Day 300: Putin Tells Security Services to Root Out 'Traitors and Spies'

Speaking on Monday, which also saw the celebration of Russia's Security Services Day across the country, Pres. Vladimir Putin ordered the strengthening of Russia's borders and called on his intelligence agencies to maximize use of their "operational, technical, and personnel potential."

Day 300: Putin Tells Security Services to Root Out 'Traitors and Spies'
Image credit: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

Facts

  • Speaking on Monday, which also saw the celebration of Russia's Security Services Day across the country, Pres. Vladimir Putin ordered the strengthening of Russia's borders and called on his intelligence agencies to maximize use of their "operational, technical, and personnel potential." This was followed by comments made by Putin on Tuesday, suggesting the organizations should step up measures to root out "traitors, spies and saboteurs."
  • Referring to the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia — which Russia claimed to have annexed in September despite Western countries arguing that the annexations were illegitimate — Putin described the situation there as "extremely difficult." He also claimed that: "people living there, Russian citizens, hold out hope for you, for your protection."
  • His words came on the second of a three-day trip to Belarus, where Putin is reportedly seeking to shore up alliances with Pres. Alexander Lukashenko. Putin has said of relations with the head of Belarus: "We agreed to continue to take all necessary measures together to ensure the security of our two countries." Additionally, the Kremlin leader said the nations will: "continue the practice of regular joint exercises and other operational and combat training activities."
  • Elsewhere, Russia and China are set to kick off a week of joint naval exercises in the East China Sea on Wednesday. A statement from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has said: "This joint exercise is directed at demonstrating the determination and capability of the two sides to jointly respond to maritime security threats."
  • On the ground, Russian attacks continued to be reported in the regions of Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, and Sumy. Ukrainian officials said three civilians were killed and five more were injured in Donetsk, while two civilians were killed and three more were injured in Kherson.
  • In Ukrainian attacks, the Russian border region of Belgorod was shelled on Tuesday, reportedly injuring one civilian. A Ukrainian attack also reportedly struck a hospital in the city of Donetsk, though there were no reports of civilian casualties at this stage.

Sources: Al Jazeera, Guardian, Ukrinform, and Pravda.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by PBS NewsHour. This invasion is an egregious violation of international law. Putin's ultimate aim is to restore the Soviet empire, even if it takes massive bloodshed and false pretexts such as calling the 2014 Ukrainian revolution after an election a "coup". This unprovoked attack is the latest chapter in Putin's Orwellian attempt to rewrite history.
  • Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by National Security Archive. NATO and the US have ignored Russia's security concerns by breaking its promise not to expand eastward in return for German reunification. These concerns are legitimate and taking them seriously would have avoided the Ukraine tragedy.

Predictions