Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
Glavnoje Razvedyvatel'noje Upravlenije
Главное Разведывательное Управление
Emblem of the GRU.svg
Emblem of the G.U. of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia
Agency overview
Formed7 May 1992 (1992-05-07)
Preceding agency
JurisdictionRussian Federation
HeadquartersGrizodubovoy Street 3, Moscow
Annual budgetClassified
Minister responsible
Agency executive
Parent agencyGeneral Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
Child agencies
WebsiteMinistry of Defense Website

The Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, abbreviated G.R.U.,[1][note 1] formerly the Main Intelligence Directorate,[note 2] and still commonly known by its previous abbreviation GRU,[1][note 3] is the foreign military intelligence agency of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. GRU controls the military intelligence service and maintains its own special forces units.

Unlike Russia's other security and intelligence agencies—such as the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), the Federal Security Service (FSB), and the Federal Protective Service (FSO), whose heads report directly to the president of Russiathe director of the GRU is subordinate to the Russian military command, reporting to the Minister of Defence and the Chief of the General Staff.

The directorate is reputedly Russia's largest foreign-intelligence agency,[2] and is distinguished among its counterparts for its willingness to execute riskier "complicated, high stakes operations".[3][4] According to unverified statements by Stanislav Lunev, a defector from the GRU, in 1997 the agency deployed six times as many agents in foreign countries as the SVR, and commanded some 25,000 Spetsnaz troops.[5]

  1. ^ a b Faulconbridge, Guy (5 October 2018). Balmforth, Richard (ed.). "What is Russia's GRU military intelligence agency?". Reuters. London.
  2. ^ "Reuters Factbox on Russian military intelligence by Dmitry Solovyov". Reuters. 24 April 2009. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  3. ^ Mackinnon, Amy. "What's This Unit of Russian Spies That Keeps Getting Outed?". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  4. ^ Analysis by Nathan Hodge. "Russia's GRU: Spy agency known for brazenness back in the headlines". CNN. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  5. ^ Lunev, Stanislav (12 September 1997). "Changes may be on the way for the Russian security services". PRISM. The Jamestown Foundation. 3 (14). Archived from the original on 25 November 2006. The GRU is Russia's largest security service. It deploys six times more officers in foreign countries than the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), which is the successor of the First Main Directorate of the KGB. Moreover, 25,000 spetsnaz troops are directly subordinated to the GRU, whereas the KGB's various successor-organizations have been deprived of their own military formations since 1991.

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