Bottom line: Russian President Vladimir Putin has created a “National Guard” (Нацгвардия), but it’s not like the National Guard we’re accustomed to. While Putin claims this armed force, which incorporates some of the Interior Ministry troops, is created specifically to address terrorism, transnational organized crime, and arms trafficking in the country, it as a way to continue consolidating power in the presidency. It is a ministry-level organization that falls directly under the control of the President.
“If you have noticed, this decision is not simply related to detaching the interior troops from the Interior Ministry. But this has been done so that this new structure will now concentrate all that is connected with firearms. This refers to various kinds of security provision and the authorization system [to get the right to possess firearms], ensure oversight of private security firms and this also refers to interior troops proper,” Putin said.
Yes, I know the translation sucks, but think about this for a moment. The Russian president, who already has been well on the path to grabbing power, censorship, stringent nationalism, and violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of his country’s neighbors, is now creating himself a little army that’s focusing not just on terrorism and TOC, but also firearms trade. By the way, the Russian Federation in November 2014 eased firearms restrictions to allow its citizens to carry firearms for self defense, but now Putin is controlling some pretty powerful military troops who focus internally.
Call me crazy and untrusting, but I wouldn’t want any government – especially not an authoritarian crap weasel like Putin – having control of his own little army that can be used against the citizenry, and given Russia’s pivot toward statism in the past few years, this Нацгвардия is more than concerning.
We view the right to keep and bear arms as a bulwark against tyranny. The fact that Putin has now created an armed entity, controlled solely by him, to focus on “all that is connected with firearms” should tell you everything you need to know about where that nation is headed internally. And that, my friends, coupled with the recent aggression of Russian fighter jets first buzzing the USS Donald Cook, and then flying dangerously close to one of our recon craft, is indicative of the kind of threats with which the next President will be dealing.
Everything old is new again.