Responding to two recent terrorist bombings in Russia, the International Olympic Committee's new president, Thomas Bach of Germany, has insisted "Sochi 2014 is for athletic achievements and terrorism must never triumph" in his New Year's Day message on Wednesday.
Bach, who had succeeded France's Jacques Rogge to become the ninth IOC chief, blasted the terrorists for their suicide bomb attacks which left more than 34 Russians dead. Security experts say that the attacks were a warning of what can be expected as Russia gears up to host the Winter Olympics in less than six weeks.
Despite the terrorist bombings, Bach claimed in his New Year's message that he firmly believes that the Russian government, police and military will "deliver a safe and secure Olympic Winter Games for all athletes and all participants and we must ensure that nothing interferes with them [the athletes] realizing their full potential in the world's biggest sports event."
President Vladimir Putin has already ordered the National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAC) to tighten security throughout Russia after the two improvised explosive device (IED) blasts in Volgograd left at least 34 people dead in addition to the two suicide bombers, a man and a woman suspected of being members of a radical Muslim organization.
Putin on Wednesday visited some victims of terror blasts in Volgograd, a city of one million people in central Russia that has endured suicide bombings since October. He also discussed public security with high ranking officials.
Several presidential instructions are already in place in Volgograd, which was once called Stalingrad under communist rule.
Terrorist attacks in Russia have been on the rise recently, most of them linked to the conflict in the predominately Muslim province of Chechnya.