Circling the Lion's Den

Structure of the USSR KGB

February 1954 - the 8 February 1954 CPSU CC Presidium Decision to separate the organs of state security from the Ministry of Internal Affairs

March 1954 - the 13 March 1954 USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium Decree forming the KGB of the USSR Council of Ministers

The primary tasks of the USSR Council of Ministers' KGB (1954):

  • "a) conduct intelligence work in capitalist countries;
  • b) combat espionage, sabotage, terrorist, and other subversive activity of foreign intelligence agencies inside the USSR;
  • c) combat the malicious activity of any sort of anti-Soviet elements inside the USSR;
  • d) counterintelligence work in the Soviet Army and Navy;
  • e) protection of the Party and government leadership"

    The USSR Council of Ministers' KGB (1954)

    The First Main Directorate (intelligence); the Second Main Directorate (counterintelligence); the Third Main Directorate (military counterintelligence); the Fourth Directorate (anti-Soviet underground, nationalist groups, and malicious elements); the Fifth Directorate (counterintelligence at especially important government facilities); the Sixth Directorate (counterintelligence on means of transportation), the Seventh Directorate (surveillance); the Eighth Directorate (cryptography); the Ninth Directorate (protection of Party and government leaders), the Tenth (Directorate of the Commandant of the Moscow Kremlin), the Personnel Directorate, the Investigative Directorate, the 1st Special Department (counterintelligence in the atomic industry), the 2nd Special Department (the application of operational equipment), the 3rd Special Department (documents), the 4th Special Department (communications security), the Fifth Special Department (the production of operational equipment), Department S (government communications), the Archive and Records Department (UAO), the Prison Department, the Administrative Directorate, the Financial Planning Department, Bookkeeping, the Mobilization Department, the Directorate of Training Institutions, Secretariat, and Inspectorate.

    The "Statute of the USSR Council of Ministers' KGB" was approved by the CPSU CC Presidium on 23 December 1958 and introduced by a 23 December 1958 USSR Council of Ministers Decree. Functions of the KGB:

  • "a) intelligence work in capitalist countries;
  • b) combat espionage, sabotage, terrorist, and other subversive activity;
  • c) combat the malicious activity of anti-Soviet and nationalist elements;
  • d) counterintelligence work in the Soviet Army, Navy, Civil Aviation, the Border Troops, and the troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs;
  • e) counterintelligence work at special facilities, especially important industrial facilities, and on means of transportation;
  • f) protection of state borders;
  • g) protection of the Party and government leadership;
  • h) the organization and supply of government communications;
  • i) the organization of communications security work"

    The USSR Council of Ministers' KGB (March 1960):

    The First Main Directorate; the Second Main Directorate; the Third Directorate; the Seventh Directorate; the Eighth Main Directorate; the Ninth Directorate, the Technical Operations Directorate (OUT), the Personnel Directorate, the Investigative Department, the Archive and Records Department (UAO), the Main Directorate of Border Troops (GUPV), the Administrative Directorate (KhOZU), the Department of Government Communications (OPS), the Financial Planning Department, the Mobilization Department, Secretariat, and the Chairman's Group.

    The USSR Council of Ministers' KGB (December 1967):

    The First Main Directorate; the Second Main Directorate; the Third Directorate; the Seventh Directorate; the Eighth Main Directorate; the Ninth Directorate, the Technical Operations Directorate (OUT), the Personnel Directorate, the Investigative Department, the 10th Department (Archive and Records), the 11th Department, the 12th Department (audio monitoring premises and telephones) the Main Directorate of Border Troops (GUPV), the Administrative Directorate (KhOZU), the Department of Government Communications (OPS), the Financial Planning Department, the Mobilization Department, Secretariat, the Chairman's Inspectorate, and the Chairman's Consultants Group.

    The Structure of the KGB given by Gordievsky:

    MAIN DIRECTORATES:

  • First (intelligence)
  • Second (internal security and counterintelligence)
  • Border Troops
  • Eighth (communications and cipher service)

    DIRECTORATES

  • Third (military counterintelligence)
  • Fifth (political, ideological issues)
  • Sixth (economic counterintelligence and industrial security)
  • Seventh (surveillance)
  • Ninth (government security)
  • Technical Operations (OTU)
  • Fifteenth (protection of government facilities)
  • Sixteenth (radio intercept and electronic intelligence)
  • Construction of Military Facilities

    DEPARTMENTS AND SERVICES

  • Investigative Department
  • Government Communications
  • KGB Higher School
  • Sixth Department (interception and inspection of correspondence)
  • Twelfth Department (wiretapping)

    The Structure of the First Main Directorate of the KGB, Foreign Intelligence (in more detail)

    DIRECTORATES AND SERVICES

  • Directorate R (operational planning and analysis)
  • Directorate K (counterintelligence)
  • Directorate S (illegals)
  • Directorate T (scientific and technical intelligence)
  • Intelligence Information Directorate (analysis and assessment)
  • Directorate RT (operations on Soviet territory)
  • Directorate OT (technical operations)
  • Directorate I (computer service)
  • Service A (disinformation, secret operations)
  • Service R (radio communications)
  • Service A of the Eighth Main Directorate of the KGB First Main Directorate (cipher services)
  • Electronic Intelligence - the RP Division

    KGB Chairmen

  • Vladimir Aleksandrovich Kryuchkov (October 1988 - August 1991)
  • Viktor Mikhaylovich Chebrikov (December 1982 - October 1988)
  • Vitaliy Vasil'yevich Fedorchuk (May - December 1982)
  • Yuriy Vladimirovich Andropov (May 1967 - May 1982)

    Structure of the First Main Directorate of the KGB

    Even in the times of the USSR KGB foreign intelligence was a completely independent operation and even had another building, in Yasenevo (in the slang of intelligence officers "in the woods"). It was thought that in comparison with other Committee officials intelligence officers were the "bluebloods" - advanced intellectuals who were critical of the existing political system.

    DIRECTORATES

  • Directorate R (operational planning and analysis)
  • Directorate K (counterintelligence)
  • Directorate S (illegals)
  • Directorate OT (technical operations)
  • Directorate I (computer service)
  • Directorate T (scientific and technical intelligence)
  • Intelligence Information Directorate (analysis and assessment)
  • Directorate RT (operations on Soviet territory)

    SERVICES

  • Service A (disinformation: secret operations)
  • Service R (radio communications)
  • Service A of the Eighth Main Directorate of the KGB First Main Directorate (cipher services)

    DEPARTMENTS

  • 1. USA and Canada
  • 2. Latin America
  • 3. Great Britain, Australia, Africa, New Zealand, and Scandinavia
  • 4. East Germany, West Germany, Austria
  • 5. The Benelux countries, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, Yugoslavia, Albania, and Romania
  • 6. China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and North Korea
  • 7. Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines
  • 8. the non-Arab countries of the Middle East including Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, and Turkey
  • 9. the English-speaking countries of Africa
  • 10. the Francophone countries of Africa
  • 11. Contacts with socialist countries
  • 12. Registration and archives
  • 13. Electronic intercept and operations against the cipher services of Western countries
  • 14. India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Burma
  • 15. the Arab countries of the Middle East and also Egypt
  • 16. Emigrants
  • 17. Contacts with developing countries

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