FSB’s overhaul of security organs may be Kremlin purge of disloyal officials – ISW

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The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) is carrying out a mass overhaul of domestic security organs, the Institute for Study of War reports in its recent update. The FSB and the Main Directorate of the Security Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) have been conducting checks at the Moscow Central District Internal Affairs Directorate and several Moscow district police offices for the past several weeks due to “the leakage of data from Russian security forces at the request of Ukrainian citizens,” according to Russian state-controlled outlet TASS.

Several police officers have already been detained as part of the investigation, with Russian sources noting that the suspected officers leaked personal data on Russian security forces to external individuals, some of whom are Ukrainian citizens. This follows a series of arrests and dismissals of prominent members of the Russian National Guard leadership, known as Rosgvardia, ISW reprots.

The Kremlin may be using these arrests and investigations to oust officials who have fallen out of favor and consolidate further control over internal security organs, ISW believes.

Key Takeaways of the report: 

  • The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) appears to be conducting a large-scale overhaul of domestic security organs.
  • Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar reported on April 19 that Ukrainian forces are already conducting some counteroffensive actions.
  • Russian forces continue to use Shahed drones and other lower-precision systems to offset the degradation of Russia’s precision munition supply.
  • Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks near Kreminna.
  • Russian forces continued ground attacks in and around Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk frontline, and in western Donetsk Oblast.
  • Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted limited ground attacks in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
  • Russian officials continue to prepare to send electronic summonses and establish a digital registry for those eligible for military service.
  • A State Duma deputy proposed a bill that would expand contract conditions for the OMON and SOBR units of Rosgvardia and set conditions for the mobilization of Rosgvardia reservists.
  • Russian officials and occupation authorities continue efforts to further integrate occupied territories into the Russian economic system.
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