Some 1,500 troops from the Siberian Regional Command of the Russian Interior Ministry's Internal Troops have started performing the task of providing security at the Sochi Olympics, Siberian Regional Commander Viktor Strigunov told reporters.
"It involves primarily protection of and prevention of unauthorized access to sports facilities, residential areas, thoroughfares and bridges. Part of the forces and vehicles will be protecting public order along with the police," he said.
They are due to start service next week, Strigunov said.
The initial plan was to get the Internal Troops' marine units involved in providing security in Sochi, but this idea was later discarded, he also said.
"Initially it was part of the plan, but then the bosses decided not to get the marine units involved, although we did have trained servicemen, including divers, for carrying out certain jobs," Strigunov said.
Siberian Regional Command troops have been accommodated in a military town near Krasnaya Polyana and underwent the necessary practical and theoretical training; all are recruits serving under contract, there is not a single conscript among the Siberian Regional Command group in Sochi, he said.
Currently, conscripts in the Siberian Regional Command account for no more than 5 percent, and by the 2015 spring campaign the regional command will stop enlisting conscripts altogether, save in isolated cases, Strigunov also said.
It was reported that the Russian Interior Ministry's Internal Troops set up a 10,000-strong group to provide security at Sochi Olympics.
All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.