Question: There have been rumours that the current situation resembles August 1996. What is your response?
Vladimir Putin: This is not an ordinary rumour but deliberate and provocative misinformation. The situation today has nothing in common with 1996, and it will have nothing in common with it in the future. The main principled and qualitative difference is that we have the support of the Chechen people, who are tired of gangsters and terrorists, who want peaceful life. We will help them. Second, the efficiency of the Armed Forces and the Interior Ministry gives us every reason to expect that our goals will be met. We know there are problems. We still have casualties. But we understand the present situation. We are firmly convinced that we will face terrorism and extremism elsewhere in this country unless we extinguish its hotbed here. That is certain. Russia cannot afford any more experiments of that kind. Russia will not put up with any further abuse of the Chechen people. It cannot allow for the Chechen land to be used as a bridgehead to attack other parts of the country. There will be no more of that.