A term of terror in the Soviet Union, the KGB was the Committee for State Security of the Soviet Union. Initially it was named the Cheka (Emergency Committee) and founded 20 December 1917, by the instruction of Vladimir Lenin. The Cheka was established by Felix Dzerzhinsky. The Cheka was tasked by the Soviet Politburo with arresting, torturing and executing many tens-of-thousands of dissidents, deserters, reactionaries and counter revolutionaries.
NKVD and the GULAG
In 1922 the Cheka was renamed the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs). The NKVD included the regular public police force of the USSR, including traffic police, border guards and archives. The NKVD is most notorious for running the GULAG forced labour camps, conducting mass extra-judicial executions, espionage, political assassinations and enforcing Stalinist policy within communist movements in other countries. GULAG was the acronym for Main Administration of Corrective Labour Camps.