Staunton, February 19—Nearly two million Russians or slightly more than two percent of those employed work for the internal security services, a figure that has gone up by approximately ten percent over the last five years of Vladimir Putin’s time in power, according to a new study by the Project Research Center. In addition, just under 800,000 are in the military.
The Russian government does not call attention to these numbers and spending and in many cases classifies significant portions of each, making it difficult if not impossible for Russians and others to know how much the government is spending on the forces it uses to control the population.
Internal troops, including the 300,000-plus Russian Guards, now outnumber those in the standing army by 30 percent. In addition, 211,000 work for the penal system, 200,000 for the FSB, 50,000 for the Federal Protection Service, 40,000 for the customs service, and 33,000 for the procuracy general, 19,000 for the investigation committee.
And approximately 12,000 to 14,000 are estimated to work for the SVR (znak.com/2020-02-19/proekt_poschital_chislo_silovikov_v_rossii_ih_2_6_mln_chelovek). The average pay of people in these agencies, which has increased by 50 percent to 100 percent over this period, is two to three times that of the working population as a whole.
Most Russian security spending goes to the military, but 900 billion rubles (14 billion US dollars) went for the forces of the national guard in 2018, 451billion rubles (6 billion US dollars) for other internal troops and border guards in the same year, and 227 billion rubles (3.8 billion US dollars) for the penal servies
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