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Local official says Russia's National Guard battling fifth column and revolutionary fervor
The head of the Altai Territory’s branch of Rosgvardiya Aleksander Maul said that the Russia’s National Guard troops were created to combat the “fifth column” and “revolutionary ferment”, during at a press conference on Wednesday.
“You all watch television [and] can perfectly see what is going on, that there is such a thing as a ‘fifth column,’ a series of so-called non-governmental organizations financed from abroad. Now, revolutionary ferment is fortunately not as evident in the Altai region as it does [in Moscow],” said Maul.
Maul’s speech was published by news agency IA Bankfaks, but thereafter went missing from the website. It is still available in the cache.
Rosgvardiya was established by the decree of Vladimir Putin in April 2016 to fight terrorism and organized crime. The agency is composed of Interior Ministry troops, riot police, SWAT teams, and personal security personnel.
Putin appointed the former head of the Russian President's personal security service Viktor Zolotov to lead the National Guard. Previously, Zolotov was in charge of Russia's Interior Military Forces.
The National Guard will number some 350,000 to 400,000 troops, reported news agency Interfax in April 2016.
In mid-September 2016, it was reported that 163,000 police officers who were rendered redundant when Russian President Putin signed a degree reducing the maximum number of law enforcement officials to 904,881 individuals would be transferred to the country's National Guard.
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