Russia orders creation of National Guard

CCTV News

Russia orders creation of National Guard

Supported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the creation of a National Guard.

The new force is charged with fighting terrorism and organized crime and comes at a time of heightened threats of both terrorism and social unrest.

CCTV’s Julia Lyubova filed this report from Moscow.

Russia orders creation of National Guard

Russia orders creation of National Guard

Supported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the creation of a National Guard. The new force is charged with fighting terrorism and organized crime and comes at a time of heightened threats of both terrorism and social unrest.

The new force will be led by Putin’s former bodyguard, Viktor Zolotov, who will report directly to the President. The Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, denied the creation of the National Guard is linked to upcoming elections in September. However, Peskov did say they would take part in suppressing unauthorized protests.

According to Interfax news agency, the new force may recruit as many as 400,000 officers – approximately half the size of the Russian army. It is set to become a very powerful force indeed. Its proposed powers include the right to shoot or use force without warning and enter private premises.

The Russian President warned in February that Russia’s ‘foes abroad’ were preparing to interfere with the September election. This led some critics to say Vladimir Putin fears unrest. However, some analysts say the reshuffle of law enforcement forces marks a re-balancing of power among Russia’s internal security services.

“To me it’s not that the Kremlin realized that we need more force, we need more authority to suppress potential discontent,” said independent expert, Maria Lipman.


James George Jatras on Russia’s National Guard

For more on the Kremlin’s motivation in creating a National Guard, Mike Walter spoke to James George Jatras, deputy director at the American Institute in Ukraine.

James George Jatras on Russia’s National Guard

James George Jatras on Russia’s National Guard

For more on the Kremlin's motivation in creating a National Guard, Mike Walter spoke to James George Jatras, deputy director at the American Institute in Ukraine.