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Update: Russia to create 400,000 strong National Guard

Source: Interfax

Russia will create a National Guard to fight terrorism and organized crime, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, April 5.

Putin has appointed the former head of the Russian President's personal security service to lead the National Guard, Viktor Zolotov. Since 2013, Zolotov has been in charge of Russia's Interior Military Forces.

The National Guard will number some 350,000 to 400,000 troops, reports news agency Interfax via a source.

“Around 200,000 will make up an ‘Interior Force,’ and the remaining 150,000–200,000 will make up special and policing subdivisions, and also a “security force” for state enterprises,” says the source.

The source added that these are preliminary estimates. The government has yet to propose the size of the forces needed.

The National Guard will be created upon the basis of existing Interior Ministry security structures. It will incorporate the Special Police Force (otherwise known as the “OMON”), the Rapid Deployment Task Force, and the Federal State Enterprise Security.

A bill on the creation of the national guard was submitted to the State Duma earlier this morning.