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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 20, 1945

SOVIET STATE DEFENSE COMMITTEE EDICT NO. GKO-9887SS/OP

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    Instructions for the creation of a Special Committee which would supervise nuclear research and development of an atomic bomb.
    "Soviet State Defense Committee Edict No. GKO-9887ss/op," August 20, 1945, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Published in the July-August 1995 issue of Voenno-istoricheskii zhurnal (“Military-Historical Journal”), pp. 65-67. Translated for CWIHP by Mark Kramer. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117039
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TOP SECRET SPECIAL DOSSIER

STATE DEFENSE COMMITTEE EDICT No. GKO-9887ss/op

20 August 1945

Moscow, the Kremlin.

On a Special Committee Under the GKO’s

Auspices

The State Defense Committee orders:

1. That a Special Committee be formed under the GKO’s auspices consisting of C[omra]des.:

1. Beria, L. P. (chairman)

2. Malenkov, G. M.

3. Voznesenskii, N. A.

4. Vannikov, B. L.

5. Zavenyagin, A. P.

6. Kurchatov, I. V.

7. Kapitsa, P. L.

8. Makhnev, V. A.

9. Pervukhin, M. G.

2. That the GKO’s Special Committee be empowered to supervise all work on the use of atomic energy of uranium:

— the development of scientific research in this sphere;

— the broad use of geological surveys and the establishment of a resource base for the USSR to obtain uranium, as well as the exploitation of uranium deposits outside the USSR (in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and other countries);

— the organization of industry to process uranium and to produce special equipment and materials connected with the use of atomic energy; and

— the construction of atomic energy facilities, and the development and production of an atomic bomb.

3. That a Technical Council be created under the GKO’s Special Committee to conduct a preliminary examination of scientific and technical matters submitted for review by the Special Committee, as well as an examination of plans for scientific research and accounts for it, plus technical designs of installations, structures, and facilities for the use of atomic energy of uranium. The Council will consist of the following:

1. Vannikov, B. L. (chairman)

2. Alikhanov, A. I. — academician (scientific secretary)

3. Voznesenskii, I. N. — corresponding member, USSR Academy of Sciences

4. Zavenyagin, A. P.

5. Ioffe, A. F. — academician

6. Kapitsa, P. L. — academician

7. Kikoin, I. K. — corresponding member, USSR Academy of Sciences

8. Kurchatov, I. V. — academician

9. Makhnev, V. A.

10. Khariton, Yu. B. — professor

11. Khlopin V. G. — academician

4.  That a special directorate be organized under the USSR Council of People’s Commissars—the First Main Directorate of the USSR CPC, subordinated to the GKO’s Special Committee—to exercise direct supervision over scientific research, development, and design organizations and industrial enterprises for the use of atomic energy of uranium and the production of atomic bombs.

5. That the GKO’s Special Committee be obligated to devise a work plan for the Committee and the First Main Directorate of the USSR CPC and measures to carry out this plan, and to present it to the Chairman of the GKO for approval.

6. That the GKO’s Special Committee take operative measures to ensure the fulfillment of tasks assigned to it under the present edict; that it promulgate directives requiring fulfillment by agencies and departments; and that when a government decision is needed, the GKO’s Special Committee should presents its recommendations directly for the approval of the Chairman of the GKO.

The GKO’s Special Committee will have its own staff and funding estimates and an expense account at the USSR State Bank.

7. That the GKO’s Special Committee define and approve for the First Main Directorate of the USSR CPC the level of funding, the size of the workforce, and the volume of material-technical resources that it requires, so that USSR Gosplan can include these resources in the spending category listed as “Special Exenditures of the GKO.”

8. That the chairman of USSR Gosplan, Cde. N. A. Voznesenskii, organize within Gosplan a directorate to help carry out the assignments of the GKO’s Special Committee.

That the dep. chairman of USSR Gosplan, Cde. N. A. Borisov, be placed in charge of the aforementioned directorate, and that he be relieved of other work for Gosplan and the GKO.

9.  That the financial expenditures and upkeep of the GKO’s Special Committee, of the First Main Directorate of the USSR CPC, of the First Main Directorate’s scientific research, design, and engineering organizations and industrial enterprises, as well as the work carried out by other agencies and departments at the behest of the Directorate, are to be included in the union budget through the category “Special Expenditures of the GKO.”

That financing of capital construction for the First Main Directorate be carried out through the State Bank.

That the First Main Directorate and the institutes and enterprises under its auspices be freed from the registration of staffs in financial organs.

10.  That Cde. B. L. Vannikov be confirmed as the deputy chairman of the GKO’s Special Committee and director of the First Main Directorate of the USSR CPC, and that he be discharged from his duties as People’s Commissar of Munitions.

That the following be approved as deputy directors of the Main Directorate:

— A. P. Zavenyagin — first deputy

— N. A. Borisov — deputy

— P. Ya. Meshik — deputy

— P. Ya. Antropov — deputy

— A. G. Kasatkin — deputy.

11.  That the First Main Directorate of the USSR CPC and its enterprises and institutes, as well as work carried out by other agencies and departments for it, are to be controlled by the GKO’s Special Committee.

Without special permission from the GKO, no organizations, institutes, or individuals have any right whatsoever to interfere in the administrative or operational activities of the First Main Directorate and its enterprises and institutes, or to demand information about its work or work carried out at the behest of the First Main Directorate. All records of such work are to be directed only to the GKO’s Special Committee.

12.  That within 10 days the Special Committee be instructed to provide recommendations for approval by the Chairman of the GKO concerning the transfer of all necessary scientific, design, engineering, and production organizations and industrial enterprises to the First Main Directorate of the USSR CPC, and to affirm the structure, organization, and number of workers on the staffs of the Committee and the First Main Directorate of the USSR CPC.

13.  That Cde. Beria be instructed to take measures aimed at organizing foreign intelligence work to gain more complete technical and economic information about the uranium industry and about atomic bombs.  He is empowered to supervise all intelligence work in this sphere carried out by intelligence organs (NKGB, RUKA, etc.).

Chairman of the State Defense Committee

J. STALIN

Distributed to Cdes.:

Beria, Molotov, Voznesenskii, Malenkov, Mikoyan:  all points; Borisov:

8, 10; Zverev, Golev:  9; Meshik, Abakumov, Antropov, Kasatkin:  10; Pervukhin:  1, 10;  Merkulov, Kuznetsov (RUKA):  13; Chadaev:  4, 9, 10, 11.