Putin Says Russia Cut Short Activities of 594 Spies

President of Russia, Vladimir Putin took part in the annual expanded Federal Security Service (FSB) Board meeting earlier this week. The meeting was held to discuss the Service’s performance in 2018 and priorities for 2019.

Addressing the attendees, he started by praising the FSB personnel for fulfilling their tasks in the fields of counter terrorism, including the safety at the FIFA World Cup, pockets of violence following tensions in the “Middle East and several other parts of the world” and the changing operational situation regarding NATO’s expansion close to Russian borders.

However, he said that terrorism crimes had been decreasing in recent years; “In general, over ten years, this figure has declined dramatically, from 997 to 9 last year. At the same time, please note that the number of prevented terrorist attacks remains high – about 20 a year.”

President Putin also praised his counterintelligence agencies for operating “efficiently and aggressively” in 2018 and that “they conducted successful special operations to cut short the activities of 129 career officers and 465 agents of foreign intelligence services. We see that foreign special services have been trying to increase their Russia operations, doing their utmost to gain access to political, economic, scientific and technological information. This means that you must work even better to counter these activities.  We see that, just like in the past, comparable or even stronger efforts are being taken to influence developments in Russia. Therefore, our countermeasures must be effective, daily and based on modern solutions.”

The President also mentioned the protection of information on Russian weapons system and dual use technology.

He closed by mentioning one of their key priorities was to ensure their economic security and to combat corruption – indeed the FSB had provided material for some 7,000 corruption cases, and that they should contribute to the achievement of a vital goal, that of “the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of entrepreneurs, as well as all citizens of Russia.”