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Putin says certain ‘Ill-wishers’ are trying to destabilize Russia

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council, via video link in Moscow, Russia on June 2, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

President Vladimir Putin has said that certain "ill-wishers" are attempting to destabilize Russia, amid a heightened hostile Western campaign against the country over the Ukraine conflict. 

The West accuses Russia of fighting a war of aggression against Ukraine while Moscow says the United States and NATO are fighting a proxy war against the country in Ukraine.  

Putin aid Russia's Security Council would discuss security issues in the context of "extremely important" issues concerning relations between Russia's 190 ethnic groups.

"Today, we will also be addressing these issues in terms of ensuring Russia's security, in this case domestic political security," he said.

Russia began its “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, 2022 with a declared aim of “demilitarizing” Donbas, which is made up of the Donetsk and Luhansk self-proclaimed republics.

Back in 2014, the two republics, which are predominantly Russian-speaking, broke away from Ukraine, prompting Kiev to launch a bloody war against both regions. The years-long conflict has killed more than 14,000 people, mostly in the Donbas.

Since the onset of the conflict between the two countries, the United States and its European allies have unleashed an array of unprecedented sanctions against Russia and poured numerous batches of advanced weapons into Ukraine to help its military fend off the Russian troops, despite repeated warnings by the Kremlin that such measures will only prolong the war.

Sanctions on Russia must be maintained: Japan 

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi of Japan, a US ally, said on Friday that Japan and like-minded countries should be united and maintain sanctions against Russia until it ends the war in Ukraine.

"Judging by the situation and especially what Russia is saying and doing, I think it is important that the Group of 7 and like-minded countries remain united and continue severe sanctions against Russia," Hayashi told a press conference.

He hoped that the sanctions will encourage Russia to "end its aggression as soon as possible so that we can reach a stage where we can use dialogue and peace talks."

Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations met in the city of Hiroshima last month and renewed their commitment to sanctions against Russia while pledging to work to prevent them from being circumvented.

The G7 countries said they would limit exports of industrial machinery, tools and technology useful to Russia's war effort and limit the country's income from trade in metals and diamonds.

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