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NOVEMBER 11, 2001

Putin launches against organized crime in Russia

VLADIMIR PUTIN, the president of the Russian federation, has called on all Russia's citizens to help the police combat organized crime. He said that judicial reform in Russia would help the government agencies work together to beat off the gangsters who have dominated commercial life in recent years.

President Putin, talking to a police audience, said that the most important aspect of policing was that the policemen must have high moral standards.

"We will not solve the problem unless we live up to these high standards," he said.

Putin is keen to improve Russia's international image by driving out organized crime. Part of this policy is the idea of holding a Grand Prix in Moscow to show the world that Russia is a safe place to do business.