Consider the questions below to someone can seem too naive, someone too popular. However, believe it or not – it's exactly those moments which are most often interested in people today, especially those for whom the abbreviation "KGB" - only story, and those for which the most frequent eruptions of the most heated debates. So, let's begin.
1. Why a Committee and not the Ministry?
Well, it's actually all quite simple. The answer basically lies in two words: "the shadow of Beria". In 1954, Nikita Khrushchev and the flock of his accomplices as his main task the destruction of Stalin's legacy in all spheres of the Soviet life. Recall – a separate structure, competence solely issues of state security, the Soviet Union was created in 1941 in the first people's Commissariat, and then (since 1946) of the Ministry of state security. However, the same day that Stalin's death everything was back to normal – the Soviet secret services were again merged into a single Ministry of internal Affairs, the head of which stood up again Lavrentiy Beria.
What I think about the codswallop about "Beria plan for the seizure of power" is already written in the article on Stalin's death. In fact, the coup was planned and it is, alas, have been successfully implemented at all other persons, and victim it was not only the head of the secret services of the Soviet Union and the secret services themselves. The "militia" part of the interior Ministry "ridicule" before becoming in 1966 the Ministry of public order and cast into almost complete insignificance. From complete degradation of the police rescued only the arrival of Shchelokova... However, this is a completely separate issue. State security had not sweeter. In the Khrushchev party was generated such fear and hatred of the "authorities" that they have made every effort to weaken them.
That is why on March 13, 1954 was established the Committee of state security under the USSR Council of Ministers, not the Ministry. A "body of government" and an independent government authority – the difference will agree, is huge. First, the structure began to reduce by shutting yesterday's security officers on the street by the thousands, liquidated and "enlarges" the whole unit. These processes, combined with a total "cleansing" that resulted from the "bodies" in the best case, to resign (most often in jail) went "Beria frames" was the most trained and dedicated professionals. How this affected the quality of the work structure, easy to guess.
The status of the public administration Committee he had purchased in 1978 – in those days, when it was headed by Yuri Andropov. However, to Andropov for this purpose first had to become a member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee (1973). Here at the leadership office of the KGB and became the very structure, at the mention of which hamstring someone in the West are shaking even today...
2. Who was more important, the KGB or the Communist party?
Precisely because of the subsequent career of Yuri, after the post of Chairman of the KGB, who took the top in the Soviet hierarchy post of General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, some people have and there are "swirls" about the fact that "the very fact everyone in the Union was ruled by a Committee". Nothing of the kind, gentlemen! As adopted in 1959 and operated until the dispersal of the state security Committee in 1991, the Provision governing "from" and "to" all aspects of its existence and activities, clearly stated: "the KGB works under the direct leadership of the Central Committee of the CPSU." And under his constant control. Well, it said, however, about the government, but you know... Under Khrushchev to the leadership of the security services professionals are generally not allowed – not supposed to consider those people out of the Komsomol Shelepin and Semichastny?
The first of these, by the way, in the appointment of the openly voiced received from Khrushchev's "setting" - fully "switch" the KGB solely to work abroad, the decision is purely external problems of the USSR. Any activity structure within the country was almost absolutely prohibited. The Communist party, the heads of which have probably been nightmares tough guys in "cornflower blue" caps, is able to bring to justice anyone, regardless of rank, ranks and party experience, like one hundred percent to protect themselves from their return in a particular incarnation. It was possible – until the advent to Supreme power of Andropov, who had begun to "stir up" such things that take your breath away.
The full integrity of the party nomenklatura of the USSR for the organs of state security and has played a very negative role in the development of the country. The absence of senior officials of the Communist party of various grades of responsibility, and, calling a spade a spade, fear of punishment for the most unsightly and even criminal acts, and brought the country the first in the rotten swamp called "stagnation", and then thrown into the hell of perestroika, which ended in the death of the Soviet Union. So about any "KGB supremacy over all and Sundry in the USSR" and speech could not be. Possible unfortunately...
3. Held whether under KGB control of all citizens of the USSR?
The answer to this question, I think, quite naturally comes from a few written above. On "all" citizens of the question though due to the fact that the Party Committee was not controlled. The others... the "Black" myths about the "pervasive bloody gebni", "all-knowing, all-seeing and sekisawa the Fifth Directorate of the KGB" are about in equal measure to the creation of the propaganda machine of the West and absolutely the fruit of a sick imagination of the masters of dissidents. Most of those that went in the tin foil hat on their heads (KGB irradiates us!) and told me that hear the telephone, "as the rustling tape on gebistskaya tape". One such fruit was a chance encounter at the dawn of a journalist is to expose the "authorities," ponastavili microphones in his toilet, he demanded in all seriousness...
