Dmitry Medvedev: Alexander Vasilyevich, I would like to hear from you about the situation in the North Caucasus, about what is being done to ensure our citizens’ security and what sort of problems the terrorist threat currently poses, in particular in light of the aggression Georgia has unleashed on South Ossetia.
Alexander Bortnikov: Dmitry Anatolyevich, I would describe the situation in the Southern Federal District in general and in the North Caucasus republics in particular as complicated but under control.
Over the spring and summer period, that is from May to August, we have neutralised the activities of around 50 bandits and leaders of underground groups, and we have also liquidated around 180 caches of weapons and bandits’ bases. We have seized more than 150 kilograms of explosives.
A special operation was carried out in Dagestan together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs that resulted in the liquidation of an explosives production workshop and two underground workshops redesigning and producing firearms that were then to have been delivered to bandit groups.
We have received information that a group of gunmen, foreign mercenaries, have entered Dagestan from neighbouring countries. We are working on this group together with our partners from the CIS countries.
According to our information, in the run-up to launching their act of aggression, Georgian intelligence services were active in South Ossetian territory and in the adjoining Russian regions.
We have detained nine Georgian intelligence agents, who were gathering intelligence on military sites and planning terrorist acts, including on Russian Federation territory. They are giving evidence and work is underway within the framework of criminal cases. A Georgian intelligence officer who was illegally in the Russian Federation and was running this agent network has also been detained and we are working with him now, taking procedural steps.
Given the situation in the North Caucasus, I have issued instructions to reinforce the Federal Security Service’s work in the Southern Federal District and the Border Guards Service.
Similar instructions have also been given to the National Counterterrorist Committee and the Federal Operations Headquarters.
We have the situation under control and are taking all necessary measures to prevent possible terrorist acts in the Southern Federal District and in Russia in general.
Dmitry Medvedev: Keep these matters under your personal control and report to me.
Alexander Bortnikov: I will.