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Putin warns security forces to watch out for foreign-funded sabotage in Russia-annexed Crimea

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MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned his security forces to be wary of foreign-funded sabotage in Russia-annexed Crimea.

The Kremlin annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 following a hastily called referendum and defended its right to the Russian-speaking territory as responding to the people's will.

PHOTO: FILE - In this Tuesday, July  21, 2015 file photo Oleg Sentsov sits behind glass in a cage at a court room in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. Russian prosecutors are asking a court to send a Ukrainian filmmaker to prison for 23 years on charges of conspiracy to commit terrorist attacks on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015.  (AP Photo)
FILE - In this Tuesday, July 21, 2015 file photo Oleg Sentsov sits behind glass in a cage at a court room in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. Russian prosecutors are asking a court to send a Ukrainian filmmaker to prison for 23 years on charges of conspiracy to commit terrorist attacks on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. (AP Photo)

In his address Wednesday to a security panel in the Crimean naval base of Sevastopol, Putin said several nations are plotting acts of sabotage and recruiting manpower to carry them out and "spread radical propaganda."

Putin instructed Russia's top security officials at the meeting to consider these risks and "act quickly" if necessary.

Putin's statement comes hours after prosecutors in southern Russia urged a court to sentence a prominent Crimean filmmaker to 23 years in prison for conspiracy to commit terrorist attacks.

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