How the Boris Yeltsin Security Service was born and what it did
GUO - SBP - FSO: 1991 – 1999
After Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin came to power, cardinal changes took place in the Kremlin guard. The new government, guided by the demands of the political situation, destroyed the old Soviet special services and built its own, already Russian.
To understand how these processes took place and how the work of the Russian presidential guard was organized, we were agreed to help two direct participants in the events of that time. This is the former head of the Presidential Security Service (SBP) of the Russian Federation, Alexander Vasilyevich Korzhakov, and the former First Deputy Head of the Main Directorate of Security, Boris Konstantinovich Ratnikov.
From private to lieutenant general
History Boris Yeltsin’s relationship with bodyguards began in 1985. According to the existing order, personal security was assigned to him after moving from Sverdlovsk to Moscow and electing him secretary of the CPSU Central Committee. And here are a few facts, quite remarkable in terms of continuity in the Soviet state protection. In 1976 as the first secretary of the Sverdlovsk CPSU Regional Committee, Yeltsin replaced his future colleague in the Politburo of the Central Committee, Yakov Petrovich Ryabov, who in April 1984 was taken under the protection of the 9 Office of the KGB of the USSR. Vyacheslav Georgievich Naumov became the head of Yakov Petrovich’s security. Previously, in 1980, he took over the leadership of the 3 group of the 18 branch of the 1 division from the legendary Mikhail Petrovich Soldatov, who was mentioned more than once in our series of publications.
The initiative to raise Boris Yeltsin in the power hierarchy belonged to Egor Ligachev. In December 1985, Yeltsin was recommended by the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee as the first secretary of the Moscow City Committee (CIM) of the CPSU. December 24 1985, replacing the post 70-year-old Victor Grishin, he began active work in this post. To the most significant stages of his work should include a significant personnel cleaning. What is interesting, it was Boris Yeltsin who decided to celebrate the day of the city in the capital.
Yury Kozhukhov, the commandant of his state dacha, became the head of Yeltsin’s guard, who himself chose his deputies - attached - Viktor Suzdalev and Alexander Korzhakov. It is curious that Yury Kozhukhov did not hasten his deputies, as they say, “to the post”. That is, they worked, but officially they were not listed in the security group. The head of the security before the department’s leadership explained this situation by the fact that “... Boris Nikolayevich and I should take a closer look at these people ...”.
Alexander Korzhakov. Photo: Alexey Svertkov / "Russian Planet"
Subsequently, Alexander Vasilyevich will be called “the second man in Russia,” and at that time he was a 35-year-old major. After working in the field guard of Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov, Alexander Korzhakov served as the senior operational duty officer of the 18 branch. It must be said that Alexander Vasilievich is the only officer in the entire history of the Nine who, for 30 years, has gone all the professional way - from an ordinary Kremlin regiment to a lieutenant general.
Alexander Vasilyevich Korzhakov began his service in the 9 Office of the KGB of the USSR on November 9 of the year in the Kremlin regiment. Already at this time he was a member of the main team of the volleyball team. “For sport”, as they said in “nine”, at that time Vladimir Stepanovich Redborodiy answered. At the end of military service during the time of the Brezhnev Politburo, Alexander Korzhakov was again taken to the administration. But now he has become an ensign in the 1968 division of the 2 division, a unit that provides tacit guards for the routes of protected persons, located next to the regiment right there in the Kremlin Arsenal.
The tasks of the officers and officers of this unit were to ensure the safe passage of protected persons under any conditions. The management of the management officers and staff of the department were employed to work in places of stay and rest of protected persons, during their missions in the country and abroad. Therefore, the officers of the 2 division of the 5 division were the first candidates for the personnel reserve of the 1 division, which directly ensures the safety of protected persons. It is noteworthy that the head of the 5 department, in which Alexander Vasilyevich began his professional career, was the very same Mikhail Nikolayevich Yagodkin, who at the Borovitsky Gate of the Kremlin in January 1969, actively participated in the neutralization of the insane arrow Ilina.
“We worked like“ tramplers ”under Stalin,” recalls Alexander Korzhakov. - Only they were given boots and warm clothes, and we had to buy everything ourselves. There were difficulties with this, because, for example, not all sorts of pants can be worn over pants. I had felt shoes of size 48, so that in the harsh winters I could wear several pairs of warm socks in them. ”
Price of devotion
In February, 1988, Boris Yeltsin was dismissed from his post as secretary of the Moscow city committee of the CPSU, but Alexander Korzhakov did not end his relationship with the man for whose safety he was responsible. Yeltsin valued this dearly and treated Alexander Vasilyevich as a friend.
