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Putin May Finally Be Preparing to Resurrect the KGB

After United Russia's landslide election victory, rumors abound Putin now feels he has a mandate to create a single Ministry for State Security from the FSB (Federal Security Service), the FSO (Federal Protective Service) and the SVR (Foreign Intelligence Service)

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The author is a popular and well informed Russian blogger

The Ministry for State Security (MGB) is set to be inaugurated before the Russian presidential elections in 2018, the newspaper Kommersant writes, referring to a confidential source. The new super-agency will be based at the Federal Security Service, which will take back the functions of the Committee for State Security (KGB) of the USSR. It will consist of the Foreign Intelligence Service and most of the units of the Federal Protective Service, which will continue as the Presidential Security Service, responsible for communication and transportation of high officials.

The new ministry will not just investigate  criminal cases initiated by the Investigative Committee and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), but will also exercise oversight, although its chief directorate of procedural controls has practically been liquidated.

“We (officers of the Federal Security Service) only provided support for investigations before, now we will control this process from the moment  criminal proceedings are initiated to their submission to the court”, - according to a source at the FSB internal publication. MGB officers will also verify how effectively investigators use sensitive information.

The investigating board of the Ministry for State Security will have the status of a Chief Directorate and will be able to take over high-profile criminal cases. Currently, such cases, as well as corruption cases, are investigated by Russia's Investigative Committee and the Ministry of Internal Affairs according to the Criminal Code. According to the same source, the new plan is already being tested. For example, the case against the mafia boss Zakhar Kalashov (Young Shakro) and his associates was initiated by the FSS, based on Article 210 of the Criminal Procedure Code was not within its jurisdiction.  

The Russia's Investigative Committee can again become part of the prosecutor’s office, from which it was separated five years ago. Russia's Investigative Committee founder Alexander Bastrykin is also expected to be removed from his leadership role. having been informed that  “he could only expect a honorary post but without any authority,”

Since January 1, 2017, the main military prosecutor’s office will become the directorate of the General Prosecutor’s office, the law having been adopted in 2014. Military investigation and oversight will no longer be financed by the Defense Ministry, MVD and FSB.

Several departments confirm that one option being discussed, is that the Ministry of Emergency Management will be liquidated. Its services, including  civil defense, rescue and emergency units will come under the Defense Ministry, while Fire Safety Inspection will go to the MVD. The new State Duma will have to amend and accept a whole series of laws to launch the reform. And finance will have to find billions of rubles to pay personnel who decline to work in the new structures. 

Author’s commentary:

This looks like a realistic scenario for the enforcement of State Security, which, with its new services and functions, will look like the super-agencies that existed in the USSR (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs, Ministry for the State Security, and the Committee for the State Security), which concentrated a large number of functions in their hands. Also, the number of specialized agencies, which mushroomed in the 90s as part of the fight against the “monster KGB”, is being reduced, the latter having completed numerous reforms and downsizing.

In the event these proposals are implemented, we will be back where we started, after 25 years of freedom and democracy. It will be a super-structure of the MGB, with a wide range of functions and authorities, similar to the later Soviet KGB, which is probably not surprising, given the number of people in the government (including the top person, who came from the  Soviet KGB).

Similar forms with different substance are reconstructed, for obvious reasons. The aggravation of the social and economic situation in the country will require reinforcement of internal controls. And the extension of the conflict with the USA and the wars Russia is currently involved in and those of the future, will require the optimization of power, where squabbling special services, are less effective.

Of course, all this can be changed, and the reform could look a bit different. But there is no doubt that the role of law enforcement will be increased, with power concentrated in certain hands.

Source: Live Journal
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