History of Federal Security Service

The All-Russia Extraordinary Commission (VChK) was formed to combat counter-revolution and sabotage in Soviet Russia on December 20, 1917 by the order of the Council of People's Commissars (SNK). Felix Dzerzhinsky was appointed first VChK head. He held this post until February 6, 1922 when the All-Russia Central Executive Committee (VTsIK) made a decision to abolish the VChK and set up the State Political Administration (GPU) under the RSFSR People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD).

The United State Political Administration (OGPU) was formed under the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR on November 2, 1923 by the order of the Presidium of the USSR Central Executive Committee (TsIK). Felix Dzerzhinsky remained the GPU and OGPU chairman until his death on July 20, 1926. He was replaced by Vyacheslav Menzhinsky, who headed the OGPU until 1934.

In compliance with the TsIK resolution, state security bodies joined the NKVD structure on July 10, 1934. Genrikh Yagoda headed the OGPU and NKVD in 1934-1936, Nikolai Yezhov - in 1936-1938 and Lavrenty Beria in 1938-1945.

On February 3, 1941 the USSR People's Commissariat for State Security (NKGB) was separated from the NKVD. Lavrenty Beria and Vladimir Merkulov were appointed People's Commissars for Internal Affairs and State Security correspondingly.

In July 1941 these people's commissars were reunited into the NKVD.

The NKGB was again formed in April 1943 and headed by Vladimir Merkulov.

On March 15, 1946 the NKGB was transformed into the State Security Ministry (MGB) of the Soviet Union. Viktor Abakumov was State Security Minister in 1946-1951 and Semen Ignatyev in 1951-1953.

On March 7, 1953 the MGB was included in the USSR Interior Ministry headed by Sergei Kruglov.

The State Security Committee (KGB) under the USSR Council of Ministers was established on March 13, 1954. Ivan Serov headed the KGB in 1954-1958, Alexander Shelepin in 1958-1961, Vladimir Semichastny in 1961-1967, Yuri Andropov in 1967-1982, Vitaly Fedorchuk in May-December 1982, Viktor Chebrikov in 1982-1988, Vladimir Kryuchkov in 1988-August 1991 and Vadim Bakatin in August-November 1991.

On May 6, 1991 chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Council Boris Yelstin and KGB head Vladimir Kryuchkov signed a protocol on the formation of the RSFSR KGB following a decision made by the Congress of People's Deputies of the Russian Federation. It had the status of the union-republican committee and was headed by Viktor Ivanenko.

On November 26, 1991 Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree to transform the RSFSR KGB into the Federal Security Agency (AFB) of the RSFSR. Viktor Ivanenko was AFB chairman in November-December 1991.

On November 28, 1991 USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev signed a decree "On the establishment of the interim provision on the Inter-republican Security Service". Vadim Bakatin was its head in November-December 1991.

On January 24, 1992 Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree on the formation of the Russian Security Ministry on the basis of the abolished Federal Security Agency of the Russian Federation and Inter-republican Security Service. Viktor Barannikov was Russian Security Minister in January 1992-July 1993 and Nikolai Golushko in July-December 1993.

On December 21, 1993 Boris Yeltsin abolished the Russian Security Ministry and set up the Federal Counter-intelligence Service (FSK) of the Russian Federation. Nikolai Golushko was FSK director in December 1993-March 1994 and Sergei Stepashin in March 1994-June 1995.

On April 3, 1995 Boris Yeltsin formed the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), the FSK successor. Mikhail Barsukov was FSB director in July 1995-June 1996, Nikolai Kovalev in July 1996-July 1998, Vladimir Putin in July 1998-August 1999 and Nikolai Patrushev from August 1999 till the present day.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team