18,000 People to Provide Security at Chechen Referendum

A total of 18,000 policemen will provide protection and public security at the coming referendum in Chechnya, head of the working group at the Operative Staff for referendum preparations, Police Colonel Yevgeni Altukhov has reported.

The Operative Staff has developed a plan for police co-operation to provide security during the referendum, he said.

On Tuesday, the headquarters of the Russian Interior Ministry's temporary operative group in Khankala hosted a meeting of the Russian Interior Ministry's sub-unit heads as well as heads of interior departments and local administrations. At the meeting people in charge made their reports on arrangements for ensuring public order, and administration heads made their recommendations.

Grozny's four districts and the town of Argun are completely ready for the referendum," Altukhov said. "Itum-Kalinsky, Vedensky, Nozhai-Yurt and Urus-Martan districts have not been so well prepared yet". He pointed out that the instructions of police co-operation had been given to them in time, "however, checks showed they needed more consideration".

"We will tackle the matter in real earnest by the referendum," the Head of the working group at the Operative staff stated.