Post-Soviet development of the security services in Russia
KGB spetsnaz forces were assigned to storm the Russian
Parliament building early on 21 August 1991 and seize key leadership personnel,
including Boris Yeltsin. Units assigned this mission included the Al'fa (Alpha)
counterterrorist group subordinate to the KGB's Seventh Main Directorate
(Surveillance), and commanded by Hero of the Soviet Union, General Major Viktor
Karpukhin. Another KGB unit was under the KGB's First Chief Directorate (Foreign
Operations) and intended principally for operations abroad. It was commanded by
an officer identified only as Col. Boris B. However, the commanders on the scene
decided not to execute thes plan, and some Alpha subgroup commanders and
personnel refused to take part in the action, which contributed to the failure
of the coup against Gorbachev, and ultimately the collapse of the Soviet
On 21 August 1991 Vladimir Kryuchkov, KGB head and one of the leaders
of the coup, was arrested. The next day, a reformer, Vadim Bakatin, was
appointed in Kryuchkov's place. On 24 October 1991 Mikhail Gorbachev signed a
decree abolishing the KGB.
The Soviet Union's Committee for State Security
dissolved along with the USSR in late 1991. However, most of its assets and
activities have continued through several separate organizations.
Foreign Intelligence Service [SVR] was the first element of the KGB to establish
a separate identity [in October 1991] incorporating most of the foreign
operations, intelligence-gathering and intelligence analysis activities of the
KGB First Chief Directorate.
The Federal Agency for Government Communications
and Information [FAPSI], the Russian counterpart to the US National Security
Agency. Formed in February 1994, FAPSI replaced the Administration of
Information Resources (AIR) at the Presidential Office, which was formed from
the KGB Eighth Chief Directorate and the Sixteenth Directorate, and like the NSA
is responsible for communications security and signals intelligence.
8,000-10,000 troops that formerly constituted the KGB Ninth Directorate, which
guarded the Kremlin and key offices of the CPSU, joined the Federal Protective
Service [FSO - Federal'naya Sluzhba Okhrani - formerly known as the Main
Administration for the Protection of the Russian Federation (GUO - Glavnoye
Upravlenie Okhrani)] and the 1,000 man Presidential Security Service [PSB] with
responsibilities similar to the American Secret Service.
functions previously performed by the Second, Third and Fifth Chief Directorates
and the Seventh Directorate were initially assigned to a new Ministry of
Security. But agency was disbanded December 1993 and replaced by the Federal
Counterintelligence Service. This 75,000-person agency was subsequently
redisgnated the Federal Security Service (FSB).
On 30 October 1997 the State
Duma today voted down a draft federal law "On State Security Agencies in the
Russian Federation" submitted by Sergey Skurikhin, a deputy of the Liberal
Democratic Party of Russia [LDPR]. It was backed only by LDPR leader Vladimir
Zhirinovskiy, and opposed by the factions of the CPRF [Communist Party of the
Russian Federation], Our Home is Russia, Yabloko, and the Agrarian deputies
group. A total of 148 deputies voted in favor of the draft law, 129 voted
against; and with 11 abstentions. The Russian president and the Russian
government did not support the adoption of the draft law. The law proposed the
creation in Russia of a new state agency, the Russian Ministry of State
Security, recombining Federal Security Service, the Foreign Intelligence
Service, and the Federal Agency for Government Liaison and Information.
Sources and Methods
The KGB & Its 'Successors' By J. MICHAEL
WALLER Senior Fellow [American Foreign Policy Council] Perspective Volume IV, No
4 (April-May 1994) Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology, and
The KGB: "They Still Need Us" By Natalia Gevorkian Bulletin of the
Atomic Scientists January 1993
KGB : Death and Rebirth by Martin Ebon [Bergin
& Garvey, April 1994] Spies without Cloaks The KGB's Successors Amy Knight
[Princeton University Press 1996] 328 p.
The Empire Strikes Back, How the KGB
Is Restoring The Old Soviet Union, Amy Knight The Washington Post Sunday, May 19
NEW ALIAS, OLD TRICKS By Bruce W. Nelan. Reported by Sally B.
Donnelly/Moscow TIME March 7, 1994 Volume 143, No. 10
THE KGB: STILL IN
CONTROL AFTER ALL THESE YEARS by Oleg Kalugin
KONANYKHINE V. RUSSIAN MAFIA A well-documented case of KGB attempt to manipulate
the U.S. Government illustrates the degree of criminalization of Russia and
corruption of the Russian Government. [or not, as the case may be]
Russian Duma Rejects Law on New State Security Body FBIS-SOV-97-303 30 Oct