Russia ‘to revive the KGB’ after Putin wins biggest majority


putin sanctionedRussia plans effectively to revive the KGB under a massive shake-up of its security forces, a respected business daily has reported.

A State Security Ministry, or MGB, would be created from the current Federal Security Service (FSB) , and would incorporate the foreign intelligence service (SVR) and the state guard service (FSO), under the plans. It would be handed all-encompassing powers once possessed by the KGB, the Kommersant newspaper said, citing security service sources.

Like the much-feared KGB, it would also oversee the prosecutions of Kremlin critics, a task currently undertaken by the Investigative Committee, headed by Alexander Bastrykin, a former university classmate of President Putin. The Kremlin has not commented.

The MGB is expected to be in operation before the 2018 presidential elections, which could see Mr Putin secure a fourth term of office that would keep him in power until 2024.

Mr Putin served as a KGB officer in Soviet-era East Germany, and is also thought to have been responsible for keeping tabs on dissidents in his hometown of Leningrad, now St Petersburg. He headed the FSB from July 1998 to August 1999, before becoming prime minister, and has often quipped that there is no such thing as a former KGB officer.

“The KGB was one of the strongest special services in the world – everyone recognised this,” Sergei Goncharov, who served in Russia’s now disbanded Alpha counter-terror unit in the 1990s, told state media. Mr Goncharov also said the creation of the MGB would provide Russia with a “strong fist” overseen by a unified leadership.

Kremlin critics were horrified by the possible rebirth of an organisation synonymous in Russia with political oppression. “It’s time to get out [of the country],” wrote Elshad Babaev, a Twitter user. “Anyone who can should take the opportunity.”

The KGB was just one of the many incarnations of the Soviet Union’s feared secret police service, which was founded in 1917 as the Cheka.

The MGB is not a new designation. It was the name of the state security apparatus for eight years during Joseph Stalin’s bloody rule. It was renamed the KGB after Stalin’s death, and disbanded in 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, when its powers were distributed among a number of newly-created security services.

The Kommersant report came less than 24 hours after Mr Putin’s ruling United Russia party strengthened its grip on the Duma, the lower house of parliament, taking three-quarters of its 450 seats, its largest ever majority.

The two anti-Putin parties on the ballot – Parnas and Yabloko – failed to overcome the 5 per cent threshold to enter parliament.

Dmitry Gudkov, the only liberal opposition politician to hold a seat before, was defeated by a United Russia candidate.

“The question now is … how to live with a one-party parliament,” he said.

The election was marred by allegations of vote-rigging and widespread apathy. The turnout in Moscow was just 35 per cent, the lowest since Mr Putin came to power in 2000.

“A record low turnout. Democrats get less than 3 per cent. The MGB is to be recreated. Welcome to the brave new world,” said Vladimir Kara-Murza, the deputy leader of Parnas.





8 responses to “Russia ‘to revive the KGB’ after Putin wins biggest majority”

  1. Federal Security Service (FSB) was never something else as the original well known KGB.
    They couldn’t keep the old name – Committee for State Security of the Soviet Union, since the Soviet Union was no more.
    The only difference was the name that have been changed the methods was the same.

    The KGB was just one of the many incarnations of the Soviet Union’s feared secret police service, which was founded in 1917 as the Cheka, and Putin was a KGB operative 1975 to 1991, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
    Putin compares Stalin to Cromwell…..

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      Don’t you feel it’s nice that everyone, who’s anyone, is ‘coming out’ these days? 😉

      1. LOL

    2. PatienceTew Avatar

      The KGB never was diminished, just farther out of sight. Now, they’ll be on every street corner, in plain sight. How comforting.

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar

        Should be good for ‘tourism’ in the next Millenia …

  2. 5thDrawer Avatar

    Putin – a child of war and it’s results on Leningrad. Imagine now a million coming out of Syrian camps at a ‘learning age’, having already experienced too much.
    Nice that the Acronyms are always only 3 letters. Really becomes confusing when adding a forth.

    1. Is Putin – the only child of war?

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar

        Just one example from a different space and time.

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