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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June, 2007

SIGNS OF ANTI-SOVIETISM, 1972. FOLDER 21. THE CHEKIST ANTHOLOGY

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    On December 25, 1972 Presidium of the USSR Supreme Council granted the KGB authority to issue official warnings. The goal of the warnings was to prevent activities that threatened national security. Mitrokhin’s notes demonstrate that they were not intended as a punishment or penalty. The order of the Presidium provided for the use of the official warnings as a preventative measure.
    "Signs of Anti-Sovietism, 1972. Folder 21. The Chekist Anthology," June, 2007, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Contributed to CWIHP by Vasili Mitrokhin. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111108
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Preventative discussions with suspects involved interpretation of Soviet laws and explanation of potential consequences that could follow if anti-social activities were not immediately discontinued. Once issued, the official warnings of the KGB acquired the force of law. They were subsequently added to the KGB records and could be used as evidence in court.

Operative data, statements, and agent communiques could provide rationale for issuance of an official warning from the KGB. Article 2 of the Instructions for the Application of an Official Warning laid down the following basis for its use: a) production, possession, or distribution of politically harmful materials; b) oral dissemination of politically harmful pronouncements; c) participation in group activities violating social order, operation of a transport system, or state enterprises; d) contact with foreign citizens in cases when such contact is deemed to serve hostile purposes; e) entry, considered unlawful according to existing regulations, into embassies and other establishments representing capitalistic states, or residential buildings and vehicles belonging to their personnel; f) disclosure of secret and classified documentation.

In this folder, Mitrokhin states that the right to use official warnings was reserved only to senior officials of the KGB
On December 25, 1972 Presidium of the USSR Supreme Council granted the KGB authority to issue official warnings. The goal of the warnings was to prevent activities that threatened national security. Mitrokhin's notes demonstrate that they were not intended as a punishment or penalty. The order of the Presidium provided for the use of the official warnings as a preventative measure.

Directorates 3, 5, 7, 9, and a limited number of other departments. Deputies of the above mentioned officials were also authorized to decide on matters relating to the use of the official warnings. Such warnings could also be applied to persons without citizenship and foreign citizens without the privilege of extraterritoriality.

Mitrokhin lists criteria used to define hostile and anti-Soviet activity for which the official warnings could be issued.

The KGB had a unified accounting system that described reasons for and circumstances of committed crimes, and outlined preventative measures that had been used. According to Mitrokhin's summary of the 1977 statistical report accompanying the USSR criminal code, relating to section "Anti-Soviet Agitation and Propaganda," 89.9% of crimes were influenced by bourgeois radio misinformation, reading of politically harmful literature, and actions of hostile individuals. Included in the 1977 report is also an analysis of social status of many suspects and convicts, which contains such category as "kulak origins." The report provides additional indicators regarding reasons for anti-Soviet behavior beyond these examples.



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