Alexander Bortnikov

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Alexander Bortnikov
Бортников 2020 (cropped).jpg
Director of the Federal Security Service
Assumed office
12 May 2008
PresidentDmitry Medvedev
Vladimir Putin
Preceded byNikolai Patrushev
Personal details
Alexander Vasilyevich Bortnikov

(1951-11-15) 15 November 1951 (age 70)
Perm, Soviet Union
Political partyCPSU (1975–1991)
EducationFSB Academy
Alma materPetersburg State Transport University
Military service
Allegiance Soviet Union
Branch/serviceKGB; FSB
Years of service1975–present
RankRAF A F9GenArmy after2013h.png
General of the Army
Battles/warsSecond Chechen War
Russo-Georgian War
Syrian Civil War

Alexander Vasilyevich Bortnikov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Васи́льевич Бо́ртников; born 15 November 1951) is a Russian official. He has been Director of the FSB since 12 May 2008. He belongs to the Siloviki of Putin's inner circle.[1][a]


Bortnikov was born in Perm, Soviet Union. He graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Railway Engineers in 1973.[2]

From 1975 to 2004, he worked in the KGB and its successors in Leningrad/Saint Petersburg. From June 2003 to March 2004, he was the Chief of the St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast Federal Security Service (FSB) Directorate.

From 24 February 2004 to 12 May 2008, he was Head of the Economic Security Service of FSB and a Deputy Director of FSB.


FSB head Alexander Bortnikov (right) meets with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in March 2009, to discuss ending the counter-terrorism operation in Chechnya.

In February 2007, Russian magazine The New Times wrote about the plan to murder Alexander Litvinenko with reference to "a source in the FSB": "People from the top management of the agency had taken part in the elaboration of the plan, maintains an FSB source. And, allegedly, FSB Director Patrushev knew about it. According to the same source, Head of the FSB Economic Security Department general-lieutenant Alexander Bortnikov had allegedly been appointed overseer of the operation."[3] In May 2007, he was reported to have been implicated in a money-laundering case investigated by the RF Interior Ministry in connection with the murder of the Central Bank Deputy Head Andrey Kozlov.[4][5]

On 12 May 2008, he was appointed Director of the FSB by President Dmitry Medvedev and is believed by some security analysts to be Medvedev's man.[6]

He is also a member of the board of directors of Sovkomflot.

In December 2017, in an open letter published by Kommersant, more than 30 Russian academics slammed Bortnikov for seeking to legitimize the Stalinist Great Purge because in an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta published to mark 100 years since the establishment of the Cheka, Bortnikov said the archives show that “a significant part” of the criminal cases of that period “had an objective side to them.”[7]

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ Other siloviki close to Bortnikov include Igor Sechin, Nikolai Patrushev, and Viktor Ivanov.[1]


  1. ^ a b Harding, Luke (21 December 2007). "Putin, the Kremlin power struggle and the $40bn fortune". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  2. ^ "Biographies of the political leaders of the Medvedev Administration" (PDF). Barcelona Centre for International Affairs. 2010.
  3. ^ Кто и зачем убил Литвиненко. (Who and wherefore killed Litvinenko) Archived 29 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine The New Times №1 5 February 2007.
  4. ^ Австрийская полиция может возбудить дело против ключевых чиновников Кремля, утверждает New Times 23 May 2007.
  5. ^ Officials are taking money away to the West Archived 17 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine by Natalia Morar, The New Times № 15, 21 May 2007 English translation Archived 17 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ FSB Shuffle Seen Helping Medvedev Archived 17 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine The Moscow Times 13 May 2008.
  7. ^ Russian academics slam FSB security chief for comments on Stalin’s purges The Japan Times 24 December 2017.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by Chief of the St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast FSB Directorate
June 2003 – March 2004
Succeeded by
Preceded by Head of the Economic Security Service of FSB
24 February 2004 – 12 May 2008
Succeeded by
Preceded by Director of the FSB
12 May 2008–present