The Federal Security Service (FSB) is the main descendant of the Soviet KGB, and its strengthening by presidential decree immediately led to claims of the resurrection of the much-criticised intelligence agency, sponsored by agent-now-president Putin. Structurally speaking, there can be no doubt that the new forces are more like the KGB than those in existence before.
However, it is too far to jump from this to the assumption – voiced by a number of critics – that the decrees amount to a return of Soviet-era human rights abuses and authoritarianism.
The decrees announced the abolition of three Russian forces – the Federal Tax Police, the Federal Agency for Government Information (FAPSI) and the Federal Border Guard. The tax police will now fall under the control of the Russian interior ministry, and FAPSI’s work was divided between the Ministry of Defence and the FSB.