Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during trip to Krasnoyarsk holds a videoconference on Moscow metro attacks relief


Officials at the videoconference discussed aid for the families of those killed and injured in the blasts, as well as measures to return municipal transport to normal operation and make Russian transport more secure. Vladimir Putin also emphasized that this morning’s attacks demonstrated the need to intensify efforts to improve video surveillance systems in metro stations. “The legislation will be amended if needed… We need to develop the rules and regulations that will help us to work together to achieve the best results,” the prime minister said.

A videoconference has been held in the Situations Room of the Emergencies Ministry following the two blasts in the Moscow metro with the participation of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Minister of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief Sergei Shoigu, Minister of Healthcare and Social Development Tatyana Golikova, Minister of Transport Igor Levitin and Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. Mr Putin also heard reports by Anzor Khubutia, director of the Sklifosovsky emergency hospital and research institute, Alexander Nikolayev, director of the Pirogov Clinical Hospital, and Vladimir Yakovlev, chief physician of the Botkin Hospital.


Transcript of the beginning of the meeting

Vladimir Putin: Mr Shoigu, colleagues, good afternoon.

Sergei Shoigu: Good afternoon, Mr Putin.

Vladimir Putin: As you know, a grave and cynical crime has been committed today, entailing terrible aftermath - killing and injuring dozens of civilians.

I am confident that the police will make every effort to find and punish the masterminds of the Moscow metro attacks. The terrorists shall be destroyed!

We have gathered here today to discuss how we could minimize the after effects of the two blasts, primarily by providing relief aid to the victims' families and medical assistance to the injured.

The Moscow transport operation must be restored to normal, and we need to discuss additional safety and security measures in transport infrastructure, especially with regard to municipal transport.

We are already taking additional steps to boost railway transport security; some of the metro stations are being equipped with cameras and other control devices.

This morning's attacks have shown that we need to intensify these efforts, rather than just carry them on. He legislation will have to be amended if need be, because officially, municipal transport (the metro in this case) is not federal property, as it is municipally owned. But when it comes to safety, we shouldn't stick to formal ownership matters; safety is our common goal. We need to develop rules and standards which would help us cooperate to achieve the best results.

Finally, with regard to normalising the operation of municipal transport, I would like to ask [Moscow Mayor] Yury Luzhkov to report on the progress. At the same time I want to ask small businesses in the transport sector not to try to cash in on the tragedy and not to spike prices or create additional problems. On the contrary, I am asking them to provide support to everyone who needs assistance.

Let us begin working. I would like to hear from Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu, who will tell us how the relief work was organised from the first minutes after the tragedy.

Go ahead, Mr Shoigu.

Sergei Shoigu: Mr Prime Minister, colleagues. We ordered the teams on duty to the sites as soon as we received information [about the blasts] at the Lubyanka metro station at 7:57 a.m. and Park Kultury at 8:36. They acted as fast as possible, starting to evacuate survivors from the metro carriages immediately upon their arrival at both stations. We had 342 people from the Emergencies Ministry, 100 vehicles and two helicopters at the two metro stations, with two other helicopters in reserve for possible delivery of victims to hospitals.

Currently, 102 people have been injured in the explosions, 37 of them dead. I'm sorry to say that seriously wounded people are dying in hospitals. Ms Golikova (Minister of Healthcare and Social Development Tatyana Golikova) and doctors will report on that later. A total of 65 people have been taken to hospitals.

The Moscow city authorities and emergencies services promptly organised transportation of people between the metro stations that were closed. Traffic has not resumed yet because crime scene officers are still working there.

I think Mr Luzhkov (Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov) will report on their work.

Otherwise, all services are working as usual. We have issued instructions to strengthen attention on all the main routes in the busiest directions. We used the public announcement system created in the past years in accordance with your instructions; the system proved effective. We will further develop and modernise it.

It can be said at this point that the comprehensive security system tried at two metro stations in Moscow and St Petersburg is sufficiently effective. I think we will work jointly with the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Security System to complete this project without delay.

This is all I have to say, Mr Putin.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you. Ms Golikova, what has been done to help the injured? How does the hospital admit them? Do you have everything required for professional medical attention?

Tatiana Golikova: Mr Putin, Mr Shoigu has said there are 65 injured people at the moment, including eight with extremely grave injuries, 25 with grave injuries, 26 are stable and six are doing well. Unfortunately, this number is subject to fluctuation, and we are expecting more people to contact us in the next two days. People either contact medical facilities by themselves or call an ambulance after returning home.

The injured are currently being treated at 11 hospitals, primarily at the Sklifosovsky Emergency Hospital, the First City Hospital and the Botkin General Hospital. Their doctors have been in touch with us.

The majority of the patients are young people aged under 40. Their total number is 35. Unfortunately, we still have no additional information on those killed, but we will receive such information a bit later.

We have set up a round-the-clock psychological service at the Sklifosovsky Emergency Hospital, and 15 beds have been made available. We are ready to treat patients anytime.

You have instructed us to prepare an executive order on aiding the families of the injured and killed. The Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development, the Ministry of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief and the Moscow Municipal Government have prepared such a document and are currently finalising records and lists. We believe that compensation volumes should match those paid after the Nevsky Express derailment.

