Abbreviation of the Russian name of a predecessor agency to KGB foreign intelligence – the Foreign Department (Inostrannyi Otdel), from December 1920 until July 1934. The INO was established on December 20, 1920, initially within the VCheka, (an abbreviation for Vserossiiskaja chrezvychainaja komissija, or the All-Russian Emergency Commission), an early name for the Soviet state security agency. It was known as INO GPU (1922-1923) and INO OGPU (1923 to1934). Its initial task was to conduct intelligence operations regarding Russian emigre circles in the West. Later, the INO began sending its agents abroad to conduct political, scientific and technical, economic and military intelligence activities.