Who protects Medvedev and Putin

Russia’s Federal Protective Service Director, General Evgeniy Murov tells KP how often the nation’s leaders are threatened and why their guards haven’t changed since they took on their new roles as prime minister and president

Ready to improvise

KP: I’d like to begin by asking you about official improvisation. Journalists often note impromptu behavior during the president’s and prime minister’s official visits. Not too long ago in Beijing, President Dmitriy Medvedev digressed from his formal visit schedule, started speaking freely with Chinese students and even kissed a girl.

Evgeniy Murov: The president has the right to choose his own style of communication…

Q: And in Yelabuga, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin headed to the factory dining hall out of the blue, took a tray, stood in line and then ate with the workers.

A: That’s our leaders’ style and they’re known for it all over the world. Our job is not to bind them to concrete plans and guarantee their safety. And that’s what we do. Of course, we have to be prepared for the unexpected.

Q: The 12th anniversary of the law “On the Protection of the State” passed recently.

A: Yes, the law was ratified in spring 1996.

Q: How have these 12 years guarding the Kremlin influenced the Federal Protective Service?

A: Quite substantially. Previously Russia didn’t have an analogous law. The state protective organ was called the Chief Department of State Protection in 1991-1996. It operated on the basis of the State Regulation on the Chief Department of State Protection via a presidential decree. When the federal law was passed, we were given a serious legislative framework to help us do our job.

Q: What exactly did the legislative base give you?

A: A lot. We’ve established an entire federal department with an optimal structure. We have a well-trained and highly professional staff. We also have the material and technical base required to solve the most complex tasks. Another recent achievement is the effective relationship that has been created among Russia’s power structures.

Q: Are you referring to the Presidential Secret Service (SBR), Federal Security Service (FSB) and Interior Ministry (MIA)?

A: Yes, among others. We work together to solve the most difficult, multi-faceted problems facing Russia’s leaders.

Q: Several years ago at the Kremlin parade dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Presidential Regiment, we caught a glimpse of the military technology used by the Federal Protective Service for the first time. Which arms are you equipped with now?

A: Well, we’re not poorly equipped by any means. Let’s put it that way. We’ve ordered and had the latest special military technology and weapons developed for us. Today, we can say that the Federal Protective Service is highly equipped. READ MORE

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