Russian President Vladimir Putin, 61, made an early morning appearance in Volgograd on Jan. 1, where he visited injured victims of his country’s recent terrorist attacks, placed flowers at a memorial site that sprang up at one of the bombing sites, and swore to "annihilate" those responsible for the two Volgograd bombings that killed 31 and wounded many more earlier this week.
"No matter what motivated the criminals, there can be no justification for crimes against civilians, particularly against women and children."
"The vileness of the crime - or crimes - that were committed here, in Volgograd, needs no additional commentary."
Seventeen people reportedly lost their lives on Dec. 29, with many more seriously injured, when a female suicide bomber detonated herself in a train station in the Russian city of Volgograd, which was the first major signal raising fears of terrorist strikes as Russia prepares to the host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
Less than 24 hours later in the same city of Volgograd, located about 400 miles away from Sochi, a male suicide bomber detonated himself on Dec. 30 while riding on a bus trolley, killing 14 people and injuring 28 more during Volgograd’s early morning rush hour.
"We will confidently, fiercely and consistently continue the fight against terrorists until their complete annihilation." ~ Russian President Vladimir Putin
Immediately following the first bombing, Putin ordered increased police protection against future terrorist attacks.
Also following the first bombing in Volgograd, the U.S. condemned the terrorist attacks and offered to assist the Russian government with security in advance of the Winter Olympics, according to The Raw Story.
Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council, released a statement, saying in part:
“The US government has offered our full support to the Russian government in security preparations for the Sochi Olympic Games, and we would welcome the opportunity for closer cooperation for the safety of the athletes, spectators, and other participants.”
Hayden also sent sincere condolences to the Russian victim’s families, and said that “The United States stands in solidarity with the Russian people against terrorism.”
For more on Putin and his struggle with terrorist attacks in Russia, see the video accompanying this article.
- Second Russian suicide bombing in less than 24 hours kills 14 on trolley bus
- Winter Olympics: Female suicide bomber kills 16 in Russian terrorist attack
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