The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, on Monday has blamed the West for trying to destroy Russia, demanding prosecutors take a tough line with what he cast as plots hatched by foreign spies to divide the nation and discredit its armed forces.
President Putin blamed the West of inciting attacks on Russian journalists.
He said the primary successor to the Soviet-era KGB, the Federal Security Service (FSB), had on Monday prevented a murder attempt by a “terrorist groups” on one famous Russian TV journalist later named by state media as Vladimir Solovyev.
Putin said of the West, “They have moved to terror-to preparing the murder of our journalists.”
Solovyev is one of the Russia’s most high-profile TV & radio journalists as well as the outspoken host of talk shows whose guests often denigrate Ukraine and justify Moscow’s action there.
Putin did not immediately provide proof to support his statements, and reports were unable to verify the accusations immediately. Solovyev could not be immediately reached for any comment.
Putin said the West had realised that Ukraine could not beat Russia in war, so had moved to a different plan, the destruction of Russia itself.
Putin said, “Another task has come to the fore: to split Russian society and destroy Russia from within. It is not working.”
Putin said the West’s spies had used foreign media organisations and social media to confect provocations against Russia’s armed forces.
Putin said that prosecutors should react swiftly to fake news and reports that undermined order without giving any specific examples.
Putin said, “They are often mainly organised from abroad, organised in different ways- either the information comes from there or the money.”
Prosecutors should fight extremism “more actively”, Putin said.
Just days after ordering the invasion of Ukraine, Putin said a law which imposes a jail term of up to 15 years for spreading intentionally “fake” news about the military.