(Moscow) Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday accused Western intelligence services of involvement in “terrorist” attacks in Russia, three days after a famous military blogger was killed in a bombing in St. Petersburg.

“There is every reason to believe” that the capabilities of third countries and Western secret services are “involved in the preparation of acts of sabotage and terrorism”, both in Ukrainian territories controlled by the Russians and in Russia, Putin said during a televised meeting of his Security Council.

Mr. Putin spoke the words alongside the Moscow-installed leaders of the four Ukrainian regions that Russia has claimed for annexation in 2022.

He accused the Ukrainian authorities of committing “serious crimes against the civilians living there, sparing no one” in these territories, citing artillery fire and “terrorist attacks” against Russian-appointed officials and other public figures.

Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian security forces to “do everything in their power to ensure the safety of the local population” in these areas.

On Sunday, a famous military blogger, Maxime Fomin, known for his support for the Russian offensive in Ukraine, was killed in a bomb attack in a cafe in Saint Petersburg (northwest).

Moscow has accused Kyiv and “agents” of imprisoned opponent Alexei Navalny of being involved in the assassination. Ukraine, for its part, assured that it was an internal settling of accounts in the circles supporting the offensive in Russia.

Spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday that the assassination of Maxime Fomin would be “one of the topics of discussion” at the UN Security Council, of which Russia took over the rotating presidency on Saturday.