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Foreign Spies no Match for Russian Security

Published: April 9, 2014 (Issue # 1805)



  • Putin made the comments in an address to a meeting of the Federal Security Service, the main successor agency to the Soviet-era KGB.
    Photo: Kremlin.ru

President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Russian security agencies last year foiled theactivity of46 staff members offoreign governments special services and258 agents.

He said that despite theachievement, counterespionage operations need tobecome more effective as last year more than nine million attempts tocompromise websites andinformational systems ofthe Russian government were uncovered, state news agency Itar-Tass reported.

Putin made thecomments inan address toa meeting ofthe Federal Security Service, themain successor agency tothe Soviet-era KGB.

He emphasized that counterespionage has traditionally been one ofthe most important activities ofthe Federal Security Service, andthis is infact avery serious area ofcombat.

He also added that Russia would never allow non-governmental organizations tobe used fordestructive purposes like has happened inUkraine.

He said NGOs were used inUkraine tofinance nationalist andneo-Nazi organizations andmilitants who became themain force inthe anti-constitutional overthrow ofthe government.

Russia in2012 enacted alaw obliging all NGOs that receive foreign financing andare involved inpolitical activities toregister as foreign agents, aterm that opponents argued was synonymous with spy.

Thelaw, which, as proponents point out, uses similar language tothe United States Foreign Agents Registration Act, has been used tosuspend theactivities ofseveral NGOs, including theindependent election monitor Golos.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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