The Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation or SVR is Russia's external intelligence agency, mainly for civilian affairs. The SVR RF succeeded the First Chief Directorate (PGU) of the KGB in December 1991. The headquarters of SVR are in the Yasenevo District of Moscow.

Unlike the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), the SVR is tasked with intelligence and espionage activities outside the Russian Federation. It works together with the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), its military affairs espionage counterpart that reportedly deployed six times as many spies in foreign countries as the SVR in 1997. The SVR is also authorized to negotiate anti-terrorist cooperation and intelligence-sharing arrangements with foreign intelligence agencies, and provides analysis and dissemination of intelligence to the Russian president.[1]

SVR in literature Edit

The SVR is introduced in the first novel and it has an important role in the Red Sparrow trilogy. The organization is linked to characters such as Vanya, Dominika Egorova and Alexei Zyuganov. Similar to the CIA, the SVR has many stations around the world; those are called rezidenturas. When Dominika was assigned to elicit information from Nate Nash, she worked at the SVR's Helsinki rezidentura, runned by Maxim Volontov.

Officers from the SVR are usually trained by the Academy of Foreign Intelligence. The majority of the trainees of the AVR are male. The course is made of theorical classes about secret services, the URSS and the history of Russia. The practical classes simulates meetings with secret agents and teaches how to development strategies of recruitment and write codefied messages.

Personnel Edit

Division / Rezidentura Location Personnel
SVR RF Moscow (Russia)
Directorate KR


Americas Division Moscow
Helsinki Rezidentura Helsinki (Finland)

SVR in film Edit

Since the Red Sparrow film was set in Budapest, the Helsinki rezidentura, as well as other locations from the novels were adapted to be set in Hungary instead. The Helsinki rezidentura building was set in the Slovak Radio Building in Bratislava, a pyramid shaped building.[2]

References Edit

  1. Wikipedia: Foreign Intelligence Service (Russia)
  2. Atlas of Wonders: Where was Red Sparrow filmed?