Yeltsin’s dismissal from a high position, in which he worked for exactly two years (from February 1986 to February 1988), was caused by literally revolutionary ideas of that time, judgments and judgments. The famous expression “Boris, you are not right,” belonging to Yegor Ligachev and concisely describing the situation with his Ural protege, sounded on October 21 1987 of the year. Four months later, Yeltsin was employed by the first deputy chairman of the Gosstroy - after the responsible party post, the appointment was extremely humiliating. Naturally, state security and privileged security were instantly lifted. Yeltsin’s security officers, head of the Nine, Yury Sergeevich Plekhanov, through the head of the 1 section, Viktor Vasilyevich Aleinikov, were “strongly recommended” to stop any contact with the disgraced and, as it seemed, the ex-guarded person. This was a very serious warning, and a verbal order in the Chekist language practically meant a categorical ban. The colleagues in the department also told Alexander Korzhakov about the seriousness of the situation.
A meeting of voters with the candidate for deputies of the Moscow Council in the 161 electoral district, the first secretary of the CPSU MGK, the chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin (center) 1987 year.Photo: Alexander Polyakov / RIA News
But purely human relations were never alien to KGB officers, and Alexander Vasilyevich 1 of February 1989 of the year immediately after passing the daily duty in the department simply and without any ulterior thoughts came to congratulate Boris Nikolayevich on his birthday. In the same spirit, Korzhakov was joined by his comrade in the disbanded security group Viktor Suzdalev. But the former security chief, Boris Yeltsin, Kozhukhov did not support the initiative of his colleagues. The birthday ended at 5 in the morning ...
This blatant fact of disobedience, naturally, did not escape the attention of the operatives who supervised the disgraced Yeltsin, who immediately reported on the incident to the leadership of the administration.
“The authorities especially didn’t like the toasts I made for Boris Nikolayevich,” Alexander Korzhakov writes in his book, Boris Yeltsin: From Dawn to Dusk. “Disgraced leaders of the Communist Party, it turns out, should have no future prospects.”
In February 1989, Yuri Plekhanov fired an experienced and honored officer. By that time, Alexander Korzhakov had worked with protected persons for almost all posts of the department for more than 18 for years, and not only on business trips around the country and abroad, but also in Afghanistan, where as part of the special group of the 1 division of the “nine” country Babrak Karmal. Korzhakov was fired on a very unusual basis. At the "carpet" conversation in the personnel department, his chief, a senior officer, a decent man, hiding his eyes, voiced major "Korzhakov" the "sentence" of the leadership: "to dismiss in connection with too long a service" ...
By the way, the military routes of majors Alexander Vasilyevich Korzhakov and Boris Konstantinovich Ratnikov crossed in Afghanistan. This is a very remarkable fact in the history of the formation of the future system of protection of the president of Russia.
Such is the professional fee for the faithful service: first, management of its order attaches the employee to the statesman, and then it blames its officer-attached his human loyalty to the protected person. This can be traced throughout the long history of state protection. Abram Belenky, Nikolai Vlasik and others also got into the same situation. This is a kind of sword of Damocles hanging above the attached head. This image is understandable only to those who have passed their professional path in this position or were close to those who individually carried this burden of responsibility, sharing it with their leader.
Running a little ahead, it is worth noting that under the new government the price of loyalty to those who fell into disgrace will remain the same. In 1997, Yeltsin's chef Dmitry Samarin and a dozen more loyal security officers will be dismissed for participating in the celebration of Korzhakov’s victory in the elections of State Duma deputies in Tula. How can you not remember the common phrase: "They are not the first and they are not the last."
The future Russian president and his most devoted bodyguard briefly broke up. In 1989, the mysterious story that happened at the time and almost forgotten happened to the fall of Boris Yeltsin to the Moscow River near Nikolina Gora. Boris Nikolayevich himself said that unknown persons attacked him and threw him off the bridge. Korzhakov conducted a thorough investigation of this case and realized that Yeltsin’s version is implausible, he is clearly hiding something. What exactly, according to Alexander Korzhakov, remained unknown. In this case, it was he who was first called by Yeltsin, who got into an ambiguous situation.
After that, Boris Nikolayevich invited Alexander Vasilyevich to work again with his attached, and Korzhakov accepted this invitation. The agreement between them can be considered more informal, because there was no personal security service other than the 9 Directorate of the KGB in the USSR. And until the adoption of the Law on Private Security Activities, there were still three years left.
