Forces of the Taliban movement are at present incapable of any large-scale military action on the Tajik-Afghan border, thinks Andrei Nikolayev, chairman of the State Duma's defense committee. The State Duma is the lower house of Russian parliament. According to him, "the Taliban are now experiencing serious problems from US air bombings and Northern Alliance troop movements". As for small groups of intruders from the Afghan side, Russian border guards are always ready to deal with them, as they have shown more than once over the past period, Nikolayev noted. At the same time the committee chairman called attention to the fact that Tajikistan will face refugees from neighboring Afghanistan. According to the UN, Nikolayev said, "the figure runs into hundreds of thousands". In this context, he noted, if a humanitarian catastrophe is to be avoided, timely measures must be taken to call to this problem the attention of the UN and international charity and humanitarian organizations.