In an Orwellian move, Vladimir Putin tells Russian security agencies to hunt down traitors, spies, saboteurs

In an Orwellian move, Putin tells security agencies to hunt down traitors, spies, saboteurs

Russian President Vladimir Putin. AP.

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin has directed his intelligence agencies to step up their hunt for traitors, spies, and saboteurs. As Moscow intensifies war in Ukraine, Putin also instructed security services to strengthen Russia’s border.

Speaking on Security Services Day in Russia, Putin said, “You must put a firm stop to the activities of foreign special services, and to promptly identify traitors, spies and saboteurs.”

He further instructed security officials to increase control of society and maximise their “use of the operational, technical and personnel potential” to prevent risks coming from abroad and internal traitors.

“Maximum composure, concentration of forces is now required from counterintelligence agencies, including military intelligence,” a report by TASS state news agency quoted Putin as saying.

Russia’s borders must be strengthened

Speaking with the Federal Security Bureau (FSB), Putin said: “Work must be intensified through the border services and the Federal Security Service. And it [the border] must be reliably covered. Any attempts to violate it must be thwarted quickly and effectively using whatever forces and means we have at our disposal, including mobile action units and special forces.”

He also asked the FSB and other agencies to take “special control” over strategic facilities including transport and energy infrastructure.

“Today’s rapidly changing global situation and the emergence of new threats and challenges impose high demands on the entire system of Russia’s security agencies,” Putin was quoted as saying by The Moscow Times.

He went on to say, “This means that you need to significantly improve your work in key areas, and use your operational, technical and personnel potential to the fullest.”

Ensure safety of people in Ukraine

The Russian president said it was the task of the special security services to ensure the safety of people residing in regions that Russia annexed from Ukraine in September.

“It is your duty to do everything necessary to ensure their security to the maximum, respect for their rights and freedoms,” Putin said.

Putin announces reward

Putin also promised “modern equipment and weapons” for the agents who carry out the orders efficiently.

Putin is on a visit to Belarus and amid this, Ukraine has decided to bolster security in its border with Belarus over fears that Russia may be gearing up for a fresh attack.

Ukraine’s Deputy Interior Minister Yevhen Yenin said they are building up defence lines across the border with Russia and with Belarus.

Speculations are also doing the rounds that Russia might pressure Belarus into joining the war, but Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the reports, terming them “as totally stupid, groundless fabrications”.

Putin also had dismissed suggestions that Russia was looking to annex Belarus.

With inputs from agencies

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