Interior Forces Commander says confidence in Federal Forces increased among population in Chechnya

Russia's Interior Forces stationed in Chechnya have destroyed over 500 shelters and arms caches and over 1,300 illegal mini oil refineries in the first half of 2003, General of the Army Vyacheslav Tikhomirov, who commands the Interior Forces, said Friday at a Military Council meeting.

"A large amount of arms, ammunition and explosives has been confiscated," he said. "In keeping with the plans of actions by the Joint Group of Forces, 14 military commandant offices in the administrative districts in the lowland part of Chechnya and a military commandant office in its capital, Grozny, with the servicemen of the Interior Forces recruited for them, and also a center for controlling the military commandant offices were established in the republic in winter and spring this year and have been performing their functions," the general said.

According to Tikhomirov, "with the establishment of the offices the effectiveness of interaction with the local executive power bodies and with the forces in administrative districts have increased, and the functioning of the operations headquarters in the districts and populated areas have improved as well." He noted that these measures have helped to increase confidence of the local population in the federal forces, "which is seen from the fact that up to 700 citizens make requests or ask for help daily at the military commandant's offices."

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