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Former chief of Putin's security service appointed Russian National Guard chief — Kremlin

April 05, 2016, 18:49 UTC+3

The Russian National Guard rapid reaction units and special rapid deployment forces

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Viktor Zolotov

Viktor Zolotov

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, April 5. /TASS/. Viktor Zolotov, the commander of the Russian Interior Troops and the former head of the Russian President's personal security service, has been appointed the chief of the newly-formed Russian National Guard.  The decree was published on the Kremlin’s website on Tuesday.

"Viktor Zolotov is appointed director of the Federal Service of National Guard Troops and commander-in-chief of the National Guard Troops of Russia and relieved of his previous duties," the decree runs.

Under a separate decree Zolotov was included in Russia’s Security Council.

National Guard to include rapid reaction units and special rapid deployment forces

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a decree on transformation of the Russian Interior Ministry internal troops into the Russian National Guard, which will include the governing bodies and units of the Russian Interior Ministry in charge of the federal state control (supervision) over observation of the Russian legislation in part of trade in arms and private security activities as well as extra-departmental security, including the special extra-departmental security center of the Russian Interior Ministry.

The presidential decree posted on the Kremlin website says that the National Guard will also include special rapid reaction units and special rapid deployment forces of the territorial bodies of the Russian Interior Ministry.

"For the purpose of ensuring state and public security and protecting human and citizens’ rights and in compliance with Article 80 of the Russian Constitution up to the adoption of a relevant federal law, the Russian president has decreed to transform the internal troops of the Russian Interior Ministry into the National Guard of the Russian Federation," the presidential decree said.

"The decision has been made. We are creating a new federal body of executive power on the basis of the Interior Ministry’s troops. We are creating a National Guard, responsible for struggle against terrorism and organized crime and in close contact with the Interior Ministry we will continue to perform the functions that before were a competence of the OMON, SOBR and other crack police units," Putin said at a meeting with Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, chief of the federal drug control service FSKN Viktor Ivanov and commander-in-chief of the Interior Ministry’s troops Viktor Zolotov.

"We will put this on record, just as we discussed that with the Interior Minister, not only in the presidential decree, but also in a future federal law to ensure there be no disagreements and everything work smoothly," Putin said.

"I do hope that the National Guard troops will perform their tasks effectively, just as they have been doing up to this day and step up the work along the priority guidelines," he added.

Putin recalled that ways of improving the operation of law enforcement had been discussed before.

"We gave thought to how to improve our work along all lines, including the struggle against terrorism, organized crime and illegal drug trafficking," Putin said.

Zolotov was born on January 27, 1954. He has a general of the army’s rank. He held his previous position of first deputy interior minister, commander of the Interior Ministry troops since 2014. From 2000 to 2013 Zolotov led the presidential security service.

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