Let's be objective – the KGB could not "control" or "chase" almost every second inhabitant of the USSR for the simple reason that it was physically impossible. And why?! Under control really were persons who had sekretonositelyami potentially dangerous to the state types (like Solzhenitsyn), and other categories of citizens can bring to the country in real trouble one way or another. Alas, while from time to time were extremely annoying mistakes and failures - were "defectors" athletes and artists, and even pilots for the latest fighter jets broke the cordon. There were defectors, alas, and in the KGB. What does this mean? About bad work of the Committee? Don't know to judge it's sure not me. Rather, all these cases testified that put on the employee to each of the Committee could not, even if he had such a desire. What kind of "total surveillance"?
In the state where the reign of "the total dictatorship of the KGB", the tale of which today continue to tell the latter-day Goebbels of the West, and the sorrowful head of domestic liberals, simply would have been impossible, or "samizdat", or dissidents, as such, or hundreds of thousands of people every night without compromising your health listening to "enemy voices", nor many other things that the late USSR.
4. Who was "cooler" - the CIA or the KGB?
That is the question, perhaps better than the other. To begin with, so to directly compare these two "office" is quite incorrect. The Central intelligence Agency of the United States is still engaged, almost exclusively to foreign intelligence and special operations abroad – in the United States its agents acted, unlike the KGB, as a rule, only against foreigners. Moreover, the CIA never lay responsibility for ensuring, for example, government communications or the protection of the highest officials of the state. In short, there are more differences than similarities. However, in some areas, to compare the work of two departments is still possible. On this subject written many books, so that'll limit ourselves to the main points.
Serious researchers of the issue (including worn quite specific shoulder straps) has long been recognized – the state security Committee on many "heads" were superior to American counterparts in the "deep penetration" of its agents, the development of not just a multi-pass, and decades of special operations. The CIA in their work in comparison with the KGB acted rudely, in a straight line, trying to "take by force", using recruitment agents blackmail and threats that, generally speaking, is a special services for "marriage" in the work. Not once had also said that "Committee members" in an absolutely overwhelming majority of cases differed much more samootverzhennost that the reconnaissance or counterintelligence is extremely important. The KGB until the last day of its existence were still many of those who served not for money or privileges, and the Idea is not so much Communist as Patriotic. Want – believe, want – no...
It was not the CIA, incidentally, own "power" units. To create a coup in some banana Republic of its agents, of course, could, but for the practical implementation of the plan required, or the US army, or mercenaries. KGB special forces were able to "deal" with anyone in the USSR and far beyond – a sad example of Amina proof. And the Americans even Fidel Castro couldn't do it – how not to squirm decades! And, by the way, here's another point, it is useful to compare – albeit not with the CIA and other US intelligence agencies. For a while, until the leaders of the Soviet Union guarded the 9th Directorate of the KGB, not a single successful attempt at them did not happen. Hair from the head of our General Secretaries fell. American presidents were shot like rabbits – someone to death... So who is cooler?
5. Could the KGB to save the Soviet Union from collapse?
Actually, all what I can say, is automatically derived from the answers to questions 3 and part 4. Could not, alas... didn't have the same opportunities – notwithstanding the division and brigade of special purpose "alpha" and "Vympel" divisions in all the cities and villages of the Union and powerful operational unit. The state security Committee periodically criticized the fact that he "slept", "browsed", "not averted" the collapse of the Soviet Union. Someone agrees to what the KGB, they say, directly in this process "contributed". Tell - and how, in your opinion, was to act the KGB in those fateful months, weeks, days? "Signal up"? To write memoranda and analytical reports? Not for a moment doubt – it was all done. That's just got these papers to those against whom, in fact, were targeted.
What's left? To stage a coup? What would have ended the attempt of the Committee directly to take power in a dying country, perfectly illustrates the pathetic and sad experience of the emergency Committee, which was attended in addition to the KGB and other security forces. But in another way... How was it possible to act differently in this situation – when the path of destruction the government was pushing abandoned by parachute commandos, and her "first person". And if among them there was a direct foreign agents (and they were for sure!), it was such a completely beyond the reach of the "authorities". If we bend the tip of the "leading and guiding" was able to devour in 1954 the seemingly all-powerful Beria, then Hooks, with all due respect, she was definitely not the opponent. We must pay tribute to all who have had to serve in the Committee for state security of the USSR, from its Chairman to the last soldier-the frontier guard and did everything he could to get the country that they are entrusted to protect, has existed for as long as possible.
Tags: analytical work , USSR