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Medvedev: Station Security Fails

President Medvedev checking security at Kievsky Station on Thursday. Vladimir Rodionov

President Dmitry Medvedev slammed security failings at a Moscow railway station and threatened on Thursday to sack those responsible, weeks after a suicide bomber killed 36 people at the capital's main airport.

"Just have a look, I haven't seen a single police officer," Medvedev told officials who escorted him during a surprise inspection of Kievsky Station in central Moscow.

In televised footage, he then turned up at the local police station and questioned a duty officer about the lack of security, frowning indignantly as the policeman rushed to call his colleagues over the radio.

Later Medvedev chaired a meeting with top security officials, where he threatened sackings of transport officials. He ordered the Prosecutor General to investigate how state-run Russian Railways protects its infrastructure.

Medvedev was quick to blame lax security for the Jan. 24 suicide bombing at Domodedovo Airport, though critics said this ignored his government's wider failure to tackle Islamist militants.

Rebels have carried out periodic attacks in Moscow, including twin suicide blasts on the metro that killed 40 people last year.

Islamist rebel leader Doku Umarov said in a video released Monday that he had ordered the Domodedovo bombing and promised more attacks to come.

Medvedev stepped up counter-terrorist measures after the bombing and named a former head of traffic police to oversee transport security. He fired several transport police officers but left top officials in their posts.

On Thursday, Medvedev suggested the use of police dogs to enhance security. "No one can replace dogs," he was quoted by Interfax as saying.

A poll by independent polling center Levada earlier this month showed that 58 percent of Russians blamed the Domodedovo blast on a failure by police, adding to public concerns that the service is riddled with graft and offers little protection to citizens.

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