Russian National Guard takes over Arctic seaport security

The Russian National Guard is directly subject to the Russian president.


Russian National Guard forces train in Murmansk. (Rosgvard.ru via The Independent Barents Observer)

Nine seaports in the Russian Arctic will be protected by the National Guard over the course of the year, the force’s head Viktor Zolotov has confirmed to TASS.

Zolotov’s troops already guarding key installation in Sabetta, the port of Yamal’s Arctic LNG project, as well as far east Arctic town of Pevek. The National Guard is also well represented in Murmansk, where it has conducted several major exercises.

Among them are the drills held on the Murmansk waterfront together with special forces from Chechnya in 2018. They also trained together in the Arctic archipelago of Franz Josef Land.

According to Zolotov, the National Guard will now increasingly start applying mobile protection systems for the remote northern ports.

Russia’s National Guard is a military force directly subjected to the Russian president. It was was established in 2016 as part of a major reshuffle of Russian law-enforcement authorities. 

In a recent interview with newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Zolotov said that his federal body includes 160,000 troops and that they guard more than 70 key state objects as well as about 3,000 other objects.