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Gru vs. Kgb — What's the Difference?

By Maham Liaqat & Fiza Rafique — Updated on May 18, 2024
GRU is the military intelligence agency of Russia, while the KGB was the Soviet Union's main security agency, handling intelligence, counterintelligence, and internal security.
Gru vs. Kgb — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Gru and Kgb


Key Differences

GRU, or the Main Intelligence Directorate, is the military intelligence agency of the Russian Federation. It focuses on military intelligence operations, both tactical and strategic, and is known for its involvement in covert operations and espionage. The KGB, or the Committee for State Security, was the Soviet Union's primary security agency from 1954 until its dissolution in 1991. The KGB was responsible for a broad range of activities including intelligence gathering, counterintelligence, internal security, and the suppression of dissent.
GRU is specifically focused on military intelligence and is part of the armed forces, whereas the KGB had a wider remit, covering not just intelligence and counterintelligence but also domestic surveillance and secret police functions. The KGB’s scope was much broader, encompassing various aspects of state security beyond just military matters.
While GRU continues to operate today as part of Russia's intelligence framework, the KGB was disbanded after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Its functions were divided among several new agencies, such as the FSB (Federal Security Service) and the SVR (Foreign Intelligence Service).

Comparison Chart

Full Name

Main Intelligence Directorate
Committee for State Security


Soviet Union




Military intelligence
Intelligence, counterintelligence, internal security

Current Status

Disbanded in 1991

Parent Organization

Russian Ministry of Defense
Soviet government

Compare with Definitions


Focuses on tactical and strategic military intelligence.
The GRU provided critical information during the conflict.


Handled intelligence and counterintelligence.
The KGB gathered intelligence on foreign governments.


Established in 1918, still active today.
The GRU has a long history of intelligence operations.


Disbanded in 1991 after the Soviet Union collapsed.
The KGB's functions were divided among new agencies.


The military intelligence agency of Russia.
GRU operatives were involved in the covert operation.


The main security agency of the Soviet Union.
The KGB monitored citizens for any signs of dissent.


Known for conducting espionage activities.
GRU agents were caught spying on foreign governments.


Responsible for internal security and secret police functions.
The KGB played a key role in suppressing opposition.


Operates under the Russian Ministry of Defense.
The GRU collaborates closely with other military units.


Known for its extensive reach and influence.
The KGB was a powerful force within the Soviet Union.


Felonious Gru, or Felonius Gru, is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Despicable Me film series. Voiced by American actor Steve Carell, he has appeared in all five films in the series.


Orjinal mit


The intelligence and internal security agency of the former Soviet Union.


Formerly the predominant security police organization of Soviet Russia

Common Curiosities

What is GRU?

GRU is the military intelligence agency of Russia.

Is GRU still active?

Yes, GRU is still active today as part of Russia's intelligence community.

What did the KGB do?

The KGB handled intelligence, counterintelligence, internal security, and secret police functions.

Did the KGB handle military intelligence?

The KGB handled a wide range of activities, including military intelligence, but its scope was broader than GRU.

What is the main focus of GRU?

The main focus of GRU is military intelligence.

What type of operations does GRU conduct?

GRU conducts covert operations and espionage activities related to military intelligence.

Is GRU part of the armed forces?

Yes, GRU is part of the Russian armed forces.

When was the KGB disbanded?

The KGB was disbanded in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Who oversees GRU?

GRU is overseen by the Russian Ministry of Defense.

What agencies replaced the KGB?

The FSB (Federal Security Service) and the SVR (Foreign Intelligence Service) are among the agencies that replaced the KGB.

How long has GRU been in existence?

GRU has been in existence since 1918.

Did the KGB have a global reach?

Yes, the KGB had a significant global reach, conducting intelligence operations worldwide.

What distinguishes GRU from other intelligence agencies?

GRU is distinct for its exclusive focus on military intelligence and its role within the Russian Ministry of Defense.

What was the KGB's role in the Soviet Union?

The KGB was the primary security agency responsible for state security, intelligence, and counterintelligence.

Was the KGB involved in domestic surveillance?

Yes, the KGB was heavily involved in domestic surveillance and internal security.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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