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President Vladimir Putin on Thursday at the FSB board meeting summed up the results of the security service work for the past year (they caught 34 spies and prevented six attacks by terrorists) and set tasks for this year -- in particular, to block extremists in the Internet, to prevent interference through nonprofit organizations in internal Russian affairs and to ensure anti-terrorist protection for the G20 summit and the Universiade in Kazan.
“Putin instructed the FSB to cut radicals from the Internet” -- such is the title of the article published by the Moskovsky Komsomolets.
"The direct link of extremist and terrorist groups is clearly seen," the newspaper quoted the president as saying. "So, when neutralizing various kinds of extremist structures, it is necessary to act maximally resolutely, to block attempts of radicals to use the possibilities of information technologies, the Internet and social networks for their propaganda."
After that, the president spoke about rights and freedoms of the civil society. People “state their position, come out with initiatives to actively use organizations and associations and wider and wider use new rights to create political parties,” Putin said, adding that the processes certainly would be supported by the state, but he noted that nobody had a monopoly for the right to speak on behalf of the entire Russian society. Putin meant "organizations financed from abroad, and reminded about the imposed ban on financing of nonprofit organizations from abroad. "Any direct or indirect interference in our internal affairs, any forms of pressure on Russia and our allies and partners are inadmissible," he stressed.
Human rights activists note that the notion "extremism" is vague. So, it is not quite clear what Putin meant, the Novye Izvestia wrote. Chairman of the organization "For Human Rights" Lev Ponomaryov recalled that ex-interior minister Rashid Nurgaliyev in one of his reports presented a list numbering 200,000 extremists. But, according to human rights organizations' estimates, if to consider that an extremist is a person who intends to solve political problems by use of violence with arms in hands, the number of such people in the country is ten times lower -- about 10,000 gunmen in the North Caucasian region and about 10,000 radical nationalists. But Nurgaliyev gave the figure ten times more. All the rest are most likely opposition politicians. It must be clear what Putin meant. If it was what Nurgaliyev said, it means that he actually gave a clear signal to security services to treat opposition activists as militants, "not to stand on ceremony with them," the newspaper cited Ponomaryov as saying.