“TheCeļotājs”
"Latvia" Former Soviet Union Military Bases
 
The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation
"FSB" Russia
 
      
Emblem of the Federal Security Service "FSB"
 
      
 
      
                  The FSB Headquarters at Lubyanka Square
 
The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation "FSB" "Russian: ФСБ, Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации; Federal'naya sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federatsii" is the main domestic security agency of the Russian Federation and the main successor agency of the Soviet Committee of State Security "KGB". Its main responsibilities are counter-intelligence, internal and border security, counter-terrorism, and surveillance. Its headquarters are on "Lubyanka Square", downtown Moscow.
 
The direct predecessor of the KGB was the Federal Counterintelligence Service "FSK". On 12 April 1995, President Boris Yeltsin signed a law ordering a reorganization of the FSK, which resulted in the creation of the FSB. In 2003, the FSB's responsibilities were widened with the integration of the Border Guard Service and a major part of the abolished Federal Agency of Government Communication and Information "FAPSI". The FSB was made subordinate to the Ministry of Justice by presidential decree on 9 March 2004. The Director of FSB, since 2008, is Aleksandr Bortnikov.
According to the federal law, the FSB is considered a military service just like the Armed Forces, MVD Internal Troops, FSO, SVR, FSKN and EMERCOM's civil defense.
 
The FSB is responsible for internal security of the Russian state, counterespionage, and the fight against organized crime, terrorism, and drug smuggling. Since 2003, when the Federal Border Guards Service was incorporated to the FSB, it has also been responsible for overseeing border security. The FSB is engaged mostly in domestic affairs, while espionage duties are responsibility of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. However, the FSB also includes the FAPSI agency, which conducts electronic surveillance abroad. All law enforcement and intelligence agencies in Russia work under the guidance of FSB, if needed. For example, the GRU, spetsnaz and Internal Troops detachments of Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs work together with the FSB in Chechnya.
The FSB combines functions and powers similar to those exercised by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation "FBI", Immigration and Customs Enforcement "ICE", the Federal Protective Service, the Secret Service, the National Security Agency "NSA", U.S. Customs and Border Protection, United States Coast Guard, and Drug Enforcement Administration.
The FSB employs about 66,200 uniformed staff, including about 4,000 special forces troops. It also employs about 160,000–200,000 border guards. 
History
 
Initial Reorganization of the KGB
 
The Federal Security Service is one of the successor organizations of the Soviet Committee of State Security "KGB". After the dissolution of the Soviet Union and following the attempted coup of 1991 in which some KGB units as well as the head Vladimir Kryuchkov played a major part the KGB was dismantled and ceased to exist from November 1991. In December 1991, two organizations were created from the remnants of the KGB: Foreign Intelligence Service "SVR" and Federal Counter-Intelligence Agency "FAPSI". In January 1992 another new institution, the Ministry of Security took over domestic and border security responsibilities. 
 
Following the 1993 coup attempt against President Boris Yeltsin, the Ministry of Security was reorganized on 21 December 1993 into the Federal Counter-Intelligence Service "FSK". The FSK was headed by Sergei Stepashin. Before the start of the main military activities of the First Chechen War the FSK was responsible for the covert operations against the separatists led by Dzhokhar Dudayev. 
 
Creation of the FSB
 
In 1995, the FSK was renamed and reorganized into the Federal Security Service "FSB" by the Federal Law of 3 April 1995, "On the Organs of the Federal Security Service in the Russian Federation". The FSB reforms were rounded out by decree No. 633, signed by Boris Yeltsin on 23 June 1995. The decree made the tasks of the FSB more specific, giving the FSB substantial rights to conduct cryptographic work, and described the powers of the FSB director. The number of deputy directors was increased to 8: 2 first deputies, 5 deputies responsible for departments and directorates and 1 deputy director heading the Moscow City and Moscow regional directorate. Yeltsin appointed Colonel-General Mikhail Ivanovich Barsukov as the new director of the FSB.
 
In 1998 Yeltsin appointed as director of the FSB Vladimir Putin, a KGB veteran who would later succeed Yeltsin as federal president. Putin was reluctant to take over the directorship, but once appointed conducted a thorough reorganization, which included the dismissal of most of the FSB's top personnel. Putin appointed Nikolai Patrushev as the head of FSB in 1999. 
 
