60th Anniversary of the First Main Directorate of KGB, commemorative badge, 1980.
Aluminum, paint, lacquer, 39.2 x 25.8 mm. Note that the badge shows the dates "1920-1980" and the traditional shield and sword emblem of the Soviet state security but doesn't mention the service or event it commemorates! The reverse has raised "MMD" logo of the Moscow Mint. Excellent condition.
The Soviet foreign intelligence service started its operations in 1920 under the name INO (Inostrannyi Otdel or "foreign department") of the NKVD. Throughout its history it was renamed a number of times becoming in February 1941 the First Directorate of the NKGB, and in 1952, First Main Directorate of MGB. After the turbulence following the death of Stalin and breakup of MGB it was briefly transferred to MVD (Ministry of Interior) but from 1954, the foreign intelligence remained under the control of the Committee for State Security. It is currently known as Sluzhba Vneshnei Razvedki (Foreign Intelligence Service) under the Russian FSB.
For obvious reasons, the First Main Directorate shunned limelight and during the Soviet period there were almost no badges specific to this service. The badge for the 60th anniversary is one of only two known exceptions, the other being the 50th anniversary badge. In all likelihood its recipients - most of whom were probably VIP veterans of the department - wouldn't usually wear the badge, at least among the uninitiated.
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