Russian Interior Ministry’s troops celebrate professional holiday

PRAVDA, Russia
March 27 2004

Russian Interior Ministry’s troops celebrate professional holiday

source RIA Novosti

On Saturday the Russian Interior Ministry’s troops celebrate their
professional holiday.

In 1811 Emperor Alexander I ordered to form interior guard
battalions. It was one of the most important links in the state
defense system.

The battalions were to help the authorities implement laws and
execute sentences, catch and eliminate robbers, break up prohibited
rallies, keep order at fairs, folk and church holidays, convoy
criminals and money and carry out rescue works in case of fires and

Interior guards fought in the 1812 patriotic war against Napoleon and
other famous campaigns.

After the 1917 revolution the guards were reorganized on the basis of
new principles. In 1919 the Council of Workers and Peasants’ Defense
unified all the auxiliary troops and formed the troops of the
Republic’s interior protection. These troops fought in the Civil War
(1918-1920), battles against Japanese intervenors in 1938 and 1939 on
Lake Khasan and the Khalkhin Gol River, and the Soviet-Finnish War

Units of the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD) were
fighting in the Great Patriotic War, in particular, in border areas.
They defended Brest, Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Odessa, Voronezh,
Stalingrad, the North Caucasus and the Kursk Bulge. All in all, over
97,000 servicemen were killed and more than 100,000 were put forward
for state decoration.

In the recent years the Russian Interior Ministry’s troops have been
successfully fighting in hot spots: Nagorny Karabakh (an Armenian
enclave in Azerbaijan), Fergana (Uzbekistan), and in the North
Caucasian republics (North Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechnya).

According to the Commander-in-Chief of the Interior Ministry Troops,
Army General Vyacheslav Tikhomirov, the efficiency of the united
group of forces in the North Caucasus has increased by 50-100% since
the control over the counter-terrorist operation was transferred to
the Interior Ministry. “The Interior Ministry’s troops carried out
about 4,000 special operations. The crime level in many regions
reduced by 14 percent,” he said.