Russia: Putin creates new National Guard 'to fight terrorism'

    Russia: Putin creates new National Guard 'to fight terrorism'

    April 6, Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced the creation of a new National Guard, which he said would fight terrorism and organised crime.

    He said that the force would be formed from interior ministry troops and led by their commander and his former chief bodyguard, Viktor Zolotov, according to media reports

    Putin made the announcement during a meeting with key security officials at the Kremlin. He also announced that Russia's drug control agency and federal migration service would become part of the interior ministry's remit.

    His spokesman confirmed it could also be used to maintain public order.

    But Dmitry Peskov denied the move was linked to September's general election, amid speculation about public unrest.

    "The decisions have been taken, we are creating a new federal body of executive power," he said.

    Putin warned in February that Russia's "foes abroad" were preparing to interfere with the 18 September election, and told the country's security services that such attempts must be thwarted.

    Moscow has long accused the West of trying to influence Russian elections through encouraging mass protests - a claim denied by US and European officials, BBC reported.

    The Oslo Times


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