Two friends served
12 June 1990 of the Year The First Congress of People's Deputies of the RSFSR adopts a declaration of independence of the republic ... as part of the USSR. The political career of Boris Yeltsin, with whom Alexander Korzhakov was constantly and everywhere, was gaining momentum. Yeltsin’s figure on the sociopolitical Olympus of the soviet state sliding into the abyss became more and more significant. By the summer of 1991, it became clear that the collapse of the USSR, and hence its state security organs, including those responsible for protecting the country's political leadership, is inevitable.
Time demanded quick and decisive action. The urgent problem that Alexander Korzhakov should have immediately resolved was personnel: who will stand with him behind the back of the new leader of the country? And such people were found.
Together with Korzhakov, his combat comrade Boris Konstantinovich Ratnikov was engaged in the creation of the security service. As already mentioned, they met in Afghanistan, where on a six-month business trip from the “nine” Korzhakov was guarding Babrak Karmal, and the USSR KGB officer Boris Ratnikov was an “advisor” to the KhAD (Afghan State Security Service) operative group for three years. Boris Konstantinovich combined the professional duties of a broad profile specialist - from the commander of a battle group and an agent-guide to an operational officer and analyst.
In April, the security department of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, which was created to protect Boris Yeltsin, was invited by the KGB Colonel for Moscow and the Moscow Region Boris Ratnikov. Having received the invitation, Boris Konstantinovich wrote a report about his dismissal from the organs of the KGB of the USSR.
These people became the founders of the new structure, which had no historical analogues. 19 July 1991, Alexander Vasilyevich, with knowledge and understanding of professional perspectives, transformed the department into the Security Service of the President of the RSFSR (RSFSR RSFSR). By decree of the USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev, this service briefly entered the Security Directorate under the USSR Presidential Administration. No need to think that a whole host of bodyguards, drivers, security guards and other specialized specialists immediately build up behind such a name - there were only 12 people.
In August, 1991, immediately after Gorbachev returned from Foros, Boris Ratnikov was invited to the Kremlin to discuss the organization of the new state security structure instead of the 9 Office of the USSR KGB. Alexander Korzhakov himself was on holiday with Yeltsin in Jurmala, so his deputy Ratnikov went to meet with the president of the USSR. The essence of the conversation was that it was necessary to create a new structure under the two main actors in the country.
Thus, a “transitional” Security Directorate under the Presidential Administration of the USSR emerged, which replaced the legendary “nine” on the historical scene. It is necessary to understand how the confrontation between the two core but politically competing structures was: the SBP of the USSR President, which retained the staff, and the management mechanisms of the huge nine, and the RSFSR SBP as a part of 12 people.
RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin (left) during a speech at the building of the RSFSR Council of Ministers. Right - Alexander Korzhakov. 1991 year. Photo: Valentina Kuzmina and Alexander Chumicheva / TASS photo chronicle
Boris Yeltsin's office was located in the White House. It was there that Alexander Korzhakov and Boris Ratnikov, drawing attention to Yeltsin’s uncharacteristic bouts of weakness at the time when he was in the office, and after conducting their own operational technical inspection on their own, found the famous “antenna” in one of the cabinets the size of an average modern tv. It was an attacking tool - almost psychotronic weapon. It should be understood that the protection of the White House itself, the House of Councils, was carried out by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but as a particularly important object, it was supervised by the KGB of the USSR. That is, it was not difficult to install not only operational listening equipment, but also much more serious devices for (for the present) the KGB of the USSR.
12 June 1991 by popular vote Boris Yeltsin was elected president of Russia. However, this did not entail the immediate creation of a separate structure for its security. This happened later, on December 14 of 1991, when the General Directorate of Protection (GUO) of the RSFSR was established on the basis of the practically unchanged structure of the “nine”. He was headed by Vladimir Stepanovich Redkorodiy - an old friend of Alexander Vasilyevich and on the "nine", and, importantly, on Afghanistan, where in wartime human qualities were tested not by word but by deed. Prior to the formation of the GUO, Vladimir Redkorodiy headed the Security Department under the Presidential Administration of the USSR - the transformed “nine” was called this way from 31 in August 1991.
Exactly one year later, 12 June 1992, Vladimir Stepanovich Redkoborodom was replaced by another colleague and friend of Alexander Vasilyevich - Mikhail Ivanovich Barsukov.
In the new state structure, Alexander Korzhakov became the first deputy chief of the GUO, General Mikhail Barsukov. At the same time, Alexander Vasilyevich headed the Presidential Security Service (SBP), which he himself had created, one of the most important independent links of the GUO.
In fact, the GUO was the same “nine”, with the only difference that the security department of the first person of the state, in the 9 Office of the KGB of the USSR, was part of the 1 department, here it rose to the level of an independent unit. GUO in the same way continued by the forces of the renamed 18 division of the 1 division of Nine to ensure the safety of individuals “at the direction of the country's leadership”.
