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Monday, September 13, 1999 Published at 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK


Yeltsin calls for calm



In a national television address, President Yeltsin urged the people of Russia to stay calm following Monday's explosion in Moscow. This is the text of his speech.

Citizens of Russia, today on this day of mourning a new grief has come upon us.

Once again the sound of an explosion has been heard. Once again people have been killed. There has been yet another night-time explosion in Moscow.

'Terrorism has declared war'

Terrorism has declared war on us, on the people of Russia.

I have already issued the necessary orders. An operational headquarters for combating terrorism has begun work.

Interior minister [Vladimir] Rushaylo has been appointed as its head. He will coordinate the actions of the interior ministry and other power-wielding departments.

We are living in conditions of the spreading menace of terrorism and that means it is necessary to unite all the forces of society and the state to rebuff the internal enemy.

This enemy has no conscience, compassion or honour. This enemy has no face, no nationality or faith. I stress in particular - no nationality or faith.

Working together

The fight against terrorism can no longer be the task solely of the police and the special services. The situation compels us to show willpower and pool our efforts. We must consolidate our power in the face of a terrible threat.

The federal and regional authorities should work as a single whole. The government, parliament and the presidential administration are obliged to operate in a coordinated manner.

I put particular emphasis on preventing terrorist attacks in the capital. We understand how difficult it is now for the Moscow mayoralty and for [Moscow mayor] Yuriy Mikhaylovich Luzhkov. I shall provide him with the requisite assistance and I shall support him in these difficult days.

'Immeasurable pain'

Esteemed citizens! I grieve profoundly for the dead. I express my condolences to their families and their nearest and dearest. Our pain is immeasurable, but I call on you to show restraint.

The main goal of the bandits is to intimidate the people and sow panic and terror. I am confident that they will not achieve this. Your vigilance and calm will be the best rebuff to the terrorists.

Today, it is on each and every one of you that an effective battle against this evil depends. The authorities will respond appropriately, harshly, rapidly and decisively to the bandits' challenge.

Source: Russian Public TV, Moscow, in Russian 1015 gmt 13 Sep 99

BBC Monitoring (http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk), based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.



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