It is difficult to speak.
Terrible tragedy has happened in our country. The past few days, every single one of us has suffered the pain for people in the Russian town of Beslan. There, we have not encountered mere murderers but those who used guns against innocent children.
And now, I first of all would like to express my condolences to those people who had lost the most something of most importance – their children, their relatives and loved ones.
Russia had faced quite a few tragic events and tough ordeals. Today we live in what’s been left after the collapse of a great empire. But despite all the hardships, we’ve managed to preserve the core of that giant—of the Soviet Union. We’ve named this country the Russian Federation.
All of us expected changes. Changes for the best.
However, we appeared to be not ready to a number of things that took place? Why?
We live in times of transitional economy.
We live in times of major internal conflicts and cross-ethnic antagonisms, which used to be suppressed by the existing ideology.
We have stopped paying proper attention to issues concerning state security, allowed corruption to destroy legal and law-enforcement spheres.
In addition, our country, which once used to possess the most powerful defense system, has suddenly become completely unprotected neither from the East nor from the West.
It will take years and billion of rubles to create up to date, safe borders.
However, we could have been more effective in solving this issue had we acted in a timely manner and more professionally.
Generally speaking, it should be noted that we failed to fully realize how difficult and dangerous the process in our own country really were.
We failed to react properly. We’ve demonstrated our weakness.
And the weak are the ones who get beaten.
This is an unprecedented crisis in terms of its brutality. This is not a challenge to the President or the parliament or the government. This is a challenge to the whole Russia. To all the Russians.
Our country has been attacked.
Terrorists consider themselves to be stronger than us. They think they could scare us with their brutality; that they could disable our will and break down our society.
As a President, head of the Russian government, as a person who has given an oath to protect the country, its territorial integrity, and simply as a Russian citizen, I am determined that in reality we do not have a choice. Once we allow to blackmail us, it will trigger millions of people to suffer bloody conflicts, analogues to Kharabakh, Prednestrovie and other well-known tragedies. We cannot ignore the obvious.
We are dealing with a whole intervention of international terror against Russia.
The world experience demonstrates that such wars unfortunately do not end in a flash. In such conditions, we simply cannot, should not live light-heatedly as always.
We must create a more effective security system, urge our law-enforcement to take actions…
Most importantly, our nation has to come together before the common threat. Events of other countries demonstrate that the most effective resistance to terrorism comes from a united society.
I would like to say the following:
A set of measures aimed at strengthening the country’s unity will be prepared soon.
It is necessary to establish a new system of regulating forces and means at North Caucasus.
It is necessary to create an effective anti-crisis governing system, including absolutely new approaches in the work of the law-enforcement.
Let me also emphasize that all these measures will take effect in accordance with the Russian Constitution.
We have been and we will always remain stronger than the enemy in terms of our morals, our courage and our humane solidarity. I have once again witnessed it last night.
Today we ought to be together. This is the only way we will be able to defeat the enemy.