Russia’s most popular newspaper, the Kommersant, reported Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning on reinstating the KGB in every capacity with the only difference being a change in its name. According to the report, Putin is planning on instituting the Ministry of State Security, or the “MGB”, as soon as possible.
The MGB would be developed from the current FSB (Federal Security Service), but would incorporate the SVR (foreign intelligence service) with the FSO (state guard service) essentially forming the powerful KGB once again. Just like the former frightening security agency, the MGB will be in command of the persecutions of those that criticize the Kremlin.
Putin, who was a KGB officer himself during the Soviet-era, reportedly plans to have the MGB all in place and ready to go before the 2018 elections, almost insuring a fourth term that would keep him in power until at least 2024. Putin served as a KGB operative from 1975 until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel. The Kommersant report came less than 24 hours after an election which resulted in Putin’s ruling United Russia party gaining its largest majority in the Duma, the lower house of parliament.
News that Putin is looking to reinstate a security service that mimics that of the Soviet-era KGB comes as little surprise based on the Russian President’s ideology. As was reported by the Washington Post a decade ago, the Russian President delivered a speech at the Kremlin and stated, “First and foremost, it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.”
The MGB is not a completely new title for the security apparatus. Under the rule of Joseph Stalin, the security services were known as MGB until his death when it was renamed to the KGB. The KGB existed until the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 when it broke apart into numerous smaller security service divisions.