President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Today a very serious terrorist attack took place at the central market in Vladikavkaz. First of all, I would like to tell you, Mr Mamsurov, and all the people of North Ossetia that we grieve for the victims, we grieve for the innocent people who died as a result of this heinous terrorist act.
The people of Russia stand together with the people of North Ossetia because what has happened is another crime perpetrated by bandits, with whom there can be no truce or compromise.
Our main goal today is to help the victims by providing all types of medical aid in Vladikavkaz, in Moscow, and in other places if necessary, and by providing moral and financial support to the victims’ families. So, first of all, I would like to express my condolences to you and all those affected by this horrific act of terrorism.
Let's talk about the measures being taken. We spoke on the telephone this morning and, as you know, I issued instructions to the Plenipotentiary Envoy [Alexander Khloponin, Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District]. He will fly to Vladikavkaz to supervise all the necessary measures being taken. Law enforcement agencies will start an investigation. I gave the relevant instructions to the Federal Security Service, and to the [Prosecutor General’s Office] Investigative Committee. But that is a separate subject.
First, let's talk about the people.
Mr Mamsurov, go ahead, please.
President of North Ossetia-Alania Taimuraz Mamsurov: Thank you, Mr President.
I briefed you earlier today, so you know my first impressions of what I saw at the scene of the explosion and the scenario of the events that took place.
According to preliminary information, the power of the explosive device was about 30 kg in TNT equivalent. The car was not standing still, it was driving down the street and detonated as it drove past the entrance to the Central Market.
“The people of Russia stand together with the people of North Ossetia because what has happened is another crime perpetrated by bandits, with whom there can be no truce or compromise.”
I have been briefed on the casualties and the information I have at present is as follows: 15 dead and 90 injured, including 10 people with very grave injuries, and, unfortunately, there are children among them. Given the severity of the injuries, the numbers can change. The Emergency Ministry and the Healthcare Ministry are receiving regular reports.
Law enforcement agencies reported to me that they have launched an investigation into the individuals responsible for this dreadful terrorist attack, and the operational headquarters has been established. Doctors are doing everything they can to save the lives of the gravely injured. We are to decide on the measures to help the injured and the families of those killed.
I fully share your reaction to this heinous terrorist attack on the territory of Northern Caucasus, of our republic. I also support tough measures, which must inevitably follow what has happened. Our republic, like many of our neighbours, knows the cost of such losses. But we are strong enough to participate in any steps that will be undertaken by the country’s leadership to finally end this horror, this baseness, which those monsters force upon us. I apologise for my emotional reaction but I see that the country’s top leadership shares my feelings.
We are receiving regular reports on what is happening in hospitals and the progress made by law enforcement agencies and security services. We will do everything to minimise the irrecoverable losses. The prevalent attitude in the republic is rejection and harsh condemnation of such attacks.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you, Mr Mamsurov.
It really is an absolutely cynical attack because it is aimed directly against the ordinary civilian population. That is what makes it particularly abhorrent. But setting aside the usual conclusions following an event of this kind, we need to focus on providing every kind of assistance necessary to the victims. So I have asked two of our colleagues to join us today, and one of them is Minister of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief Sergei Shoigu. Mr Shoigu, what measures have been taken on my instructions, and how do you propose to help the injured?
Minister of Civil Defence, EMERGENCIES AND DISASTER RELIEF SERGEI SHOIGU: Mr President, on your instructions, the IL-76 rescue plane has left for Vladikavkaz. I think it must have taken off by now as it was ready 15 minutes before the start of this videoconference. The plane is equipped with modules for evacuating up to 20 patients in a critical condition. Specialists from the Healthcare Ministry and the Institute of Neurosurgery are on board, as well as medical teams from the Disaster Medicine Centre and other leading medical institutions that specialise in evacuation. The second plane, also capable of carrying 20 injured people, is preparing for departure. At the same time, we are getting ready to receive the patients in Moscow; we have four medical helicopters at the arrival airport, so that we can transport the injured by air to the Sklifosovsky Research Institute of Emergency Medicine and to other hospitals where helicopters can land.
The third measure we are taking together with the Healthcare Ministry is the installation of telemedicine equipment at the main hospital in Vladikavkaz. We will be able to gather leading traumatology and neurosurgery specialists here in Moscow to provide maximum help to all the victims and help the doctors who are now working in Vladikavkaz.
The fourth measure is to supply medicines, and currently we are waiting for information from colleagues in Vladikavkaz on the drugs that are needed. If necessary, we will also transport an adequate supply of blood, which has been prepared in conjunction with the Healthcare Ministry and is ready for shipment.
That is the end of my report.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you, Mr Shoigu.
“Our main goal today is to help the victims by providing all types of medical aid in Vladikavkaz, in Moscow, and in other places if necessary, and by providing moral and financial support to the victims’ families. So, first of all, I would like to express my condolences to all those affected by this horrific act of terrorism.”
There are many severely injured people and, of course, we have to think about their transportation, as you said: in case of need you can use helicopters, other vehicles, if required on medical grounds, and other options that you mentioned. Keep your finger on the pulse, stay in contact with the President of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania and take joint on-the-spot decisions, together with the Healthcare Ministry, of course.
Mr Topilin, what has the Ministry done so far? What is the people’s condition? What is the plan for the near future?
Deputy Healthcare and Social Development Minister Maksim Topilin: Mr President,
As we heard in the previous report, specialists from the Zashchita National Disaster Medicine Centre have left for Vladikavkaz on board of a plane of the Ministry of Emergencies; there are two emergency response teams, with six specialists in total. In addition, a multidisciplinary medical centre in Beslan with 300 beds has been prepared to receive the injured. Everything there has been organised and prepared.
At present, all the injured are being treated at the emergency medicine hospital, the republican hospital and the republican children's hospital. Ten of them are in a critical condition. The specialists are presently selecting the people who will be evacuated to Moscow, if necessary. All the hospitals that may be needed in Moscow have also been prepared, including the Vishnevsky Surgery Institute, the Central Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics, the Helmholtz Research Institute of Eye Diseases, because there may be eye traumas, and the Pirogov National Medical Surgical Centre. Here in Moscow, all the facilities are ready to render every assistance necessary.
Apart from providing medical aid, we have prepared a draft resolution on financial assistance to the victims. We are submitting it as a priority. It stipulates a million rubles to the families of those killed, 400,000 to those who sustained grave injuries, and 200,000 to those who have minor to moderate injuries. This draft resolution will be submitted to the Government today.
Dmitry Medvedev: Everything that you have said certainly needs to be finished, both regarding medical aid and social support. This is a relatively small compensation we can provide to the people in this situation because it is impossible to replace those who have perished, the loved ones and relatives. But in any case, all these measures must be implemented. I instruct the Government to make all the necessary arrangements to that effect today.
Mr Mamsurov, it is vital that you talk with the people. I think that the investigating authorities will do it today too, but I hope that you will be able to gather people as well. Once again, I would like to ask you to pass on our condolences and tell them that we will do everything to catch those monsters, as you said, those bastards who committed an act of terrorism against common people, a barbaric act of terrorism. We will do our best to ensure that they are found and punished in accordance with the law of our country, and if they resist they will be destroyed. I am confident that we will accomplish this, but now it is necessary, above all, to focus on the care and support for the victims.
I would like you and the Plenipotentiary Envoy, who is due to arrive in Vladikavkaz today, to take charge of this work.
Taimuraz Mamsurov: I understand, Mr President.
We will do everything we can.