Foreign Intelligence Service Day in Kazakhstan Date in the current year: November 5, 2024

Foreign Intelligence Service Day in Kazakhstan Foreign Intelligence Service Day is an official professional holiday in Kazakhstan observed on November 5. It celebrates the employees of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Republic of Kazakhstan, also known as Syrbar, that was formed in 2009.

During the Soviet times, Kazakhstan’s foreign intelligence agencies were part of the foreign intelligence system of the USSR. The history of foreign intelligence and national security in the Soviet Union dates back to 1923, when the Joint State Political Directorate was formed. It was succeeded by the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD, 1934–1941), the Ministry of State Security, and, finally, the notorious Committee for State Security (KGB).

The First Main Directorate of the KGB was specifically responsible for foreign operations and intelligence activities. It trained and managed covert agents, as well as gathered intelligence for the Soviet Union. It was formed within the KGB in 1954. Additionally, each Soviet Republic, including the Kazakh SSR, had its own First Directorate of the republican KGB.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the First Directorate of the KGB of the Kazakh SSR was transformed into the Intelligence Directorate of the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In 1996, it was transformed into the Main Directorate of the National Security Committee, which only existed for one year. In 1998, it was succeeded by the Foreign Intelligence Service “Barlau” under the National Security Committee of Kazakhstan.

Finally, in 2009, Barlau was replaced by the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Republic of Kazakhstan “Syrbar”. Unlike its predecessor, Syrbar is directly subordinate and accountable to the President of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan’s Foreign Intelligence Service is considered an important part of the country’s state security system, as well as the most competent and classified national security agency of the republic of Kazakhstan.

The Syrbar service obtains intelligence information in the interests of Kazakhstan and reports it to the president, the government and the state bodies of Kazakhstan, carries out analytical assessment in various fields (politics, economy and finance, military affairs, science and technology, environment, etc.), and contributes to the development and implementation of the state policy in the sphere of national security.

In addition, the Foreign Intelligence Service of Kazakhstan is responsible for preventing damage to the national interests and state security, ensuring the security of the country’s diplomatic missions and their staff, coordinating the activities of other foreign intelligence agencies, and promoting the economic development, scientific and technological progress, and military security of Kazakhstan.

Foreign Intelligence Service Day of Kazakhstan is marked with special events, where employees of the Service receive congratulations from their superiors. The employees who’ve distinguished themselves, as well as veterans, are awarded with various medals and badges for their impeccable service and contribution to foreign intelligence.

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