The amount of equipment brought on the plane for Putin’s visit to Israel, including an armored limousine, seems a bit disproportionate for a one-day visit but the Russian Presidential Security Service (SBP) doesn’t take any risks on Putin’s trips outside Russia, a Mako report said.
The SBP, which operates under the Russian Federal Protective Service (FSO), includes about 9,000 personnel, including 850 direct security officials. The security unit is divided into three circles of security, most of which are shrouded in secrecy, and include combat soldiers, sappers and intelligence agents.
The first security circle surrounds the Russian president and guards him directly and the second and third circles guard the buildings where Putin resides or works, including the Kremlin and other official buildings.
The intelligence unit coordinates and analyzes all threats to Putin and another unit analyzes profiles of hostile entities. These units summarize their results and brief the security personnel.
Members of the intelligence unit are carefully selected from the intelligence units of the Russian military and the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) – one of the successors of the KGB and the Russian equivalent of the Mossad or CIA. The intelligence agents arrive with significant experience and then undergo extensive training in the field.
The members of the President’s Security Service were the first to arrive in Israel. While still in Russia they gathered information about the type of people and scenarios that were potential threats to Putin. Representatives of additional units were in contact with Israeli security services.
The security guards themselves mostly come from “Spetsnaz”- the Russian term for the country’s special forces but are also recruited from the Russian Airborne Forces (paratroopers) and the Russian Naval Infantry. The security personnel are trained in close-range warfare, hand-to-hand combat, gun shooting and more.
The Russian president is always accompanied by additional professional teams, including sappers who are expert in detecting and neutralizing explosives, dog trainers and a tactical unit of combat soldiers with assault rifles and combat equipment. These teams travel in convoy vehicles where, unlike the security guards in black suits, they are hidden from view and exit their vehicles only in extreme scenarios.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)