/ Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti
   As the successor to the Federal Counter-Intelligence Service or FSK (Federal’naia sluzhba kontrrazvedki), which was itself the successor to the KGB, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) is the country’s primary security agency.
   The FSB’s responsibilities include counterintelligence, internal security, border security, counterterrorism, and surveillance, including narcotics trafficking, suppressing Chechen separatists, export control on dual-use technologies, anti-corruption, and organized crime. The agency is headquartered at Lubyanka Square in Moscow, formerly Dzerzhinsky Square after the founder of the Soviet secret police. The FSB was created by the federal law “On the Organs of the Federal Security Service in the Russian Federation” on 3 April 1995. At that time, its powers were expanded to allow agents to enter any home with sufficient reason to believe that a crime had been or is being committed. On 9 March 2004, it was subordinated to the Ministry of Justice.
   Unlike the KGB, which operated abroad and at home, the FSB is mostly concerned with domestic security, while the Foreign Intelligence Service is charged with overseas espionage. The major exceptions are the Newly Independent States, where the FSB does engage in counterterrorism and other activities and maintains close relations with the security services of most of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The total number of FSB employees and agents is estimated at close to 500,000; however, these statistics, as well as the organization’s budget, are state secrets. The FSB also controls the country’s nuclear weapons and has significant influence over certain sectors of the economy such as the oil industry. Throughout the 1990s and beyond, a number of Western and Russian scholars have posited a strong link between the FSB and the mafia, aimed at expanding the organization’s economic and political influence in Russia. Since 2000, the FSB has been implicated in a number of high-profile murders or attempted murders of journalists and other critics of the Kremlin, including Anna Politkovskaya. Shortly before his elevation to prime minister, Vladimir Putin, a lifelong security agent, served as head of the FSB. High-ranking members of the agency represent a core group of the so-called siloviki>, and have enjoyed substantial influence in Russian politics and the economy since Putin’s ascendance. Spetsnaz, the FSB’s Special Forces, which include the Alfa group and Vympel (Pennent), have been criticized for excessive use of force, particularly in the NordOst theater siege and the Beslan crisis.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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