Sunday, October 31, 2010


Originally known as the Third Department of the Red Army’s General Staff, the Glavnoye Razvedyvatelnoye Upravlenie—the Soviet military intelligence service—was created in October 1918 but adopted that title only in June 1942. Like its NKVD counterpart, the GRU operated parallel foreign intelligence collection channels, one based on local  rezidents, usually working under cover posts in the military attaché’s offices, with another reliant on illegals. The West’s knowledge of this organization was revealed by a defector, Walter Krivitsky, who had been the GRU’s illegal  rezident in The Hague until September 1937. Further information was imparted by Vladimir Rezun, who defected to the Secret Intelligence Service in June 1978 while under United Nations cover in Geneva; later he was to write several not entirely accurate accounts of the GRU under the pseudonym Viktor Suvorov, leading some to suspect that he had not been their only author.