During the Cold War not much was known about the activities of the Russian state security organization by western intelligence agencies. However after the collapse of the Soviet Union, documents that have been smuggled out by KGB agents (Wilson 1) have allowed agents to see just how much this agency knew and how far the Soviets managed to penetrate into western society. The question is where the KGB operations during the Cold War successful or not?
Before the KGB, there was the Vecheka or Cheka, which was started on December 20, 1917 (Crozier 11). The Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin created the Cheka, so they would be able to combat counter revolutionary forces in Russia after the Bolsheviks took power. The man who was chosen to lead the organization was Felix Dzerzhinky, also known as "Iron Felix", from Poland (11). Not long after the Cheka was founded, it sent a newspaper publisher, Aleksei Filippov, into Finland. Under cover as a journalist, he was sent on various intelligence assignments. This was the Sovietsfirst attempt into international espionage (Andrew, Mitrokhin 24). After the end of the civil war, the Cheka was transferred to the control of the NKVD as the GPU (NKVD.org 1).
During its time as the GPU, its mission was to infiltrate the groups of White Russians and Ukrainian nationals to try and destabilize them from within (Andrew and Mitrokhin 32). The GPU, after changing its name many times and switching from being independent or under NKVD control, was brought back under NKVD control as the GUGB after the German invasion (NKVD.org 2). When the Soviets started to push back the Germans, the GUGB regained its independence and became the NKGB. After World War II, Beria, a Politburo member and the ex-head of the MVD, united the NKVD and the NKGB into the MVD (2). After Beria was removed, the MVD was separated with the MVD keeping its original role and the new KGB taking control of state security (3).
The i…