Circling the Lion's Den

Operative Information and International Relations Service

Chief - Sergei Beseda
  • Department of Operative Information (DOI) - Oleg Khramov
  • Analysis Directorate
  • Strategic Planning Directorate
  • Department of Unclassified Information
  • Directorate of International Cooperation - Alexei Kuzyura

Formerly the Department of Analysis and Prognosis, this service is responsible for providing assessments to the FSB leadership and the Kremlin and oversees intelligence operations and international activity.

Officially this section considers May 17, 1991 the date of its creation, when the Directorate of Information and Analysis was created out of the Analysis Directorate of the KGB. The new directorate's remit includes 'the gathering and analysis of information linked with threats to the country's security and the preparation of proposals for state authorities.' In the 1990s the directorate was renamed the Department of analysis, forecasting and strategic planning of the FSB (DASP). After the FSB's reforms in 2004 the Department received the name it is now known by – the Service for operational information and international ties.

Analytical functions:

In the Soviet Union's dying days a myth of the KGB's unusual analytical capabilities emerged. In fact, the first analytical structure appeared within the KGB's central apparatus only in 1989: when the Service for Operational Analysis and Information was formed, headed by Valery Lebedev, now head of the Russian Orthodox TV Foundation.

Before this moment, the KGB had no analytical apparatus. To an extent the group chaired by the KGB created in the 1960s could be considered a predecessor of such a structure. It was set up «to study and collate the working experience of state security agencies, and information about the enemy» but it did not last long.

This is how the analytical capabilities of the KGB were described by Vadim Bakatin, who headed it in 1991: 'Before I started working with the KGB I was sure it had massive intellectual and analytical resources. Frankly a great disappointment awaited me. The analytical directorate was created only a little more than a year ago, and it has still not managed to really prove itself. The activities of the information and analysis sections, which exist in almost every directorate, and several scientific and academic institutes are not in any real sense coordinated. Information that had barely been analysed ended up on the desk of the head of the KGB, who would sift through it, deciding which information was worthy of attention of the highest state officials. [...] You were only allowed to think in broad political categories in the Old Square buildings, and the KGB's role was primarily in the supply of raw data and the implementation of decisions already taken.'

The FSB learnt from its predecessors' mistakes, and threw resources at developing its analytical apparatus. The KGB's analysis directorate was retained within the structure of the FSB, in 1997 it was used as the basis for the creation of the Department of Analysis, Prognosis, and Strategic Planning of the FSB (DASP). The fact that from 1998 to 1999 it was headed by now Deputy PM Sergei Ivanov greatly helped the department as it expanded its remit.

Intelligence functions:

In 1999 the first information surfaced that foreign espionage bodies were being formed within the FSB. In the early 2000s it became known that the DASP incorporated the Directorate for the coordination of operational information (UKOI). Its functions included the coordination of intelligence departments of the regional directorates of the FSB as well as intelligence activity outside Russia. It was thought that the UKOI's sphere of activity was the countries of the former USSR.

In 2004 the UKOI was renamed the Department of Operational Information (DOI).