State Issues Travel Alert for Sochi Games

skiierThe Department of State (DOS) has alerted U.S. citizens planning to attend the 2014 Olympic Games in Russia that they should remain attentive regarding their personal security at all times. The Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place in Sochi, Russia, from February 7 to March 16, 2014, State noted. 

The Department strongly recommends that all U.S. citizens residing or traveling abroad enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to receive pertinent safety and security information.

RELATED: How Is Russia Improving Security?

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"Large-scale public events such as the Olympics present an attractive target for terrorists. Russian authorities have indicated that they are taking appropriate security measures in Sochi in light of this. Acts of terrorism, including bombings and hostage takings, continue to occur in Russia, particularly in the North Caucasus region. Between October 15 and December 30, 2013, there were three suicide bombings targeting public transportation in the city of Volgograd (600 miles from Sochi), two of which occurred within the same 24-hour period," State said.

Travelers to Sochi should expect increased police presence and enhanced security measures in and around the Olympic venues, State said. There is no indication of a specific threat to U.S. institutions or citizens, but U.S. citizens should be aware of their personal surroundings and follow good security practices, State said.

RELATED: Sochi, Russia, Expands Hotel Portfolio Before 2014 Olympics

"U.S. citizens are urged to remain vigilant and exercise good judgment and discretion when using any form of public transportation. When traveling, U.S. citizens may wish to provide a friend, family member, or coworker a copy of their itinerary," State said. 

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