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    OVER 300,000 POLICEMEN TO MAINTAIN LAW AND ORDER MARCH 14

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 13 (RIA Novosti) - More than 300,000 police officers will be maintaining law and order during the March 14 presidential elections, reports the Russian Interior Ministry's press center.

    Interior Ministry divisions were placed on red alert February 21. Over 150,000 regional police officers upheld law and order during the election campaign every day, reads the official Interior Ministry press release.

    Law-enforcement officers and representatives of watchdog agencies helped check all 94,436 polling stations all over Russia; all obvious shortcomings were eventually eliminated.

    Top Interior Ministry officials attach priority to guarding the polling stations and shielding them from terrorists. Among other things, police divisions have been ordered to use additional special equipment and guard dogs for checking polling stations and adjacent territories over the March 13-14 period. Police details are deployed in such a way as to cope with all violations as quickly as possible.

    Detached security units, who have also received appropriate instructions, can react in just a few minutes to any emergency calls. Multi-channel phone networks have been activated, thus enabling people to phone 02 and to inform the police about specific violations during the voting process.

    The authorities are protecting vital facilities and polling stations against possible terrorist attacks; this is seen as their top priority task. A special preventive operation is being conducted for this purpose, with the police already solving 57,000 crimes in the course of this operation. More than 13,000 weapons have been confiscated and nearly 2,000 stolen cars found.

    Security has been tightened in the Chechen republic and all over the entire Southern federal district. The police are moving to neutralize gang leaders and bandits; they are also doing their best to cope with explosive-device smugglers.

    All scheduled programs are being implemented in full volume, with police officers working rather efficiently, the press release notes in conclusion.

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