KGB-The Soviet Russian Secret Service

History Nov 18, 2020

When the cold war started, the intelligence agencies played very important role for US and USSR governments. As the United States had 'Central Intelligence Agency' (CIA) working for them, the Soviet Union had 'The KGB'.
The KGB is a acronym for 'Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti' which translated in english as 'The Committee for State Security'.The KGB was the secret police force that was the main security agency for the Soviet Union from 1954 until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Established in 1954, the KGB was the most durable of a series of security agencies starting with the Cheka, which was established in December 1917 in the first days of the Bolshevik government.
And under Yuri Andropov, who was the chairman of KGB from 1967 to 1982. The KGB gradually expanded its foreign intelligence operations to become the world’s largest foreign intelligence service.
But in 1991, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the KGB split into the Federal Security Service and the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation. An Interesting Fact that the current Russian Federation head of state Vladimir Putin once worked for the KGB as a foreign intelligence officer from 1975 to 1991.
The KGB Propaganda :-
KGB divided into 20 directorates, the most important of which were those responsible for foreign intelligence, domestic counterintelligence, technical intelligence, protection of the political leadership, and the security of the country’s frontiers.
But the KGB was more concerned about the psychological warfare against the American government through 'Ideological Subversion' rather than espionage activities, which constituted only 15% of their work.
KGB Propagandist in third world countries :-
After 1960's, there were many KGB Propagandists working in the Russian embassies around third world countries like cuba, Korea, Vietnam,etc.
During the period of cold war, the propagandists placed in those embassies started influencing, infiltrating and interfering the governments, economy, cultural society of the third world countries.
A former KGB Propagandist Yuri Bezmenov which was placed in India given a interview in 1984, stated that the Soviet Intelligence Agency used four methods to alter the mindset and behaviour of people in foreign countries.The four methods which were stated by him are Demoralisation of a population, Destabilisation, Crisis and Normalisation respectively.
Yuri Bezmenov was instructed by the KGB to not bother the ‘political personals’ but instead surround himself with large conservative media persons, rich filmmakers, academicians, and cynical egocentric people in India.
As well as the many propagandist which are placed in Cuba supported 'Fidel Castro' and 'Che Guevara' as they were called as the western new left.
And last but not the least, The Mitrokhin archives :-
Vasili Mitrokhin, a former archivist for the KBG, defected to the West, bringing with him tens of thousands of pages documenting the whole history of KGB spying. A trove of the Soviet Union's darkest secrets was smuggled out of Russia in 1992.
When the British secret serive MI6 studied these documents, they decided to make a counterintelligence book so they called a Cambridge historian Christopher Andrew.
And with the help of Christopher Andrew, Vasili Mitrokhin wrote and published a revelatory counterintelligence book 'The Sword and the Shield' (1999) and 'The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World' (2005), about KGB operations.

This article has been written by Atharva Budrukkar for The Paradigm

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