Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the terrorist attacks in the United States and expressed his condolences to the American people. Security has been tightened in the Russian capital.
President Putin has called for coordinated international action against terrorism, following the attacks in New York and Washington. In a telegram to President Bush, he described the terrorist attacks as "inhuman" and said they "must not go unpunished." The Russian president added that "the series of barbaric acts directed against innocent people fills us with indignation and revolt."
Following the attacks, Mr. Putin held emergency meetings in the Kremlin with his security and defense advisers. Security at Russian government buildings has been heightened, and troops around the country have been put on alert. Russia's air force said it had taken "several anti-terrorism measures" to protect Russian air space.
Russian Airline Aeroflot canceled all flights to the United States, and rerouted those already in the air. Russian television has been running live coverage as the events unfolded. President Putin's said that, like so many Russians, this was how he was following developments.
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said the attacks were not only a tragedy for the United States, "but for the whole of mankind." He called on countries and nations to "unite against this folly, and do everything to stop the escalation of terror."
Russia's emergency services minister has called his U.S. counterpart and offered aid if needed, in the aftermath. He says Russian rescuers are on standby and ready to help.