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Organs of State Security

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Organs of State Security was the generic term for the intelligence and security services of the Soviet Union. In the Soviet state, there was always a "tripod" of power among the Communist Party, the "Organs", and the Red Army. Military intelligence was a separate organization, the GRU, although there was usually a State Security department monitoring military loyalty.

Especially under Josef Stalin, security frequently reorganized. At different times, state security was an independent agency reporting to the Politburo, a division of a ministry, or an independent ministry. Regardless of the current name, the first, Cheka, was often used, with members of security called "chekists". [1]

In operation Common name Full name
1917-1922 Cheka Extraordinary Commission to Combat Counterrevolution and Sabotage (Chrezvychaynana Kommissiya po Borbe s Kontrerevolyutsiev, i Sabotazhem)
1922-1923 GPU of the NKVD State Political Administration (Gosudarstvennoye Politischeskoye Upravleniye), a part of the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs (Narodny Kommissariat Vnutrennikh Del)
1923-1934 OGPU Unified State Political Administration (Obiedinoyonnoye Gosudarstvennoye Politischeskoye Upravleniye)
1922-1923 GUGB of the NKVD Main Administration of State Security (Glavnoye Upravleniye Gosudarstvennoye Bezopasnosti), in the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs
Feb-July 1941 NKGB People's Commissariat for State Security (Narodny Kommissariat Gosudarstvennoye Bezopasnosti)
1941-1943 GUGB of the NKVD
1946-1953 MGB (Soviet) Ministry of State Security (Ministervo Gosudarstvennoye Bezopasnosti)
1953-1991 KGB Committee for State Security (Komitet Gosudarstvennoye Bezopasnosti)
  1. Pavel Sudoplatov; Anatoli Sudoplatov, Jerrold L. Schecter, Leona P. Schecter (1994). Special Tasks: The Memoirs of an Unwanted Witness—A Soviet Spymaster. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0316773522. , p. xxi