Meeting with militia fighters who took part in the August-September 1999 hostilities

Source: President of Russia – The Kremlin – English

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon.
I would like to greet all of you and to thank you for the invitation to come here. I remember how you invited me here during a live programme, and I am delighted to be able to come here.
I would like to congratulate you on this memorable, though tragic, event marking the 20th anniversary of the day when you rose to fight groups of international terrorists, fighting together with the Russian Armed Forces not only to protect your home republic – Daghestan – and your village but also to show the country as a whole what you can achieve if you join forces against a common threat.
It has always been like this in the history of our peoples, the people of Russia and the Caucasus. But courage, willpower and love of the homeland have always been the greatest values in the Caucasus. The best qualities of your people came to the fore during that critical period.
In general, human character manifests itself in the best possible manner in such critical situations. And when it happened here, you demonstrated what you can do and what our country can do. You set a very good example.
Thank you very much. Congratulations are not due on this day because of the numerous losses and tragedies. However, while we are speaking about that event, I would like to pay tribute to your courage and heroism and to celebrate the results we have achieved.
I have laid flowers at the monument. It is really a wonderful monument, simply wonderful. Such a monument would be a perfect decoration in a square in the Russian or any European capital. Simply wonderful. I said it after I laid the flowers, but I would like to repeat my words of gratitude to you and to wish you all the very best.
To be continued.