The Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation, the SVR, was created from the KGB’s First Chief Directorate in December 1991, following the failed August putsch. Laws on foreign intelligence passed by the Duma in December 1991 made the service directly subordinate to the president of the Russian Federation. The SVR headquarters are located in Yasenevo outside Moscow, the former headquarters of the First Chief Directorate.
   Yevgeny Primakov, first director of the SVR, defined its duties in post-Soviet Russia as intelligence collection and analysis, as well as active measures. For Primakov and his subordinates, all veterans of the First Chief Directorate, the critical targets are terrorist groups that threaten the integrity of the Russian Federation. Other concerns are the economic viability of Russia, problems from the narcotics trade, nuclear proliferation, and international crime. This list is, of course, hardly complete. The SVR is active in a number of countries, collecting political and economic intelligence. Since 1991, SVR officers have been expelled from a number of Western and Eastern European states, as well as the United States.
   According to the SVR website, the new foreign intelligence service has kept the bureaucratic structure of the First Chief Directorate. Deputy directorates of the service are charged with bureaucratic oversight of major components such as geographic departments, and directorates deal with technical collection, foreign counterintelligence, and illegals. The service remains confident and competent: since its foundation it has run agents inside the U.S. intelligence community. Like the First Chief Directorate, the SVR is not risk adverse: in 1999 an SVR officer was expelled from the United States for placing a bugging device in the secretary of state’s conference room.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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