Russian President Vladimir Putin has hailed security and intelligence forces in his country for efforts that foiled more than 60 terrorist attacks.
Putin said Wednesday that intelligence agencies in Russia had played a huge role in ensuring security in the country over the past years as the government was busy countering terrorism in the region.
He said “over 60 terrorist crimes” had been neutralized by those security forces, but gave no further details.
The comments came during a ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the creation of an intelligence service in Russia. The Kremlin also used the occasion to honor the employees of its security and spy agencies.
Putin, himself a former intelligence officer and director, said during the event that intelligence and security workers “were true patriots and defenders of the state” who chose a very difficult profession.
He also mentioned increased security threats against Russia as a result of the country’s involvement in the war in Syria.
Russia began a military campaign in Syria in late 2015, when the Syrian government submitted an official request. The anti-terror campaign proved to be useful as it enabled the Syrian government to regain control over swathes of territories that had been seized by terrorists.
Putin has repeatedly defended Moscow’s military involvement in Syria as a means of preventing the return of thousands of Russian nationals who joined terrorist groups in Syria over the past years.
In his Wednesday remarks, Putin said Russia was determined to continue its foreign fight against terrorism as a top priority. He said Moscow was ready to “act together with other nations, all those who fight that global threat and ready for joint work and information exchange.”