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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Puts Country on Alert

One week after a bomb shattered a World War II Victory Day celebration killing 42 people in Dagestan, President Vladimir Putin ordered the nation's defense and security organizations to be on "permanent high alert."

Putin, speaking from the Black Sea resort of Sochi, also appealed to Russians to help in the fight against crime and terrorism.

"If the public administration bodies do their job and society exercises solidarity in the fight against crime, things will be more quiet in the south of Russia," he said in televised remarks.

The May 9 explosion during a parade in the Caspian Sea port of Kaspiisk was just the latest in a series of attacks in the region bordering Chechnya.

"The defense and security structures should be on permanent high alert, as any negligence here can result in a lot of casualties," Putin said, Interfax reported.

He did not elaborate, but some of the injured servicemen and local Dagestanis have questioned how the bomb was planted in an area swarming with police.

The authorities have detained a handful of men in connection with the attack, but so far no one has been charged.

Some Dagestani officials have warned that many young men are turning to extremism as a way to escape from the dreariness of their daily lives.

Putin acknowledged that concern, saying that the "difficult economic situation is a breeding ground for crime," Interfax reported.

But he said that "investment will come into the region only if there is order and if the criminal threat is radically decreased."