Difference between FSB and FSO.

Among the most highly professional special services in Russia, and possibly in the world, are the Russian FSB and FSO. What does each of them do?

What does the FSB do?

The FSB is a federal service that performs various law enforcement functions. Mainly - related to ensuring the safety of citizens of the Russian Federation. The activities of the FSB are regulated by a separate federal law.

In order to fulfill its functions, the FSB has the right to initiate investigative measures, inquiries, carry out operational-search, counterintelligence activities. The FSB solves tasks related to countering terrorism, guarding borders and protecting information, and carries out anti-corruption measures.

As part of counterintelligence work, the FSB is engaged in detecting, preventing and suppressing the activities of foreign intelligence services and persons accountable to them on the territory of Russia - if these activities are aimed at causing damage to the security of the Russian Federation.

It can be noted that in the structure of the FSB there are separate special forces that specifically oppose the CIA - the largest intelligence structure in the United States.

Within the framework of intelligence itself, the FSB obtains information necessary for solving a variety of tasks. This area of ​​activity of the FSB is carried out on the territory of the Russian Federation. While foreign intelligence is under the jurisdiction of another federal structure - SVR.

Within the framework of combating crime and terrorism, the FSB is engaged in such activities as:

  1. conducting operational-search activities aimed at revealing the facts of terrorist activity;
  2. identification of persons related to criminal structures and terrorist organizations;
  3. detection and suppression of the activities of armed formations;
  4. identification and suppression of the activities of various persons aimed at illegal changes in the state system of the Russian Federation.

In the competence of the FSB - the protection of state borders. Within the framework of the relevant area of ​​activity, the federal service under consideration:

  • exercises control over the crossing of the Russian border by citizens of the Russian Federation and other states;
  • ensures that citizens and organizations comply with the legislation of the Russian Federation regulating the procedure for crossing the country's border;
  • protects the economic and other interests of the Russian Federation within the territory of the Russian Federation, the exclusive economic zone of the state, as well as within the continental shelf of the country.

In the field of information security, the FSB:

  • contributes to the solution of state tasks in the field of information security, using available technological means - engineering, cryptographic;
  • provides data transmission over secure channels - also when using cryptographic and other special solutions;
  • carries out licensing of certain types of economic activities related to ensuring the protection of information, issues certificates to relevant organizations.

Consider the main facts from the history of the FSB.

Until December 1991, the functions corresponding to the FSB were performed by the KGB of the USSR. At the end of 1991, the KGB was abolished, and 2 structures were formed in its place - the Inter-Republican Security Service, as well as the Central Intelligence Service. By that time, the RSFSR Federal Security Agency was functioning in the RSFSR, which was formed instead of the KGB of the RSFSR, established in May 1991.

In 1992, AFB and SMB were abolished, and their functions were transferred to a new department - the Ministry of Security of the Russian Federation. In December 1993, this structure was abolished, and at the same time the Federal Counterintelligence Service was created. In 1995, the FSK was transformed into the FSB.

It is noteworthy that both military and civilian positions are envisaged in the personnel structure of the FSB. This service is directly subordinate to the President of the Russian Federation, who, as you know, is both a civilian and the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces at the same time.

What does the FSO do?

FSO is also the federal service of the Russian Federation. Its functions are mainly associated with the implementation of state protection of persons holding the highest state positions in Russia. When carrying out its functions, the FSO can conduct operational-search activities.

The main tasks that the FSO solves are as follows:

  • ensuring the safety of various objects under state protection at their locations, as well as on the tracks that lead to them;
  • monitoring of threats to the interests of objects under state protection, implementation of measures related to the prevention of relevant threats;
  • warning, detection of encroachments on the security of protected objects, suppression of the activities of violators;
  • protection of objects through permitted methods;
  • countering terrorism - within the scope of the statutory powers;
  • providing secure communications for government authorities;
  • ensuring the protection of information used by power structures - including state secrets;
  • countering foreign technical intelligence;
  • information and technical support of government agencies, the introduction of the necessary resources to improve the protection of data used by government agencies;
  • information and technical support of situational centers formed during emergencies;
  • ensuring your own safety.

As in the case of the FSB, the personnel structure of the FSO provides for both military and civilian positions.

The history of the development of the FSO is remarkable. As in the situation with the FSB, it dates back to the times of the USSR. The functions, which generally corresponded to what we have considered above, were performed by the 9th department of the KGB.

In 1990, this structure was transformed into the KGB Security Service. In 1991, it was removed from the subordination of the KGB and became an independent entity - the Security Directorate, accountable to the Office of the President of the USSR.

Also in 1991, his own security structure was established by the President of the RSFSR. However, at the end of the year, it was liquidated and gave way to a new structure - the Main Directorate of Security, also under the jurisdiction of the USSR. Later, this organization became the GUO of Russia.

In 1994, the Main Directorate of the Russian Federation was included in the federal government. In 1995, the structure passed into the jurisdiction of the Security Service of the President of the Russian Federation - in accordance with the provisions of a separate federal law.

In 1996, another Federal Law was issued, which established that the FSO became the legal successor of the Main Directorate of the Russian Federation. The GDO was renamed accordingly. The new structure subsequently included the Presidential Security Service.

In its modern form, the FSO has been functioning since 2004, when the Regulation on the FSO was adopted in Russia as an independent legal act. It can be noted that the Special Communications Service, which had functioned before, received the status of a structural unit of the FSO.

The considered federal structure, like the FSB, is accountable to the President of the Russian Federation. Normative legal acts directly regulating the work of the FSO, the structure of this department are approved with the participation of the head of the Russian state.

The Government of Russia also takes part in the work of the FSO, coordinating the activities of the FSO in the process of interaction of the department with various federal structures.


The main difference between the FSB and the FSO is in the field of activity. The FSB is engaged in ensuring the security of the entire population of the country as a whole, and the FSO concentrates its work in the framework of the protection of mainly state officials. The FSB has a number of specific competencies that the FSO does not have, such as, for example, carrying out counterintelligence activities, ensuring border protection.

FSB and FSO are at the same level in the system of state power of the Russian Federation. Both structures are subordinate to the President of Russia. FSB and FSO - services that emerged from the KGB of the USSR.

Having considered the difference between the FSB and the FSO, we will reflect the conclusions in the table.


What do they have in common?
Withdrew from the KGB of the USSR
Are federal services - are at the same level in the system of public administration of the Russian Federation
Accountable to the President of Russia
What is the difference between them?
Ensures the safety of citizens of the Russian Federation as a wholeConcentrates efforts on ensuring mainly the safety of persons holding senior government positions
Participates in border protectionIn general, does not participate in border protection
Is engaged in counterintelligenceIn general, does not engage in counterintelligence