Russia » Politics
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Putin signs decree to reform FSB

A new ministry is to be established as a result of the reform

Vladimir Putin signed a decree to reform the Federal Security Service, known for the Russian initials as FSB. According to the decree, FSB will be united with the External Intelligence Service and the Federal Guarding Service. The new ministry will then be established - the State Security Ministry.

The new ministry will be deprived of several functions. A part of the crimes previously investigated by FSB will be handed over to another new structure. The new department will be supposedly called the Federal Service of Investigation. At present moment, investigation is the competence of FSB, the Interior Ministry and the Office of the Prosecutor General. The new department will be in charge of all kinds of investigation activities except for the ones concerning crimes against the state. The State Security Ministry will be in charge of terrorism, extremism and espionage. The reorganization will extend the authorities of the department. It will also unite adjacent structures under one title for better governing.

It was Viktor Cherkesov, who suggested the idea of establishing the Federal Service of Investigation. The plan stipulated rather broad authorities for the department. However, FSB and Interior Ministry administrations reportedly opposed the idea of establishing the 'Russian FBI' headed by Cherkesov. FSB's director Nikolay Patrushev, Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov and Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov were also against General Cherkesov's initiative.

If Viktor Cherkesov becomes the head of the Federal Service of Investigation, he will learn very fast. His main profession is to investigate. At first he worked at the Office of the Public Prosecutor. In 1975 he started working in KGB, became the chairman of the counter-intelligence department of investigation in Leningrad. In 1992 he chaired the St.Petersburg department of FSB and then became the first deputy director of Russia's FSB. After that he was appointed for the position of the presidential envoy. Cherkesov changed the police administration of St.Petersburg and initiated several scandalous criminal procedures against city administration officials.

The term 'State Security Ministry' was used during the Soviet era to identify the state security agency from 1945 to 1953. The department was then incorporated in the Soviet Interior Ministry. In 1954 it became a separate structure again – the State Security Committee notoriously known as KGB.

The president's decree to reform the FSB does not mean the service will be renamed to the state security ministry, FSB Deputy Director Yevgeny Lovyrev told RIA Novosti. Mass media outlets discussed such an opportunity before.

On the photo: FSB headquarters in Moscow's Lubyanka Square

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