MOSCOW, June 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded that law enforcers and special services resolutely rebuke extremists and criminal formations in Russia’s North Caucasus.
“We must resolutely rebuke extremists, who attempt using radical nationalist and separatist slogans, those who attempt to divide our society and weaken the unity of our country,” Putin said on Friday at a meeting with officers from Russian defense, security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
“The situation in the North Caucasus must remain under a special control,” he said. “The fight against corruption, crime and criminal formations must be conducted firmly and consistently.”
The Islamist insurgency, once confined largely to the republic of Chechnya, has spread across the North Caucasus in recent years. Attacks on security forces, police and civilians are reported regularly in the neighboring republics of Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.
The president also said that the fight against terrorism must remain a priority for the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) noting “positive results” in the work of the service.
In late May, FSB officers killed two suspected militants and detained another in a special operation outside Moscow. The National Antiterrorism Committee (NAK) said the suspects were Russian citizens who had returned from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, where they underwent special training and were plotting terrorist attacks in Moscow.