16 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the troubled southern Russian republic of Daghestan yesterday, saying local officials must do more to fight organized crime and terrorists.
Putin toured a secret service training base and flew by military helicopter to inspect a border patrol tasked with intercepting armed groups.
In the regional capital Makhachkala, which has been the scene of recent bomb attacks aimed at the authorities, Putin criticized local police commanders for using poorly trained units to combat armed rebels.
Putin said additional funds will be invested to tighten the border between the Russian North Caucasus and the countries of Georgia and Azerbaijan.
Putin also stressed the need for poverty-reduction programs in the region to deny rebel leaders potential recruits among young, unemployed men.
Daghestan: Anatomy Of A Permanent Crisis
For RFE/RL's full coverage of developments in the North Caucasus, see "News And Features On The North Caucasus"