Putin pays tribute to victims of Volgograd bombings

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Vladimir Putin has vowed to annihilate all ‘terrorists’ in Russia in his presidential New Year address.

And he started 2014 by paying tribute to the victims of the suicide blasts in Volgograd that have killed 34 people.

The Russian leader had travelled to the southern city to meet the injured.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombings. But they have raised fears of attacks by Islamist insurgents on next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Putin, who also met anti-terrorism officials, said: “The meanness of the crimes committed here in Volgograd needs no additional comments. Whatever the motives of the criminals, there is no excuse for crimes against civilians, especially women and children.”

Less than 24 hours separated Monday’s attack on a trolleybus and Sunday’s explosion at a railway station.

Insurgent leader Doku Umarov has urged militants to use “maximum force” to prevent the Games from going ahead.

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