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Federal'naya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti – Rossiyskoy Federatsii

FSB (Russian: ФСБ) is the current Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, established on 12 April 1995 as the successor to the KGB. The agency is responsible for internal and border security, counter-intelligence, counter-terrorism and surveillance, and was established at the end of the Cold War, following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The FSB is mainly responsible for the internal security of the Russian state, whereas espionage and foreign operations are the responsibility of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) and the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU).

The direct predecessor of the FSB was the short-lived FSK, the Federal Counterintelligence Service, which itself was one of the successors of the KGB, when the latter was dissolved at the end of the Cold War [1],

In 1995, under President Boris Yeltsin, the FSK was reorganised and became the Federal Security Service (FSB). In 2003, the responsibilities of the FSB were widened by absorbing the Border Guard Service of the Russian Federation (PS) and also the Federal Agency of Government Communications and Information (FAPSI) — the Russian equivalent of the American NSA and the British GCHQ.

The Border Service was actually the Main Directorate of the Border Troops of the former KGB, whilst FAPSI had been formed in September 1991 as a merger of the KGB's 8th Main Directorate (Government Communications) and the 16th Directorate (Electronic Intelligence).

 Predecessor: KGB

Numbers Stations
One of the methods used by Russian intelligence services to send messages to agents and intelligence officers in foreign countries, is the so-called One-Way Voice Link (OWVL), also known as Numbers Stations: mysterious radio stations on the short wave radio band, that broadcast long strings of spoken numbers. Such stations were frequently spotted during the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

The number strings represent coded messages that are generally encrypted by means of a One-Time Pad (OTP) cipher. Most Numbers Stations have disappered after the end of the Cold War, but some are still active today. Although most of them are operated by the SVR and the GRU, they are often (falsely) attributed to the FSB (and previously to its predecessor, the KGB). The following Russian Numbers Stations were still active from Russia in 2019:


  1. Wikipedia, Federal Security Service
    Retrieved November 2019
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© Crypto Museum. Created: Sunday 24 November 2019. Last changed: Monday, 28 June 2021 - 07:36 CET.
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