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IS doesn't directly threaten Russia, special services watch Russians who join it — Putin

According to the Russian president, Russians that undergo training at IS-controlled territories can later return to Russia

MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. The Islamic State (IS) group does not directly threaten Russia, but special services are closely watching the Russians and citizens of other CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries that have joined the group, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday at an annual question and answer session officially known as "The Direct Line with Vladimir Putin."

"For us, of course, there is no direct threat from IS," Putin said. "But what really causes our concern is that our citizens turn up there [in IS]," he added.

Putin noted that Russians that undergo training at IS-controlled territories can later return to Russia. "Yes, we understand this, we take it into account and work appropriately," the president said. "I cannot say that we know everyone [recruited by IS] by names, but [we know] approximate number, where they fight, where they train. Well, [we] know some of them by names," he added. Russia’s special services actively cooperate with their colleagues in CIS countries on this issue, Putin added.

Answering a question by a student of Moscow State University, Putin reminded how IS was created. According to the Russian president, the extremist group emerged after Saddam Hussein was destroyed and former elite was ousted. "They [representatives of that elite] turned into extremist groupings, created IS, which was joined by a considerable number of former regular officers of the Iraqi army," Putin said. "They started to draw, like a magnet, other radicals of different types to this region," he added.