MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) – Foreign forces trying to spark “a color revolution” in Russia won't succeed, Russia’s Security Council chief said in an interview published Tuesday.
“There are no grounds for ‘color revolutions’ in Russia and we will not permit those scenarios to develop in our country,” Nikolai Patrushev, security chief and longtime ally of President Putin, told Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda.
He said that “color revolutions” are exported and funded from abroad, for example in the Middle East and North Africa, without specifying who was behind this phenomenon.
Russia has repeatedly opposed the “color revolutions” that Moscow claims have led to regime change in countries including Ukraine, Georgia, Libya and Egypt, in recent years.
According to Patrushev, unnamed forces in Russia are using foreign tools to meddle in Russia's internal affairs in a similar manner.
“Some members of the opposition and radical organizations have tried to use citizens’ political activities to provoke mass disorder,” Patrushev, a former director of the Russian FSB, a successor to the KGB, said.
He added that steps taken to limit the work of organizations funded by the US State Department “have proved to be effective.”
In September, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) was forced out of the country amid accusations that it was funding NGOs meddling in Russia’s internal affairs.
In his interview, Patrushev also said that rebels in the volatile North Caucasus have become harder to catch since they changed their tactics.
“Currently, they function as small and scattered insurgent groups which are harder to find and neutralize,” he was quoted as saying.
He said that their aim is “to destabilize the political situation in the region and take control over the most profitable business.” He described the situation in the region as “quite tense.”
Russia has, to date, failed to sever their weapons and funding supplies, he added.
Russia’s security services are taking additional measures to monitor the region ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and a similar approach is taken to the predominantly Muslim* republic of Tatarstan in the Volga area, that is set to host the 2013 Summer Universiade, Patrushev said.
*Updated - adding the qualifier "predominantly."