Russian President: On the whole Chechen people support federal centre efforts

The Russian president recalled that a year ago some people said that "it was impossible to find a Chechen supporting the federal forces there". According to Putin, at that time it was spoken of permanently, however now it's forgotten. "Forgotten because Chechen people support actively the federal centre's efforts to bring their motherland to order," Putin said.

"It is necessary to cease the so-called cleansing in Chechnya," the Russian president announced. "It will be possible only after the legal, juridical and law enforcement constituents of the Chechen administration have been strengthened," Putin pointed out in his answer to journalists' questions at a Kremlin press conference on Monday.

The president elaborated that the law enforcement constituent stood for "forming efficient interior bodies including task units such as OMON and others". According to him, the work is well underway and it is a next step to normalizing the situation in Chechnya. "It is Chechens who must protect Chechnya," Putin declared.

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