This could be seen a Vladimir solidifying his hold on Russia, or that he’s in trouble and is facing threats of removal. This is also surely going to be used against political opposition. Either way, Putin’s private army is born.
On April 5, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the decision to establish a National Guard for the country, that will be “formed on the basis of”the state’s Interior Ministry Troops. Putin also announced that Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service and Federal Migration Service would be incorporated into the Interior Ministry.
The same day, Putin signed an executive order appointing Viktor Zolotov director of the Federal Service of National Guard Troops and commander of the National Guard Troops, and relieved him of his position as Interior Ministry Troops commander.
The following are excerpts from an article detailing the functions of the new National Guard, as published on the website of the Russian media outlet Rbc.ru:Use Of Firearms
“The National Guard, which is [to be] formed on the basis of the Interior Ministry Troops, will include all the special police forces (in particular, the OMON riot police and SOBR rapid deployment task force), and will be authorized to use firearms. According to the bill introduced by President Vladimir Putin, firearms may be used to protect citizens, free hostages, apprehend people who may have committed a grievous or extremely grievous crime, and prevent escape attempts. Guardsmen will also be allowed to use guns to raise an alarm. Finally, the National Guard will have the right to use firearms to counter an attack by military machinery, planes, or ships.
“Before firing a shot, a soldier will be obliged to issue a warning that he is from the National Guard and that he is about to shoot. Firing without warning will only be permissible if a delay endangers the lives and health of others. Shooting at pregnant women (the document mentions ‘visibly pregnant’ women), disabled people, and children is forbidden, unless they offer armed resistance. Opening fire in a crowd will also be prohibited, since random people may be hurt.
Use Of Gas Grenades And Armored Vehicles
Detaining “Encroachers” For Up To Three Hours
Troops To Be Allowed To Enter Private Homes
“The National Guard will be authorized to search employees of nuclear power plants and to keep and destroy weapons that they find or are given to them by citizens. Guardsmen will also participate in disaster mitigation. National Guard troops will be allowed to enter private homes and other buildings to save civilians or detain alleged criminals. During disaster relief operations, anti-riot activities, searches for those who escaped custody, or the pursuit of fugitives, the National Guard will be permitted to seal off certain areas and restrict vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Currently, only the Interior Ministry troops, police, and the FSB have these rights.”
Conducting Counter-Terrorism Operations
“During counter-terrorism operations, the National Guard will be authorized to restrict vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and to requisition and use cars to drive injured people to hospital or to pursue alleged criminals.
Full article: The Functions Of Russia’s Newly Announced National Guard (MEMRI)