It should be noted that the State Educational Institution for Aleksandr Vasilyevich is far from a simple abbreviation: he attaches great importance to the traditions of security and highly appreciates the security service of Joseph Stalin, which was also called.
“When I came to the guard, our mentors were experienced officers who worked as a guard for Stalin,” recalls Alexander Korzhakov. - For example, Lieutenant Colonel Viktor G. Kuznetsov. We studied on instructions for security officers, developed in the Ninth Office. These instructions were written after Stalin’s death, based on the experience of his GUO. It was clearly stated that the main thing for the security officer is a post. Analytics, shooting, hand-to-hand fighting - this is all later. And now they show on TV: there is a president of some country, and around him there are such strong guys in dark glasses. I always told my guys about these glasses: you don’t wear them, you’ll see nothing yourself ...
But it’s not just the transfer of experience. Stalin's GUO was a special supranational structure, independent of any ministries, departments or services. There was a saying in Stalin’s protection: "The Kremlin ensign is equal to a Siberian general." The status of an employee of the GUO was of enormous weight, and for many it caused fear. In matters of security, the government’s GUO was superior to any security officers.
After Stalin’s death, Khrushchev ordered the Security Department to be transferred to the KGB, the newly created Ninth Directorate. This was, in my opinion, a big mistake. The committee was headed by Vladimir Semichastny, who had no relation either to intelligence or counterintelligence or to protection: Khrushchev simply appointed a convenient person for this important post.
In addition, to protect the life of the main person in the country is the highest state task. And after being transferred to the KGB, the chief of security of the secretary general had at least two dozen chiefs over himself. They could give him any order — for example, throw a protected person in danger. So, by the way, it happened in 1991, with Gorbachev, when he was in Foros. The head of the Nines, Yuri Plekhanov and his deputy, Vyacheslav Generalov, flew to the head of his personal guard, Vladimir Medvedev, and ordered him to remove the guards, and Medvedev himself was sent to Moscow. To avoid such a risk, when Yeltsin came to power, we decided to return to the Stalinist scheme. ”
The antipode of the KGB
What was the Stalinist scheme for organizing the security services of the head of state mentioned by Korzhakov? In fact, the SBP was a universal operational tool of the president. Its opposition to the KGB was in the direct subordination of the service to the president himself, with all the powers arising from this provision. If we draw historical parallels, the SBP was conceived as an analogue of the very All-Russian Cheka, only subordinate to the head of state for rights similar to a separate ministry from the Council of Ministers. So, the SBP had the right to recruit personnel without coordination with anyone. Only the president of Russia could appoint and remove the head of the SBP. According to this status, specific tasks were set for the SBP. And the protection of the President of Russia was only one of them. When the SBP regulation was presented to the presidential administration, the confusion of the person responsible for legal issues was beyond description.
3 September 1991, Alexander Korzhakov headed this new, created under the current, requiring the immediate solution of state tasks structure.
“We selected the best specialists from all over the country in the SBP,” says Alexander Vasilyevich. - The main and only selection criterion was professionalism. Super professionals worked with me. I called this service “the national security team of Russia” and I am proud that I had such subordinates. ”
“When I was given work with personnel, I brought about a dozen experienced“ Afghan ”officers to the Kremlin, adds Boris Ratnikov. - It was the golden guys. Competent, with clean hands, no bribes they could not bribe. They went not so much to serve Yeltsin as to work for Korzhakov, who enjoyed absolute authority among the "Afghans". It was very important. The president at that time did not trust either the KGB (believing that the committee members continue to work for the Communists), or the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Therefore, the new service was not created as a regular security structure, but as the antipode of the KGB. It was, in fact, a special service, which, in addition to the protection of the head of state, was also responsible for resolving issues of state security. Her tasks included the collection and evaluation of information about the processes in politics, economics, finance, defense, industry and public life. ”
In the structure of the SBP in accordance with the tasks reflected in its fundamental position, the corresponding lettered (indicated by letters) departments were also selected. Thus, a department was set up to combat corruption in the Kremlin administration and government, respectively. One of the divisions of this service has received the unofficial name of the “department of intellectual software”. In fact, it was the anti-crisis service of the SBP. Under the leadership of Boris Ratnikov, she monitored the situation in the country and abroad, collecting signs and detailed analysis of possible threats to the security of the state and its top officials.
