Chronology of Soviet secret police agencies

Chronology Of Soviet Secret Police Agencies

Chronology of Soviet secret police agencies

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There was a succession of Soviet intelligence agencies over time. The first intelligence agency after the Russian Revolution, created by Vladimir Lenin's decree on December 20, 1917, was called "Cheka" (ЧК). Officers were referred to as "chekists", a name that is still informally applied to people under the Federal Security Service of Russia, the KGB's successor in Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

For most agencies listed here secret policing operations were only part of their function; for instance, the KGB was both the intelligence agencies and national foreign intelligence agency for the Soviet Union.


  • Cheka (abbreviation of Vecheka, itself an acronym for "All-Russian Extraordinary Committee to Combat Counter-Revolution and Sabotage" of the Russian SFSR)
    • Felix Dzerzhinsky (December 20, 1917 - July 7, 1918)
    • Yakov Peters (July 7, 1918 - August 22, 1918)
    • Felix Dzerzhinsky (August 22, 1918 - February 6, 1922)

February 6, 1922: Cheka transforms into GPU, a department of the NKVD of the Russian SFSR.

November 15, 1923: GPU leaves the NKVD and becomes all-union OGPU under direct control of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR.

  • OGPU - "Joint State Political Directorate" or "All-Union State Political Board"
    • Dzerzhinsky......
    • ...

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