An introductory guide to the Russian security services (siloviki)

The Russian security landscape is incredibly complex. Numerous actors compete for resources and have overlapping responsibilities, and the security services often exceed their formal remits. Some actors are concerned solely with security issues, but many more have security-related duties as part of a broader remit. Some actors are formally oriented more towards domestic security, others towards international insecurity – but very few operate exclusively in only one domain.

This guide introduces some of the main state military, security, and law-enforcement bodies that operate at the federal level and answer for Russia’s domestic and international security. Many of these are commonly referred to using the broad terms silovyye struktury (‘power structures’) or silovyye ministerstva (‘power ministries’), and their employees as siloviki (‘man of force’ or ‘man of power’) – though authors will differ as to which specific actors they include under these terms.

    Security service actors covered by the guide

    Security services with a hybrid focus

    The Presidency

    The Security Council

    The National Antiterrorism Committee (NAK)

    The Federal Security Service (FSB)

    The Federal Protective Service (FSO)

    Security services with a domestic focus

    The National Guard (Rosgvardia)

    The Interior Ministry (MVD)

    The Ministry of Emergency Situations (MChS)

    The Ministry of Justice

    The Prosecutor-General’s Office

    The Investigative Committee

    The Main Directorate of Special Programmes (GUSP)

    Security services with a international focus

    The Ministry of Defence (MO)

    The Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR)

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)

      Included in the guide: An organisational map of the relationships between key security service actors

      A network map showing relationships between key security service actors

        What else is in the 18-page guide?

        • An infographic showing which security service actors operate in each domain.
        • A profile of each actor, explaining their role and remit.
        • Information on key subordinate organisations
          A graphic showing which security service actors operate in which domain

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