Role in the Second Chechen War
 
After the main military offensive of the Second Chechen War ended and the separatists changed tactics to guerilla warfare, overall command of the federal forces in Chechnya was transferred from the military to the FSB in January 2001. While the army lacked technical means of tracking the guerilla groups, the FSB suffered from insufficient human intelligence due its inability to build networks of agents and informants. In the autumn of 2002, the separatists launched a massive campaign of terrorism against the Russian civilians, including the Dubrovka theatre attack. The inability of the federal forces to conduct efficient counter-terrorist operations led to the government to transfer the responsibility of "maintaining order" in Chechnya from the FSB to the Ministry of Internal Affairs "MVD" in July 2003. 
 
The Putin Reforms
 
      
                       President Vladimir Putin
 
After becoming President, Vladimir Putin launched a major reorganization of the agency. First, the FSB was placed under direct control of the President by a decree issued on 17 May 2000. Internal structure of the agency was reformed by a decree signed on 17 June 2000. In the resulting structure, the FSB was to have a director, a first deputy director and nine other deputy directors, including one state secretary and the chiefs of six departments: Economic Security Department, Counterintelligence Department, Organizational and Personnel Service, Department of Activity Provision, Department for Analysis, Forecasting and Strategic Planning, Department for Protection of the Constitutional System and the Fight against Terrorism. "Being patterned after the former KGB structure".
 
In 2003, the agency's responsibilities were considerably widened. The Border Guard Service of Russia, with its staff of 210,000, was integrated to the FSB via a decree was signed on 11 March 2003. The merger was completed by 1 July 2003. In addition, The Federal Agency of Government Communication and Information "FAPSI" was abolished and the FSB was granted a major part of its functions, while other parts went to the Ministry of Defense. 
 
Among the reasons for this strengthening of the FSB were enhanced need for security of after increased terror attacks against Russian civilians starting from the Moscow theater hostage crisis; the need to end the permanent infighting between the FSB, FAPSI and the Border Guards due to their overlapping functions and the need for more efficient response to migration, drug trafficking and illegal arms trading. It has also been pointed out, that the FSB was the only power base of the new president, and the restructuring therefore strengthened Putin's position "Political groups under Vladimir Putin's presidency". 
 
On 28 June 2004 in a speech to high-ranking FSB officers, Putin emphasized three major tasks of the agency: neutralizing foreign espionage, safeguarding economic and financial security of the country and combating organized crime.
 
In September 2006, the FSB was shaken by a major reshuffle, which, combined with some earlier reassignments "most remarkably, those of FSB Deputy Directors Yury Zaostrovtsev and Vladimir Anisimov in 2004 and 2005,  espectively", were widely believed to be linked to the Three Whales Corruption Scandal that had slowly unfolded since 2000. Some analysts considered it to be an attempt to undermine FSB Director Nikolay Patrushev's influence, as it was Patrushev's team from the Karelian KGB Directorate of the late 1980s – early 1990s that had suffered most and he had been on vacations during the event. 
 
By 2008, the agency had one Director, two First Deputy Directors and 5 Deputy Directors. It had the following 9 divisions: 
  • Counter-Espionage
  • Service for Defense of Constitutional Order and Fight against Terrorism
  • Border Service
  • Economic Security Service
  • Current Information and International Links
  • Organizational and Personnel Service
  • Monitoring Department
  • Scientific and Technical Service
  • Organizational Security Service
The Fight Against Terrorism
 
Starting from the Moscow theater hostage crisis in 2002, Russia was faced with increased levels of Islamist terrorism. The FSB, being the main agency responsible for counter-terrorist operations, was in the front line in the fight against terror. During the Moscow theater siege and the Beslan school siege, FSB's Spetsnaz units Alpha Group and Vympel played a key role in the hostage release operations. However, their performance was criticized due to the high number of hostage casualties. In 2006, the FSB scored a major success in its counter-terrorist efforts when it successfully killed Shamil Basayev, the mastermind behind the Beslan tragedy and several other high-profile terrorist acts. According to the FSB, the operation was planned over six months and made possible due to the FSB's increased activities in foreign countries that were supplying arms to the terrorists. Basayev was tracked via the surveillance of this arms trafficking. Basayev and other militants were preparing to carry out a terrorist attack in Ingushetia when FSB agents destroyed their convoy; 12 militants were killed.
 
