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British intel: Russia’s new ‘security’ structure displays increasing signs of paramilitary nature

The British intel said that the creation of the Moscow Government Security Force provides an opportunity for Muscovites to volunteer for “patriotic” wartime duties while avoiding frontline service in Ukraine
Russian soldiers. Illustrative photo. Credit: Euronews

Russian President Vladimir Putin approved establishing the Moscow Government Security Force (MGSF), a new paramilitary organisation intended to guard the capital’s infrastructure, the UK Defense Ministry reported.

The MGSF represents the latest example of “paramilitarisation” in Russia: the proliferation of armed groups outside the regular military structure, the UK intel said.

Since July 2023, the MGSF has taken on an increasingly paramilitary character, with a remit to use firearms. The force has likely attracted several thousand recruits so far out of a planned strength of 15,000 personnel.

MGSF’s expansion is a response to concerns about the preparedness of Moscow’s local security forces. This follows incidents in June 2023 when advancing troops affiliated with the Wagner Group encountered little resistance.

The British intel said that the creation of the MGSF provides an opportunity for Moscow residents to volunteer for “patriotic” wartime duties while avoiding frontline service in Ukraine. Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin has shielded the capital’s population from the brunt of the conflict, in contrast to the poorer provincial regions that have shouldered most Russian casualties.

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