Last Watched

Series:

KGB: The Sword and the Shield

 

Dzerzhinsky and Company

   2018    History
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, poisoning scandals all add up to the most extraordinary and dangerous security network the world has ever known. But even today, the security network is arguably stronger than ever. This is the History of the KGB, told through its veterans and its victims.
Founded in 1917, Cheka was the predecessor organization of the KGB. Set up as a 'temporary' measure by Lenin, unknown number of Soviet citizens would die at the hands of the secret services as internal dissents in the 1920s. An inglorious chapter is the "Great Terror" phase, when millions of Soviet citizens were convicted and executed in mock trials under Stalin's rule in the 1930s. Outside the Soviet Union, during the WWII they were busy infiltrating German High Command, British Intelligence and America's Manhattan Project. The Cold War had begun in earnest.

Beria and Company

   2018    History
By August 1949 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 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.

Putin and Company

   2018    History
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, 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 poisoning....it's the stuff of a Bond movie. But in today's Russia, it's all very real. Under Vladimir Putin, the FSB 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.
Planet Earth

Planet Earth

2007  Nature
The Universe

The Universe

2010  Science
Art of Spain

Art of Spain

2008  Art
Prehistoric Planet

Prehistoric Planet

2022  Science