In particular, Alexander Bortnikov reported on the prevention of a terrorist attack in the Moscow Region. Four criminals preparing a terrorist attack were detained and gave confessions.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Bortnikov, I would like you to report on the FSB’s counter terrorist activities in the Caucasus and elsewhere. Because there has been a number of special operations recently, as well as certain other events that I would like to hear about.
Director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov: Mr President, first of all, I would like to say that given the situation, we maintain our focus on the regions with the highest threat levels, first and foremost the North Caucasus, Southern and Volga Federal Districts.
Today, the most complicated situation is in Daghestan. In terms of figures, 110 terrorist crimes were recorded in that republic in the first half of this year. All together, 169 such crimes were recorded in Russia, and unfortunately, 110 of them occurred in Daghestan.
Taking this into account, we are conducting the necessary work with the National Anti-Terrorism Committee and the federal emergency response centre in cooperation with the head of the republic, and involving religious and community organisations. It is impossible to resolve the problem through force alone, so we are consolidating all strong forces in the region, first and foremost in this republic, in order to stabilise the situation.
As I already said, a total of 169 terrorist crimes in our nation were recorded in the first half of the year. We are working jointly with the Ministry of the Interior to prevent terrorist actions and crimes of this nature. During this period of time, we prevented 52 terrorist crimes and confiscated 280 improvised explosive devices, over 500 kilograms of explosive compounds and an enormous number of weapons. We have arrested 400 bandits and their accomplices. As a result of our operational and combat activities, we neutralised the work of 250 criminals.
But to my great regret, our forces have also suffered losses as a result of the work we are doing. During this time, 95 of our law enforcement and security agents were killed and 200 were wounded.
“It is impossible to bring about order through force alone. Such crimes are not purely criminal in nature, but are often shaded by ideology. We must work with their citizens and religious leaders.”
We understand the importance and necessity of stabilising the situation, first and foremost in the North Caucasus, so we are doing everything necessary in order to increase the efficacy of our work to take preventive actions.
Just a few days ago, we have averted a major terrorist attack that was being planned in the Moscow Region. We have detained a group of four people – residents of the North Caucasus – that was directly involved in preparing this terrorist attack targeting crowded areas as well as transport infrastructure facilities; we have confiscated an improvised explosive device ready for use with a total yield of 10 kilograms of TNT equivalent. We confiscated weapons, maps and attack plans marking locations for carrying out the terrorist attack. We also identified several accomplices that participated in the preparations for this attack.
Work on this case is being done as part of a criminal case; we have obtained the necessary proof and physical evidence, as well as confessions from this group. I will be further reporting to you on the progress of the investigation.
Dmitry Medvedev: It is imperative for the Federal Security Service, along with the Investigative Committee and other agencies involved in corresponding investigative actions, to bring the investigation to a logical conclusion, both for the case you just reported on and for others.
As for the overall data you just reported, they are certainly complicated and demonstrate that the situation remains quite tense. At the same time, in many cases, the Federal Security Service has been able not only to annihilate bandits breaking the law and impinging on the lives and peace of our citizens, but to prevent crimes as well.
I would like for you to submit your proposals concerning everyone who participated in these operations: both suggestions for state decorations and measures of material and other support for the families of fallen service members, since these are our comrades who have laid down their lives defending our nation.
And another, related topic. You rightly noted that it is impossible to bring about order through force alone. Clearly, such crimes are not purely criminal in nature. Often, they are shaded by ideology and religious overtones. Thus, both the FSB and especially the heads of the regions, including Daghestan, must work with their citizens, the citizens of our nation, regardless of their religious views, and at the same time, to work with and gain support from religious leaders, who traditionally engage in corresponding religious activities in our nation. I am referring first and foremost to Muslim religious leaders. I recently had a meeting with muftis while visiting one Caucasus region, Kabardino-Balkaria. And this conversation with muftis showed that they are truly doing everything possible to tell people about all the harm stemming from criminal activities, and simply demonstrating the necessity of normal, peaceful development in the these territories, these regions.
This kind of work should be also done by the National Anti-Terrorism Committee, as well as by the corresponding emergency response centre in coordination with regional authorities, because this is a different, but extremely important area of activity.
Alexander Bortnikov: Yes, Mr President. We will work on it.