Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 169

Russian Federal Border Guard Service Director Nikolai Bordyuzha was named on September 14 to the post of Russian Security Council secretary (Itar-Tass, September 14). General Bordyuzha succeeds Andrei Kokoshin, the civilian defense intellectual who was unceremoniously dumped from the post on September 10. Bordyuzha served less than a year in the border guards post prior to his latest appointment. He was born in 1949, and reportedly served in “military and security units” in the years leading to his appointment in 1991 as deputy chief for personnel in one of Russia’s key security structures: the Federal Agency for Governmental Communications and Information (FAPSI). In June of 1992 Bordyuzha was named deputy commander of Russia’s border guard forces and in 1995 he was appointed the service’s deputy chief (Itar-Tass, January 26).

The Security Council, which is subordinated to the president, has periodically emerged in democratic Russia’s brief history as among the most powerful agencies in the country’s government. Under Kokoshin, it was given wide-ranging formal powers in military and security policy. It was unclear, however, to what extent Kokoshin was able to exercise those powers. Kokoshin’s abrupt departure from the council’s secretary post and the fact that Bordyuzha appears to have little independent political standing suggest that the council may now be entering a period of reduced political authority. Bordyuzha met yesterday in the Kremlin with Russian President Boris Yeltsin. According to the presidential press service, the two men discussed the council’s work and the coordination of activities among Russia’s various law enforcement agencies. Yeltsin reportedly gave Bordyuzha recommendations on how to organize the Security Council’s work (Russian agencies, September 15).