- This article is about a fictional representation of a real world subject.
The KGB, an initialism for the Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti (Комитет государственной безопасности), was the former Soviet Union's Committee for State Security, established by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954. Its precursor was an organization called the Cheka, founded in 1917, that served to suppress sabotage and counter-revolutionary activities.
The KGB's original purpose was domestic surveillance and the prevention of uprisings, but it also operated intelligence activities overseas as an extension of this role. Espionage equipment such as lipstick-shaped guns carried by female agents, and tracking devices hidden in the soles of shoes are said to have been developed by the KGB after it began to collect intelligence on foreign scientific technologies. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, its authority was turned over to the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation.
The KGB was split into several divisions, including the Sixth Directorate, which focused on Economic Counter-intelligence and industrial security, and the Ninth Directorate, which protected the Kremlin and provided bodyguards for high-level VIPs. The KGB also commanded Spetsnaz (special operations) units such as Alpha Group and Vympel.
In August 1964, KGB guards from the Ninth Directorate, armed with AK-47s and RGD-5 grenades, were sent to the OKB-754 design bureau to guard weapons scientist Nikolai Stepanovich Sokolov against GRU forces led by Colonel Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin. The Ninth Directorate was chosen by Khrushchev for guarding Sokolov because it's head was a protege of Khrushchev himself and wanted to cut risks to ensure that the Shagohod's development succeeded without interference. CIA operative Naked Snake managed to infiltrate the abandoned factory where Sokolov was being held, but was ambushed by KGB troops as he made his exit. Snake was then saved by Major Ocelot of GRU, having mistaken him for a defecting agent, and killed the KGB soldiers present.
Pressuring the CIA to assassinate The Boss, who had provided nuclear warheads to Colonel Volgin, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev allowed the FOX unit to use one of the KGB's communication satellites during Operation Snake Eater, one week later. The KGB also set up a meeting between Snake and one of their agents, known as ADAM. Despite Snake's arrival at the meeting point on time, he instead met with the supposed KGB operative EVA who took over ADAM's mission. EVA had actually been a spy for the Chinese People's Liberation Army, while the triple agent Ocelot (who was really ADAM) acquired half of the Philosophers' Legacy for the CIA. Shortly after the mission, even though EVA/The Boss's debriefing indicated that the reason for the change in the mission was because they didn't want the Soviets to know about their attempt at stealing the legacy both times, the KGB nonetheless knew about the true nature of both missions, with Ocelot suggesting that they use their knowledge on the missions as blackmail to the United States Government in future negotiations. In addition, the KGB was involved in ousting their former employer, Khrushchev, from power.
After the events of Operation Snake Eater, the KGB located Nikolai Sokolov (who had survived the incident by faking his death), and transferred him to the gulags until he was rescued by the FOX operative Gene.
In the 1970s, the KGB formed an elite counter-terrorism operations unit called Alpha Group. The KGB also had some involvement in orchestrating various rebellions in the West.
- Main article: Peace Walker Incident
In 1974, KGB spy Vladimir Zadornov was dispatched to Costa Rica in order to propel Central America towards Communism and help the Soviets win the wider Cold War. First, he had KGB contacts supply Amanda Valenciano Libre's Sandinistas with a drug-purification plant, in order to raise money for their revolution in neighboring Nicaragua. Zadornov then disguised himself as a respected University for Peace professor, Ramón Gálvez Mena, and hired the Militaires Sans Frontières to combat the CIA Peace Sentinel who were operating in the country. In reality he had allied himself with the rogue CIA forces, providing resources for a mobile nuclear launch platform that they were developing, but intended to use it for the Soviets' own designs. He was aided in this scheme by fellow operative Paz Ortega Andrade.
Zadornov and Soviet troops later took over the U.S. missile base in Nicaragua, in which Peace Sentinel were preparing to launch a nuclear strike. The KGB intended that Cuba be attacked, making it seem as though America was the guilty party, allowing anti-American sentiment and Communism to spread unchecked throughout Central America. However, this plan failed, due to their former Sandinista allies turning on them. After Coldman activated Peace Walker, almost causing a nuclear catastrophe, the KGB and the CIA both attempted to cover up the incident. Miller was somewhat surprised that the KGB had collaborated with the CIA, although Big Boss had heard similar stories concerning operatives in the field, albeit not at the station chief level. Miller considered trying to convince Zadornov to join MSF, to bolster the morale of their Russian members.
Though imprisoned by the MSF, Zadornov again attempted to hijack a nuclear weapon, with inside help from Paz, but was killed before he could witness the mission's conclusion. Paz, however, was also working as an agent of the shadowy organization Cipher.
- Main article: Ground Zeroes Incident
On December 3, 1974, Miller's KGB contacts hired MSF for a hit on U.S. Marine sniper duo Glaz and Palitz, who had acted as assassins-for-hire in the Laotian Civil War. Miller assured Big Boss that the contacts in question had no ties to Zadornov.