A separate direction of the department’s work was associated with the study and opposition of the so-called “psi-technologies” with our own resources. In this regard, the department has been subjected to sharp criticism. For example, the famous scientist Eduard Kruglyakov called Boris Konstantinovich Ratnikov and his colleague Georgy Georgievich Rogozin "charlatans." We asked Boris Konstantinovich how he could comment on this.
“Such things could have been said due to the lack of reliable information about our work,” says Boris Ratnikov. - None of us in the Kremlin was engaged in any esoteric and mysticism. Yes, we used psi technologies that were developed by the KGB as a tool for monitoring potential and real threats against Russia and senior officials. All information obtained in this way was rechecked through intelligence and counterintelligence agencies and only after confirmation was reported to management. ”
Alexander Korzhakov highly appreciates the work of this department: “After they predicted the events of October 1993 of the year on the basis of their monitoring for six months, I didn’t have any reason to distrust them. Information from this service has always been useful and accurate. ”
In those turbulent times of privatization and “developing democracy” in every sense, only the blind could not see that the conflict between the president and the chairman of the Supreme Soviet had been brewing for a long time. Well, the SBP was not only aware of this, but also, in accordance with its “statutory objectives,” tried to help the parties find a reasonable agreement in the interests of the country.
Boris Ratnikov. Photos from the personal archive
“When Ruslan Khasbulatov was the chairman of the Supreme Council,” says Boris Konstantinovich, “I got to know him better, because I was engaged in the operational development of the shadow economy. He asked me to help him figure out the matter. He was a competent specialist, so I was easy with him, and we established a trusting relationship.
Once in the winter or spring of 1993, I asked: "Ruslan Imranovich, why do we find a common language, and you and the president cannot find it?" He replied: “You see, I can't drink so much. I’m not used to brandy at all. I can drink some wine, but I can’t take it in such doses, it’s just going to be bad for me.”
When he was going to close circle, Boris Nikolayevich really could drink a lot of brandy and did not grow drunk, while others “broke”, and he was up to par. Then I advised Khasbulatov: “Before the meeting, put a bottle of good wine in your briefcase. And when they get the cognac, apologize, refer to the fact that you are an oriental person and drink strong alcohol is not in your tradition, ask them to drink wine too. In general, I don’t have to bring Yeltsin. Let me arrange a meeting with him for you, you explain what you want, and the conflict will be resolved. ”
Then I talked with Alexander Korzhakov, and he agreed with Boris Nikolayevich. The meeting took place, but everything went wrong. Korzhakov told me that Khasbulatov really took out the wine, and Yeltsin, as usual, brandy. Well, as I understood, after he had been drunk a lot, Yeltsin did not like the fact that Khasbulatov had objected to him something, and he either pushed him or hit him. What kind of person from the Caucasus can endure? Naturally, Khasbulatov then wrote me a note: they say, I believed you, and this is how it ended. I regret that I agreed, and I don’t want to enter any negotiations anymore. ”
This note was given by Boris Ratnikov to Alexander Korzhakov. Korzhakov himself also mentioned in his book that the president’s elbow “made it seem like an awkward movement.” However, to claim that this ugly episode caused the tragedy of October 1993, it would be more than an exaggeration. According to Boris Ratnikov, he became more likely a point of no return. Blood could have been avoided even after that failed meeting.
“Part of the Yeltsin's entourage specifically brought the situation to the limit in order to show everyone who is the boss in the country,” said Boris Konstantinovich. - The rebel deputies were launched into the White House, then surrounded, and so it began. And it was possible to do rationally - change the guard at night to his own and calmly seal all the cabinets. The deputies would come to work, but they simply would not be allowed, and it would not be necessary to shoot anyone. We offered this option. But the Democrats there needed an action of intimidation and blood ... ”
According to Korzhakov, the reason why the shooting could not be prevented was different: “We didn’t just offer this option and tried to seal deputy’s offices twice, but both times we were prevented by unforeseen information leaks. There were other ways to extinguish the ardor of the "rebel" Supreme Council. Yeltsin and his entourage managed to persuade the majority of deputies not to oppose the president. By the beginning of the armed conflict in the White House there were no more than 150 – 200 deputies out of more than a thousand. But the situation was still out of control, shooting started, the heavily armed rebels attacked Ostankino, and it was no longer possible to avoid bloodshed. ”
When the first war in Chechnya began, Dudayev had a whole list of people from the Russian leadership who needed to be physically eliminated. But the military reinforcement of the security prevented all possible attempts on the first persons of Russia. When asked whether the security officers really had to save the life of the president, Alexander Korzhakov replied: “Only from himself. He drove behind the wheel very carelessly. Once I locked myself in a bath - I could hardly pull it out ... ”.
