On December 19, the Russian Federation celebrates the Day of Military Counterintelligence. It is this day of 1918 that is considered the day of the creation of the Special Department of the Cheka for the fight against counter-revolution and sabotage under the Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR. The main task of the new service was to counter the activity of representatives of foreign military intelligence services during the period of military intervention on the territory of Soviet Russia.
Today, the military counterintelligence service of Russia is a part of the Federal Security Service system in the Armed Forces of the country. The main task of the "special officers" is to counteract the activities of foreign states and individual institutions that can inflict any damage on the Russian Armed Forces, including those associated with ferrying out secrets in the field of the creation and use of weapons and military equipment.
The path of military counterintelligence in Russia was thorny and difficult. This service has repeatedly changed its names, underwent various organizational changes, but the essence of its work remained unchanged.
Of course, the bodies involved in the search for spies, scouts, defectors and traitors in the regular army have existed since the beginning of the 18th century, but the prototype of modern military counterintelligence in Russia arose in 1903, when an Intelligence Department was created at the General Staff, designed to combat espionage.
In 1911, special counterintelligence departments were created at the headquarters of the military districts, whose task, in addition to suppressing foreign espionage, was to prevent "measures of foreign states that could harm the interests of the state's defense." Since 1914, counterintelligence departments were organized at the headquarters of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, the headquarters of the fronts and armies and the Naval General Staff and the headquarters of the fleets. All of them were abolished in 1918.
The birthday of Soviet counterintelligence was December 19, 1918, when the Bureau of the Central Committee of the RCP (b) issued a decree on the unification of the front-line and army Cheka with the military control bodies, and on the creation on their basis of the Special Department of the Cheka under the SNK of the RSFSR. Later, a unified centralized system of security organs was created in the troops.
In the 1920s - 1930s, the military counterintelligence bodies were strengthened. In 1934, the Special Department became part of the Main Directorate of State Security (GUGB) of the NKVD of the USSR as the 5th department (since 1936), and in 1938, after the abolition of the GUGB, on the basis of the 5th department, the 2nd Directorate of special departments of the NKVD of the USSR. However, in 1938, on the initiative of Lavrenty Beria, the Main Directorate of State Security was re-established. The 4th Special Department of the GUGB, in charge of military counterintelligence, was revived in its composition.
In 1941, the Office of Special Departments was recreated, which included the 3rd Directorate of the People's Commissariat of Defense of the USSR and the Special Department of the NKVD of the USSR. On April 19, 1943, by a decree of the State Defense Committee of the USSR, the legendary Main Directorate of Counterintelligence "SMERSH" of the People's Commissariat of Defense of the USSR was created, which during the war years played a major role in identifying German spies and traitors, policemen, punishers and their accomplices from among Soviet citizens.
In May 1946, the military counterintelligence bodies were transformed into special departments and transferred to the USSR Ministry of State Security (since 1954 - the USSR State Security Committee). During the Cold War, the secret services of NATO countries became the main opponents of military counterintelligence.
In 1991, the state security agencies were reformed, and later on, military counterintelligence was included in the system of Russian security agencies under various names. In 2004, military counterintelligence was reorganized into the Department of Military Counterintelligence of the FSB of Russia.
Nowadays, officers of the military counterintelligence agencies continue to carry out their heavy and dangerous service to protect the national security of the Russian state.
Voennoye Obozreniye congratulates the military counterintelligence officers and all veterans of the service on their professional holiday!