Russian Military Intelligence: Background and Issues for Congress [November 24, 2020] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Introduction: "Russia's military intelligence agency is a large, expansive, and powerful organization responsible for the collection of foreign intelligence and the operation of Russia's special forces units ('voiska spetsialnogo naznacheniya', or 'spetsnaz'). Since 2010, its official title has been the Main Directorate ('Glavnoye upravleniye') of the General Staff, formally referred to in abbreviated form as the GU although commonly referred to as the GRU ('Glavnoye razvedyvatel'noye upravleniye', or Main Intelligence Directorate). Due to its operations and responsibilities, the GRU is one of the most well-known of Russia's intelligence agencies. It plays a large role in Russian foreign and security policy. By understanding the GRU and its operations, Members of Congress may gain greater insight into the conduct of Russian foreign and security policy, including the use of disinformation, propaganda, and cyber strategies. [...] This report focuses on the GRU's origins, missions, documented or reported operations, and related U.S. policy. It first addresses the GRU's history and background to provide context for understanding its organizational mindset and traditional responsibilities. It then examines the GRU's organizational structure; analyzes the GRU's various missions, including intelligence collection, control of 'spetsnaz' units, and cyber capabilities and operations; and addresses related U.S. policy and congressional action. The report concludes with a brief assessment of the GRU's future outlook."
CRS Report for Congress, R46616
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/