. Both cities are located near the unstable North Caucasus region, where Islamic insurgents have waged a campaign of violence against rule from Moscow for the better part of two decades.

The latest attacks will undoubtedly heighten fears by Russian officials that militant groups could step up the violence with the attention of much of the world expected to be on Sochi for the Olympic Games.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.