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'Situation extremely difficult...': Putin calls for strengthening of borders amid ongoing war with Ukraine

Russia-Ukraine war: Speaking to Russian security services on their professional holiday, President Putin said the situation in four territories of Ukraine, that Russia has annexed, is very tough.

Anurag Roushan Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan Moscow Updated on: December 20, 2022 16:56 IST
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Image Source : AP/FILE Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia-Ukraine war: Amid the ongoing war in Eastern Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday claimed that the situation along borders is "extremely difficult" and also directed security officials to boost surveillance.

Speaking to Russian security services on their professional holiday, he said the situation in four territories of Ukraine, that Russia has annexed, is very tough. Putin also ordered those working in the "new regions" of Russia to up the ante as far as security issues are concerned. 

"The people living there, the citizens of Russia, rely on you, on your protection," he said, as per France 24 news outlet. 

"The 'maximum composure, the concentration of forces' was required of Russia's counterintelligence operations to strictly suppress the actions of foreign intelligence services, to quickly identify traitors, spies and saboteurs," Putin added. 

Notably, on September 30, Russia unilaterally declared its annexation of four Ukrainian areas including, Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia. 

Putin makes a rare visit to Belarus

Earlier on Monday, December 19, Putin made a rare trip to Moscow’s ally Belarus as his forces pursued their campaign to bombard Ukraine from the air amid a broad battlefield stalemate almost 10 months into the war.

His visit to Minsk came hours after Russia’s latest drone attack on Ukraine. Notably, Moscow has been targeting Ukraine’s power grid since October as part of a strategy to deprive the country of heat and power during winter.

Putin said he and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko discussed forming “a single defence space” in the region but rejected claims that Moscow was poised to swallow its neighbour. “Russia isn’t interested in any kind of merger, it’s not feasible,” Putin said.

According to reports, Belarus is believed to have Soviet-era weapons stockpiles that could be useful for Moscow. Lukashenko, meanwhile, needs help with his country’s ailing economy. It was a rare trip to Minsk by Putin, who usually receives Lukashenko in Russia.

It should be mentioned here that Moscow has kept up its war effort despite Western sanctions and the supply of Western air defense systems to Ukrainian forces.

(With inputs from AP)

ALSO READ: Russia-Ukraine war: Iranian-made drones hit multiple government offices in Kyiv; '10 drones shot down'

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