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Putin's address to the nation on concert attack

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a video address to the nation

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin made the following address to the nation.

The following is an unofficial Reuters translation from the Russian.

"Citizens of Russia!

"I am addressing to you in connection with the bloody, barbaric terrorist act, the victims of which were dozens of peaceful, innocent people – our compatriots, including children, teenagers, and women.

"Doctors are now fighting for the lives of the victims, those who are in serious condition. I am sure they will do everything possible and even impossible to save the lives and health of all the wounded. Special thanks to the ambulance and air ambulance crews, special forces soldiers, firefighters, rescuers who did everything to save people's lives, get them out from under fire, from the epicenter of fire and smoke, and avoid even greater losses.

"I cannot ignore the help of ordinary citizens, who in the first minutes after the tragedy did not remain indifferent and, along with doctors and special services, provided first aid and took the victims to hospitals...

"I express my deep, sincere condolences to all those who lost their loved ones. The whole country and our entire people are grieving with you. I declare March 24 a day of national mourning.

"Additional anti-terrorist and anti-sabotage measures have been introduced in Moscow and the Moscow region, in all regions of the country. The main thing now is to prevent those who are behind this bloodbath from committing a new crime.

"As for the investigation of this crime and the results of operational investigative actions, the following can currently be said.

"All four direct perpetrators of the terrorist attack, all those who shot and killed people, were found and detained. They tried to hide and moved towards Ukraine, where, according to preliminary data, a window was prepared for them from the Ukrainian side to cross the state border. A total of 11 people were detained.

"The Federal Security Service of Russia and other law enforcement agencies are working to identify and uncover the entire terrorist support base: those who provided them with transport, planned escape routes from the crime scene, prepared caches, caches of weapons and ammunition...

"It is already obvious that we are faced not just with a carefully and cynically planned terrorist attack, but with the organised mass murder of peaceful defenceless people. The criminals were cold-blooded and purposefully going to kill, shoot our citizens at point-blank range - our children.

"Like the Nazis who once carried out massacres in the occupied territories, they planned to arrange a demonstrative execution, a bloody act of intimidation. All the perpetrators, organisers and those who ordered this crime will be justly and inevitably punished. Whoever they are, whoever is guiding them. I repeat, we will identify and punish everyone who stands behind the terrorists, who prepared this atrocity, this strike against Russia, against our people.

"We know what the threat of terrorism is. Here we count on cooperation with all states that sincerely share our pain and are ready to really join forces in the fight against a common enemy – international terrorism - in all its manifestations. Terrorists, murderers... who do not and cannot have a nationality, face one unenviable fate – retribution and oblivion. They have no future.

"Our common duty now, our comrades–in-arms at the front, all citizens of the country, is to be together in one formation. I believe it will be so, because no one and nothing can shake our unity and will, our determination and courage, the strength of the united people of Russia. No one will be able to sow the poisonous seeds of discord, panic and discord in our multinational society. Russia has been through the hardest, sometimes unbearable trials more than once, but it has become even stronger. So it will be now."

(Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)