Putin fears revolt in Russia ahead of elections, creates national guard under own command

Putin is not the first Russian president to propose the creation of a national guard, Stratfor wrote Tuesday in an article titled “A Guard for Putin’s Security.”

In 1995, the newspaper Izvestia published leaked memos between former Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s aides, claiming that Yeltsin had already drawn up the orders for the new force, envisioned to serve as his personal army in case of domestic uprisings – the national guard.

“Russian media attributed Yeltsin’s plans to his growing insecurity over the consolidation of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the KGB,” reads the article. “But despite recurring interest in a national guard, Yeltsin’s administration lacked the strength to create one.”

Stratfor suggests that the sudden decision to finally create a national guard indicates that the Kremlin is “bracing for instability to come.” “The force’s stated function rings hollow since the internal troops and police forces already exist to combat terrorism and organized crime,” the article reads. “Instead, the initiative may anticipate the upcoming parliamentary elections.”

“Alternatively, Putin, like Yeltsin, may intend to build the national guard as his own personal army. Without a specific and distinguishing function, the new guard would be yet another security force, sharing responsibilities with the internal troops and the FSB,” according to Stratfor.

Full article: Putin fears revolt in Russia ahead of elections, creates national guard under own command (UNIAN)

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