Korzhakov considers the special operation conducted by the SBP in May 1996 of the year during the signing of the decree on ending the war in Chechnya and the withdrawal of troops from the republic the most successful during his service with Yeltsin.
“After the talks, we took the delegation of Yandarbiyev to the state dacha for rest, and early in the morning the president flew to Chechnya,” says Alexander Vasilyevich. “They were waiting for us there: the special forces group had been ready to receive Yeltsin for three weeks already.”
It was an episode of the propaganda campaign when Yeltsin on tank signed a decree on the cessation of hostilities. The Chechen delegation turned out to be “hostage”. The operation with a visit to Chechnya was successful because this time we did not allow any information leaks. None of the presidential administration knew that he was flying to Chechnya. ”
In his book, Alexander Korzhakov, not without pride, mentions that Yeltsin’s guard was not involved in political censorship and was generally democratic. So much so that during public events any person could approach the president and ask a question. We decided to talk about it in more detail.
“Any, but not any, - specifies Alexander Vasilyevich. “Before letting me in to the guarded one, I’ll see through this person through and through.” I stood on the track for eight years. And I can say that for an experienced personal security officer to figure out an attacker is not difficult. Something in the behavior of a person will definitely give out his intentions, the main thing is to look carefully. ”
Since Soviet times, there has also been a practice of sophisticated inspections for the security service. Inspectors can put a model of a bomb or some other suspicious object on the “highway”, and if the guards do not find it, then it was regarded as a negative result. With such control, security officers developed extraordinary observation.
In the Yeltsin era, Russian officials often traveled to the United States. In this regard, the staff of the SBP had to interact very closely with their American colleagues from the Secret Service. There were no problems in this joint work.
“We had normal partnerships, since our goals coincided,” says Boris Ratnikov. - As a sign of a temporary partnership, we gave them vodka, and they gave us whiskey, but most importantly, there were clear agreements between us on how to act during international events. Problems were not needed by anyone, and it brought us closer. ”
In this case, the approach to the work of our and US security services does not coincide in all.
“Unlike us, they tried to take numbers,” notes Alexander Korzhakov. “For example, in 1985, at the meeting of Gorbachev with Reagan in Switzerland, we were 18 people, and Americans were near 300. At night, we protected our territory ourselves, and they had a whole bunch of agents, the whole hotel was cordoned off. And now in the US, the protection of the first persons is many times more numerous than ours.
But overall, the Secret Service left a very good impression. We have been friends with them since the time of Nixon and were interested in their work. When an assassination attempt on Reagan happened in 1981, none of his bodyguards got scared - they threw themselves under bullets! Their motivation was supported materially: in the American special services is a very good "social sphere", employees do not have to worry about their future. And it happens with us that you work 40 for years and then leave without a pension ... ”.
Interestingly, Secret Service was created as a division of the US Treasury Department and until 2003, only submitted to it. And then she was transferred to the NSA (National Security Agency), which is known for its interception of foreign politicians and businessmen. And this, from the point of view of Korzhakov, could put an end to the political independence of the American security service.
After the G8 heads and government talks, Boris Yeltsin, after leaving the hotel, talked with Denver residents for five minutes (pictured). Photo: Alexander Sentsov and Alexander Chumichev / TASS
However, the protection of the first persons of the state can hardly be out of politics at all. Under Yeltsin, the SBP was at the very center of political controversy. The process of plundering the country was already in full swing, and Yeltsin understood that it was necessary at least to prevent everything from being plundered.
“In this situation,” says Boris Ratnikov, “the president ordered us to fight corruption. The KGB was dispersed, and there are no bodies left in the fight against corruption except our service in Russia. We were instructed to take control of the sale of weapons; for this, by order of Yeltsin, department "B" was created. After the presidential election of 1996, we had to take control of Roskomdragmet, where various violations also occurred. ”
Thus, up to a certain point in time, Yeltsin planned to fight the plundering of the country and in this struggle relied on his security service.
“If Nikolai Vlasik had remained in Stalin’s protection, Stalin would have been alive,” Alexander Korzhakov muses. - But Vlasik was removed, and his security service was disbanded. Therefore, Stalin and killed. And if under Yeltsin Korzhakov had remained in 1996, there would have been no Berezovsky and Chubais. But the president changed his policy and sided with our enemies. ”
Here something should be clarified. Korzhakov was dismissed from his post as chief of the SBP only in the summer of 1996 after a memorable scandal with a box from under the Xerox. This means that Berezovsky and other oligarchs began to appear in the Kremlin under Korzhakov. Where did he and his subordinates look before?