During the last years of the Vladimir Putin's second presidency "2006–2008", terrorist attacks in Russia dwindled, falling from 257 in 2005 to just 48 in 2007. Military analyst Vitaly Shlykov praised the effectiveness of Russia's security agencies, saying that the experience learned in Chechnya and Dagestan had been key to the success. In 2008, the American Carnegie Endowment's Foreign Policy magazine named "Russia" as "the worst place to be a terrorist" and highlighted especially Russia's willingness to prioritize national security over civil rights.
 
By 2010, Russian counter-terrorist forces, led by the FSB, had managed to wipe out the entire leadership of the Chechen insurgency, except for Doku Umarov. 
 
Increased terrorism and expansion of the FSB's powers.
 
Starting from 2009, the level of terrorism in Russia increased again. Particularly worrisome was the increase of suicide attacks. While between February 2005 and August 2008, no civilians were killed in such attacks, in 2008 at least 17 were killed and in 2009 the number rose to 45.
 
In March 2010, Islamist militants organized the 2010 Moscow Metro bombings, which killed 40 people. One of the two blasts took place at Lubyanka station, near the FSB headquarters. Militant leader Doku Umarov dubbed "Russia's Osama Bin Laden" took responsibility for the attacks. In July 2010, President Dmitry Medvedev expanded the FSB's powers in its fight against terrorism. FSB officers received the power to issue warnings to citizens on actions that could lead to committing crimes and arrest people for 15 days if they fail to comply with legitimate orders given by the officers. The bill was harshly criticized by human rights organizations.
 
Role
 
Counterintelligence
 
In 2011, the FSB exposed 199 foreign spies, including 41 professional spies and 158 agents employed by foreign intelligence services. The number has risen in recent years: in 2006 the FSB reportedly caught about 27 foreign intelligence officers and 89 foreign agents.
 
Comparing the number of exposed spies historically, the then-FSB Director Nikolay Kovalyov said in 1996: "There has never been such a number of spies arrested by us since the time when German agents were sent in during the years of World War II." The 2011 figure is similar to what was reported in 1995-1996, when around 400 foreign intelligence agents were uncovered during the two-year period.
 
In a high-profile case of foreign espionage, the FSB said in February 2012 that an engineer working at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia's main space center for military launches, had been convicted to 13 years in prison on charges of state treason. A court judged that the engineer had sold information about testing of new Russian strategic missile systems to the American CIA.
 
An increasing number of scientists have been accused of espionage and illegal technology exports by the FSB during the last decade: researcher Igor Sutyagin, physicist Valentin Danilov, physical chemist Oleg Korobeinichev, academician Oskar Kaibyshev, and physicist Yury Ryzhov. 
 
Ecologist and journalist Alexander Nikitin, who worked with the Bellona Foundation, was accused of espionage. He published material exposing hazards posed by the Russian Navy's nuclear fleet. He was acquitted in 1999 after spending several years in prison "his case was sent for re-investigation 13 times while he remained in prison". Other cases of prosecution are the cases of investigative journalist and ecologist Grigory Pasko, Vladimir Petrenko who described danger posed by military chemical warfare stockpiles, and Nikolay Shchur, chairman of the Snezhinskiy Ecological Fund.
 
Other arrested people include Viktor Orekhov, a former KGB officer who assisted Soviet dissidents, Vladimir Kazantsev who disclosed illegal purchases of eavesdropping devices from foreign firms, and Vil Mirzayanov who had written that Russia was working on a nerve gas weapon.
 
Counter-Terrorism
 
In 2011, the FSB prevented 94 "crimes of a terrorist nature," including eight terrorist attacks. In particular, the agency foiled a planned suicide bombing in Moscow on New Year's Eve. However, the agency failed to prevent terrorists perpetrating the Domodedovo International Airport bombing.
 
Over the years, FSB and affiliated state security organizations have killed all "presidents" of the self-proclaimed Chechen Republic of Ichkeria including Dzhokhar Dudaev, Zelimkhan Yandarbiev, Aslan Maskhadov, and Abdul-Khalim Saidullaev. Just before his death, Saidullaev claimed that the Russian government "treacherously" killed Maskhadov, after inviting him to "talks" and promising his security "at the highest level".
 
During the Moscow theater hostage crisis and Beslan school hostage crisis, all hostage takers were killed on the spot by "FSB Spetsnaz Forces". Only one of the suspects, Nur-Pashi Kulayev, survived and was convicted later by the court. It is reported that more than 100 leaders of terrorist groups have been killed during 119 operations on North Caucasus during 2006.
 
