KGB

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KGB

Soviet espionage organization.

KGB, or Komitet Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti (Committee for State Security), was the Soviet Union's state security and political police agency, serving as the main internal and external intelligence and counterintelligence bureau, and external espionage and counterespionage organization from 1954 to 1991. It was somewhat similar to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and British MI-6. Under Communist Party control, it was the world's largest secret police and espionage organization, with seven directorates including foreign operations; internal political control; military counter-intelligence; surveillance; and border guards. The latter included 300,000 personnel dispersed in Eastern Europe and the Central Asian Republics. Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan were special targets.


Bibliography


Yost, Graham. The KGB: The Russian Secret Police from the Days of the Czars to the Present. New York: Facts On File, 1989.

charles c. kolb

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KGB (Komitet Gosudarstvennoye Bezhopaznosti, Rus. Committee for State Security) Soviet secret police. In the 1980s, it employed an estimated 500,000 people and controlled all police, security, and intelligence operations in the Soviet Union. It also gathered military and political information about other countries. Opposing liberalization under Gorbachev, its chief was a leader of the attempted coup against him in 1991. After the collapse of communism and the break-up of the Soviet Union, it underwent extensive reform.

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KGB the state security police (1954–91) of the former USSR with responsibility for external espionage, internal counterintelligence, and internal “crimes against the state.”

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KGB: see secret police.

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KGB Komitet Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti (Russian: Committee of State Security)