Military counterintelligence of the Soviet Army

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Military counterintelligence of the Armed Forces of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, throughout all its history was controlled by the nonmilitary structure. Part of Soviet secret police (Cheka, GPU, NKVD, ...) departments (names vary over the time).

The counterintelligence departments of the Armed Forces of the USSR known as Special Departments (Особый отдел) (third departments, third sections) existed at all larger military formations.

Exempli gratia; The staff of a Special Department of a regiment was generally known, it controlled a secret network of informants among soldiers, military unit civil workers.

TGU (ТГУ КГБ СССР) functionaries were responsible for protection of the military units, important soldiers e.g. commanding officers against activities from military attaché offices diplomats.

Timeline[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Chronology of Soviet secret police agencies.
  • Initially there was no common counterinteligence directorate. Various Armies and Fronts had their "Special Departments".
  • Military Department of Vecheka, Военный отдел ВЧК
  • Special Department of Vecheka, Особый отдел ВЧК,
  • Special Department of Secret Operative Directorate of GPU, Особый отдел СОУ (Секретно-оперативное управление) ГПУ, July 1922
  • Special Department of OGPU, Особый отдел ОГПУ, September 1930
  • 4th Division of the OGPU Special Department, 4 отделение Особого отдела ОГПУ
  • Special Department of the USSR NKVD GUGB, Особый отдел ГУГБ НКВД СССР (July 1934 - )
  • 5th (Special) Dept. of GUGB, 5-й (особый) отдел ГУГБ December 1936 -
  • 2nd Directorate of NKVD, 2-е Управление НКВД СССР June 1938 -
  • 4th (Special) Dept. of GUGB, 4-й (особый) отдел ГУГБ September 1938 - Feb. 1941
  • 3rd Dept. of People's Commissariat of Defense, Третье Управление НКО February 1941 - July 1941
  • 3rd Dept. of People's Commissariat of Soviet Navy, Третье Управление НКВМФ February 1941 - January 1942
  • 3rd Dept. of NKVD, Третий отдел НКВД February 1941 - Jul. 1941
  • Directorate of Special Departments of NKVD, Управление особых отделов НКВД СССР July 1941 - April 1943
  • SMERSH 1943-1946
  • Third Chief Directorate of MGB of the USSR, Третье Главное Управление МГБ СССР, May 1946 - 1953
  • Third Directorate of MVD of the USSR, Третье управление МВД СССР, March 1953 - 1954
  • Third Chief Directorate of KGB by the Council of Ministers of the USSR, Третье главное управление КГБ при СМ СССР, March 1954 - 1960
  • Third Directorate of KGB by the Council of Ministers of the USSR, Третье управление КГБ при СМ СССР, 1960 - 1978
  • Third Directorate of KGB of the USSR, Третье управление КГБ СССР, 1978 - 1982
  • Third Chief Directorate of KGB of the USSR, Третье главное управление КГБ СССР, 1982 — 1991