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Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti

Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti 1 (Russian: Комитет Государственной Безопасности), commonly abbreviated to KGB (КГБ), was the national security agency of the Soviet Union (USSR) from 1954 to 1991. Following WWII, it was established in 1954 as the successor to the Cheka, the NKVD, NKGB and MGB. The KGB existed alongside the Foreign Military Intelligence Service GRU.

It was a military service that dealt with foreign intelligence, operative-investigatory activities, guarding the borders of the USSR and guarding the interests of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the KGB was split into the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).

In mid-1992, under President Boris Yeltsin, the Ninth Chief Directorate of the former KGB — responsible for the protection of the President and other VIPs — became the Main Guard Directorate (GUO). In 1996, it was re-organised to the Federal Protective Service (FSO) [2][3].

During the Cold War, the KGB was notorious for espionage and covert actvities in many countries, often under the cover and protection of the local Soviet Embassy. Although the KGB was known to carry out such operations frequently, it is also possible that activities of other Soviet agencies, like the GRU and the SVR, are falsely attributed to the KGB.

 Successor: FSB
Orginal emblem of the KGB. Image via Wikipedia [1].

  1. Translated: Committee for State Security.

KGB equipment on this website
Minifon P 55 covert wire recorder
Fialka (M-125) cipher machine
M-105 AGAT
Minox miniature and subminiature cameras
Tochka-58 and Tochka-58M subminiature clockwork cameras used by the KGB (Russian variant of the Minox-A)
Russian Photo Sniper (Foto Snaiper) with 300 mm telephoto lens used by the KGB
Russian Krasnogorsk F-21 spy camera used by the KGB for a variety of applications
Soviet covert observation camera with spring mechanism
Miniature electronic covert surveillance camera
Commercial rollover camera, also used by the KGB
High-volume covert surveillance camera
Yolka S-64 (a.k.a. Yolochka, Elka and Yelka)
Fixed-distance compact reproduction camera S-112 (C-112)
Small portable document copier
Kiev miniature cameras
JASEN (S-270) Forensic infrared viewer
Travel kit with concealment area for passport and OTP
Small OTP booklet used by the USSR and the DDR during the Cold War
Tensor 4-piece spy radio set (USSR)
PR-56A receiver
Rion spy radio set
R-350 / Orel (Eagle)
R-350M / Orel (Eagle)
R-353 / Proton
R-355 Base Station Controller
R-394T (Strizh-T) spy radio set (agent version)
Russian R11-PA valve-based body-wearable direction finder
Soyka (USSR)
Filin (USSR)
Sinitsa (USSR)
Radio Direction Finder for 121.5 MHz distress beacons
Cold War wire-line bug detector (USSR)
Non-linear Junction Detector
Russian countermeasures receiver for the 100 MHz to 12 GHz frequency range
A-610 SEZHA miniature receiver (USSR)
The Thing, also known as The Great Seal Bug, planted by the USSR in the office of the American Ambassador.
Transistorized Russian bug used by the KGB around 1964
Soviet bug inside IBM Selectric typewriter - Operation GUNMAN
Soviet covert wire recorder MEZON
Yachta (Soviet clone of Nagra SNST)
Soviet covert radio S-20 (Neva) with valves (tubes) and transistors
Soviet covert radio T-47/50 (Kama)
Acacia (Akatsiya) S-9 (C-9) body-worn covert radio
62R1 (Chaika) body-wearable covert VHF transceiver
Kaira body-wearable covert radio (USSR)
Kopchik aperiodic surveillance detection receiver
Embedded microphones used by the KGB, the GRU and the FSB
Known KGB equipment
Cipher machines
Spy radio sets
TSCM equipment
Covert radios
Covert recorders
  1. The Thing is also known as The Great Seal Bug, LOSS, RAINDEER and Северный олень.
  2. As the official name is unknown, this nickname is suggested by us.


  1. Wikipedia, KGB
    Retrieved November 2018.

  2. Wikipedia, Ninth Chief Directorate
    Retrieved January 2021.

  3. Wikipedia, Federal Protective Service (Russia)
    Retrieved January 2021.
Further information
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© Crypto Museum. Created: Wednesday 07 November 2018. Last changed: Thursday, 15 September 2022 - 19:49 CET.
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