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Russia Creates National Guard to Fight Terror, Crime

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Commander-in-Chief of the Interior Ministry troops Viktor Zolotov attend a meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, April 5, 2016.

Russia's president signed a decree Tuesday to create a national guard tasked with fighting terrorism and organized crime.

The new federal agency will be led by Vladimir Putin's former chief bodyguard, Viktor Zolotov.

Putin said in a televised meeting with Zolotov and other top security officials in the Kremlin that the new government entity will merge the country's interior ministry troops with riot police and swat teams.

He also said that Russia's drug control and migration services will be incorporated into the interior ministry's structure.

The decree lists the main duties of the newly created national guard, which in addition to the fight against terrorism and extremism, include other functions such as participation in the territorial defense of the Russian Federation, protection of important state facilities and special cargoes, support for border protection, and the monitoring of compliance with the law in the areas of arms circulation.

The decree says that it takes effect on the day of signing.

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