President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Zolotov, there are many issues to discuss, but we will start with one of the most important matters, namely, the performance of the National Guard units during the special military operation in Donbass.
Director of the Federal Service of National Guard Troops Viktor Zolotov: Mr President, in the course of the special military operation the National Guard troops are accomplishing a wide range of objectives to maintain law, order and security, and to resume peaceful life in the liberated territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, as well as in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.
We are directly involved in military operations, namely, reconnaissance and search-and-destroy missions, ambushes, locating and eliminating the enemy’s sabotage and reconnaissance teams, sabotage and terrorist groups, as well as locating arms caches and removing mines.
We also conduct reconnaissance missions, pinpoint targets, and we destroy them using our own artillery, or we contact the Defence Ministry if the range and power of artillery systems at our disposal are not enough. They use heavy artillery or military aircraft to hit the enemy, and we mop up these areas later on.
In addition, Russian National Guard patrols critical state property, infrastructure facilities and communications infrastructure. We facilitate humanitarian security, and we escort shipments and convoys. We also provide medical services to local population, and we treat civilians. This is the range of our tasks.
I would like to emphasise that we can feel that the population of the liberated areas is supporting us. They realise that we are defending their right to a peaceful life and their children’s happiness. This, too, is one of our tasks.
Vladimir Putin: How do you interact with Defence Ministry units?
Viktor Zolotov: We met with officials from the defence ministries of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, and we clarified various tasks regarding our mobility. Their defence ministries are accomplishing the same tasks as the National Guard of Russia, and they are fulfilling part of them. We are addressing these issues, meeting with local administrations and sorting things out.