Viktor Zolotov

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Viktor Zolotov
Viktor Zolotov (2020-05-06).jpg
Director of the National Guard of Russia
Assumed office
5 April 2016
Personal details
Viktor Vasilyevich Zolotov

(1954-01-24) 24 January 1954 (age 67)
Sasovo, Ryazan Oblast, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Military service
Allegiance Soviet Union
Branch/serviceNational Guard of Russia
Years of service1975–present
RankGeneral of the Army

Viktor Vasilyevich Zolotov (Russian: Виктор Васильевич Золотов; born 27 January 1954) is the current Director of the National Guard of Russia (Rosgvardiya) and a member of the Security Council of Russia.

Life and career[edit]

Viktor Zolotov, Vladimir Putin and Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in Qatar, 12 February 2007

Zolotov was born in Sasovo in Ryazan Oblast into a working-class family and worked as a steelworker.[1] In the 1990s, he was hired as a bodyguard of the Mayor of Saint Petersburg Anatoly Sobchak. At this job, he met Vladimir Putin, who was a Vice Mayor at this time. Zolotov became a sparring partner of the future President of Russia in boxing and judo, and "whenever Putin appeared in public, Zolotov could be spotted walking directly behind him".[1]

Zolotov also served in Roman Tsepov's private guard service Baltik-Eskort, prior to the poisoning of Tsepov by an unknown radioactive substance. The agency was created in 1992, based on the advice from Zolotov, who allegedly oversaw this agency later as a member of the active reserve, according to Yuri Felshtinsky and Vladimir Pribylovsky.[2] The firm provided protection to high ranking Saint Petersburg officials, including the city mayor Anatoly Sobchak and his family, as well as the vice-mayor Vladimir Putin. It also served as the central mechanism for the collection of tribute and chorniy nal or "black cash" (Russian: "черный нал") for Putin's purposes.[3][4]

From 2000 to 2013, he was the Chief of the Security of Prime Minister of Russia and President of Russia Vladimir Putin commanding security officers that are known in Russia as "Men in Black" because they wore black sunglasses and dressed in all-black suits. They use a variety of weapons including portable rocket launchers.[1]

On 5 April 2016, Zolotov was appointed commander-in-chief of the National Guard of Russia and relieved of his previous duties—and by a separate Presidential Decree was named a member of the Security Council.[5]

In April 2018, the United States imposed sanctions on him and 23 other Russian nationals.[6][7]

In August 2018, Zolotov became a figurant of the investigation of the Anti-Corruption Foundation. Alexei Navalny alleged a theft of at least $29m in procurement contracts for the National Guard of Russia. Soon, Navalny was imprisoned, formally for staging protests in January 2018, and Viktor Zolotov published a video message on 11 September, where he called Navalny into a duel and promised to make "good, juicy mincemeat" of him.[8][9]


  1. ^ a b c Pete Earley. Comrade J.: The Untold Secrets of Russia's Master Spy in America after the End of the Cold War, Putnam Adult (24 January 2008), ISBN 0-399-15439-6, pp. 298–301.
  2. ^ Yuri Felshtinsky and Vladimir Pribylovsky The Age of Assassins. The Rise and Rise of Vladimir Putin, Gibson Square Books, London, 2008, ISBN 1-906142-07-6, pp. 260–262.
  3. ^ Никитинский, Леонид (Nikitinsky, Leonid) (27 March 2005). Связной с прошлым [Contact with the past]. Novaya Gazeta (in Russian). Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  4. ^ Dawisha 2014, p. 132
  5. ^ "Former chief of Putin's security service appointed Russian National Guard chief — Kremlin". TASS. Russia. 5 April 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Ukraine-/Russia-related Designations and Identification Update". United States Department of the Treasury. 6 April 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  7. ^ "США ввели санкции против семи российских олигархов и 17 чиновников из "кремлевского списка"" [The US imposed sanctions against seven Russian oligarchs and 17 officials from the "Kremlin list"]. Meduza (in Russian). 6 April 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  8. ^ "The director of Russia's National Guard challenges Alexey Navalny to a fist fight". Meduza. 11 September 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Russian opposition leader injured following detention". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 September 2018.


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Chief of the Presidential Security Service (Russia)
2000 – 2013
Succeeded by
Oleg Klementiyev
Preceded by
Nikolay Rogozhkin
Commanderof the Internal Troops of Russia
2013 – 2016
Succeeded by
Position abolished
New creation Director of the National Guard of Russia
5 April 2016 – present