Dmitry Medvedev noted that participants in the special operations in the North Caucasus should receive state decorations.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Bortnikov, the Federal Security Service in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies has recently conducted a number of special operations in the North Caucasus Federal District, and on the whole they were a success. I would like to hear your report on what has been done recently and what lies ahead.
Director of Federal Security Service Alexander BORTNIKOV: Mr President, during August, a number of special and tactic operations were conducted against the militants who remain active on the territory of the North Caucasus. This resulted in the elimination of over 30 militants and their leaders, and huge quantities of firearms and explosives have been confiscated. In addition, we were able to prevent several terrorist attacks planned by the militants.
If we talk specifically about the results of our efforts, on August 21 acting together with all the security agencies and the military that are actively participating in the process, and using intelligence material we had received, we succeeded in eliminating the leader of the Daghestan militants Magomedali Vagabov, who was involved in preparing the suicide bombings in the Moscow metro and in Kizlyar. As a result of our operation four militants who were with him were also eliminated, and one more was arrested and handed over to the investigating authorities.
Just in the past 24 hours, Daghestan special purpose police unit (OMON) has conducted a successful operation against another of Vagabov's gangs, and five militants have been eliminated.
On August 23 a special operation was organised against the leader of the Ingush militants Magomed Gardanov, who took the place of Ali ”Magas“ Taziyev, an insurgent leader detained in June. Four other militant leaders operating on the territory of Ingushetia were with him. They resisted and were also eliminated.
Mr President, we have also taken action on case materials on the so-called Volno-Aulski (Free Village) group of militants operating in Kabardino-Balkaria. This group was rounded up in Nalchik, at one of the addresses we had in our information, and was completely destroyed in the course of a special operation. This criminal group was involved in organising an explosion on May 1, 2010 at the Nalchik hippodrome, and a number of other terrorist attacks in Kabardino-Balkaria. A large number of evidence and militants’ archives were seized, including some materials of interest related to the Vagabov group, showing that it was in contact with international terrorists.
We are analysing the evidence, some of which will be used in the preparation and conduct of our future operations, and some has already been submitted as evidence in the criminal cases. We are continuing with our work.
Dmitry Medvedev: This is an excellent result, and the bandits have sustained considerable damage. No doubt, the effort in this direction should continue within the framework of the instructions I have issued and the reports and proposals you have submitted.
With regard to individual gangsters eliminated in the course of the special operations, it is a natural outcome of their criminal activity. That is why, when the terrorist attack was perpetrated in the metro, I said that they must all be found and eliminated. That is the only way to deal with them, we cannot stand on ceremony.
And as for those who took part in these operations, officers of the FSB, Interior Ministry and other agencies, all of them deserve the highest praise and should receive state decorations.