Bakanov: Some 7,000 people from Russia engaged in intelligence, subversive activities against Ukraine
About 7,000 employees work from the territory of the Russian Federation in the areas of intelligence and subversive activities against Ukraine, SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) Chief Ivan Bakanov has said.
"It is no secret that today Putin's Russia is essentially a state-special service, and any direction of the Russian foreign policy is not classical diplomacy, but a complex of special operations. About 7,000 employees work from Russia alone in Ukraine," Bakanov said at the Ukraine 30. National Security forum in Kyiv on Tuesday.
He stressed that these are the so-called "office workers".
"Think about this figure: 7,000 people come to work every day to engage in intelligence and subversive activities against Ukraine," the SBU chief said.
According to him, the Russian special services define the following priorities for themselves: hindering the strengthening of the national security of Ukraine, in particular by disrupting interstate agreements on the provision of assistance to our country; provoking mass protests; expansion of old and formation of new agent networks; conducting information special operations; as well as providing resources for the so-called LPR/DPR.
Also, as Bakanov stressed, Russia pays serious attention to both targeted sabotage and terrorist attacks, and general destabilization in the country, and for this, separate pro-Russian structures are being created and financed.
According to the SBU chief, the Russian special services attract a wide range of individuals and organizations.
"If earlier they focused on high-ranking officials, now they are looking for agents everywhere, they have changed approaches to recruiting," he said.
According to Bakanov, the intelligence and subversive activity of the Russian Federation will in no way decrease, therefore, Ukraine will face new challenges.
"But the Security Service of Ukraine is ready for them. We have been successfully opposing Russia in this hybrid war for seven years," the SBU chief said.
He cited the following statistics: last year, the SBU prevented seven terrorist attacks and detained ten people involved in their preparation; 192 court sentences were passed for terrorist activities and encroachment on the integrity of Ukraine; the activity of five agent networks was terminated and 12 agents of the Russian special services were detained.
Bakanov said that the SBU should become more efficient and effective, and the reform of the security service will help this.
"The SBU reform in the context of a hybrid war is a high responsibility without the right to make mistakes, so we must move step by step: simultaneously 'fight off' threats and retain qualified personnel," Bakanov said.