The First Chief Directorate (PGU) - KGB (Soviet Union), the Committee for State Security, Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti.
The First Chief Directorate (in Russian: Первое Главное Управление - PGU) of the Committee for State Security (KGB), was the organization responsible for foreign operations and intelligence collection activities by the training and management of covert agents, intelligence collection management, and the collection of political, scientific and technical intelligence.
PGU was formed with in KGB structures in 1954. After the collapse of the Soviet Union it was reformed into Central Intelligence Service, and later - to Foreign Intelligence Service or SVR (Служба Внешней Разведки in Russian).
History of PGU
From the beginning foreign intelligence played an important role in Soviet Union foreign policy. In Soviet Union foreign intelligence was formally formed in 1920, as a foreign department of Cheka (Inostrannyj Otdiel—INO). In december 19, 1918, The Central Committee Bureau of the RKP(b) had decided to combine front formations of Cheka and the Military Control Units, which were controlled by the Military Revolutionary Committee, and responsible for counter-intelligence activities, into one organ which was named Special Section (department) of Cheka. The head of Special Section (department) was Mikhail Sergeyevich Kedrov. The task of the Special Section was to run human intelligence: to gather political and military intelligence behind enemy lines, and expose and neutralize counter-revolutionary elements in the Red Army. At the beginning of 1920, in Cheka's Special Section there was an under section named War Information Bureau (WIB) which conducted political, military, scientific and technical intelligence in surrounding countries. WIB headquarter was located in Kharkiv and was divided in two sections: Western and Southern. Each Section had six groups: 1st—registration; 2nd—personal; 3rd—technical; 4th—finance; 5th—law; and 6th—organization. WIB had its own internal stations, one in Kiev and one in Odessa. The first one had so the called national section—Polish, Jewish, German and Czech Republic.
The Soviet defeat in the Polish-Bolshevik War, was the main reason for the formation of a large independent intelligence department in Cheka structures. On December 20, 1920, Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, created the Foreign Department (Innostranny Otdel—INO), made up of the Management office (INO chief and two deputies), chancellery, agents department, visas bureau and foreign sections. In 1922 after the creation of the State Political Directorate (GPU) and connecting it with People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs of the RSFSR, foreign intelligence was conducted by the GPU Foreign Department, and between December 1923 and July 1934 by the Foreign Department of Joint State Political Administration or OGPU. In July 1934, OGPU was reincorporated into NKVD of the Soviet Union, and renamed The Main Directorate of State Security or GUGB. Till October 9, 1936 INO was operated inside the GUGB organization as a one of its departments. Then, for conspiracy purposes, People's Commissar of Internal Affairs Nikolai Yezhov, in his order #00362 had introduced a numeration of departments in the GUGB organization, hence Foreign Department or INO of the GUGB became GUGB's Department 7, and later Department 5. By 1941 foreign intelligence was given the highest status and from department it was enlarged to directorate. The name too was change from INO (Innostranny Otdiel), to INU—Inostrannoye Upravleniye, Foreign Directorate. During the following years Soviet security and intelligence organs went through frequent organizational changes. From February to July 1941 foreign intelligence was the responsibility of the recently created new administration The People's Commissariat of State Security (NKGB) and was working in its structure as a 1st Directorate and, after the July 1941 organizational changes, as a 1st Directorate of the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD).
In return to former state already in April 1943, NKGB dealt with foreign intelligence as a 1st Directorate of NKGB and that state remained until 1946, when all People's Commissariats were renamed to Ministries. NKVD was renamed to Ministry of Internal Affairs or MVD, and the NKGB was renamed into Ministry of State Security, or MGB. From 1946 to 1947 the 1st Directorate of the MGB was conducting foreign intelligence. In 1947 the GRU (military intelligence) and MGB's 1st Directorate was moved to the recently created foreign intelligence agency by the name of Committee of Information, or KI. In the summer of 1948 the military personnel in KI were returned to the Soviet military to reconstitute a foreign military intelligence arm of the GRU. KI sections dealing with the new East Bloc and Soviet emigres were returned to the MGB in late 1948. In 1951 the KI returned to the MGB, as a First Chief Directorate of the Ministry of State Security.
After the death of long time Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in March 1953, Lavrenty Beria took over control of the security and intelligence organs, disbanded the MGB and its existing tasks were given to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) which he was in control of. In the MVD the foreign intelligence was conducted by the Second Chief Directorate and following the creation of KGB foreign intelligence was conduct by the First Chief Directorate of the Committee for State Security or KGB. After Lavrenty Beria was arrested along with his people in MVD, Aleksandr Panyushkin become the head of foreign intelligence.
In March 1954, Soviet state security underwent its last major postwar reorganization. The MGB was once again removed from the MVD, but downgraded from a ministry to the Committee for State Security or KGB, and formally attached to the Council of Ministers in an attempt to keep it under political control. The body responsible for foreign operations and intelligence collection activities was First Chief Directorate (FCD).
Heads of Soviet Intelligence 1920-1991
Yakov Davydov, foreign department of Cheka - 1920–1921
Solomon Mogilevsky, foreign department of Cheka - 1921–?
Mikhail Trilisser, foreign department of GPU/OGPU - 1921–1930
Artur Artuzov, foreign department of OGPU/GUGB-NKVD - 1930–1936
Abram Slutsky, 7th Department of GUGB-NKVD - 1936–1938
Zelman Passov, 7th Department of GUGB-NKVD - 1938
Sergey Spigelglas, 7th Department of GUGB-NKVD - 1938
Pavel Sudoplatov, 7th Department of GUGB-NKVD - 1938
Vladimir Dekanozov, 7th Department of GUGB-NKVD - 1938–1939
Pavel Fitin, 5th Department of GUGB-NKVD/1st directorate of NKVD/NKGB/MGB - 1939–1946
Pyotr Kubatkin, 1st Directorate of MGB - 1946
Pyotr Fedotov, 1st Directorate of MGB/Committee of Information - 1946–1949
Sergey Savchenko, Committee of Information - 1949–1951
Yevgeny Pitovranov, 1st Chief Directorate of MGB - 1952–1953
Vasili Ryasnoy, 2nd Chief Directorate of the MVD - 1953
Aleksandr Panyushkin, 2nd Chief Directorate of the MVD/1st Chief Directorate of KGB - 1953–1955
Aleksandr Sakharovsky, 1st Chief Directorate of KGB - 1956–1971
Fyodor Mortin, 1st Chief Directorate of KGB - 1971–1974
Vladimir Kryuchkov, 1st Chief Directorate of KGB - 1974–1988
Leonid Shebarshin, 1st Chief Directorate of KGB - 1988–1991
Organization of the PGU (click to enlarge)