Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The Komitet Gosudarstevennoi Bezopasnosti, the English translation of which is “State Security Committee,” was known worldwide as the “KGB,” and functioned as the USSR's security police from 1954 to 1991. There were many KGB directorates, each of which had its own area of expertise and had responsibility for one of the organization's major objectives. These objectives fall into four general categories: 1. protection of the USSR's internal security through preventing, if possible, or suppressing, where prevention was impossible, political dissent and exposing economic crimes (e.g., capitalistic behavior); 2. implementation of the USSR's foreign policy; 3. maintenance of security at the USSR's borders; and 4. political surveillance of the USSR's armed forces. Two additional governmental agencies, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Procuracy, assisted the KGB in achieving these goals by investigating “ordinary crimes” perpetrated by individuals who were outside the KGB's jurisdiction. The KGB had its roots in earlier ...