Why was the day of December 20 chosen as the date of the holiday? The answer to this question is simple and straightforward. It was 20 of December 1917 of the year that the Decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR was issued on the formation of the All-Russian Emergency Commission (VChK) to combat counterrevolution and sabotage under SNK RSFSR. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin personally initiated the creation of the VChK of the RSFSR, perfectly understanding the need for a special structure that would be responsible for ensuring the security of the young Soviet state, for fighting counter-revolution and enemy agents.
To create a new special service, the Soviet state was to be "from scratch" - all pre-revolutionary security agencies were disbanded, and their employees either emigrated or went to the "whites", or were arrested or lived quietly, trying to draw attention to themselves to a minimum. Nevertheless, the Soviet party leaders took up the business with enthusiasm.
The first head of the Cheka of the RSFSR was Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, one of the most influential Bolsheviks at that time, who was considered, among other things, a man who was crystal loyal to the revolution. No matter how critical the critics of the Bolshevik power were to Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the Cheka should be given his due — he coped with the creation of an efficient intelligence service, laying the foundations for its organization and further development.
Already in the very first months after the October Revolution, the Chekists had to face numerous enemies of the Soviet power - from enemy agents and saboteurs to ordinary gangsters. The civil war became the first baptism of the Soviet security agencies, and the post-war period became the stage of improving the fundamentals of activity. In 1920, 1930, the foundation of the very structure of the security agencies was laid, in which more and more new units were created responsible for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence, government communications and the protection of the country's top leadership, radio interception and decryption, the fight against sabotage and terror and political security. So, December 20 1920 of the year, three years after the creation of the Cheka, was organized by the Foreign Department (INO) Cheka, the NKVD of the RSFSR, responsible for conducting foreign intelligence and intelligence operations outside the Soviet state.
6 February 1922, the Cheka was transformed into the Main Political Directorate (then, after the formation of the USSR - the United Main Political Directorate) under the NKVD. For a certain period, the leadership of both state security and law enforcement agencies (the police) turned out to be within the same structure. Operatively, the police were also subordinate to the state security agencies, which became a key tool of political governance of the state, the main thing “weapon»Parties.
In 1934, the OGPU was transformed into the General Directorate of State Security (GUGB) as part of the NKVD of the USSR. The thirties were a difficult period for domestic security agencies. On the one hand, time remained very dangerous for the young Soviet power - it was necessary to solve tasks in the fight against enemy spies, saboteurs, real political opponents of the country. But there was also a flip side of the activities of the bodies related to collectivization, party “purges”. By the way, the latter have not bypassed the entire governing apparatus of the state security organs. People's Commissars of the Interior Grigory Yagoda and Nikolai Yezhov were both arrested and executed. Do not count the high-ranking and not very security officers, who at the end of the 1930-s disappeared miserably in the camps. The system was cleared of harmful elements, but innocent people often became its victims.
Nevertheless, the formation of updated state security bodies was connected with party “purges”. In March, the 1941 of the NKVD was divided into the NKVD itself and the People’s Commissariat of State Security, which was to be responsible for the competence of the former GUGB, but already in July of that year, after the start of the war, they were merged. However, in 1943, the structure was again divided into the NKVD and the NKGB of the USSR. In 1946, the NKGB of the USSR was transformed into the Ministry of State Security of the Soviet Union.
It is the period of 1940-x - the beginning of 1950-x. accompanied by numerous organizational changes in the system of state security organs. For example, in 1947, foreign intelligence was transferred to a specially created Information Committee under the USSR Council of Ministers, which became part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1949, but already in 1952, intelligence was returned to the Ministry of State Security.
The death of Joseph Stalin also had a major impact on the fate of the security forces. First, almost every other day, March 7, 1953, the state security agencies were included in the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs. Secondly, when Lawrence Beria was dismissed from his post and arrested, the authorities underwent a “purge” of the “Beria” team. A number of close associates of Lavrentiy Beria were shot, others were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment or dismissed from organs. But fundamental changes were associated with the creation of the State Security Committee at the Council of Ministers of the USSR in 1954 year. This structure for many years 36 years was the only Soviet intelligence service responsible for the widest range of areas in the field of state security.
The KGB was in charge of foreign intelligence, general, military and economic counterintelligence, political security, radio interception, encryption and decryption, protection of senior officials of the Soviet state, protection of the state border of the Soviet Union. The activities of the KGB of the USSR was put at the highest level.
The Soviet secret service was very high on the world level, quietly competing with the special services of the United States and Great Britain, not to mention the special services of other states. The system of careful selection of personnel, professional training of intelligence officers and counterintelligence officers contributed to this level. But there were, of course, problems. So, in 1960-x - 1980-x. Not so few KGB officers went abroad and began to work against their home state.
