Russia accuses western Ukraine of recruiting youth for ‘sabotage’

The head of Russia’s FSB security service on Tuesday accused Ukraine and the West of recruiting young Russians to stage armed attacks in their home country.

Security chief Alexander Bortnikov’s accusation comes a week after President Vladimir Putin accused the West of helping Kiev stage “terrorist attacks” in Russia as Moscow continues its military offensive against Ukraine.

Moscow has cracked down on criticism of its campaign in Ukraine, with a growing number of treason cases and long prison sentences for social media dissent.

“Under the conditions Russia is carrying out the special military operation, Ukrainian special forces and their Western conservatives have launched aggressive ideological indoctrination and recruitment of our citizens,” Bortnikov told a Moscow meeting of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee. .

“Especially the younger generation, to involve them in sabotage, terrorist and extremist activities,” he added, according to a statement from the committee.

He alleged that “118 terrorist crimes have been averted in Russia” since February last year, when Moscow launched its offensive in Ukraine.

He gave no details about the type of crimes allegedly included, where they took place or who they targeted, but alleged that “the perpetrators were young people and adolescents, including minors”.

In early March, Russia arrested a young woman after an explosion killed a prominent military blogger in St Petersburg. Petersburg, accusing Ukraine and the opposition. Little is known about the attack.

Russia has also seen a number of arson attacks on army recruiting centers since Putin launched a mobilization campaign in September last year.

The Russian leader said last week that “there are grounds to assert” that Western intelligence services were involved in “organizing sabotage and terrorist attacks”.

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