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Security Troops of the Committee for State Security

The government of the Soviet Union had several bodies of troops under its control for the purpose of ensuring internal security. These troops included the Border Troops and Security Troops of the KGB and the Internal Troops of the MVD.

The KGB's Security Troops, which numbered about 40,000 in 1989, provided the KGB with a coercive potential. Although Soviet sources did not specify the functions of these special troops, Western analysts thought that one of their main tasks was to guard the top leadership in the Kremlin, as well as key government and party buildings and officials at the republic and regional levels. Such troops were presumably under the Ninth Directorate of the KGB.

The Security Troops also included several units of signal troops, which were reportedly responsible for installation, maintenance, and operation of secret communications facilities for leading party and government bodies, including the Ministry of Defense. These troops were probably under the command of the Eighth Chief Directorate. Other special KGB troops were intended for counterterrorist and counterinsurgency operations. Such troops were reportedly employed, along with the MVD's Internal Troops, to suppress public protests and disperse demonstrations, such as that of the Crimean Tatars in July 1987 and those in the republics of Armenia and Azerbaydzhan in March 1988. Special KGB troops also were trained for sabotage and diversionary missions abroad.

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Page last modified: 18-04-2016 20:10:00 ZULU