What does KGB mean?
‘KGB’ stands for ‘Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti’ in Russian. When translated to English, it literally means ‘State Security Committee.’ The KGB represented the center for Russia’s secret police and security agency from 1954 until 1991. The KGB operated similarly to the Soviet Union’s military departments and was considered the premier intelligence and security organization at the time.
Intelligence gathering is one of the premier services of the KGB, and their activities were conducted around the world by legal and/or illegal means. Various agents working for the KGB were also said to be protected from his/her spying-related activities through diplomatic immunity which the Soviet Union has signed with several countries. This means that KGB agents, for example, cannot be prosecuted even if they are caught gathering classified information from other individuals and/or organizations within the Soviet Union or in other target countries. Aside from spies, the KGB also employs people who are touted as controllers or those responsible for relaying acquired intelligence or counterintelligence. KGB agents and controllers operate inside Russia and in many other target countries around the world with extreme secrecy and confidentiality.
Aside from intelligence gathering, the KGB is also tasked with protecting the Soviet Union’s national borders. Intrusions within Russia’s national territory are guarded by KGB personnel. Agents under the KGB organization are also tasked to eliminate anti-USSR threats from within Russia’s territory. With the KGB around, every Russian is expected to remain loyal to the government. Leaders of the Communist party also get protection from the KGB.
The year 1991 marked the end of the KGB as an intelligence and security organization of the Soviet Union. After an attempted and failed coup against the Russian government, the KGB officially ceased operation. Their attempts to overpower the Russian government were said to be aimed at preserving the government’s integrity, but eventually the group’s efforts failed and thereby ceased operations later.