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President Medvedev and FSB official Smirnov discuss CT op in Ingushetia

Sergei Smirnov briefed Dmitry Medvedev on the results of a special operation in Ingushetia conducted by the FSB, Investigative Committee, Defence Ministry and Interior Ministry.

PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Mr Smirnov, the terrorist attacks in Moscow metro were committed one year ago today. The investigation has been ongoing, with the involvement of FSB and Investigative Committee professionals. The main result achieved in this time is that the entire group suspected of committing this grave crime has been discovered. A significant part of the suspects have been eliminated during special operations. This punishment is absolutely just.

In addition, a special operation was recently carried out in Ingushetia with fairly impressive results. Please tell me about what has been done and what are the results of this operation.

FIRST DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL SECURITY SERVICE SERGEI SMIRNOV: Mr President, we have recently conducted a number of operations in collaboration with the Investigative Committee aimed at clarifying all the circumstances of the terrorist attack at the Domodedovo Airport. The operation in Ingushetia was targeted specifically at those persons [involved in the terrorist attack]. On March 28, the FSB in cooperation with the Interior Ministry, Defence Ministry and Investigative Committee carried out a special operation in the mountainous forests of Ingushetia to eliminate one of the training bases which, according to our data, is actively used to train suicide bombers.

In a pinpoint airstrike by the Air Force, followed by a ground operation conducted by the special forces and Interior Ministry troops, the infrastructure, including bunkers and shelters, was destroyed, weapons that were found there were seized and 17 militants were killed, according to preliminary data.

At the same time, Aslan Tsechoyev, an accomplice of the militants, put up armed resistance during his arrest and was killed in Verkhniye Achaluki, Ingushetia. Unfortunately, two officers of the FSB Ingushetia branch and one special forces officer were killed during the raid.

On the same day, Monday, March 28, two of the Yandiyev brothers were arrested. According to our data, they were directly involved in the organisation of the Domodedovo Airport terrorist attack. At present they are being interviewed by investigation officers.

Work will continue at the site of the operation to identify the bodies of those killed and clarify all the events that occurred there. So, the investigation is continuing.

DMITRY MEDVEDEV: You have managed to destroy the criminals’ lair, and that is a success. I believe that you have worked well in collaboration with the government agencies you have named, and have dealt a hard blow to the militants. As for our comrades who have been killed, we must do everything to support their families and grant them state decorations for giving their lives defending our nation and our country.

I expect to receive a full report on the results of this operation from the Federal Security Service, as the agency responsible for coordinating anti-terrorist efforts. We must continue operations to destroy the militants since, unfortunately, problems still remain in a number of our North Caucasus republics and this is the way to resolve them.

We must persist and bring these efforts to conclusion, so that every militant realises that his fate is in his own hands: either he stops fighting, and in that case he has a chance to get out of this situation, or he continues his criminal activities, and in this case he will inevitably be eliminated.

SERGEI SMIRNOV: We will fulfil all your instructions.

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