Viktor Zolotov Appointed Deputy Commander of Interior Forces

July 9, 2013
Izvestiya/Marat Abulkhatin

The chief of President Vladimir Putin’s security service will transfer in the coming days to a high post in the Interior Ministry. According to Izvestiya’s sources in the Kremlin, the head of state has already signed a decree appointing 59-year old Viktor Zolotov to the post of deputy commander-in-chief of the Interior Ministry’s internal troops. This unexpected appointment in the president’s inner circle is seen as a wish by Putin to strengthen the position of the Interior Ministry and put a person there whom he personally trusts. Furthermore, in the future, Zolotov is also designated for the post of commander-in-chief of the internal forces.

According to Izvestiya’s sources, the decree on the new appointment of Viktor Zolotov was signed early in the week of 1 July, and its announcement was expected in the near future. The appointment is viewed by the colleagues of Lt. Gen. Zolotov as a promotion.

Despite the fact that for now Zolotov is appointed to the position of deputy commander-in-chief of the internal forces, in the opinion of high-ranking sources, good prospects are opening up for him.

“Currently the post of chief of the internal forces is held by Nikolai Rogozhkin,” a source explained to Izvestiya. “He’s a person who has worked for a long time in the system, and has headed the internal forces for nearly nine years. It’s a fairly long period, and many believe that he has, as they say, stagnated. Moreover, the position of commander-in-chief is a promotion in rank to general of the army within 2 or 3 years. Therefore, understandably, most likely the current appointment of Zolotov as Rogozhkin’s deputy has far-reaching prospects.”

The appointment to the post of deputy commander-in-chief enables Viktor Zolotov to study the system of the Interior Ministry from the inside and allows time for “getting up to speed.”

As for Nikolai Rogozhkin, the conversations about his upcoming resignation began even last year, when Yury Sabanin, head of the military medical directorate of the main command of the Interior Ministry’s internal troops was detained for bribe-taking. When detained, Sabanin resisted investigators and made an attempt to destroy the money he had received.

The strengthening of the Interior Ministry with such a professional as Viktor Zolotov should put an end to conversations about the creation in Russia of a new power organization – the National Guard. The discussion of the prospects for its appearance have been held for several years. Analysts have surmised that the foundation of the National Guard would be made up of soldiers from the Interior Ministry’s internal troops, and also the elite of the army, the paratroopers and the military police created in Russia.