Nikolai Patrushev

Secretary of the Security Council of Russia from 2008

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Nikolai Patrushev
Nikolay Patrushev 2019.jpg
Secretary of the Security Council of Russia
Assumed office
12 May 2008
PresidentDmitry Medvedev (2008-2012)
Vladimir Putin (2012-present)
Director of the Federal Security Service
In office
9 August 1999 – 12 May 2008
Preceded byVladimir Putin
Succeeded byAlexander Bortnikov
Personal details
Born (1951-07-11) 11 July 1951 (age 70)
Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (now Saint Petersburg, Russia)
ChildrenDmitry, Andrey
AwardsHero of the Russian Federation
Military service
Allegiance Soviet Union
Branch/serviceFederal Security Service
Years of service1975–2008
RankGeneral of the Army

Nikolai Platonovich Patrushev (Russian: Никола́й Плато́нович Па́трушев; born 11 July 1951) is a Russian politician, security officer and intelligence officer. He served as Director of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is the main successor organization to the Soviet KGB (excluding foreign intelligence), from 1999 to 2008, and he has been Secretary of the Security Council of Russia since 2008.[1][2]

As of February 2022, the United States has sanctions against Patrushev following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[3]

Early life and career in the Soviet KGB

Born in 1951 on Leningrad (today Saint Petersburg), Patrushev is the son of a Soviet Navy officer who was also a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.[4] He graduated from Leningrad Shipbuilding Institute [ru] in 1974, and initially he worked as an engineer in the Institute's shipbuilding design bureau, but very soon afterwards, in 1975, he was recruited by the KGB.[5]

He attended intelligence and security courses at the KGB School in Minsk, and later at the Higher School of the KGB in Moscow (the present-day FSB Academy).[4] Subsequently, he was a KGB security officer in the city of Leningrad, and eventually rose to become head of the anti-smuggling and anti-corruption unit of the local KGB.

FSK and FSB career

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Patrushev continued to work in the security services and from 1992 to 1994 he was Minister of Security of the Republic of Karelia while in 1994 he was brought to Moscow as head of the Directorate of Internal Security of the FSK.

In June 1995, Patrushev became deputy chief of the FSB's Organization and Inspection Department. From May to August 1998, he was chief of the Control Directorate of the Presidential Staff; from August to October, he was Deputy Chief of the Presidential Staff; in October 1998, he was appointed Deputy Director of the FSB and chief of the Directorate for Economic Security. In April 1999, he became FSB First Deputy Director. On 9 August the same year, a decree by President Boris Yeltsin promoted him to Director, replacing his close friend Vladimir Putin.

The United Kingdom public inquiry into the 2006 poisoning of FSB whistleblower Alexander Litvinenko found that "the FSB operation to kill Mr Litvinenko was probably approved by Mr Patrushev and also by President Putin."[6]

Security Council of Russia

Patrushev with Argentina's President Mauricio Macri in December 2017

Since 2008, Patrushev has been Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, a consultative body of the President that works out his decisions on national security affairs.[1][2]

After the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, Patrushev was placed on the European Union's list of sanctioned individuals in Russia.[7]

Following the October 2016 coup d'état plot failure in Montenegro, Patrushev was cited by experts, such as Mark Galeotti, as the Kremlin's point man for the Balkans, which was interpreted as indicating Russia's increasingly hardline approach to the region as well as the latter's growing importance in Russia's foreign policy strategy.[8][9][10]

Patrushev with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and John Bolton in June 2019

According to a post on Anastasia Vashukevich's Instagram account, Patrushev, who had traveled to Thailand during late February 2018, was involved in her arrest in Thailand during late February 2018.[11]

In April 2018, the United States imposed sanctions on him and 23 other Russian nationals.[12][13]

Political views

Patrushev belongs to the Siloviki of Putin's inner circle.[14][a]

In December 2000, on the anniversary of the founding of the Bolshevik secret police, the Cheka, an interview with him was published in a Russian national daily. In defence of the emerging trend of co-opting officers in the security and intelligence apparatus into high government posts, Patrushev noted that his FSB colleagues did not "work for money [...] [they] are, if you will, modern 'neo-nobility'." ("современные «неодворяне»")[15][16] The term "new nobility" gained currency afterwards, as in the eponymous book The New Nobility.[17][18]

Patrushev believes that the United States of America "would much prefer that Russia did not exist at all."[19] He was quoted as saying, "Because we possess great [natural] resources. The Americans believe that we control them illegally and undeservedly because, in their view, we do not use them as they ought to be used."[19]

Patrushev also referenced "Madeleine Albright’s claim 'that neither the Far East nor Siberia belong to Russia.'" According to the New York Times, there is no official record of Albright having made such a remark. Instead, it can be traced back to a psychic employed by the FSB who claimed to have read the thoughts in Albright's mind while in a state of trance.[20][21]

According to Patrushev, the Revolution of Dignity was started by the United States.[19]

In June 2019, Patrushev said that Iran "has always been and remains our ally and partner".[22]

Ben Noble, Associate Professor of Russian Politics at University College London, describes Patrushev as "the most hawkish hawk, thinking the West has been out to get Russia for years".[23] According to Putin-regime expert Catherine Belton, it was "Patrushev who's always been the leading ideologue of using capitalism as a tool to undermine the West to buy off and corrupt officials and so on. And he's certainly very much painted the West as a hostile enemy of Russia and something which is kind of debauched and decrepit, and it's time to attack [Ukraine in 2022]."[24]

