Russia Claims Thwarted Drone Attacks On World Cup Events This Summer


The head of Russia’s Federal Security Service claimed on November 7 that it thwarted attempted drone attacks at World Cup events this summer.

Aleksandr Bortnikov said his officers "took measures to detect and foil attempts by terrorists to use drones during the preparation and hosting of various major political and sports events, most of all during the soccer World Cup."

Bortnikov didn’t say who the "terrorists" were or how they were stopped in comments reported by Russian news agencies.

Separately, Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev told the Interfax news agency that seven "nationalist" hooligan gangs were stopped from attacking foreign fans.

He said the gangs had allegedly planned to target supporters from England, Senegal, Argentina, and Poland.

Neither Bortnikov nor Kolokoltsev specified any court cases or convictions resulting from their agencies’ actions. In April, Russia said "extremists" and nationalist soccer hooligans had planned to attack World Cup events in the city of Samara, but were foiled.

Russia deployed thousands of police officers and cutting-edge surveillance technology to guard the World Cup, including facial-recognition cameras, airport-style scanners, and obligatory government-issue ID cards for anyone attending the games.

However, four Pussy Riot protesters managed to run onto the field during a finals match. They each served 15 days in jail for disrupting the event.

One of the protesters, Pyotr Verzilov, fell ill suddenly in September and was taken to Germany for treatment. Friends said he was poisoned, an explanation that German doctors considered "highly plausible," though they couldn’t say who may have poisoned him or how.

Based on reporting by AP and Interfax

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