During the Phantom Pain Incident, a contact for Diamond Dogs was in the KGB and uncovered some sensitive material relating to the floating kid and the Man on Fire, securing it in a film canister to deliver to Diamond Dogs. However, the KGB found out about his activities and quickly silenced him with a hit squad. He ultimately succumbed to his wounds, although not before hiding the film canister near Spugmay Keep and sending the image via the iDroid's VI (although the image was corrupted presumably because of his death). In addition, the KGB also sent a Spetsnaz squad to retrieve the film, although the Diamond Dogs leader, Venom Snake, managed to retrieve the film canister before they did.
During the Cold War, Psycho Mantis and Vulcan Raven joined the KGB as part of its psychic intelligence division and Vympel spetsnaz unit, respectively, but both left in the early 1990s; Mantis after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and Raven after Russian President Yeltsin's 1993 coup d'etat.
- Ocelot a.k.a. ADAM (triple agent)
- EVA (NSA code breaker) (defector)
- Vladimir Aleksandrovich Zadornov
- Paz Ortega Andrade (triple agent)
- Psycho Mantis (psychic spy)
- Vulcan Raven (Vympel)
Behind the scenes
KGB soldiers first appeared in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater as the initial enemy soldiers in Tselinoyarsk during the game's prologue, the Virtuous Mission. Depending on the player's actions before rescuing Sokolov, regarding whether the KGB soldiers spotted the player or even if the player killed any of the soldiers, Snake's response to Major Zero regarding the soldiers will be different. The voice casting sheet for Metal Gear Solid 3 indicated that the KGB soldiers, at the time of the Virtuous Mission, were in their late 20s to mid 30s.
In Metal Gear Solid 3, the KGB troops are seen wearing what appears to be the ANA version of the Gorka suit, that is a single-colored fatigue uniform designed for mountain combat (the loose design was meant to be used with thermal clothing), that was designed only a decade later and first issued to special troops during the Afghan War. They also seem to use a version of the BVD vest, that was a canvas vest issued in Afghanistan to airborne reconnaissance units; however, it differs from the original because, instead of 3 magazine pouches, 4 grenade pouches, a radio and an IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) pouch, they have only the magazine and grenade pouches. They also have the common short trooper's leather boots and a canvas pouch that is probably used for the gas mask.
KGB soldiers were featured as playable characters in the original Metal Gear Online, included in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, which also had the leading player garnering control of Sokolov as the "leader" of the KGB Unit, if they received the lowest score during an operation. They also make an appearance in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops' online mode and Portable Ops Plus as recruitable soldiers. In addition, one of them can be rescued from the prison facility as part of a spy report mission exclusive to the European version of Portable Ops, although his presence on the San Hieronymo Peninsula is not explained.
- "A soldier from the Soviet Commission for State Security, a.k.a. the KGB. An intelligence service under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the KGB monitors the army and state police, and provides protection to VIPs."
- ―Official description in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
In Metal Gear Solid, Naomi Hunter erroneously says "Bimpel" instead of "Vympel" when describing the special forces group Vulcan Raven worked for. This was fixed in The Twin Snakes.
Notes and references
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
Ocelot: Yes, the CIA has taken care of The Boss themselves. I believe the White House will be satisfied. Khrushchev is finished. Your time has finally arrived. Yes. The American president is relying on us to keep a lid on the whole affair. We've got him by the balls. It should make a valuable trump card in future negotiations.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
Briefing Files > Miller > MSF > MSF's Goals > Special Forces:
Kazuhira Miller: Your old mentor, The Boss... She was known in the West as the "Mother of Special Forces," right? // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Nothing but propaganda. // Miller: Actually, it's not all that far from the truth. I heard the KGB just set up a counter-sabotage cell. Alpha Group, I think they call it. [...] The seeds sown by The Boss are beginning to sprout.
- ^ a b Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Kojima Productions (2014).
Kazuhira Miller: This job... The clients are KGB contacts from my Colombia days... don't worry, they had nothing to do with Zadornov. They lost a lot of comrades to the "eye" and the "finger." The NVA lost high-ranking staff too... but also their families, their children. To the East, the two were a reason to be afraid of the dark. Their extradition to face trial is even on the table in the peace talks. Now that they're out of Laos, the two are enjoying a relaxing vacation in a loophole - one surrounded by minefields and barbed wire. Even if the war ends, the East fears their return. For our clients, it will only truly be over when these two are dead.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
Briefing Files > Briefing Library > Miller > Situation in Central America > The CIA-KGB relationship
Kazuhira Miller: Can you believe the CIA and the KGB were actually in cahoots? // Naked Snake/Big Boss: Never thought I'd see that at the station chief level... But I've heard stories of operatives in the field being on friendly terms. // Miller: Seriously? // Snake: Most espionage takes place in political hotspots, as you'd expect. But there aren't that many of those kinds of places. Especially in a small country. Hang around long enough, and you're bound to run into fellow spies, like it or not. You start saying hello, and soon enough you're eating dinner together... // Miller: Strange bedfellows, huh? // Snake: I dunno about that. At any rate, this kind of fiasco is what happens when spies get too familiar. Hard to believe, but some people will betray anyone and anything if it suits their interests.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 3 voice casting sheet
- Metal Gear Solid (mentioned only)
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
- Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
- Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (mentioned only)
- Metal Gear Solid 4 Database ("KGB")