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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Security Agency Reveals New Structure

The new Russian Federal Counterintelligence Service has five main departments, compared to the 18 departments in its post-KGB predecessor, the Security Ministry, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Alexander Mikhailov said the restructuring of the agency would be completed in two months, but that the basic formations had been already established.

President Boris Yeltsin's decree of Dec. 21, 1993, abolished the Security Ministry, which replaced the KGB in 1991, and set up a smaller Federal Counterintelligence Service instead.

Mikhailov said the service was directly subordinate to Yeltsin -- not to the prime minister or the parliament, as was previously the case.

He said the Service had one chief, former Security Minister Nikolai Golushko, who retained the rank of minister, and five deputies heading the five main departments -- military counterintelligence, counterintelligence operations, economic counterintelligence, protection of strategic installations, and antiterrorism.

Mikhailov said Yeltsin would appoint the five deputies, and that organization of the Counterintelligence Service would be completed by the end of March.

Mikhailov said there would be 75,000 employees in the new counterintelligence structure, compared with 135,000 in the former Security Ministry.

"The personnel of the Service will be finalized only after the reevaluation of the Security Ministry's servicemen," he said. "Many will go to the public prosecutor's office, the Interior Ministry or will be dismissed."

Mikhailov said the Investigation Department, one of the largest in the former Security Ministry, with its chief, General Major Sergei Balashov, would become part of the public prosecutor's office.

Alexei Smirnov, executive director of the Human Rights Center, who spent five years in a prison camp for spreading "anti-Soviet propaganda," voiced skepticism about the changes in the security structures.

"This is a bureaucratic reform, not a real one," Smirnov said.

Aleksei Yudin, a Yeltsin administration official, said reevaluation of the former Security Ministry's servicemen would not be "political" in nature, adding, "It's up to the leadership to decide who should stay or leave" the service.