Vladimir Putin visited Botlikh 2019-09-12 14:30:00 Daghestan Vladimir Putin visited the village of Botlikh whose residents were among the first to fight the groups of militants who entered Daghestan from Chechnya in August 1999. The President laid flowers at the monument to Botlikh District residents who lost their lives in the Great Patriotic War, the war in Afghanistan, fighting in Daghestan in August-September 1999 and other armed conflicts. The central element of the monument, which was unveiled on September 11, is a cliff with three human figures – a soldier in the Great Patriotic War, a fighter in international conflicts and a militiaman. The monument was designed by Khizri Asadulayev, National Artist of the Republic of Chechnya and Distinguished Artist of the Republic of Daghestan. Vladimir Putin met with local residents and militia fighters who took part in the 1999 hostilities. Daghestan is marking the 20th anniversary of defeating the international terrorist groups and Daghestan Unity Day. On August 7, 1999, armed groups from Chechnya led by Shamil Basayev and Khattab entered the Tsumadinsky and Botlikh districts of Daghestan and then spread into the Novolaksky District. Local residents were the first to rise against the terrorists. They managed to force them out of Daghestan by mid-September, following which a large-scale counterterrorism operation was launched in the North Caucasus. Vladimir Putin visited Botlikh for the first time in August 1999. It was one of his first trips in the capacity of prime minister. He brought state decorations awarded to Daghestani militiamen and federal military personnel for driving Chechen terrorists out of Daghestan. He also flew over the battle areas and chaired a meeting with the Daghestani authorities and the heads of federal security agencies in Makhachkala. Those attending the meeting approved decisions on the economic, military and political normalisation in the Daghestani regions bordering Chechnya and discussed the restoration of damaged housing and the return of Dagestani refugees back home. On August 2, 2019, the President signed a law on granting the status of combat veterans to the Daghestani militiamen who fought against the terrorists. The status is granted to those who took part in hostilities as members of militia groups during counterterrorism operations in Daghestan in August and September 1999.