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SVR History

The Soviet Union's Committee for State Security dissolved along with the USSR in late 1991. However, most of its assets and activities have continued through several separate organizations. The Foreign Intelligence Service [SVR] was the first element of the KGB to establish a separate identity [as the Central Intelligence Service - Centralnaya Sluzhbza Razvedkyin [CSR] in October 1991, incorporating most of the foreign operations, intelligence-gathering and intelligence analysis activities of the KGB First Chief Directorate.

In September 1991, Gorbachev named Yevgeni Primakov to the post of first deputy chairman of the USSR Committee of State Security (KGB) and chief of the KGB's First Directorate. Primakov was confirmed by Russian president Boris Yeltsin as the head of the SVR, which replaced the CSR in December 1991. With the emergence from the KGB of the SVR as an independent agency, Primakov reported directly to President Boris Yeltsin.

In February 1996 Andrei Kozyrev was replaced as Russia's minister of foreign affairs by Primakov. The appointment came followed the December parliamentary elections in which the Communists garnered the largest number of votes and prepared to dominate the Duma in tandem with the nationalists. Col. Gen. Vyacheslav Trubnikov assumed the post of SVR director. Trubnikov graduated from the Moscow State Institute of Foreign Affairs (MGIMO) with a specialization in Asian countries. He spent his entire career in the KGB, living for 15 years in South Asia, working under the cover of journalist. In January 1992 he was appointed Deputy Director of the SVR, and now serves as the 23rd Director of foreign intelligence since its establishment in 1920.

Sources and Resources

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Updated Wednesday, November 26, 1997 5:56:23 PM