Alexandr Chekalin: At 9 o'clock and 25 minutes …
Vladimir Putin: No, begin with yesterday.
Alexandr Chekalin: The day before yesterday law-enforcement agencies uncovered a huge hiding place with packages containing up to half a tonne of explosives. This was a sign that armed insurgents are preparing a serious attack on their targets. Naturally, we tried to find the owners of these packages and as a matter of fact, last night's operative and search operations in the White Stream area of the suburb of Nalchik, a resort zone, enabled us to find a group of 10 people who put up fierce resistance.
Therefore three armed insurgents were killed and the others were cornered. At dawn, morning operations resumed.
And I am a hundred percent certain that an attack by bandits on some law-enforcement structures in Nalchik have a direct, cause-and-effect relationship with the people we cornered in the White Stream area.
We have reason to believe that one of the major organizers of the bandit underground and illegal armed organizations was, and perhaps still is, within this group.
This attack is, so to say, the bandits' retaliatory action. The attack's intention was to deflect attention away from this group, and enable them to get away.
Vladimir Putin: The group you cornered?
Alexandr Chekalin: Yes, the group that was cornered continued to render armed resistance this morning and has now been completely destroyed. So I can report that all memebers of the group have been liquidated today as a direct result of their fierce armed attack.
Vladimir Putin: Resistance …
Alexandr Chekalin: Yes, resistance. Regarding the citizens' and, strictly speaking, the local population's safety, immediately after the receiving news of the attack schoolchildren were dismissed from school, all social establishments where people might be gathered were protected by law-enforcement bodies, and certain constraints were introduced.
Vladimir Putin: How is cooperation with other law-enforcement agencies such as those of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Federal Security Service proceeding?
Alexandr Chekalin: The cooperation took place along the lines of the decree you signed on creating groups of operational management. This system worked. It worked quickly and faultlessly. The head of the group of operational management took on the leadership of the operation, and the numbers were sufficient. And just now we received news that all the targets of the military attack are now deblocked and deblocking of the department of internal affairs number three is coming to an end.
Vladimir Putin: But the armed combats are still going on?
Alexandr Chekalin: Yes, the armed combats are still going on. There are five armed insurgents who are firing heavily. I think that this will be over in an hour or so.
Vladimir Putin: How many bandits have been destroyed?
Alexandr Chekalin: We have reason to believe that in total, more than fifty bandits have been killed.
Vladimir Putin: How many losses did we incur?
Alexandr Chekalin: Our losses number around ten to twelve people. These are irrevocable losses.