The Committee for State Security, more commonly known by its transliteration “KGB” (Russian: Комитет государственной безопасности (КГБ), Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti (KGB)), was the main security agency for the Soviet Union from 1954 until its collapse in 1991. The committee was a direct successor of such preceding agencies as Cheka, NKGB, and MGB. It was the chief government agency of “union-republican jurisdiction”, acting as internal security, intelligence, and secret police. Similar agencies were instated in each of the republics of the Soviet Union aside from the Russian SFSR and consisted of many ministries, state committees and state commissions.
The KGB also has been considered a military service and was governed by army laws and regulations, similar to the Soviet Army or MVD Internal Troops. While most of the KGB archives remain classified, two on-line documentary sources are available. Its main functions were foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, operative-investigatory activities, guarding the State Border of the USSR, guarding the leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Government, organization and ensuring of government communications as well as fight against nationalism, dissent, and anti-Soviet activities.
After breaking away from the Republic of Georgia in the early 1990s with Russian help, the self-proclaimed Republic of South Ossetia established its own KGB (keeping this unreformed name)
This is a list of KGB agents who have defected.
|Name||Defection date||Country of defection||Comment|
|Anatoliy Golitsyn||1961, December 15||Finland|
|Oleg Gordievsky||1985, July 19||United Kingdom|
|Sergei Illarionov||1992||Italy|
|Sergei Kourdakov||1971, September 4||Canada|
|Walter Krivitsky||1937, October||France|
|Stanislav Levchenko||1979, October||Japan|
|Oleg Lyalin||1971||United Kingdom|
|Alexei Myagkov||1974||West Berlin|
|Yuri Nosenko||1962||Switzerland||Authenticity of defection disputed|
|Viktor Oshchenko||1992, July||United Kingdom|
|Alexander Orlov||1938||Canada||Authenticity of defection disputed|
|Vladimir Petrov and Evdokia Petrov ||1954, April 3||Australia|
|Vitaly Yurchenko||1985||Italy||Authenticity of defection disputed; later returned to USSR.|