U.S. Issues Travel Alert for Sochi
The US State Department has issued a travel alert for Sochi, prior to the upcoming Winter Olympic Games.
The statement points out that large international events like the Olympics, are “an attractive target for terrorists”. It does not advise Americans against traveling to Russia, however suggests they should be aware of their surroundings and take precautions to stay safe, especially on public transport.
Russia has been hit by several terrorist attacks in recent months, with over 30 people losing their lives in the city of Volgograd. Militant groups from the North Caucus region have threatened to attack during the Olympics.
The alert also advised lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans to review the State Department's LGBT travel information page if they plan to visit Sochi for the Games, noting that Russia has in place a law that bans the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" to minors, reports ESPN.
According to officials, 37 000 police officers will patrol Sochi during the Olympics, which start on February 7.