Putin takes effort to struggle against terrorism

Vladimir Putin stated after the tragedy in Beslan that international terrorists had declared war on Russia

Vladimir Putin signed the decree “About the envoy of the Russian Federation President on the issues of the international cooperation in the struggle against terrorism and the transnational organized crime.” The decree implies a new official position: the presidential plenipotentiary for the issues of the international cooperation in the anti-terrorist struggle. Ex-first deputy director of the Russian Federal Security Bureau (FSB), a professional special agent, Anatoly Safonov, was appointed for the post.

Vladimir Putin stated after the tragedy in Beslan that international terrorists had declared war on Russia. Therefore, it would be logical to appoint a special official, who would be responsible for the issue in foreign policy. Until recently, it was the Foreign Affairs Ministry that carried the burden.

”The development of the decisive political course in the struggle against terrorism and the transnational crime. The coordination of all departments' work on the issue within the country and outside, with our international partners' help,” Anatoly Safonov described his forthcoming duties in an interview with Izvestia. Safonov believes that the time dictates the need to stay aside from the “narrow approach” to the questions of the anti-terrorist struggle: “Looking at such a big problem with the eyes of only one department is pernicious both for the department and for the problem. The challenge of terrorism will last long. Neither the state, nor the ministry will be able to answer this challenge alone, with the tip-and-run attack,” Safonov said.

Below you can read experts' comments on Anatoly Safonov's appointment.

Nikolay Leonov, State Duma deputy, Lieutenant-General of the Soviet KGB:

”I believe that it was a correct decision to appoint Anatoly Safonov – he is a true professional. Safonov started working at KGB as an officer, and he finished his career there on the position of the chairman of the KGB's administration in the Krasnoyarsk region. He took the post of Russia's deputy foreign affairs minister for his personal qualities, his professionalism and intellect. He is not someone from Yeltsin's team, although he knew several people from his milieu. I think that he needs to have other KGB colleagues around him; diplomats can be his consultants.”

Alexander Barteniev, Major-General of the USSR's KGB:

”I think that the appointment was correct. It is possible to defeat terrorism - the plague of the 21st century - only if we cooperate with special services from other countries. Special services of the USSR, the USA, France, and other countries always conducted joint work. I used to know an officer from KGB, who was responsible for that work – he informed the administration of his department about it. That is why President Putin acts right, when he surrounds himself with professionals, his former colleagues.”

Yury Kolchev, the counter-intelligence department:

”My attitude to the appointment is deeply positive. It is about time when the foreign ministry and all our departments abroad should be strengthened with special services. One must put an end to the mess that Yeltsin's democrats caused to the special services. Safonov's work on the post should be fruitful; it should not contain the policy of double standards, as it can be observed with the US special services.”


Anatoly Safonov was born on 5 October, 1945 in the Krasnoyarsk region of Russia. He graduated from the Krasnoyarsk Polytechnic Institute in 1968 (railway engineer) and the courses of the USSR's KGB in 1970. In 1968-1969 he went on several expeditions to the Far North, Yakutia, Chukotka. In 1970 he became a counter-intelligence officer at the KGB department in the Krasnoyarsk region. In 1992 Safonov was appointed deputy security minister. In 1994 he became the first deputy director of the Federal Counter-Intelligence Service. In April of 1994 he took the position of the deputy director of the Russian FSB. In 1997 Anatoly Safonov chaired the security committee of the Union of Russia and Belarus. After that he was appointed the deputy foreign affairs minister. Safonov was in charge of the struggle against terrorism and the organized crime. He was dismissed from the position on August 13th, apparently within the framework of the administrative reform, when the number of foreign minister's deputies was cut.

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Author`s name Olga Savka