President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, comrade officers, veterans,
I am very glad to be with you today at the gala evening marking Security Agency Worker’s Day. And I want to warmly congratulate those present in this hall, all our colleagues, our comrades-in-arms on the upcoming professional holiday, the holiday of the strong, courageous … (Applause.) Yes, let us applaud ourselves.
This is the holiday of the strong, courageous people, people of character who protect Russia from internal and external threats, uphold its constitutional system and sovereignty, and defend the national interests of our state.
The requirements to your service have always been special. They include high skills, endurance, reliability, honour and integrity. It is these qualities, the constant readiness to spare no effort and to sacrifice your life for the sake of the Motherland, that have always distinguished the best employees of security agencies.
With their exploits and their heroism, they wrote many legendary, glorious pages in the annals of the history of both the special services and of our Fatherland, and made a great, invaluable contribution to the approach of the Great Victory, the 75th anniversary of which we will celebrate together in May next year.
Today, the efficient, quick and well-coordinated work of the security services has made it possible to achieve tangible success in ensuring the security of the Russian Federation. I would like to thank you and your colleagues for your professionalism, courage and resolve.
I would like to note that the number terrorist crimes prevented over the past few years has been growing. In all, 54 such crimes, including 33 terrorist attacks, have been thwarted since early 2019.
All of us realise that every prevented crime, every uncovered criminal plot and failed terrorist attack means that human lives have been saved.
Thanks to the professionalism of our security services, Russia hosted major international events without any incidents.
A lot has been done to make the work of security agencies much more open, to the extent it is possible. It is important that Russian citizens learn about previously unknown facts of Russian security services’ history, and they can see how you work today, and how difficult it is sometimes to achieve victories and successes. This openness guarantees greater trust towards your service and the much-needed support on the part of society.
We need to consolidate positive trends in the short-term work of the security services and to expand their operational, technical, analytical and HR potential. We must not slacken the intensity of our efforts in a number of areas; on the contrary, we must reinforce them, and this applies to counter-terrorist operations, first and foremost.
Terrorism is a treacherous and dangerous enemy, and efforts to fight it must be system-wide and resolute, with our National Anti-Terrorism Committee efficiently coordinating them. As I have repeatedly said, these efforts must focus on the prevention of terrorism and preventive offensive operations.
We must combat extremism more actively. The example of some foreign countries shows that this threat can be highly destructive for the state and society. Nor should we forget our recent regrettable historical experience. We must firmly and uncompromisingly thwart provocations, calls for violence, attempts to involve people, especially young people, in anti-social radical activities.
We must remember that extremism in any form threatens democracy, human rights and freedoms. These values and the safety of citizens must be reliably protected.
Of course, we must also expand our counter-intelligence operations and more effectively protect highly important information resources and the state border and act resolutely in the fight against corruption.
I am confident that security service operatives will continue to work professionally and efficiently in the interests of our citizens and our Motherland.
I would like to once again congratulate you on the upcoming holiday and, of course, to wish you a Happy New Year.
My warmest wishes go to your families and friends, to all those who love you, who wait for you and who support you in difficult moments. I wish you good luck, happiness and sound health. Happy holiday!