Russian president asks of soldiers concerns

By Monitoring Desk
Thursday – May 7, 2020
MOSCOW (Russia): Russian president Vladimir Putin held a working meeting with the Russian national guard troops (NGT) director Viktor Zolotov, Wednesday, whereat Russian president Putin enquired about COVID-19 related changes and requirements.

According to an official statement, Russian president Putin said, “Zolotov, we have introduced a scope of restrictions. And a lot of work to ensure that these restrictions are observed is being shouldered by the NGT. How is the work of the National Guard Troops organised today?”

The NGT director Zolotov responded, “The troops are performing the tasks with due consideration to the coronavirus infection.

“We have set up a response centre, which coordinates the troops’ operation during this period. Based on the recommendation from the labour ministry, we have ordered women with children under the age of 14 and people over 60 to self-isolate, and we have taken measures to protect the military personnel and employees; we are giving out medicine, individual protective gear, and antiviral drugs, taking the temperature of the personnel, disinfecting buildings, premises, units, and the grounds of military units.

“We are also reorganising three military hospitals to additionally allocate 287 beds for patients with the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The total number of hospital beds today is 1,127. We are discussing with the industry and trade ministry, finance ministry, and the healthcare ministry the purchase of 280 ambulance cars and equipment for them.

“The finance ministry has allocated us 1.3 billion rubles for the procurement, including medicine for the treatment of the coronavirus infection.

“Over 20,000 military personnel daily participate in the enforcement of the lockdown restrictions, protecting citizens, and guarding healthcare facilities-those where patients with coronavirus are hospitalised.

“We also control the circulation of weapons and perform private security and detective activities.

“I have issued an order to extend the validity of people’s weapon permits; this way, they will not have to renew them until September 1, 2020, and will not be fined.

“Furthermore, we also provide extra-departmental security services and protect people’s homes and property.

“We have over a million such facilities under our protection. We also continue to guard important state facilities-we have 72 such contracts, including facilities that are located in the Arctic and in the ports along the northern sea route.

“In 2019, we were contracted to guard a floating nuclear power plant in Pevek. From 2016 to 2020, the government increased the funding of the national guard by 40 billion; we used the financing to pay social benefits and consolidate resources, in particular, procure enough food, fuel and lubricants, and to pay material guarantees.

“We have also purchased marine equipment for the protection of the facilities in the Kerch Strait and overhauled our helicopters.

“With the additional funding, we have purchased 680 armoured vehicles and special equipment to replace the obsolete BTR-70s with BTR-80s and 82M vehicles.

“Our troops maintain their service without any disruption. We carry out joint tasks with the combined forces in the North Caucasus and the limited contingent in the Syrian Arab Republic.

“The 115 separate special-purpose brigade is performing the service tasks that are assigned to it, protecting, as I already mentioned, facilities and transport in the Kerch Strait. They complete their tasks without failure.”

Russian president Putin said, “Zolotov, you know that I have instructed the government, including for the purpose of supporting the automotive industry, to organise additional purchases of special vehicles for law enforcement agencies (LEAs). Do you need any more of these?”

The NGT director Zolotov responded, “Yes. We need more cars for extra-departmental security service.”

Russian president Putin said, “You can procure other vehicles, not just cars, any vehicle, military equipment, special vehicles-whatever.”

The NGT director Zolotov responded, “We have just purchased special equipment, 680 vehicles, but we could still do with some more.”

Russian president Putin said, “Please draw up an application for both cars and special vehicles and submit it to the government as soon as possible.”

The NGT director Zolotov concluded, “Will do.”