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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Project RYaN

Project RYaN was a KGB lead program to anticipate a "nuclear missile attack" (Raketno-Yadernoe Napadenie) on the Soviet Union. Beginning in 1981, the KGB operated a worldwide intelligence network to monitor indicators and assess the likelihood of a surprise nuclear missile attack launched by NATO. The collection contains translations of documents released by the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records (BStU) which show KGB/Stasi collaboration and casts an unprecedented light on the operational details, structure, and scope of the RYaN project. (Image: Andropov signs the 1973 agreement between the KGB and Stasi. BStU, MfS, ZAIG/Fo/740, Bild 82)

  • January 14, 1983

    Ministry of State Security (Stasi), Brief Note, 'Issues to Discuss with the Leadership of the KGB of the USSR'

    This brief note written by the Ministry of State Security includes a number of questions for the leadership of the KGB in the USSR, such as whether other elements, like military doctrine or emergency responses, should be examined as possible options for starting a war.

  • February 09, 1983

    Ministry of State Security (Stasi), 'Note About the Talks of Comrade Minister [Mielke] with the Chairman of the KGB, Comrade Chebrikov, in Moscow'

    This note on the talks between Minister Wolf and KGB Chairman Chebrikov contains heartfelt congratulations on cooperation thus far, but it also highlights problems with the situation and the importance of utilizing the potential of all fraternal organs to detect and prevent hostile plans and measures.

  • October 03, 1983

    Ministry of State Security (Stasi), 'Notes on Statements made by Comrade Colonel General Kryuchkov'

    These notes describe statements made by Colonel General Kryuchkov which outline the current state of Soviet institutions and intelligence networks in various regions, including Western Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the United States.

  • November 07, 1983

    Ministry of State Security (Stasi), 'About the Talks with Comrade V. A. Kryuchkov'

    This report describes conversations with Comrade Kryuchkov, coving a multitude of subjects, but delving briefly into the problem of "prevention of a surprise nuclear attack" (RYAN). Kryuchkov responded that this issue is being continually worked on, but no central decisions had been made as of yet.

  • November 26, 1984

    Committee for State Security (KGB), 'Indicators to Recognize Adversarial Preparations for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack'

    A catalog of indicators of NATO preparation for nuclear war that were monitored by Warsaw Pact intelligence services under Project RYaN. The activity is divided into the following areas: political and military, activities of intelligence services, civil defense, and economic.

  • February 15, 1985

    Ministry of State Security (Stasi), Order Number 1/85

    This order from the Ministry of State Security describes the tasks of the MfS units concerning efforts to uncover intentions of aggression and surprise military activities by western states and their allies, especially a surprise nuclear missile attack against the USSR.

  • June 10, 1985

    Speech, East German Minister of State Security Mielke, 'At the Enlarged Collegium Meeting on 7 June 1985 about Further Preparation of the XI SED Party Congress'

    This speech by East German Minister of State Security Mielke is about technological, intellectual, and ideological preparations for war by the west and how to uncover and organize indicators of a potential attack.

  • May 06, 1986

    Ministry of State Security (Stasi), 'Report on Development and Achieved State of Work Regarding Early Recognition of Adversarial Attack and Surprise Intentions (Complex RYAN)'

    This report by Ministry of State Security describes developments and achievements toward early recognition of a surprise nuclear missile attack on the USSR (Complex RYAN).

  • August, 1986

    Committee for State Security (KGB), 'About Results of Intelligence Activities to Note Indicators for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack'

    This report from the KGB contains results from intelligence activities conducted in August 1986 aimed at exposing indicators of a surprise nuclear missile attack on the USSR.

  • September, 1986

    Committee for State Security (KGB), 'About Results of Intelligence Activities to Note Indicators for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack'

    This report from the KGB contains results from intelligence activities conducted in September 1986 aimed at exposing indicators of a surprise nuclear missile attack on the USSR.

  • October, 1986

    Committee for State Security (KGB), 'About Results of Intelligence Activities to Note Indicators for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack'

    This report from the KGB contains results from intelligence activities conducted in October 1986 aimed at exposing indicators of a surprise nuclear missile attack on the USSR.

  • November 10, 1986

    Letter, East German Minister of State Security Mielke to KGB Chairman Viktor Chebrikov

    This letter, from East German Minister of State Security Mielke to KGB Chairman Chebrikov, requests a consultation on the development and continuation of Complex RYAN, especially on furthering collaboration between the MfS and KGB.

  • December, 1986

    Committee for State Security (KGB), 'About Results of Intelligence Activities to Note Indicators for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack'

    This report from the KGB contains results from intelligence activities conducted in December 1986 aimed at exposing indicators of a surprise nuclear missile attack on the USSR.

  • December 24, 1986

    Letter, KGB Chairman Chebrikov to East German Minister for State Security Mielke

    This letter by KGB Chairman Chebrikov responds to an earlier letter sent by East German Minister for State Security Mielke. In it, Chebrikov agrees to the proposed meeting between the MfS and the KGB on the subject of a sudden nuclear missile attack on the states of the socialist community.

  • January, 1987

    Committee for State Security (KGB), 'About Results of Intelligence Activities to Note Indicators for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack'

    This report from the KGB contains results from intelligence activities conducted in January 1987 aimed at exposing indicators of a surprise nuclear missile attack on the USSR.

  • January 20, 1987

    Ministry of State Security (Stasi), Plan for Consultations with the Delegation of the KGB

    This document is a plan for the consultations to take place in Berlin between the Stasi and the KBG. It includes objectives and proposed theses on the subject of early recognition of a sudden nuclear missile attack by the adversary.

  • February, 1987

    Committee for State Security (KGB), 'About Results of Intelligence Activities to Note Indicators for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack'

    This report from the KGB contains results from intelligence activities conducted in February 1987 aimed at exposing indicators of a surprise nuclear missile attack on the USSR.

  • April, 1987

    Committee for State Security (KGB), 'About Results of Intelligence Activities to Note Indicators for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack'

    This report from the KGB contains results from intelligence activities conducted in April 1987 aimed at exposing indicators of a surprise nuclear missile attack on the USSR.

  • June, 1987

    Committee for State Security (KGB), 'About Results of Intelligence Activities to Note Indicators for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack'

    This report from the KGB contains results from intelligence activities conducted in June 1987 aimed at exposing indicators of a surprise nuclear missile attack on the USSR.

  • July, 1987

    Committee for State Security (KGB), 'About Results of Intelligence Activities to Note Indicators for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack'

    This report from the KGB contains results from intelligence activities conducted in July 1987 aimed at exposing indicators of a surprise nuclear missile attack on the USSR.