Chechen police on republican crime situation

The republican crime situation remains stable on the eve of Russian presidential elections, Ruslan Atsayev, a spokesman for the Chechen interior ministry, told RIA Novosti over the phone.

The republican crime situation gives no reason for concern on the eve of presidential elections, Mr. Atsayev noted. All 424 polling stations all over Chechnya are being guarded round the clock, he added. The special purpose police unit, 20 police stations, the republican interior ministry's extradepartmental protection, as well as a 600-strong patrol regiment, maintain law and order, Mr. Atsayev went on to say.

Chechnya's 13,000-strong police force was placed on red alert February 20. Everything is being done in order to ensure safe elections. Additional patrols are moving about day and night; their routes make it possible to promptly react to any emergency situation, Mr. Atsayev stressed.

Abdul-Kerim Arsakhanov, chairman of the republican election commission, predicts a substantial voter turnout March 14. In his words, 596,500 voters are currently registered on Chechen territory.

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