Putin warns of foreign efforts to destabilize Russia

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin orders the nation’s top counterintelligence agency to redouble its efforts to address what he describes as Western attempts to destabilize the country.

Speaking at a meeting of top officials of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, the main KGB successor agency, Putin points at the “so-called policy of containment of Russia,” charging that it includes efforts to “derail our development, slow it down, create problems alongside our borders, provoke internal instability and undermine the values that unite Russian society.”

The Russian president adds that those activities by foreign powers, which he doesn’t name, are aimed at “weakening Russia and putting it under outside control.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting on economic issues via video conference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, January 21, 2021. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russia’s relations with the West have plummeted to post-Cold War lows after Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, and, most recently, the arrest of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and a sweeping crackdown on protests demanding his release.