All activities of religious extremists are co-ordinated and financed from a single centre, Marshal Igor Sergeyev, Russia’s defence minister, said during his inspection of 201st Motorized Infantry Division stationed in Tadjikistan. In Marshal Sergeyes’s view, an Islamic council with the headquarters in Kandagar created jointly by Usama ben Laden and Taliban’s leader Mullah Mohammed Omar is such a centre, RIA Novosti news agency reports. In this year alone, $600mn – $700mn were allocated to support the extremists’ political goals. Islamic extremists are planning to take the Fergana Valley away from Uzbekistan, revive the Fergana Khanate and, ultimately, create in the Central Asia the so called Great Caliphate, Marshal Segeyev added. Unification of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and the United Tadjik Opposition during rebel attacks in Kyrghyzstan and Uzbekistan in 1999 and 2000 were a decisive step in this direction, emphasized the marshal.
On Wednesday, April 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his Address to the Federal Assembly. In the speech, Putin annually expresses his assessment of the state of affairs in the country and his vision of the main tasks for the future