Sunday February 28, 2016
The annual meeting of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), which is the successor organization to the Soviet-era KGB is an important occasion to take the temperature in the ‘East-West’ relations. (The Cold War cliche is becoming useful once again.) President Vladimir Putin’s customary address at the FSB meeting was the hallmark of the occasion on Friday in Moscow.
The sensational part of Putin’s speech is his disclosure that the FSB is in possession of definite information that plots are being hatched in the West to stir up political turmoil in Russia as the country heads for crucial parliamentary election in October. Putin avoided the use of the expression "color revolution" but hinted at it. To quote him:
Of course, you (FSB) must also prevent any attempts from outside to intervene in our election and our country’s political life. As you know, such methods exists and have been put to use in a number of countries. Let me say again that this is a direct threat to our sovereignty and we will respond accordingly.Elsewhere, Putin noted that foreign intelligence agencies have “stepped up their activity” and this was “convincingly confirmed” insofar as the FSB’s counter-intelligence interdicted over 400 foreign intelligence operatives last year and criminal charges were initiated against 23 of them.
I read the regular documents you (FSB) prepare, read the summaries, and see the concrete indications that, regrettably, our ill-wishers abroad are preparing for these elections. Everyone should therefore be aware that we will defend our interests with determination and in accordance with our laws.