KGB: The Sword and the Shield

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History Documentary hosted by Jamie Doran, published by ZDF in 2019 - English narration

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Image: KGB-The-Sword-and-the-Shield-Cover.jpg

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Russia, the largest country on earth. Misunderstood by many and feared by even more. For the past century, Russian history has also been the history of its security services. They were used by the Soviet state to crush dissent. Millions suffered at their hands. Mass executions, secret wars, spies capable of stealing the atomic bomb from America, hacking and poisoning scandals all add up to the most extraordinary and dangerous security network the world has ever known. But while many things have changed in today's Russia, that security network is arguably stronger than ever. And the reason behind this is the rise of a lowly lieutenant colonel to President of this vast country, Vladimir Putin. The KGB has influenced world events on numerous occasions before. Assassinations, coup d'etats, theft of nuclear secrets and sexpionage are just standard trademarks for an organisation that still sends shivers down the spines of politicians and military figures the world over. It may have changed its name on various occasions, from Cheka to SPD to OGPU to NKVD to MGB to KGB to an array of different names after the collapse of the Soviet Union to FSB and SVR today, but it will forever be known, internally and externally, as the KGB. Directed and produced by 4 x Emmy Award-winner, Jamie Doran, this is the story of the KGB told by its veterans AND its victims. A Clover Films Production for ZDF and ZDF Enterprises in Association with ARTE

[edit] Dzerzhinsky and Co.

Cheka was the predecessor organization of the KGB, the notorious secret service of the Soviet Union. Founded in 1917, the Cheka's employees were tasked with tracking down unreliable government officials and anarchist forces. Set up as a 'temporary' measure by Lenin, millions of Soviet citizens would die at the hands of the secret services as internal dissent, real or imaginary, was crushed. An inglorious chapter is the spying during the "Great Terror" phase, when millions of Soviet citizens were convicted and executed in mock trials under Stalin's rule in the 1930s.
As early as the 1920s, the Cheka began foreign missions. Outside the Soviet Union they were busy infiltrating German High Command, British Intelligence and America's Manhattan Project, where spies managed to gain insight into US nuclear weapons research, constructing the world's first atomic bomb. Soon, Moscow had the means to build one of their own. The Cold War and the philosophy of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) had begun in earnest.

[edit] Beria and Co.

By August 1949, at least five years earlier than expected, the USSR became the world's second superpower, thanks to its spies who had stolen America's atomic secrets. But by March 1953, Stalin is dead and KGB chief, Beria, is executed later the same year. Nikita Kruschev tries to reduce the power of the security service, splitting it into several sections...but it doesn't last and, soon, the KGB is back.
In 1954 the Soviet secret service got its own ministry. Domestic and foreign intelligence operated under the acronym KGB. It remains synonymous with Russian espionage to this day, although the ministry was dissolved with the end of the Soviet Union in 1991. In the USSR, countless KGB operatives spied on opponents of the regime at home, guarded the state and party leadership, and abroad tried to find out as much as possible about the intentions of the NATO countries and, if possible, to sabotage them. Abroad, it has pulled off its greatest-ever recruitment coup – a mole at the very top of the CIA.

[edit] Putin and Co.

Although the end of the Soviet Union also meant the end of the KGB, it did not mean the end of secret service activities. FSB and the foreign intelligence service SVR took over the tasks. Under the secret service officer Vladimir Putin, who has long been Russia's president, the tasks of the secret service were redefined, and digital age with the Internet brought new possibilities for internal and external espionage and for the manipulation of public opinion.
Coup d'etats, assassinations, sex scandals, radioactive's the stuff of a Bond movie. But in today's Russia, it's all very real. Under Vladimir Putin, the KGB or FSB as it's now called, rules Russia with an iron rod directly from the Kremlin. To challenge its authority, even from apparent safety abroad, means risking your life. The KGB has even managed to outlive communism itself. Today, Russia is no longer a State with a Security Service: instead, the Security Service has a State.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4
Video Bitrate: 3 231 kb/s
Video Resolution: 1920x1080
Display Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frames Per Second: 25.000 fps
Audio Codec: AC3
Audio Bitrate: 192 kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 52 min
Number Of Parts: 3
Part Size: 1.24 GB
Source: HDTV (Thanks to CBFM)
Encoded by: DocFreak08

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