The Sphinx is one of the symbols of St. Petersburg.
Sphinx – a symbol of wisdom, power, strength, dignity and royal power.
The Sphinx symbolizes General Administration of the MIA of Russia for the North-Western Federal District.
The symbols of the other Internal Troops territorial districts are:
Falcon – Moscow District;
Bear – Siberian District;
Deer – Volga District;
Horse – North Caucasian District;
Salamander – Ural District;
Tiger – Eastern District;
Lion – Office for protection of important public facilities and cargo;
Winged dog – Logistic Support units of the Internal Ministry of Russia.
The Internal Troops are organized by the type of the army, but they are not included in the Russian army.
Structurally internal troops are in the system of the Interior Ministry. The task of the Troops is to maintain the constitutional system and public order in the country.
Unlike the Internal Troops, the army is destined to defend the country against an external enemy. However, in the case of the outside encroachment on the sovereignty of the state, be it a border armed conflict, or aggression by another state, the Internal Troops are to be involved in the repelling of the aggression together with the Army and Border Troops, included in the Armed Forces of the Ministry of Defence.
Previously, the Internal Troops were used to guard the prisons and guarding prisoners, but now these functions are abolished.
Today, the Internal Troops of Russia is a powerful paramilitary unit (militia). The operation units are fully motorized and have armored vehicles. The structure of the Internal Troops consists of its own aviation, artillery, engineering and naval units.