The President laid flowers at the monument erected to commemorate the centenary of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service and congratulated current and former officers of the Russian special services on their professional holiday.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers, colleagues, veterans,
I congratulate you on Security Agency Worker’s Day.
I wish success to those who defend Russia from external and internal threats, stand for our sovereignty and national interests and for whom the security and wellbeing of the Motherland have been and will always be a lifelong commitment.
Today is a holiday for all state bodies and special services whose job is to ensure the nation’s security. But we have gathered here at the Foreign Intelligence Service headquarters because today this service celebrates an anniversary – 100 years since its establishment. On this great occasion, I would like to sincerely congratulate all those who have worked and who continue to work in this key area, one that is crucial for the state. I would also like to greet those who have recently chosen this predestination, which is oftentimes connected with considerable risk.
By continuing the traditions of their predecessors, who served Russia before the revolution, intelligence officers have made an invaluable contribution to ensuring the country’s security and selflessly carried out the most difficult assignments, the results of which have at times even impacted the course of our history, as well as that of the world.
I expect that the Foreign Intelligence Service will continue to exhibit flexibility in responding to the ever-changing international situation, to display vigorous commitment in identifying and neutralising potential threats to Russia, and to enhance the quality of its analyses.
All the personnel of Russia’s security agencies are comrades-in-arms of the Foreign Intelligence Service staff. And on this holiday, I would like to extend my warmest wishes to them too.
We rightly take pride in the glorious pages of all our agencies’ history. In the year of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory, we bow our heads in memory of all those who led our troops on the attack, in military units made up of security agency personnel, who fought on the frontline in the midst of battles, defending Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad, fighting for Kursk and on other major frontlines of the Great Patriotic War. Of those who formed guerrilla units to carry out sensitive assignments from the rear, eliminating spies, traitors and saboteurs.
Our common challenge is to oppose any attempts to re-write history, including attempts to hush or distort the role of the Russian special services in crushing Nazism and protecting the country’s national interests overall.
Yes, we do remember and we will never forget the tragic pages of the 20th century, just like we will never forget the lessons of the past, or the crimes and repressions that the people of our country were subjected to. But without a doubt, when the security agencies are efficiently performing their duties, subordinate to the law and our national interests, their services were and always will be of paramount importance for Russia. It is one of the major guarantees of the sovereign, democratic and independent progress of our multi-ethnic society. And its fortitude to take on any challenge.
One such challenge is international terrorism. And the Russian people are no strangers to this evil. We remember everyone who died defending Russia from this cruel enemy, which our country faced during the most horrendous period of its history.
We currently have a powerful national system to fight terrorism. But fairly recently, not to mention the mid-1990s or early 2000s, as early back as 2010, 779 terrorist crimes were recorded in Russia. In 2015 there were only 36 such cases, and during the first 11 and a half months of this year – just two. At the core of these statistics lies huge, day-in-day-out, risky and tedious work, now performed at a new level of competency.
The Federal Security Service and other agencies under the National Antiterrorist Committee must continue to act resolutely and consistently. We also need to further build on the results reached by the counterintelligence agencies. I know first-hand what we are talking about here, and offer my highest praise on these complicated and professional operations.
We must keep a strong focus on ensuring information security, fighting extremism and corruption and tackling economic crimes. And of course, we must ensure more efficient protection of our state borders, especially in view of simmering regional conflicts in close vicinity to them.
The staff of the Federal Guard Service must continue to reliably ensure security of state facilities and major events, and the Main Directorate for Special Programmes must carry on resolving a wide range of tasks in order to increase the stability of key state bodies and communications systems, and do so under any conditions, no matter how complicated they might be.
Let me thank you again for your service to the Motherland. I know for sure that your ranks are made up of reliable and courageous people.
I wish you success and good health and I extend best wishes to your families and friends.
Happy holiday, and of course, a Happy 2021 New Year!
All the very best to you. Thank you.