Russia’s response to the Ukrainian attack on the Kerch Bridge in Crimea was especially brutal. On Monday, October 10, dozens of rockets hit several cities of the country, including Kyiv.
However, Vladimir Putin’s first reaction on Sunday was more measured: the Russian president convened the Security Council the following day. This type of meeting happens regularly. However, two days after the destruction of key infrastructure, it promised to be especially important.
The Security Council of the Russian Federation (RSCF) is an advisory body consisting of high-ranking Russian officials and supposed to help the president develop national security policy. Founded by the Congress of People’s Deputies of Russia in April 1991.
Dmytro Medvedev in the position of vice president
The 1993 Constitution vaguely mentions this, establishing that the CSFR is created and headed by the head of the Russian state. A 2010 federal law specifies it as a constitutional advisory body to assist in the development of presidential defense and national security decisions.
On January 16, 2020, Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the creation of a new position – vice president of the CSFR, which was immediately attributed to Dmitry Medvedev, the man with whom Putin shared power from 2008 to 2012. a liberal Westerner, he eventually took increasingly belligerent positions, especially with regard to Ukraine.
Another important figure in the CSFR is its secretary Mykola Patrushev. In office since 2008, he previously headed the FSB, the successor to the KGB, from 1999. Believed to be close to Putin, he takes a very hard line against the West and the United States, which earned him the nickname “hawk of hawks”as reported Conversation.
Medium of the KGB
Mykola Patrushev, who is considered a potential successor to the current Russian president, is also known for spreading conspiracy theories. In particular, in an interview, he claimed that former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said this “Neither the Far East nor Siberia belong to Russia.”
In fact, Mykola Patrushev allegedly received this information from Georgy Rogozin, a KGB agent who claimed that thanks to his psychic abilities, he was able to penetrate Madeleine Albright’s mind, as reported in the article. Guardian. In this way, he would be able to reveal his intentions regarding the Russian Far East.
In addition to the president, vice president, and secretary, the CSFR has several permanent members: the prime minister, the president’s chief of staff, the president’s special representative for ecology and transport, the president of the federation, the upper house of the Russian parliament, and the president of the Duma, its lower house.
Security Council at the helm
It also includes the ministers of defense, foreign affairs, and the interior, the director of the Federal Security Service (or FSB), and the director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (FSS).
Non-permanent members include, in particular, the ministers of justice or finance, the general prosecutor, the mayor of Moscow, as well as several representatives of the president in the federal districts (Siberia, Ural, Volga, etc.).
Although the CSFR’s powers have at times seemed uncertain, the new National Security Strategy published in 2009 has dispelled these doubts. “The Security Council now firmly governs all matters related to national security,” – writes Keir Giles, an expert on the Russian armed forces, in an article published by the NATO magazine.