Main Intelligence Administration (GRU)
Glavnoye Razvedyvatelnoye Upravlenie (GRU)
The GRU is the foreign intelligence organ of the Russian Ministry of Defense, and it carries out the functions of the central organ of military intelligence within the General Staff. When surfacing the GRU in the 1960s, the Soviet authorities chose to highlight Richard Sorge, the German citizen whose exploits for Soviet military intelligence in China and Japan before the second world war, although never revealed in the Soviet Union, have been known in the West for almost two decades. Sorge's career in espionage, and especially his penetration of the Japanese government and the German embassy in Tokyo, had been earlier examined in detail by General Charles Willoughby, Hans Otto Meissner, and Chalmers Johnson. Their works, although differing in detail and interpretation of events, are largely based on reports of the Japanese investigation of the Sorge network and certain memoirs and secondary publications. All are inaccurate in varying degrees. The Japanese investigation, the principal non-Communist source on the case, was inadequately handled and left many unanswered questions but did supply the broad outlines of the affair.
Russian GRU operations are regulated by Federal Laws "On Foreign Intelligence," "On Defense," and "On Security." The 1996 Law on Foreign Intelligence tasked the GRU with gathering "military, military-politico, military-technical, military-economic, and ecological information." Although the Law "On Foreign Intelligence" does not provide for the GRU to operate inside Russia, GRU "territorial intelligence" is conducted by the intelligence organs of the military districts and fleets, and by other military units and large units under GRU jurisdiction. The GRU performed a fundamentally new role in resolving the Chechnya conflict -- organizing and conducting intelligence activity to support the operation to disarm the Chechnyan armed formations. From the legal standpoint, this was made possible following the relevant presidential edict and a directive from the defense minister.
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