The security of American and British embassies in Moscow has been strengthened
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein delivered a speech to his nation in connection with the American aggression on Iraq. Hussein declared the holy war on the States. He urged the people of Iraq to take weapons and fight for the sake of justice. Saddam said that Iraq’s enemies would get what they deserve. The Iraqi president is certain that the American aggression is destined to fail.
Iraqi ambassador to Russia Abbas Halaf told RIA Novosti news agency that the Iraqi leadership did not flee Baghdad. The ambassador said that the war in Iraq would be the longest and the most wearisome war of all latest conflicts that the American administration thrust on other countries. The ambassador added that Baghdad called upon UN Security Council to hold an urgent session.
There is silence in Baghdad at present moment. As Arab television channels report, all shops are closed, people hide in bomb shelters. Neither television, nor radio work in Baghdad.
Official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko told RIA Novosti that Russian diplomats stayed in Baghdad. There are 15 diplomats in the embassy, no one of them suffered. There is a stock or water and supplies in the Russian embassy, which allows diplomats to work normally.
Aleksey Gromov, the press secretary of the Russian president said that Vladimir Putin is properly informed about the situation with Iraq. Prime Minister of the Russian government Mikhail Kasyanov was also informed about the beginning of the military operation in Iraq. Aleksey Gorshkov, the head of the governmental information department, stated that Kasyanov receives the information about the attack on Iraq and about the reaction of world markets every hour.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has just returned to Moscow from New York, where he took part in the session of the UN Security Council. Igor Ivanov learned of the beginning of the war, when he was flying back to Moscow.
The Moscow government ordered to strengthen the security of anti-Iraqi coalition countries’ embassies. More police officers arrived to guard American and British embassies in Moscow.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
Rescuers found the pilot of one of the two Su-34 fighters that had collided in midair in the Far East on January 18