TODAY | February 01, 2014
>>> turning now to russia , where this time next saturday, the olympic winter games will be well under way. russia has spent billions to make sure the games are safe and secure for all the athletes and the visitors, but there are fears of an attack somewhere in russia , and those fears are high. richard engel is in the mountains outside of sochi this morning. richard, good morning. nice to see you. we know you've been there for weeks now. give us a sense, how have you seen the security situation change since you first arrived?
>> reporter: well, there's two layers of security here. one, there is the obvious security , the people that you see on the ground, and there are a lot of them, about 40,000 protecting the inner cordon all around the sochi, and then another 30,000 troops who are protecting the larger ring of steel. so, 70,000 personnel in all. then there is artillery in the mountains where we are right now. there is drones in the sky and all of the normal security checks you might expect, the mags and bags, the bomb dogs. but aside from that, there is also an invisible layer of security that most people here will never see, and that is the ongoing counterterrorism operations that are in the north caucasus , which are not very far from where we are right now. we are now in the mountain cluster. and to understand the security , you also have to understand a little bit of the layout of these games. they are spread out in two main areas. one, the coastal cluster down by the black sea . that's where the skating venues are, the hockey stadium. then, 30 miles away , a winding road up into the mountains, there is also a train that leads between the two venues, we arrive in the mountain cluster, where we are right now, and this is where the skiing and the sledding will take place. this area is much more difficult to secure because it's naturally spread out over the hills and valley, but we were on some of the slopes today and we did see security personnel using their binoculars, looking for fresh tracks in the snow. while all this is going on, american athletes and athletes from around the world have begun to arrive. we've been speaking to some of them as they come in through the airport. they are in good spirits. they've been tweeting out some photographs. apparently, they are satisfied with their accommodations. some people have been saying they are getting ready for the games. so, while all of these procedures are going on, it seems that the athletes, at least so far, have been able to be immune to it.
>> all right, well, hopefully, they will be able to keep it that way and keep that enthusiasm up. richard engel , nice to see you this morning. thank you.