People's Commissariat for State Security

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The People's Commissariat for State Security (Russian: Народный комиссариат государственной безопасности) or NKGB, was the name of the Soviet secret police, intelligence and counter-intelligence force that existed from February 3, 1941 to July 20, 1941, and again from 1943 to 1946, before being renamed the Ministry for State Security (MGB).

Separate administration[edit]

Changes in Soviet apparatus began in February 1941with the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet decision. It started with Military Counterintelligence. On 3 of February 1941, the 4th Department (Special Section, OO) of GUGB within NKVD security service responsible for the Red Army military counter-intelligence, consisting of 12 Sections and one Investigation Unit, was separated from GUGB NKVD. The official liquidation of OO GUGB and GUGB as organized unit within NKVD was announced on 12 February 1941 by a joint order № 00151/003 of NKVD and NKGB USSR.
The rest of GUGB was abolished and staff was moved to newly created People's Commissariat for State Security (NKGB). Departments of former GUGB were renamed Directorates. For example former Foreign Department (INO) became Foreign Directorate (INU); political police represented by Secret Political Department (SPO) became Secret Political Directorate (SPU), and so on.

NKGB tasking[edit]

Based on NKVD and NKGB directive number 782/B265M, from March 1, 1941, the NKGB tasks were:

  • Conducting intelligence activities abroad;
  • Battling espionage (on both fronts: counter and offensive);
  • Battling sabotage and terrorist acts organized by foreign Special Services on USSR territory;
  • The penetration, and liquidation, of anti-Soviet parties and counter-revolutionary organizations;
  • Overseeing ideology in Soviet society;
  • The protection of high party and government officials.

February 1941 organization[edit]

The first head of NKGB was Vsevolod Nikolayevich Merkulov who became People's Commissar of State Security. His first deputy was Ivan Serov, a former Commissar 3rd rank of State Security, and two deputies, Bogdan Kobulov and Mikhail Gribov.

 
 
 
 
 
People's Commissar of State Security
Vsevolod Merkulov
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First Deputy:
Ivan Serov
 
 
 
 
 
 
Deputy:
Bogdan Kobulov
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NKGB Office:
V. Golovanov
 
Deputy:
Mikhail Gribov
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First Directorate
(Foreign Intelligence – INU)
Pavel Fitin
 
 
 
 
 
 
Department One
(Government Protection)
Nikolai Vlasik
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Second Directorate
(Counter-Intelligence – KRU)
Pyotr Fedotov
 
 
 
 
 
 
Department Two
(Statistics and Archives – USO)
Leonid Bashtakov
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Third Directorate
(Secret Political – SPU)
Solomon Milshtein
 
 
 
 
 
 
Department Three
(Operative)
Dmitry Shadrin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Investigative Service
Lev Vlodymyrsky
 
 
 
 
 
 
Department Four
(Technical and Operational)
Evgeny Lapishin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Directorate of Kremlin Commander
Nikolai Spyrydonov
 
 
 
 
 
 
Department Five
(Codes and Ciphers)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Department of Staff
Mikhail Gribov
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Department for Administration
Economy and Finance (AChFO)
 
 
 

Changes 1941/1943[edit]

The Soviet security organizations were merged in July 1941, after the Axis invasion, with the NKGB Directorates returned to NKVD as separate units. During 1943 changes NKGB was created again as separate Commissariat. Please look at organization changes below)

These organizational changes were never explained. According to historian John Dziak they may have had something to do with the Soviet occupations of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, eastern Poland, part of Romania (Bessarabia and northern Bukovina). Also, the numbers of apprehensions, deportations, executions and establishments of Gulags had quickly grown, which required a reorganization of structures and a boost of man power in the security administration. Other reasons Dziak states are: the shock caused by the German aggression and the fast progress of their army; and when the Soviet victory in Stalingrad had made prospects of the recovery of previous war losses more likely.[1]

1943 organization[edit]

 
 
 
 
People's Commissar of State Security and his deputies
Vsevolod Merkulov
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NKGB Office:
V. Golovanov
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First Directorate
(Foreign Intelligence – INU)
Pavel Fitin
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sixth Directorate
(Government Protection)
Nikolai Vlasik
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Second Directorate
(Counter-Intelligence – KRU)
Pyotr Fedotov
 
 
 
 
 
 
Directorate of Kremlin Commander
Nikolai Spyrydonov
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Third Directorate
(Transport)
Solomon Milshtein
 
 
 
 
 
 
Investigative Service
Lev Vlodymyrsky
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth Directorate
(Sabotage Behind Enemy Lines)
Pavel Sudoplatov
 
 
 
 
 
 
Department for Administration
Economy and Finance (AChFO)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fifth Department
(Codes and Ciphers)
Ivan Shevyelev
 
 
 
 
 
 
Department of Staff
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Department A
(Statistics and Archive)
Arkady Gercovsky
 
Department B
(Technical and Operational)
Evgeny Lapishin
 
Department W (Censure)

From commissariats to ministries[edit]

In 1946, other changes followed. Existing People's Commissariats were renamed "ministries." People's Commisariat for Internal Affairs (or NKVD) was renamed Ministry of Internal Affairs (Ministerstvo Vnutrennikh Del) or MVD, and the People's Commissariat for State Security was renamed Ministry for State Security (Ministerstvo Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti) or MGB.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dziak, John (1988). Chekisty: a history of the KGB. Lexington Books. ISBN 0669-10258-X. 

References[edit]

  • Vadim J. Birstein : SMERSH Stalin's Secret Weapon, Soviet military counterintelligence in ww2 ISBN 978-1-84954-108-4
  • Piotr Kołakowski - NKWD i GRU na ziemiach Polskich 1939-1945 - (Kulisy wywiadu i kontrwywiadu) - Dom wydawniczy Bellona Warszawa 2002 - (NKVD and GRU on Polish soil 1939-1945 [Intelligence counter-intelligence series] Warsaw, 2002)
  • Norman Polmar, Thomas B Allen - Spy Book: The Encyclopedia of Espionage 1997