Ukraine has targeted public officials and civilian infrastructure, the Russian president said
Ukraine has been using “terrorist methods” amid the conflict with Russia, carrying out those activities with “direct support” from foreign intelligence agencies, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.
Putin made the statement on Wednesday as he greeted the employees of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Federal Guard Service (FSO) and the Main Directorate for Special Programs as part of Security Agency Worker’s Day.
“We are aware that, with direct support from foreign intelligence agencies, the Kiev regime has openly resorted to terrorist methods, engaging, in fact, in state terrorism,” the president stressed in his address.
Those activities by Ukraine include acts of sabotage at civilian sites, transport and energy infrastructure as well as terrorist attacks against representatives of the Russian authorities and public figures, he said.
The members of the security agencies have been acting “skillfully and efficiently” amid the “serious challenges” currently faced by the country, Putin said. However, counter-terrorism-efforts should be strengthened further “in all areas,” he insisted.
According to the president, special attention must be paid to boosting the protection of the Russian borders, especially in areas near the line of contact in Ukraine.
Inside Russia, the focus of the security agencies should be on tackling extremism, corruption and cyberspace threats as well as ensuring that companies, including those involved in the defense sector, can “reliably operate,” he said.
“Of course, we must thwart any attempts by foreign intelligence services to destabilize the social and political situation in Russia… to interfere in our internal affairs, and to violate the sovereign and unshakable right of the Russian people to determine their own future,” Putin said, in an apparent reference to the presidential election, which is scheduled to take place in March.
In October, the Washington Post reported that the CIA had invested “tens of millions” of dollars since the 2014 Euromaidan coup in Ukraine into transforming the country’s spy agencies into “potent allies against Moscow.” The article, which cited multiple American and Ukrainian sources, claimed that the US foreign intelligence service maintains a “significant presence” in Kiev amid the ongoing conflict with Russia.
According to the paper, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and its military counterpart, the GUR, “have carried out dozens of assassinations against Russian officials in occupied territories, alleged Ukrainian collaborators, military officers behind the front lines and prominent war supporters deep inside Russia,” including the killing of journalist Daria Dugina, the daughter of prominent Russian philosopher Aleksandr Dugin in August 2022.