“If decision-making depended only on us,” answers Boris Ratnikov, “we could prevent this. But the question of who to let into the Kremlin, and who does not, was not the security service, but the president’s office. Yeltsin decided everything in his own way and did not tolerate our objections, listening to the opinions of his fellows. Attempts by Korzhakov to “filter out” such persons provoked a storm of indignation among the president.
We resisted as best we could - somewhere through agents, somewhere through force actions, for example, put the Gusinsky guys face in the snow. Korzhakov managed to remove from the power of many outspoken criminals who held the posts of governors, mayors, federal officials. But in most cases such initiatives met with open opposition from the leadership. ”
In his book, Alexander Vasilyevich writes that he repeatedly provided the president and the prime minister with lists of corrupt officials, but almost all of those involved in these lists remained safely in their posts. But those who showed excessive zeal in the fight against abuse of power (for example, Vladimir Polevanov, who replaced Chubais as chairman of the State Property Committee), on the contrary, very quickly lost their positions.
“Yeltsin could be influenced in two ways — through alcohol and family,” says Boris Ratnikov. - It was impossible to bribe him with money: if they offered him a bribe, he would have filled his face. When Yeltsin became president, at first he and his family lived in embarrassment, and he treated this calmly. But his daughter Tatyana soon felt a taste for luxurious life. And no wonder: Abramovich was ready to pay for any of her wishes. At that time, Berezovsky was giving away cars to the right and left, and he did not regret the gifts for the president’s daughter. Of course, such “arguments” clearly outweighed the arguments of the Security Service. ”
Do not forget that the care of Yeltsin occupied almost the entire working time of Alexander Korzhakov. He was both the head of the SBP and the president’s personal bodyguard. It took Korzhakov a lot of effort to somehow protect the protected person from alcohol abuse. For this, the special operation “Sunset” was developed: he took factory bottles of vodka, diluted them with water and rolled them with the aid of a device donated by his comrades from Petrovka, 38.
Since the spring of 1996, to all other duties, the election campaign of Yeltsin was added with the aim of his re-election as president of the Russian Federation. In order to understand the operational situation of that time, it is necessary to comprehend the very popular term “seven bankers” that was very popular at this time.
According to Boris Berezovsky, which he expressed to one of the foreign media, the seven oligarchs listed by him controlled more than 50% of the Russian economy and influenced the adoption of major political decisions. And it was a reality with which it was impossible not to reckon even with the security service of the president of the country. "Semibankirshchina" has practically sponsored the upcoming election campaign of Boris Yeltsin. But this alliance had nothing to do with the interests of the country. It was a temporary aspiration of wealthy entrepreneurs in order to preserve a favorable regime for themselves, contributing to their personal enrichment.
So, Alexander Vasilyevich had no more than two hours to do the service, including to get acquainted with the analytical information supplied by the intellectual support department headed by Boris Ratnikov.
“Do not let go” or “prevent”?
24 July 1995 Head of the State Educational Establishment Mikhail Barsukov headed the FSB of Russia. His former position was accepted by Yuri V. Krapivin. In the 9 Office of the KGB of the USSR, having passed the “traditional” path of the security officer, Yury Vasilyevich headed the commandant's office of the Grand Kremlin Palace, and then was elected secretary of the party management organization. It should be understood that at that time it was practically an “unofficial” deputy head of the department.
19 June 1996, the GUO was reformed and renamed FSO (Federal Security Service) of the Russian Federation. The leadership position was maintained by Yuri Krapivin until 7 in May 2000. Since 18 May 2000, this post is permanently occupied by Evgeny Murov. 27 November 2001, his position became the director of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, and this name has been preserved until the present.
With all the love of Alexander Korzhakov to the abbreviation GUO, the idea of forming the Federal Security Service belonged to him. In fact, it is simply time for system formalization. The meaning of the transformation was, firstly, to give the growing protection qualitatively and quantitatively the status of a federal special service. Secondly, the situation is such that the governors and, in the apt words of Alexander Korzhakov, "mini-Presidents" literally "the will of the times" formed its own security. The idea of the FSO was enthusiastically accepted by the regional leadership of the country. The persons established by the head of the region were trained and certified as officers of the Federal Security Service of Russia. The structure itself received "reference points" in all regions without exception.
Third, there was a serious need to formally distinguish between the status and the legal basis of the activities of numerous security units, essentially mobile private armies, created by oligarchs that are rapidly rising and eager for personal power throughout the country.
