MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the creation of a new law enforcement agency, the National Guards.
The new agency, which will be formed on the basis of Interior Ministry troops, will be led by their commander, Putin's former chief bodyguard, Viktor Zolotov.
Putin announced the decision during Tuesday's televised meeting with Zolotov and other law enforcement officials. He said that the National Guards will focus on the fight against terrorism and organized crime.
In a conference call with reporters, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the National Guards could also be involved in disbanding unsanctioned rallies. He said the move had no relation to September's parliamentary elections.
Putin also ordered that the Federal Drug Control Service and the Federal Migration Service should be placed under the Interior Ministry.