President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers,
Today, at the annual expanded meeting of the Board you will sum up the results of the Federal Security Service’s work in 2022, outline key areas to be focused on in the future and improve the efficiency of field and analytical work. At the same time, I would ask you to absolutely take into account the internal and external factors, as well as the basic development objectives which I spoke about last week in my Address to the Federal Assembly.
I want to note that 2022 was a special year for the entire country and your service. Federal Security Service units directly participated in the special military operation, dealt with complex, non-standard field tasks, protected the state border, cracked down on terrorism, organised crime, corruption and extremism.
I want to thank the leadership and all employees of the service, especially those who were at the forefront – in the liberated areas, in the frontline zone and behind enemy lines. Comrade officers, I want to thank you for this work, your personal courage, professionalism and determination in ensuring Russia’s security.
I already said that our Armed Forces have acquired invaluable combat experience. The same experience was acquired by the Federal Security Service and our other special services, and we must use it in full to strengthen our country’s national security, protect our state, society, and the rights and freedoms of our citizens.
Unfortunately, comrade officers, we know that there have been losses in our ranks. The leadership of the Federal Security Service must do its utmost to support the families of our fallen comrades-in-arms. We will always remember their heroism and bravery.
Comrade officers, I would like to say a few words about the priorities of your future work.
Your primary task is to continue assisting the Armed Forces and the National Guard in their efforts to fulfil the objectives of the special military operation, including in terms of counter-intelligence support for our troops and ensuring that they can access intelligence information swiftly and without delay.
You will have to pay special attention to establishing security agencies in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. We need to reinforce their operational and staffing capabilities and fit them out with the latest equipment. Engaging with people and helping those who find themselves in challenging situations is essential. Building trust among people in Donbass and Novorossiya is our and your most reliable and critical pillar.
The FSB Border Guard Service must undertake special efforts to control the Russian state border with Ukraine. Today, a special group is deployed there, formed by units of the border agencies, the FSB air arm, as well as the Armed Forces and the National Guard. Your mission is to prevent any incursions by sabotage groups and stop any attempts to smuggle weapons and ammunition into Russia.
In addition, we need to fine-tune the system of border passage for refugees, as well as for military convoys, military equipment, humanitarian and construction cargoes.
Furthermore, we need to strengthen our counterintelligence. After all, Western intelligence agencies have always kept a close eye on Russia. Today, they have assigned even more staff and added technical and other resources to use against us. We need to respond accordingly.
We must make sure to reliably protect and seal, if I may, critical information about our system of administration, military and law enforcement agencies, defence industry enterprises, critical technology and personal data. This includes all data related to Russia’s latest weapons and technology.
There is also a need to further improve the security of Russia’s information and digital space, as well as expose and cut short any attempts at interfering with the operation of Russia’s resources and communications.
Countering the terrorist threat remains on your agenda. Over the past year, there was a growing number of such crimes. It is obvious that this is attributable to the attempts by the Kiev regime to use terrorist methods, as we know all too well, since they have been using them in Donbass for quite a while now, as well as attempts by the West to revive extremist and terrorist cells formed by their so-called old-time friends on our territory.
We know that they have never had any qualms relying on radicals and extremists when it suited their agenda, despite all their vociferous talk about fighting international terrorism. They have always used all means at their disposal against us, anything they could. This has always been the case, and this is the way things stand today too.
It is essential to effectively respond to all these challenges, act with resolution and assertiveness in cooperation with law enforcement agencies and in coordination with the National Counter-Terrorist Committee, using the entire arsenal of operational, analytical and other resources.
It is also important to continuously monitor critical infrastructure facilities, crowded public areas, transport hubs, defence industry enterprises, and fuel and energy facilities.
I noted this earlier and will reiterate: we must develop regional segments of the national counter-terrorist system, including in the DPR, the LPR, the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.
Obviously, we must continue exposing and preventing the activity of those perpetrators who use the internet and social networks to promote terrorist and extremist ideology and who attempt to recruit our citizens to become members of terrorist groups. Of course, we all know that the most vulnerable category here is young people.
It is important to take proactive measures against extremism. The extremism-related crime rate has also increased in the past year.
And, of course, it is important to expose and curb the illegal activity of those who are trying to divide and weaken our society by using separatism, nationalism, neo-Nazism and xenophobia as their weapons. These weapons have always been used against our country – and recently, of course, the attempts to bring all this hideousness to our land have particularly intensified.
As before, we must address the issues of economic security and countering corruption with utmost seriousness. I ask you to toughen operational control over the implementation of state defence orders and supplies to the troops involved in the special military operation and the Armed Forces in general; immediately respond to incidents of unlawful appropriation of budget funds allocated from the federal budget for regional programmes.
I am certain that FSB staff, the headquarters and all regional branches will continue to honourably perform their duties, which are numerous and challenging as there are no low-priority tasks. I expect you to work with complete dedication, competitive spirit, loyalty to the best traditions of this service that have been tested by the sharpest turns in our history.
Our security and intelligence services have always – I want to stress this – performed their duty to the public effectively and with great dedication. I am confident that it will remain so.