Personal life

His eldest son (Dmitry) is a banker, Minister of Agriculture of Russia since 18 May 2018.[25] His younger son (Andrey) has worked in leadership roles at Gazprom Neft.[26]

In January 2007, Nikolai Patrushev and his brother, Viktor Platonovich Patrushev (Russian: Виктор Платонович Патрушев), joined the expedition of polar explorer Arthur Chilingarov, that flew on two helicopters to Antarctica and visited the South Pole and the Amundsen-Scott station.[27][28]

Honours and awards

  • Order of St Dmitri Donskoy, the Blessed Great Prince of Moscow, 1st Class (Russian Orthodox Church, 2005) – The saint allegedly wards off "all kinds of threats for the sake of multiplying the faith and piety of the people, strengthening families and protecting from bodily extinction and spiritual death."[29]


  1. ^ Other siloviki close to Patrushev include Igor Sechin, Alexander Bortnikov, and Viktor Ivanov.[14]


  1. ^ a b BackGround, People: PATRUSHEV, Nikolai Platonovich, Russia Profile, Moscow, Undated Archived 7 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine.Retrieved: 8 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b Russia trolls world by saying it cannot stop its citizens from fighting in Ukraine, Kyiv Post (25 June 2015)
  3. ^ US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). "Russia-related Designations; Belarus Designations; Issuance of Russia-related Directive 2 and 3; Issuance of Russia-related and Belarus General Licenses; Publication of new and updated Frequently Asked Questions". U.S. Department of the Treasury. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Патрушев Николай Платонович".
  5. ^ BackGround, People: PATRUSHEV, Nikolai Platonovich, Russia Profile, Moscow, Undated Archived 7 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine.Retrieved: 8 January 2013.
  6. ^ The Litvinenko Inquiry. Report into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, January 2016, p. 241–244.
  7. ^ "COUNCIL IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) No 810/2014 of 25 July 2014 implementing Regulation (EU) No 269/2014 concerning restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine". 25 July 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  8. ^ Howard Amos (21 June 2017). "Vladimir Putin's man in the Balkans: The involvement of Nikolai Patrushev, a former spy and Putin confidante, indicates a more hardline Russian approach to the region". Politico.
  9. ^ Mark Galeotti (4 April 2018). "Do the Western Balkans face a coming Russian storm?". European Council on Foreign Relations.
  10. ^ "Russia's Comeback in the Balkans - New Eastern Europe". New Eastern Europe. 13 August 2018.
  11. ^ Burrows, Emma (1 March 2018). "Russian model in Thai jail promises to spill Trump-Russia secrets". CNN. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Ukraine-/Russia-related Designations and Identification Update". United States Department of the Treasury. 6 April 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ a b Harding, Luke (21 December 2007). "Putin, the Kremlin power struggle and the $40bn fortune". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  15. ^ Russia's New Nobility – The Rise of the Security Services in Putin's Kremlin, Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan (of, Foreign Affairs, September/October 2010 and in the authors' The New Nobility – The Restoration of Russia's Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB, Public Affairs, New York, September 2010.Retrieved: 8 March 2013.
  16. ^ Интервью с Директором Федеральной службы безопасности России Н.Патрушевым Komsomolskaya Pravda, 20 December 2000.
  17. ^ В России уже почти 15 тысяч «новых дворян»: Ксения Собчак, Алексий II, Николай Патрушев 6 November 2007.
  18. ^ "The New Nobility". Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  19. ^ a b c Patrushev, Nikolai; Kommersant, Elena Chernenko for (15 July 2015). "Terrorism, Ukraine and the American threat: the view from Russia". the Guardian. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  20. ^ Mackey, Robert (18 December 2014). "Putin Cites Claim About U.S. Designs on Siberia Traced to Russian Mind Readers". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  21. ^ Moscow, Oleg Kashin in (15 July 2015). "How hallucinations of eccentric KGB psychic influence Russian policy". the Guardian. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  22. ^ "Russia Says U.S.-Iran 'War' Possible, But 'We Will Convince' Them to Talk". Newsweek. 26 June 2019.
  23. ^ Kirby, Paul (3 March 2022). "Ukraine conflict: Who's in Putin's inner circle and running the war?". BBC News. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  24. ^ Isikoff, Michael (27 February 2022). "Putin may have 'lost touch with reality,' expert says". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  25. ^ "Дмитрий Патрушев возглавил Минсельхоз". RBK. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  26. ^ "Here are the Russian oligarchs targeted in Biden's sanctions". NBC News. Retrieved 12 March 2022.
  27. ^ "Победит ли Россия в "информационной войне" с Эстонией?: "Подвиг их неизвестен"" [Will Russia win the “information war” with Estonia?: "Their feat is unknown"]. BBC (in Russian). 3 May 2007. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  28. ^ Николаева, Анна (Nikolayeva, Anna) (3 May 2007). "Подвиг их неизвестен: Президент наградил родственников директора ФСБ" [Their feat is unknown: President awarded relatives to FSB director]. FLB (Freelance Bureau) (in Russian). Retrieved 11 February 2020 – via Vedomosti.
  29. ^ Dmitri Donskoy, the Blessed Great Prince of Moscow, Icons of the 21st Century, Moscow, Undated. Retrieved: 8 March 2013.

External links

Government offices
Preceded by Head of the Internal Security Department of FSB
1994 – 31 May 1998
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief of the Control Directorate of the Russian presidential administration
31 May 1998 – October 1998
Succeeded by
Preceded by Director of FSB
9 August 1999 – 12 May 2008
Succeeded by
Preceded by Secretary of Security Council of Russia
12 May 2008–present
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