The hospitals have sufficient supplies of medications, disposable materials and blood. If necessary, we will obtain the required funding. But we don't think there will be any need for this.

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: I'd like to hear reports from hospitals. Who will begin?

Tatyana Golikova: The first to speak will be Anzor Khubutia, director of the Sklifosovsky emergency hospital and research institute.

Vladimir Putin: What can you tell us, Mr Khubutia?

Anzor Khubutia: Mr Putin, eight people have been admitted at the hospital, five men and three women. Five of them are seriously wounded, the condition of one is critical and of two moderately grave. Six people are being operated on; they are still in surgery.

We have enough medicines and other supplies, including blood.

Vladimir Putin: Good, thank you. Next please.

Alexander Nikolayev: Alexander Nikolayev, director of the First City Clinical Hospital.

Vladimir Putin: Go ahead, please.

Alexander Nikolayev: We have ten victims, three women and seven men, all of them with wounds from the explosion. A woman aged 18 died during emergency surgery from a ruptured abdominal aorta.

We are providing all the necessary assistance for the victims, including surgeries.

Vladimir Putin: Do you need any help from the Healthcare Ministry?

From the audience: Mr Putin, we have not heard the report from one more hospital.

Vladimir Putin: Alright, let's hear it. The Botkin Hospital, isn't it?

Vladimir Yakovlev: Vladimir Yakovlev, chief physician of the Botkin Hospital. We have 13 blast victims, one of them, an unidentified woman aged about 25, in a critical condition. Three patients are in a very serious condition. Two have been operated on, and two are still in surgery.

The victims have been placed in intensive care, in the ENT department, and in neural surgery. The condition of two patients from Malaysia, Ver Chi Kent and Chev Elaine, is moderately severe. The woman has been operated on for a splinter wound in her right foot and for an explosion barotrauma.

We have the necessary supplies, and seem to be fine otherwise.

Vladimir Putin: I am confident that our medics will do their best to help the victims. I want the Healthcare Minister to monitor the situation. We must ensure that the hospitals where the victims have been taken get everything they need.

Tatyana Golikova: Certainly, Mr Prime Minister.

Vladimir Putin: Mr Luzhkov (Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov), what have you done to ensure transportation of people since the work of the metro has been disrupted?

Yuri Luzhkov: Here is what I have to report. Our representatives were sent to the explosion sites jointly with the Emergencies Ministry and law-enforcement teams immediately after the blasts.

Our priority task was to prevent panic, and more people from being injured. We have succeeded.

Our next task was as follows. Many special vehicles rushed to the Lubyanka and Park Kultury stations; we needed to restore above ground traffic there, which we have done quickly.

Since operation of the Sokolniki line was actually stopped, we dispatched 131 buses to carry people between metro stations along that line.

Next, we monitored the situation at all other stations where crowds accumulated following blasts, and took measures to ease the situation there.

As for resuming the operation of the Sokolniki line, we are waiting for the investigation professionals to allow us to do so, as the two carriages must be sent to a sidetrack. One of them must be repaired before allowing it to resume operation.

We have asked the investigators to speed up their work. They have promised to do their best.

Investigation work at the Lubyanka station will be completed by 3 p.m. and we will need one more hour to dispatch the damaged carriage to a sidetrack and resume operation at the station.

In all, we will need an hour to resume traffic on the Sokolniki line after the law-enforcement bodies complete their work there. For now, 131 buses are carrying people between stations. This is enough to make up for the stoppage of the metro line.

We maintained control of the situation in the city after the terrorist attacks.

We are working jointly with the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development to ensure medical treatment for the victims and assistance to the injured and the families of the deceased.

In addition to the decisions taken by the federal government, the Moscow authorities will provide substantial municipal assistance to all victims, including non-Muscovites.

Tuesday March 30 has been declared a mourning day in Moscow.

This is all I can say now. I am ready to answer any questions you may have.

Vladimir Putin: Good. Thank you. This is exactly what I wanted to hear. Thank you very much. I would also like to hear from [Transport Minister Igor] Levitin about cooperation with the municipal authorities on reconstruction works, and additional transport security policies I mentioned earlier. Go ahead Mr Levitin.

Igor Levitin: Mr Putin, we began to coordinate actions with the municipal government immediately after the news of the two attacks. Instructions were issued to tighten security at all transport infrastructure facilities linked to the metro. Security has been enhanced on surface transport, at airports, seaports, as well as roads and railways.

A system has been installed in the Moscow metro for prompt transmission and processing of information from cameras installed in metro cars and halls, and a unified radio-information system, as part of an interdepartmental programme to improve Moscow-metro anti-terrorist safety financed by the federal and municipal governments.

Other pilot projects are nearing completion in Moscow and St Petersburg as part of a comprehensive security system. Recommendations will be issued for using it on municipal transport. The projects certainly need support from the federal budget, because not all municipal governments will be able to follow all the safety and security recommendations. That is about all.

Vladimir Putin: Good. I would like you to prepare relevant proposals, and formulate them so that we could implement them as part of government decisions. I mean financing and the necessary federal financial support.

I would like to thank you all for the work you've done. I hope you will continue in such well-coordinated manner up until we finish with the aftermath of the terrible attacks. I would like you to finish drafting a government executive order on assistance to the families of those killed and to those injured in the attacks, so that I could sign it tonight.

Thank you.

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