Putin: Russia foiled work of almost 600 spies
March 7, 2019 5:16 am
President Vladimir Putin has accused foreign intelligence services of beefing up activities in Russia, announcing that hundreds of spies were stopped in 2018 alone.
Without going into details, he said “129 staff members and 465 agents of foreign special services were foiled”.
Russian spies have themselves been accused of several plots, including the poisoning of ex-agent Sergei Skripal.
Dutch, Czech and Swedish intelligence all say they have foiled attacks.
Russia has also been accused by the West of trying to interfere in elections. Without naming Russia, the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, warned on Tuesday that “anti-European forces” might try to target EU Parliament elections in May.
In his speech to officers of Russia’s FSB security service, Mr Putin said their work had to be efficient, especially in protecting data on the development of weapons systems.
“We see foreign intelligence agencies trying to increase their activity towards Russia, seeking by all means to access political, economic, scientific and technological information,” he said.