Abkhazia has declared general mobilization because it has actually been attacked by terrorists, said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov on Tuesday after negotiations with his British counterpart Geoffrey Hoon. Sergei Ivanov said that "according to our information, there are several hundred of them, and I think that everybody knows how they got there." It was reported earlier that the terrorists had come from Georgia. Sergei Ivanov confirmed that on the previous day a helicopter carrying international UN observers was shot down in the Kodor Gorge. He pointed out that it was stated at an emergency conference of the UN Secretariat on Monday that the helicopter had been shot down by Chechen-Georgian bandits. "I think that this shows how serious the situation on Georgia's territory is," noted the minister. The head of the Defense Ministry said that "Moscow does not see any real readiness on the part of the Georgian leadership to cooperate in combating terrorism." It is becoming absolutely obvious now that either the Georgian leadership does not control the situation on its territory or it manipulates the terrorists to promote its own goals," said Sergei Ivanov.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election