Russian President Vladimir Putin has prepared an estimated 350,000 new troops to practice their readiness for combat activity. These soldiers were previously part of other internal security forces in 2016; the newly formed troops are all geared up to quell potential unrest ahead of the elections in 2017.
The downside is that critics of the president's government have claimed that these troops will be used to repress dissent. The new troops are directly subordinate to Putin's capacity as Supreme Commander - in - Chief of the Russian Armed Forces. Commonly it is known as the Russian Guards or Rosgvardiya as per the Independent.
In order to protect the safety of the troops and families, the press has been forbidden from reporting on the location of their soldiers. However, it turns out that in certain situations the troops have the authority to open fire into crowds of civilians.
This particular force is headed by Viktor Zolotov, who has been a former bodyguard and judo sparring partner of the president. There were also reports that the Russian interior minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev was going to resign over its creation.
Other countries like the United States have also had a National Guard since 1903. This special force has been used to put down internal unrest, from trade union protests to the 1992 Los Angeles riots. This was in order to recent the protest of the "Black Lives Matter" in Ferguson, Missouri.
The exercises will also prepare the Russian troops for reconnaissance groups, terrorist and extremist formations. The 350,000 strong National Guard soldiers is certainly a preparation for the country's defenses, Putin has often been described as the world's most powerful man for many reasons. He has created something what he calls "Vertical of Power," the entire structure of Russian political powers seems to be resting on one man. He has stabilized the country and increased the standards of living after all that Russia has been through over the century.