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Committee for State Security
CSS USSR
Комитет государственной безопасности
КГБ СССР
Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti
KGB SSSR
Emblema KGB.svg
KGB Soviet State Police building, 1985.JPEG
Lubyanka Building in 1985
Agency overview
Formed13 March 1954; 66 years ago (1954-03-13)
Preceding agencies
  • Cheka (1917–1922)
  • GPU under NKVD RSFSR (1922–1923)
  • OGPU (1923–1934)
  • NKVD (1934–1943)
  • NKGB (1943–1946)
  • MGB (1946–1954)
Superseding agency
TypeState committee of union-republican jurisdiction
JurisdictionCentral Committee
& Sovnarkom
(1954–1990)
Supreme Council
& President
(1990–91)
HeadquartersLubyanka Square, 2
Moscow, Russian SFSR
MottoLoyalty to the party – Loyalty to the motherland
Верность партии — Верность Родине
Annual budget$∞
Agency executives
Child agencies
  • Foreign intelligence:
    First Chief Directorate
  • Internal security:
    Second Chief Directorate
  • Ciphering:
    Eighth Chief Directorate
    Chief Directorate of Border Forces

The KGB (Russian: Комитет государственной безопасности (КГБ), tr. Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti, IPA: [kəmʲɪˈtʲet ɡəsʊˈdarstvʲɪnːəj bʲɪzɐˈpasnəsʲtʲɪ] (About this soundlisten)), translated in English as the Committee for State Security, 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. As a direct successor of preceding agencies such as the Cheka, Комитет государственной безопасности (КГБ), tr. Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti, IPA: [kəmʲɪˈtʲet ɡəsʊˈdarstvʲɪnːəj bʲɪzɐˈpasnəsʲtʲɪ] (About this soundlisten)), translated in English as the Committee for State Security, 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. As a direct successor of preceding agencies such as the Cheka, NKGB, NKVD and MGB, it was attached to the Council of Ministers. It was the chief government agency of "union-republican jurisdiction", carrying out internal security, intelligence and secret police functions. Similar agencies operated in each of the republics of the Soviet Union aside from the Russian SFSR, with many associated ministries, state committees and state commissions.

The agency was a military service governed by army laws and regulations, in the same fashion as the Soviet Army or the MVD Internal Troops. While most of the KGB archives remain classified, two online documentary sources are available.[1][2] Its main functions were foreign intelligence, counter-intelligence, operative-investigatory activities, guarding the State border of the USSR, guarding the leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the Soviet Government, organization and security of government communications as well as combating nationalism, dissent, and anti-Soviet activities.

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.

After breaking away from Georgia in the early 1990s with Russian help, the self-proclaimed Republic of South Ossetia established its own KGB (keeping this unreformed name).[3] In addition, the Republic of Belarus has also established its own national security agency, the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus, the name and acronym of which are identical to those of the former Soviet KGB.