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Rosbalt: National Guard to head Interior Ministry’s anti-extremism department

Source: Rosbalt

Russia’s Interior Ministry’s anti-extremism department and state security department are expected to be put under the control of Rosgvardiya, reported news source Rosbalt on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.

The new departments will allow Rosgvardiya to conduct operational searches, as well as to fight terrorism and prosecute the leaders of criminal organizations. The article noted that the law that created Rosgvardiya did not make provisions allowing the agency to conduct searches upon its conception.

Furthermore, according to Rosbalt, the administration of the Interior Ministry’s bureau of special technical operations, which deals with cybercrime, may soon change, as well. According to Rosbalt’s source, the key posts of similar Interior Ministry departments will soon be occupied by FSB officers.

In December 2016, 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”.

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 the 163,000 police officers who were laid-off when 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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