Vladimir Putin

Putin orders creation of Russian National Guard to fight terrorism, crime

April 4, 2016: Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the preparations for the upcoming Victory Day. (Reuters)

April 4, 2016: Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the preparations for the upcoming Victory Day. (Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday ordered the creation of a National Guard to fight terrorism and organized crime in the country, the Russian news agency RT reports.

The new force, which would be formed out of existing Interior Ministry troops and created under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, would also “perform the functions which are currently carried out by riot police units, SWAT, etc.,” the Russian leader said Tuesday.

The decision to create a National Guard was born out of discussions about “how to improve [law enforcement] in all areas, including those related to fighting terrorism, to organized crime and illicit drug trafficking," Putin added.

Rumors about the creation of a National Guard circulated in 2012, but the Russian government denied the claims.

The announcement comes as Putin meets with various Russian officials, including the Interior Minister, the head of the Federal Drug Control Service and the commander of the interior troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.