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Without Olympic truce and amidst terrorist threats: Security at 2024 Games

Without Olympic truce and amidst terrorist threats: Security at 2024 Games Photo: Olympic Games in Paris (GettyImages)

In a few weeks, the 2024 Olympics will kick off in France. Against a backdrop of complex geopolitical circumstances, organizers are implementing heightened security measures. Special attention will be focused on the opening ceremony, which will take place outside the stadium for the first time in history.

RBC-Ukraine reports on the threats facing the Olympics, the absence of a traditional Olympic truce, and France's arrangements for spectator security.


Paris on high alert

Restrictions and security measures

2024 Games opening ceremony at risk

Athlete's security at the Olympics

No Olympic truce?

Paris on high alert

In April, the French Ministry of Armed Forces declared a state of high alert in the country to respond swiftly to threats.

The highest threat level, marked as "emergency attack alert," will be maintained throughout the preparation and duration of the Olympics, from July 26 to August 11.

These measures were implemented following the March 2024 terrorist attack in Russia, where over 140 people died in an ISIS assault on a Moscow concert hall.

French authorities do not rule out that the Paris Games could also become a target for Islamist or Russian terrorists, given the heightened global security situation due to Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine and the military conflict in Israel involving Hamas.

Law enforcement has already detained a Chechen in Paris who allegedly planned an attack during a football tournament held as part of the Games.

Additionally, French leader Emmanuel Macron stated he has no doubts that Russia will be "focused on the security" of the 2024 Olympics.

Evidence of Kremlin-initiated information attacks includes Russian bot posts claiming people are selling purchased tickets due to terrorism threats at the Summer Olympics. Russia has also disseminated misinformation through cyber operations and fake media pages.

Restrictions and security measures

Maintaining order at the Paris Olympics will involve approximately 45,000 police officers and gendarmes, alongside up to 20,000 private security personnel.

Furthermore, 2,000 foreign law enforcement officers will be deployed. France has secured security assistance agreements with partners for the 2024 Games, with at least 35 countries sending personnel and military equipment.

Without Olympic truce and amidst terrorist threats: Security at 2024 GamesPhoto: the French police and the military of other countries will be involved in the Olympics (GettyImages)

It is known, that Britain will deploy Starstreak air defense missile units to ensure air safety and provide drones. Poland will provide specially trained dogs for bomb detection and counter-terrorism operations. Germany will send its police officers to France after the Euro Championship, which will last in the country until mid-July.

A "security perimeter" will be established around Olympic facilities in Paris, requiring a special permit in the form of a QR code to enter these zones.

Registration for obtaining it can be done online by filling out a form with personal data. According to France's Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin, this will prevent any dangerous individuals from entering areas of mass gatherings.

2024 Games opening ceremony at risk

The opening ceremony of the 2024 Games raises the greatest concern among French intelligence services. For the first time, the main event of the Olympics will take place not in a stadium but along the banks of the Seine River. Athletes will float past spectators on boats, covering a route of about 6 km.

The French internal security headquarters called for canceling the ceremony in this format due to the excessively high threat level. Europe1, citing its intelligence sources, reported that the opening ceremony of the Games may face threats such as armed attacks and terrorists potentially using trucks to ram crowds. Intelligence also perceives a threat from "sleeper" terrorist groups who may "activate remotely from the Afghan region."

President of France Emmanuel Macron stated readiness to cancel the water-based ceremony and relocate the event to the Stade de France stadium in case of danger.

Without Olympic truce and amidst terrorist threats: Security at 2024 GamesPhoto: the opening ceremony may be moved to the stadium (

Currently, the Olympic opening ceremony is being prepared according to the planned scenario on the Seine. However, the number of spectators has been significantly reduced.

Earlier, organizers claimed that 600,000 spectators would be able to see the ceremony live. However, it is now known that only 104,000 ticket holders will be able to observe it from the lower banks of the Seine at the opening of the Olympics. Another 222,000 spectators will watch the ceremony for free from the upper banks, provided they have a QR code permit.

During the event on July 26, the French government will close all airports and airspace within a radius of 150 kilometers around Paris.

Athletes' security at the Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) reports that all measures will be taken to ensure the safe stay of all athlete delegations at the Games. French authorities are responsible for this.

Considering possible provocations from Russian and Belarusian athletes participating in the Olympics under neutral status, the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine (NOC) has provided corresponding recommendations to our athletes.

Ukrainian athletes are advised to "distance themselves" from Russians and Belarusians. It is preferable to refrain from direct contacts with representatives of Russia and Belarus, inform senior officials and delegation management about attempts of provocative actions by representatives of these two countries.

Additionally, the NOC calls for not reacting to the content of "neutral" participants, not participating in joint press conferences, live broadcasts, not taking joint photos, videos, etc. It is necessary to inform senior officials and delegation management about violations of conditions for the participation of "neutral" athletes.

No Olympic truce?

The truce during the Olympics is a tradition that has existed since ancient Greece.

The IOC decided to revive it at modern Games in 1992. The following year, the UN General Assembly called on countries to observe the "Olympic truce" during the period beginning a week before the opening and ending a week after the closing of each Olympic Games.

Without Olympic truce and amidst terrorist threats: Security at 2024 GamesPhoto: Macron proposed a truce during the Olympics (GettyImages)

It's worth noting that these rules have not always been followed:

  • Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine began four days after the closing of the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.
  • in 2014, the Games were held in Sochi concurrently with Russia's occupation of Crimea.
  • in 2008, Russian forces invaded Georgia one day before the opening of the Olympics in China.

Ahead of the 2024 Summer Olympics in France, President Emmanuel Macron proposed a "ceasefire regime" worldwide during their conduct. This proposal was specifically directed at Russia, which continues its full-scale aggression in Ukraine. Macron's initiative received support from Chinese President Xi Jinping.

However, Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin rejected this idea, stating that since Russia has been excluded from participating in the Paris Olympics, it is not obliged to adhere to the principles of the International Olympic Committee.

In response, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that Putin does not recognize the concept of ceasefire, and the Olympics have no authority for him.

The Ukrainian side believes that for Russia, a "cessation of hostilities" could serve as an advantage to move its troops and reinforce attempts to seize more Ukrainian territories.

Sources: France24, Europe1, L'Equipe, BFMTV, The Insider, statements from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, information from the NOC website, and the official portal of the Paris Olympics.