As we watch the events in Ukraine unfold, you can’t help but wonder how Russian intelligence got its start. With all the espionage over the years, it’s interesting to take a peak at the history books.

Thanks as much to fiction as fact, the KGB became one of the most known intelligence agencies in the world. Which is a bit of an irony, given that the agency was the Soviet Union’s “secret police” as well as espionage bureau. In this regard the KGB operated both internally, much like the American FBI or the British MI-5, as well as being the main foreign intelligence service, akin to the CIA or MI-6.

A 1983 Time magazine article even described the KGB as the world’s most effective information-gathering organization. But while the KGB is the most famous – even infamous – agencies from the Soviet Union, there have been other equally prominent services. Test your knowledge and see if you are a true spy master of Russian intelligence.

Test Your Knowledge of Russian Intelligence

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Peter Suciu is a freelance writer who covers business technology and cyber security. He currently lives in Michigan and can be reached at You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.