- Far less has been written about the GRU than the KGB. The GRU’s major components deal with human intelligence, space reconnaissance, and signals intelligence. The GRU is divided into numbered directorates, each led by a general officer. During the Cold War, the First Directorate was charged with human intelligence collection and had components responsible for important countries. GRU officers preparing for assignments in rezidenturas abroad frequently served a tour as a desk officer in the First Directorate. The Fifth Directorate produced operational-tactical intelligence and worked closely with Red Army and Air Force commands. The Sixth Directorate was responsible for the collection of technical intelligence. This included intelligence collected from space, ground stations, and military signals intelligence units. The Seventh Directorate concentrated on NATO. Within the directorate were six components targeted against individual countries. The Ninth Directorate was responsible for questions of military technology and worked closely with the Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) in the collection, analysis, and distribution of scientific and industrial intelligence information. Like Directorate T of the KGB’s First Chief Directorate, the Ninth collected proprietary secrets as well as classified information. The 11th Directorate dealt with sensitive nuclear questions, including analysis of other state’s nuclear weapons programs.The GRU rezident in foreign states was the senior military attaché in the embassy. Other GRU officers were either military attachés or under cover in other diplomatic posts in the Soviet mission or semiofficial posts in the larger Soviet community. For example, a GRU officer might be under cover as the representative of a Soviet shipping line or Aeroflot, posts that gave the officers wide access to militaryrelated information. GRU officers were tasked with the collection of open source information about the country to which they were accredited. The GRU rezidentura in Washington in 1959, for example, subscribed to 44 newspapers and 58 magazines on technical, scientific, and military topics, according to a letter from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to President Dwight Eisenhower.
Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. Robert W. Pringle. 2014.
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