Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned Russia’s foes on Friday against trying to destabilize a country facing broadening economic crisis, Russian news agencies reported.
Putin did not specify who might pose a threat to Russia’s stability. But in the past, he has often blamed Western security services of trying to destabilize the country using opposition groups and non-governmental organizations as their instruments.
By Oleg Shchedrov
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speaks at the United Russia party congress in Moscow, November 20, 2008.(Alexander Natruskin/Reuters)
“Any attempts to weaken or destabilize Russia, harm the interests of the country will be toughly suppressed,” they quoted ex-KGB spy Putin as telling an annual meeting of top spies and security officers ahead of their professional holiday.
Putin, who was the Russian president in 2000-08, has contributed greatly to the growth of influence of Russia’s FSB federal security service, a successor of the Soviet-era KGB.
Many ex-KGB officers became key government and regional officials during his presidency forming his power base, which largely remained intact after Putin handed over powers to his successor Dmitry Medvedev in May.
(Alexey Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images)