“Serious intelligence work is being provided in the North Caucasus”

Vestnik Kavkaza, April 16, 2013

Interview by Daria Melikhova, exclusively to Vestnik Kavkaza

Ahead of the Olympics in Sochi, not only test competitions, but also security arrangements are being conducted. Sergey Goncharov, president of the International Association of Veterans of Alfa, the anti-terrorist unit, told Vestnik Kavkaza about preparations for security services at the Olympic Games in Sochi.

 What security measures are being taken for the Olympic Games in Sochi?

We, Russia, which welcomes the Olympic Games in Sochi, want the Olympics to pass well, because great sums are invested in it. The main point is that special services of the law-enforcement system are involved. They will do their best to provide its security. Many structures are provided security in Sochi: the Interior Ministry, the Federal Security Service, the Emergency Ministry, and other forces. A headquarters was established. It is headed by one of the deputy heads of the Federal Security Service. The headquarters has been operating since Sochi was declared to be the host of the Olympics 2014. To be honest, it has been functioning for a long time; training sessions are being conducted. And today we are 80-85% ready to welcome delegations for providing security to members of delegations and people who will come to watch the Games.

 Who or what can disturb the Olympics?

To be honest, near Sochi we have a region – and nobody hides it – the North Caucasus region, which still experiences serious anti-terrorist operations. Terrorist gangs and plain criminals are acting in the territory. Our enemies inside our country and abroad are preparing to ruin the Olympics, but we are preparing to prevent this. We have different interests. Today, the forces which are involved by special services are ready to prevent any emergencies at the Games.

Serious intelligence work provided in the North Caucasus ahead of the Olympic Games is aimed at finding channels through which our enemies are working on their own or with the help of hirelings and trying to commit terrorist acts in Sochi or at the sporting facilities where competitions will take place.

Responsibility zones and controlled access areas have been established. They will be controlled by special services’ employees and if a criminal passes the first zone, he won’t pass the second and the third zones.

And the most important thing is that we will use security measures to protect the territory of the North Caucasus from penetration by militants and suicide bombers who will try to spoil the Olympics.

Can the situation in Syria influence the Olympic Games in Sochi?

I think by February the situation in Syria will be settled in one direction or another – either Assad will head the country or someone else will head the country. Considering that, we will know what side we should take. While the situation in Syria is ambiguous, I think no special service can predict the end of the conflict. So, we are calmly preparing for both variants. At the moment it doesn’t concern us.