Only a very careless businessman or politician while he not surrounded himself with bodyguards, and the most dangerous was the fact that the state knew about them, but no one was going to control them. If you look closely at the history of domestic private security, you can see that just at that time the term "bodyguard" was removed from the market. Put in place private special units of wealthy people, who imagined themselves the masters of the country, had to GUO, although it was not his direct function. As Alexander Korzhakov notes, the special units of Berezovsky, the security structure of the Most group of Gusinsky and other “heroes of that time” were a real threat not only for competitors, but also for the SBP and, accordingly, the president himself if the owners gave them destroy the leader of the country.
According to Korzhakov, the famous demonstration action of 2 in December of 1994 of the SBP against the armed guard of magnate Vladimir Gusinsky, which opened fire on the SBP car at the walls of the Moscow mayor's office, received a powerful resonance in the country and served as a serious signal to the oligarchs about the owner in the country. And in the press, this very serious event from the point of view of state security was aptly named “face into snow”.
“I convinced Yeltsin that it was necessary to legitimize the activities of all these guys with weapons,” recalls Korzhakov. - The idea was accepted "with a bang" by all governors. They, too, did not want at all that someone’s bodyguard at one fine moment freaked out and shot someone. We issued all bodyguards in the FSO, periodically summoned them to study. In addition to the fact that now they all began to work legitimately, we have the opportunity to monitor what is happening in the environment of the heads of the regions. ”
So with the summer of 1996, the story of the FSO began. Only its further development went without Alexander Korzhakov. During the presidential election of 1996, as a result of a special operation of the SBP by definition of the leadership of the SBP, “porters” Lisovsky and Evstafyev were detained when they left the White House with half a million dollars in a xerox box.
To hush up this unsightly fact, oligarchic entourage President started a rumor that supposedly marks Korzhakov Yeltsin place and that he had a rating higher than the President's. In the event that the detainees were not released, they threatened to reveal the truth that the Yeltsin campaign was being carried out with American money. Korzhakov scandal fired, then the fired and its substituent George Rogozina and Boris Ratnikov after some time left to work in Belarus. After that, according to our heroes, there was no one to interfere with the unbridled "grabbing" in the Yeltsin FSO.
Photo: Vitaly Belousov / TASS
The post of Alexander Korzhakov was taken over by the adjutant of Russian President Anatoly Leonidovich Kuznetsov and held him up to the 2000 year. Following the resignation of Boris Yeltsin, Anatoly Leonidovich, in accordance with the current legislation has continued to work with the first president of the Russian family, ensuring the safety of Naina Yeltsin and after her husband's death.
In the work with the personnel structure of the profile, according to Alexander Korzhakov, since the early 2000-ies of continuity in the glorious chain of professional traditions become implicit.
“After us came people who had no idea about the work in security,” said Alexander Vasilyevich. - No experience, no education. It is necessary that a person first served in the army, there was at least some experience in gate protection, warehouses, that is, he gained experience working guard, spent time professional skills. Whoever fails to serve as a private, and immediately became a general, will never understand. He will set tasks for his subordinates, but will not be able to verify their execution. ”
However, it is quite possible that here in Alexandra Korzhakov a certain amount of resentment for unfair dismissal speaks. After all, there is no reason to say that the current FSO does not cope with its work.
“Yes, they provide peace of mind,” Korzhakov responds, “but they do it more and more on the principle of“ not letting go. ” A typical example of such work is empty streets during Putin's inauguration in May 2012. But we must not "not let go," but prevent ".
“I am not familiar with the current employees of the FSO and their work,” says Boris Ratnikov. “We have a path there.”
Be that as it may, the chief arbiter in assessing the performance of any security services is, apparently, time. Whoever managed to prevent all possible threats is the winner, and the winners, as we know, are not judged.
So any special services are arranged - detailed information about their work can be made public only after the expiration of the statute of limitations, and even then not always ... As they said in one popular movie: “The first rule of the Fight Club - do not tell anyone about the Fight Club”.
In fact, under Stalin, no one would have thought to devote the general public to the details of the work of Nikolai Vlasik and his subordinates. Under Brezhnev, the same secret was covered by the activities of the service Alexander Ryabenko, Mr Medvedev published his memoirs after leaving Gorbachev as president, and the chain goes on.
Until the time has come, the public remains for the most part to speculate about the internal "kitchen" of the first-person security. Moreover, with regard to protection, the adage “Lack of news is the best news” is quite true. But someday, probably, we will be able to familiarize ourselves with the memoirs of the current employees of the Federal Security Service. And we learn a lot of interesting things. In the meantime, we hope that the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation will continue to successfully ensure the safety of those protected by it, and therefore Russia as a whole.
I would also like to see the longstanding traditions of the Russian protection continue to be preserved over the centuries. And to her story, in which so many examples of the courage, dedication and loyalty has never been forgotten, and its global leadership role in this particular field has not been lost.