President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers, colleagues,
I congratulate you, current and former officers of Russian security agencies, as you celebrate your professional holiday.
Today we honour those who defend our national interests, protect our society, our lives, the rights and freedoms of our citizens, and ensure the stable, peaceful, and sovereign development of the country, as well as the inviolability of Russia’s borders.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the All-Russian Emergency Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage (VChK). We understand that it is an inseparable part of our history, and the history of our internal special services, which, to be sure, dates back more than one century.
Regardless of historical circumstances, the absolute majority of the people who choose this difficult profession have always been true servants of the state and patriots who went about their duties with dignity and honesty, and placed service to the Fatherland and our people above all else.
Our distinguished service veterans set precisely this example of how to do your job and lead your life. The great accomplishments of those who fought against the Nazis, the heroes of the Great Patriotic War who bravely and resolutely upheld the interests of our state, will remain forever in our memory, the memory of our people. These traditions live on as they are passed down from generation to generation.
We remember and will never forget how young men, our comrades-in-arms, rescued hostages, used their bodies to shield people from the bullets of militants, and eliminated terrorists, which they continue to do to this day. I am aware of your skilful and expert field work as you continue to outwit foreign intelligence services and deliver blows to organised crime and corruption.
I am sure that such requirements to security officers as strict adherence to the Constitution and the law, the highest utmost responsibility, honesty and personal decency, and readiness to take on the most difficult and sometimes the most dangerous tasks will always be a constant.
You took on precisely such tasks while supporting the anti-terrorist operation in Syria. The timely information you provided, shutting down channels of support for militants, disrupting their contacts and command systems were a worthy contribution to the efforts of the army and navy and contributed to the defeat of the main group of terrorists and the elimination of a bridgehead from which they threatened Russia.
I would like to emphasise that we will continue to neutralise the hotbeds of international terrorism as decisively as possible, to work together with other countries, with all who are ready to fight this global threat. We are ready to work together and exchange information.
This year Russia’s security agencies have thwarted plans to carry out over 60 crimes of a terrorist nature.
As you know, terrorists are trying to adapt to a changing situation. International terrorism today is both lone-wolf fanatics, and networked, top-secret groups, and underground so-called sleeper cells. Therefore, it is necessary to continue systematic and consistent efforts and to maintain maximum concentration.
It is necessary to strengthen both the external and internal tracks of Russia's antiterrorist security, to work to destroy the financial and recruitment networks of criminals and to counter the attempts of extremists and radicals to influence youth, to spread the ideology of hatred, religious intolerance and aggressive nationalism.
Great responsibility is borne by intelligence and counter-intelligence units. We must erect a solid barrier against foreign interference in our public and political life and disrupt the efforts of foreign intelligence agencies trying to step up their activities in Russia, which is no secret. We should provide analytical and media support to important government decisions in defence and foreign policy.
Your efforts in all other key areas should be equally effective, such as combatting crime and corruption, border control, security at special government facilities, and supporting reliable government communication and management systems.
Friends, I trust that in every concrete task you will aim to achieve the highest results and act resolutely, professionally and effectively.
Thank you for your service and your major contribution to the country’s security and sovereignty.
I wish health and happiness to you and your families. Congratulations again, happy New Year!
Thank you for your attention.