On 28 July 2006 the FSB presented a list of 17 terrorist organizations recognized by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, to Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper, which published the list that day. The list had been available previously, but only through individual request. Commenting on the list, Yuri Sapunov, head of anti-terrorism at the FSB, named three main criteria necessary for organizations to be listed.
 
Targeted Killing
 
In the summer of 2006, the FSB was given the legal power to engage in targeted killing, and hunt down and kill terrorism suspects overseas if ordered to do so by Russia's president.
 
In July 2006, Chechen militant Islamist Shamil Salmanovich Basayev, responsible for the 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis that led to 129 civilian deaths and the 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis that led to 385 deaths, was killed in the village  of Ekazhevo, in Ingushetia. The FSB, following him with a drone, spotted his car approach a truck laden with explosives that the FSB had prepared, and by remote control triggered a detonator that the FSB had hidden in the explosives.
 
The Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, said:
 
He is a notorious terrorist, and we have very clearly and publicly announced what is going to happen to notorious terrorists who commit heinous crimes of the type Mr. Basayev has been involved in." 
 
Border Protection
 
The Federal Border Guard Service "FPS" has been part of the FSB since 2003. Russia has 61,000 kilometers "38,000 miles" of sea and land borders, 7,500 kilometers "4,700 miles" of which is with Kazakhstan, and 4,000 kilometers "2,500 miles" with China. One kilometer "1,100 yards" of border protection costs around 1 million rubles per year.
 
Export Control
 
The FSB is engaged in the development of Russia's export control strategy and examines drafts of international agreements related to the transfer of dual-use and military commodities and technologies. Its primary role in the nonproliferation sphere is to collect information to prevent the illegal export of controlled nuclear technology and materials. 
 
Intimidation of Foreign Diplomats and Journalists
 
The FSB has been accused of using psychological techniques to intimidate western diplomatic staff and journalists, with the intention of making them curtail their work in Russia early. The techniques involve entering targets' houses, moving household items around, replacing items with similar "but slightly different" items, and even sending sex toys to a male target's wife, all with the intention of confusing and scaring the target. Guardian journalist, Luke Harding, claims to have been the subject of such techniques.
 
Organization
 
Below the nationwide level, the FSB has regional offices in the federal subjects of Russia. It also has administrations in the armed forces and other military institutions. Sub-departments exist for areas such as aviation, special training centers, forensic expertise, military medicine, etc. 
 
Structure of the Federal Office: "Parcel List"
  • Counterintelligence Service Department – chiefs: Oleg Syromolotov since "Aug 2000", Valery Pechyonkin "September 1997 – August 2000" 
    • Directorate for the Counterintelligence Support of Strategic Facilities 
    • Military Counterintelligence Directorate — chiefs: Alexander Bezverkhny "at least since 2002", Vladimir Petrishchev since "January 1996 
  • Service Department for Protection of the Constitutional System and the Fight against Terrorism – chiefs: Alexey Sedov (since March 2006), Alexander Bragin "2004 – March 2006", Alexander Zhdankov "2001–2004", German  Ugryumov "2000–2001" 
    • Directorate for Terrorism and Political Extremism Control – chiefs: Mikhail Belousov, before him Grafov, before the latter Boris Mylnikov "since 2000" 
  • Federal Protection Service of the Russian Federation – Director: General of Army Yevgeniy Alekseevich Murov from "8 May 2000" 
    • President's regiment in the Service of the Commandant of the Moscow Kremlin of the Federal Security Service of Russia "Russian: Президентский полк Службы коменданта Московского Кремля ФСО России" stationed in Kremlin. Was created on 8 April 1936 as a special regiment "Spetsnaz" for the security of the Kremlin Garrison. 
  • Economic Security Service Department – chiefs: Alexander Bortnikov "since 2 March 2004", Yury Zaostrovtsev (January 2000 – March 2004), Viktor Ivanov "April 1999 – January 2000", Nikolay Patrushev "1998 – April 1999", Alexander Grigoryev "28 August – 1 October 1998".
  • Operational Information and International Relations Service "Analysis, Forecasting, and Strategic Planning Department" – chiefs: Viktor Komogorov since "1999", Sergei Ivanov "1998–1999"
  • Organizational and Personnel Service Department – chiefs: Yevgeny Lovyrev since "2001", Yevgeny Solovyov before "Lovyrev"
  • Department for Activity Provision – chiefs: Mikhail Shekin since "September 2006", Sergey Shishin before "Shekin", Pyotr Pereverzev as of "2004", Alexander Strelkov before "Pereverzev"
  • Border Guard Service – chiefs: Vladimir Pronichev since "2003"
  • Control Service – chiefs: Alexander Zhdankov since "2004" 
    • Inspection Directorate – chiefs: Vladimir Anisimov "2004 – May 2005", Rashid Nurgaliyev "12 July 2000 – 2002", 
    • Internal Security Directorate – chiefs: Alexander Kupryazhkin until "September 2006", Sergei Shishin before "Kupryazhkin since December 2002", Sergei Smirnov "April 1999 – December 2002", Viktor Ivanov "1998 – April 1999", Nikolay Patrushev "1994–1998" 
  • Science and Engineering Service Department – chiefs: Nikolai Klimashin
  • Investigation Directorate – chiefs: Nikolay Oleshko since "December 2004", Yury Anisimov as of "2004", Viktor Milchenko since "2002", Sergey Balashov "until 2002 since at least 2001", Vladimir Galkin (as of "1997 and 1998"
Besides the services "Departments" and directorates of the federal office, the territorial directorates of FSB in the federal subjects are also subordinate to it.
 
