The Russian Federation Federal Border Service


The Federal Border Service is one of the successors of the KGB, assuming the border control functions previously performed by the KGB Border Troops Directorate. Intelligence in Russia's border guard service dates back to the time of Peter the Great], when customs duties were introduced and smugglers naturally appeared. When the Russian Federation Border Troops were formed, the Intelligence Directorate was formed within them. Later an edict of the Russian president created the Federal Border Service - the High Command of the Border Troops, where the Intelligence Directorate is located. It is entrusted with conducting intelligence, counterintelligence, and operational-investigative activity in the interests of ensuring that the state border is guarded.


The Russian Federation Federal Border Service was constituted by the RF Presidential Edicts "On the Creation of the Federal Border Service the RF Main Border Troops Command", dated December 30, 1993, and "On the RF Federal Border Service", dated December 30, 1994, into an independent state service. Although the law "On Foreign Intelligence" does cover intelligence in the Border Troops, a Russian Presidential president extended that law to the Intelligence Directorate. In addition, under the law "On the Russian Federation State Border," the Border Troops are permitted to conduct operational-investigative and intelligence activity and to engage in counterintelligence. The Federal Border Service, the Russian Federation Foreign Intelligence Service, and of late the Russian Defense Ministry, all devote considerable resources to counter-drug operations. Russia's MVD, State Customs Committee and Federal Security Service have special services and departments devoted to such activities. Although personnel devoted specifically to drug control have increased in the Ministry of Interior, the State Customs Committee, and the Federal Border Guards, their efforts have been hampered by the lack of equipment and other resources. Moreover, many of these agencies, as well as the health agencies, are experiencing the loss of some of their most experienced personnel to the private sector where salaries are much higher. The Federal Border Service concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with the US Coast Guard in 1995 which included agreement to interdict drugs on the high seas. The Border Service also concluded a trilateral agreement in 1995 with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to reinforce trilateral counter narcotics cooperation on the borders with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran. Some 12,000 of the 18,000 border guards that are serving in Tajikistan under Russian command are citizens of Tajikistan. Servicemen of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.

Meetings between Federal Border Service leaders and the representatives of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, China, and India have focused on Russian efforts to persuade these states to abandon their support for the Tajik opposition. A Border Service delegation to Afghanistan in late 1996 discussed the possibility of creating a border security zone at least 25 km wide, within which the Border Service would be free to take any and all measures to prevent illegal border crossings. As of early 1996 fighting in Afghanistan had resulted in some 100,000 refugees fleeing to areas near the Tajik border. Despite the presence under CIS auspices of Russian peacekeeping troops in Abkhazia and predominantly Russian peacekeeping troops in Tajikistan, there remains disagreement among the various CIS countries over proposals for the joint protection of their borders with non-CIS countries (termed by Moscow the external CIS borders). Azerbaijan and Ukraine remain the most determined to manage the protection of their own borders without Russian or CIS assistance, and Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have also sought to distance themselves from joint protection proposals. The Intelligence Directorate accounts for less than one percent of the Border Troops' strength, which in 1994 amounted to approximately 200,000 troops. It includes an Intelligence Directorate and a secret service unit. Although administratively separate, its headquarters is located in the former KGB Lubyanka headquarters also occupied by the SVR. The Military Council of the Russian Border Guard troops is responsible for measures for strengthening of the Russian state border, including relations with other CIS members to enhance the protection of the Southern borders of the Commonwealth.

The FPS is organized into six border districts, three groups of border troops within the territory of Russia, the groups of RF border troops in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzia, Georgia, Armenia, and the independent operational group of Russian border troops in Turkmenia. These forces include 63 border detachments, four independent border komendaturas, 17 naval formations and units, the Amur Border River Flotilla, 10 aviation regiments, an independent border monitoring detachment, 30 independent entry control points, and also communications, rear services, and technical support units and institutions. As of August 1996 Lt. Gen. Vladimir Rozhkov was chief of the Russian Federation Federal Border Service Intelligence Directorate and deputy commander in chief of the Border Troops. He replaced Lieutenant General Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Bespalov, a graduate of the USSR KGB Higher School, who was chief of the Intelligence Directorate as of 1994. Each border district has an intelligence section, whose chief is deputy commander of the district. The border detachments have intelligence sections. Staffers were formerly trained at the Foreign Intelligence Institute and the KGB Higher School. An intelligence faculty has been set up under the Border Troops Academy. The Intelligence Directorate of the Russian border troops is explicitly authorized through law with responsibility over foreign country intelligence, to protect Russian state borders, the economic zone as well as the Russian territorial waters from intelligence acquisition by foreign countries. The FBS intelligence activities extend to everything relating to the border regions of Russia. In May 1996 FBS leaders asserted that the expansion the NATO create a new threat along the Russian western boundary that would require the FBS to implement appropriate counter-measures. The Intelligence Directorate has been active in coordinating efforts with the border guard departments of Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan in working to close the Tajik-Afghan border to penetration by insurgents and drug traffickers from Afghanistan.