Russian President Vladimir Putin is celebrating big wins by his party in recent parliamentary elections by placing all Russian security agencies under a next generation KGB prototype.
The new agency will reportedly be called the “MGB.” The MGB will consolidate both domestic and foreign intelligence operations under the same roof, along with law enforcement jurisdiction, and authority to conduct criminal organizations. The MGB will almost exactly replicate the functions of the old KGB, the powerful state security agency in the former Soviet Union.
MGB is ominously the same name of the centralized security system under Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin from 1946-1953, analysts note. Putin himself was a longtime officer in the KGB, and relies heavily on Russian intelligence agencies for his foreign and domestic policy.
The new agency will be fully operational in time for the 2018 presidential elections in Russia. The big wins by Putin’s United Russia party in Sunday’s elections effectively muzzle any potential opposition by rival parties in the Russian parliament.
“Essentially, this is a case of bringing the band back together,” Russia expert Mark Galeotti told Radio Free Europe Monday. “The suggestion is that a presidential security service will remain outside it. But basically speaking, this ministry would reconstitute the KGB in all its aspects,” Galeotti continued.
The KGB was dismantled in 1991 after the fall of the former Soviet Union, and its duties were divided between several different agencies with different authorities. Galeotti noted that Putin previously preferred multiple overlapping agencies which he could play against each other in order to maintain control.
“The monopolization of power today has evidently reached a peak,” former KGB Colonel Gennady Gudkov closed to RFERL.
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