The FSB (ФСБ) is a state security organization in Russia, and is the domestic successor organization to the KGB. Its name is an acronym from the Russian Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (Федера́льная слу́жба безопа́сности Росси́йской Федера́ции) (Federal'naya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti Rossiyskoi Federatsii). It is usually simply called the FSB in English-language sources. Its headquarters are located in Moscow.



The FSB played a major role in Chechnya (in March 2005 it accidentally killed Aslan Maskhadov, having wanted to take him alive for interrogation) but it also had to fight organized crime, terrorism, drug smuggling and corruption across the whole Federation as well. The FSB has been accused of involvement in the 1999 Russian apartment bombings following the arrest of three of the organisation's operatives who had planted a large bomb at the basement of an apartment complex in the town of Ryazan. Amazingly, the FSB declared that the incident was a training exercise forty-eight hours later. The original chemical test was declared inaccurate due to contamination of the analysis apparatus from a previous test. This is widely believed to have been a fumbled attempt by the FSB to blow up the apartment block. It has been speculated that the motive was to build up support in Chechnya, and called into question who had been responsible for the other Russian apartment bombings.

On June 20, 1996, Yeltsin fired the Director, Mikhail Ivanovich Barsukov and appointed Nikolay Dmitrevich Kovalev, to Acting Director and later to Director of the FSB. Russian president Vladimir Putin was head of the FSB from July 1998 to August 1999.

In September 1998, the FSB staff had received only half of their salaries and the distribution of meal allowances had stopped at the beginning of the year. The total number of FSB employees at the end of 1997 was 80,000.

On July 28, 2006 the FSB presented a list of 17 organizations, recognized as terrorist by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, to Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper, that published the list on that day. It was available previously, but only on individual requests. [1][2] Commenting the list, Yuri Sapunov, head of anti-terrorism at the FSB, named three main criteria necessary for organizations to be listed. [3]


1995: incorporating KGB successor

Following the attempted coup of 1991 against Mikhail Gorbachev, the KGB was dismantled and ceased to exist after November 1991. Its successor, the FSK (Federalnaya Sluzhba Kontrrazvedki (Федера́льная Слу́жба Контрразве́дки), Federal Counterintelligence Service) was reorganized into the FSB by the Federal Law of April 3, 1995, "On the Organs of the Federal Security Service in the Russian Federation", making the new FSB a more powerful organization.

This law described the FSB role in the regions:

* Clarified the FSB role in the Armed Forces

* Gave the FSB director ministerial status and the rank of army general

* Allowed it to conduct intelligence work and to protect Russian citizens and enterprises abroad

* Obliged the FSB to inform the president and the prime minister about national threats

* Gave the FSB powers of detention and the right to enter any premises or property "if there is sufficient evidence to suppose that a crime is being been perpetrated there" without a warrant

* Permitted the FSB to set up special units, carrying firearms, and to train security personnel in private companies

* Established the control structures over the FSB.

The FSB reforms were rounded out by Edict 633, signed by Boris Yeltsin on June 23, 1995. The edict 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 May 1997, the FSB was reorganized again following a political power struggle. The FSB structure was changed into five departments and six directorates:

* Counterintelligence Department

* Anti terrorist Department

* Analysis, Forecasts and Strategic Planning Department

* Personnel and Management Department

* Operational Support Department

* Directorate of Analysis and Suppression of the Activity of Criminal Organizations

* Investigation Directorate

* Operational-Search Directorate

* Operational-Technical Measures Directorate

* Internal Security Directorate

* Administration Directorate

* Prison

* Scientific-Technical centre

The FSB was not to recruit civilian personnel and the number of places offered by the FSB Academy was cut back.


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