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    Abbreviation of Russian Komitjet Gosudarstvjennoj Bjezopasnosti (Committee for State Security)
    Soviet Union’s primary security and intelligence agency
    Headed by a chairman and deputy chairmen; divided into directorates
    Headquarters in Moscow
    Succeeded in 1995 by FSS (Federal Security Service)
    Many Westerners don’t realize it was dissolved years ago by Boris Yeltsin.
    Most of its documents remain classified.
    Its predecessor the NKVD orchestrated the assassination of Leon Trotsky (1940).
    It recruited many Western counteragents, such as Kim Philby, Donald MacLean and Anthony Blunt.
    Its brutal repression of dissidents at home and abroad eventually led to many of its agents defecting to the West.
    It backed the failed coup to overthrow Mikhail Gorbachev (1991).
    It was the most efficient (and ruthless) intelligence agency of modern times.
    If you count its predecessors, it predated its American counterpart the CIA by several years.
    Its infiltration into many Western governments and agencies was enabled in part by the latter’s poor security.
    Many high ranking members were eventually charged with treason themselves.
    It’s been accused without proof of being behind the shootings of John F. Kennedy and Pope John Paul II.
    Belarus’ national security agency continues to be called the KGB.

Credit: Georgina

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