Main Intelligence Administration of the General Staff

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Retaining the same name and initials under both the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation, the Main Intelligence Administration of the General Staff (Russian: "Гла́вное Разве́дывательное Управле́ние", Glavnoye Razvedovatel'noye Upravlenie) is most often known in the West by the initials GRU.

Its mission, of serving military requirements at a national level, above the needs of specific armed services and regional commands, is shared by other national agencies such as Israeli Aman and the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. Its operating techniques, however, have some variance from Western agencies. It has always emphasized clandestine human-source intelligence, while its approximate counterparts tend to restrict their human source intelligence to that which supports counterintelligence. The counterparts also have strong analytic components, and often are responsible for some form of technical intelligence collection. DIA, for example, is the central point in the United States intelligence community for measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT), while it is unclear if Russia even recognizes MASINT, as opposed to individual MASINT techniques, as a discipline.