On the other hand, the state security agencies were forced to perform the functions of political investigation, the fight against dissent, often dealing with issues that really had nothing to do with genuine protection of the interests of the country. And, nevertheless, for the presence of certain problems, the greater part of the servicemen of the KGB of the USSR honestly and selflessly served their homeland.
The exploits of the Soviet security officers were rarely covered in the press due to the nature of their activities. The exception was the border guards, but this is a separate issue. In the post-war period, they preferred either to keep silent about the exploits of the scouts and counterintelligence, or to submit information in extremely compressed and modified form.
History The USSR State Security Committee ended almost simultaneously with the history of the Soviet Union itself. Since the KGB of the USSR was considered the most odious Soviet structure, it was not surprising that it was decided to simply disband it. The new democratic authorities were actively pushing this decision by Western "partners" who were suddenly enrolled as "friends" of Russia.
Formally, the “August putsch” of 1991 put an end to the history of the KGB. One of the active participants of the State Emergency Committee was the chairman of the KGB of the USSR, Army General Vladimir Aleksandrovich Kryuchkov - on the night from 21 on 22 in August 1991, he was arrested. Defendants in criminal cases became the first deputy chairmen of the KGB G.E. Ageev and V.F. Grushko, Deputy Chairman of the KGB V.A. Ponomarev, head of the 9-th GU KGB Yu.S. Plekhanov, his deputy V.V. Generalov, Head of the KGB Department for Moscow and Moscow Region V.M. Prilukov. A symbol of the end of the KGB was the dismantling of the monument to Felix Dzerzhinsky 22 August 1991 by the insurgent Muscovites.
29 August 1991 was appointed Vadim Viktorovich Bakatin, who had previously served as the Minister of Internal Affairs of the USSR, as the Chairman of the KGB of the USSR. Under his leadership, the KGB of the USSR and 3 December 1991 of the year ceased to exist. General directorates were transformed from the KGB, transformed into several new special services. A new, post-Soviet era began in the life of the country's state security system. She was associated with no less dramatic events and shocks.
Starting from the 1990's. Russian security agencies had to face a number of practically unknown phenomena in Soviet times - drug business and drug mafia, mass corruption in government, organized crime, terrorism, political extremism.
Accordingly, the role of the antiterrorist units of the state security organs, as well as the structures responsible for the protection of the constitutional order, has increased. On the other hand, the fight against economic crime and corruption, including in the state apparatus, law enforcement system, and the armed forces has become a very important activity in a market economy.
Now in the Russian Federation three main special services are responsible for the security of our country. All of them are successors of the KGB of the USSR and organizations that existed after its collapse. First, it is the Federal Security Service (FSB) - the most powerful and extensive structure, in charge of which - counterintelligence and military counterintelligence, economic security and the fight against corruption, anti-terror and the protection of the constitutional order, the protection of state borders of Russia (after being included in the FSB FPS - Federal Border Service), the fight against highly dangerous forms of crime, information security. In the FSB bodies there are a variety of people - from anti-terror commandos to top-level programmers, from investigators and counterintelligence operatives to coast guard troops.
The second special service, the Foreign Intelligence Service, is responsible for foreign intelligence, for the security of Russia's interests abroad. This is the heir to the glorious traditions of the First Main Directorate of the KGB of the USSR. For obvious reasons, we hear about the activities of the SVR less often than about the activities of the FSB, but this does not mean that the results of this activity are not visible, especially now when the West has unleashed a new phase of the Cold War against Russia.
The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation solves very specific tasks. In her competence - not only the protection of the head of state, the head of government, other important officials and government facilities, but also government communications, information security, maintenance and operation of presidential and government infrastructure. In addition, the FSO, within the framework of its authority, is engaged in anti-terrorism activities and operational work. Since the majority of the abolished Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information (FAPSI) became part of the FSO, the number of FSOs increased markedly compared with the Yeltsin period. But, we must pay tribute, this structure copes with its responsibilities.
Thus, for more than a century of its existence, the security agencies of the USSR and Russia have traveled a difficult path, accompanied by numerous organizational transformations, human losses, and blows to their reputation. But they performed and are performing their very complex and dangerous tasks to protect the security of the Russian state. Their service is not always known to us, half-true and frankly false myths and legends circulate about it, but it remains extremely significant for the country. Indeed, without a security agency, there can be no significant state, especially such as Russia, and even in the current world political situation.
"Military Review" congratulates all current and former (although "former Chekists do not exist") security officers of Russia and the Soviet Union with their professional holiday. Honor and praise to those who serve in the defense of state interests, eternal memory to those who gave their lives for Russia.