The People's Commissariat for State Security (Template:Lang-ru) or NKGB, was the name of the Soviet secret police, intelligence and counter-intelligence force that existed from February 3, 1941 to July 20, 1941, and again from 1943 to 1946, before finally being renamed the Ministry for State Security (today's MGB).

Separate administration[edit | edit source]

On February 3, 1941, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet separated the large Main Directorate of State Security (or GUGB) section from the People's Commisariat for Internal Affairs (or NKVD), while upgrading it to a People's Commissariat in its own right. This was in order to improve the functions of Soviet security organs. The new administration was called the People's Commissariat for State Security (or NKGB).

NKGB tasking[edit | edit source]

Based on NKVD and NKGB directive number 782/B265M, from March 1, 1941, the NKGB tasks were:

  • Conducting intelligence activities abroad;
  • Battling espionage (on both fronts: counter and offensive);
  • Battling sabotage and terrorist acts organized by foreign Special Services on USSR territory;
  • The penetration, and liquidation, of anti-Soviet parties and counter-revolutionary organizations;
  • Overseeing ideology in Soviet society;
  • The protection of high party and government officials.

1941 organization[edit | edit source]

The first head of NKGB was Vsevolod Nikolayevich Merkulov who became People's Commissar of State Security. His first deputy was Ivan Serov, a former Commissar 3rd rank of State Security, and two deputies, Bogdan Kobulov and Mikhail Gribov.

File:NKGB Organization.gif

People's Commissariat for State Security Organization for February 1941


Changes 1941/1943[edit | edit source]

The Soviet security organizations were merged in July 1941, after the Axis invasion, with the NKGB returned to NKVD as GUGB. During 1943 the Main Directorate of State Security (or GUGB) once again became a separate administration, NKGB. These organizational changes were never explained. According to historian, John Chekisty, they may have had something to do with the Soviet occupations of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, eastern Poland, part of Romania (Bessarabia and northern Bukovina). Also, the numbers of apprehensions, deportations, executions and establishments of Gulags had quickly grown, which required a reorganization of structures and a boost of man power in the security administration. Other reasons Chekisty states are: the shock caused by the German aggression and the fast progress of their army; and when the Soviet victory in Stalingrad had made prospects of the recovery of previous war losses more likely.[1]

1943 organization[edit | edit source]

File:NKGB Organization 1943-46.gif

People's Commissariat for State Security organization from 1943 to 1946


From commissariats to ministries[edit | edit source]

In 1946, other changes followed. Existing People's Commissariats were renamed "ministries." People's Commisariat for Internal Affairs (or NKVD) was renamed Ministry of Internal Affairs (Ministerstvo Vnutrennikh Del) or MVD, and the People's Commissariat for State Security was renamed Ministry for State Security (Ministerstvo Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti) or MGB.

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Dziak, John (1988). Chekisty: a history of the KGB. Lexington Books. ISBN 0669-10258-X. 

References[edit | edit source]

  • Piotr Kołakowski - NKWD i GRU na ziemiach Polskich 1939-1945 - (Kulisy wywiadu i kontrwywiadu) - Dom wydawniczy Bellona Warszawa 2002 - (NKVD and GRU on Polish soil 1939-1945 [Intelligence counter-intelligence series] Warsaw, 2002)
  • Norman Polmar, Thomas B Allen - Spy Book: The Encyclopedia of Espionage 1997

Template:Secret police of Communist Europe

de:Volkskommissariat für Staatssicherheit et:NSV Liidu Riikliku Julgeoleku Rahvakomissariaat fr:Narodnii Komissariat Gossoudarstvennoï Bezopasnosti nl:NKGB pl:NKGB

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