Of these, St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast Directorate of FSB and its predecessors "historically covering both Leningrad/Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast" have played especially important roles in the history of this organization, as many of the officers of the Directorate, including Vladimir Putin and Nikolay Patrushev, later assumed important positions within the federal FSB office or other government bodies. After the last Chief of the Soviet time, Anatoly Kurkov, the Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast Directorate were led by Sergei Stepashin "29 November 1991 – 1992", Viktor Cherkesov "1992 –1998", Alexander Grigoryev "1 October 1998 – 5 January 2001", Sergei Smirnov "5 January 2001 – June 2003", Alexander Bortnikov "June 2003 – March 2004" and Yury Ignashchenkov since "March 2004".
 
Directors of the FSB
 
On 20 June 1996, Boris Yeltsin fired FSB Director Mikhail Barsukov and appointed Nikolay Kovalyov as acting Director and later Director of the FSB. Aleksandr Bortnikov took over on 12 May 2008.
  • Nikolai Golushko, December 1993 – February 1994
  • Sergei Stepashin, February 1994 – June 1995
  • Mikhail Barsukov, July 1995 – June 1996
  • Nikolai Kovalyov, July 1996 – July 1998
  • Vladimir Putin, July 1998 – August 1999
  • Nikolai Patrushev, August 1999 – 12 May 2008
  • Aleksandr Bortnikov, since 12 May 2008
Criticism
 
The FSB has been criticized for corruption and human rights violations. Some Kremlin-critics like Yulia Latynina and Alexander Litvinenko have claimed that the FSB is engaged in suppression of internal dissent. Litvinenko died in 2006 as a result of polonium poisoning. The FSB has been further criticized for the failure to bring Islamist terrorism in Russia under control. Peter Finn of the Washington Post has claimed that FSB exercises huge political influence in the country.
 
In his book Mafia State, Luke Harding, the Moscow correspondent for The Guardian from to 2007 to 2011 and a fierce critic of Russia, alleges that the FSB subjected him to continual psychological harassment, with the aim of either getting him to practice self-censorship in his reporting, or to quit the country entirely. He says that FSB used techniques known as Zersetzung literally “corrosion” or “undermining” which were perfected by the East German Stasi. 
 
It is also suspected, but not proven, that there is a FSB sub-department running operatives and or sympathizers to plant monitor and censor entries in the RUSSIAN WIKIPEDIA, as well as to plant monitor and censor selected entries related to Russia and Russians in the former Soviet space in English WIKIPEDIA. Evidence of the latter is present in patterns of entry revision and protection that systematically present a Russian view favorably and excise or remove critical accounts drawing attention to Russia's role as an imperial colonialist power within the former Soviet space past and present. Some of the pseudonyms behind such entries, changes revisions and locking that keep reappearing are "GARIK" "bbb23" and "Beaumain". One such entry is "RUSSIAN SPEAKING UKRAINE."
 
 
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Revised: 02/10/2013 – 07:35:36