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  • June, 2007

    KGB Practices. Folder 70. The Chekist Anthology.

    This entry contains brief descriptions of a variety of KGB operations carried out between the early 1960’s and late 1970’s, and provides a sampling of the kinds of operations that were common in that era. Operation “Grom” [“Thunder”] involved fabricating a US State Department memo on Soviet citizens’ inclination towards treason. The memo discussed ways in which the US could exploit this tendency to its advantage. It was published on the front page of the British newspaper “Daily Express.” A pamphlet created by the KGB and attributed to the terrorist organization ‘BAS’ (South Tyrolean Liberation Committee) was introduced as evidence in the trial of BAS leader Norbert Burger in Austria. In July 1976 the KGB residency in Singapore spied on Chess Grandmaster Boris Spassky during his visit to Singapore, and noted in its report that he spent much of his free time on the tennis court. The KGB created and disseminated a letter, ostensibly from nationalist Ukrainian emigrants, protesting the French government’s cooperation with Zionists, and threatening reprisals against French Zionists. The KGB residency in Austria organized operation “Bonga” [“Bigwig”] in which forged letters from Chairman Mao were produced. These letters indicated that Mao himself had essentially organized the opposition to Hua Guofeng’s reforms, and that Hua might lead China to a revisionist course. In March 1977, the newspaper of the Austrian Communist Party printed a translation of a secret Chilean document in which the Chilean secret police asked Gen. Augusto Pinochet for additional funds to carry out undercover operations abroad. Pinochet’s reply contained a harsh rebuke for the request, and a strong admonishment against engaging in clandestine operations abroad. Mitrokhin did not mention where the document came from, nor did he state whether it was authentic or a forgery.

  • June, 2007

    Counter-Intelligence Protection, 1971. Folder 97. The Chekist Anthology.

    Information on KGB counter-intelligence surveillance of Soviet tourists vacationing in other socialist countries who had contact with foreigners. The document states that Western intelligence services organized “friendship meetings” through tourist firms to meet Soviet citizens, gauge their loyalty to the USSR, and obtain political, economic, and military intelligence. KGB counter-intelligence paid particular attention to Soviet citizens who were absent from their groups, took side trips to different cities or regions, made telephone calls to foreigners, or engaged in “ideologically harmful” conversations in the presence of foreigners. Mirokhin regrets that the KGB underestimated the strengths and methodology of Western intelligence services. He concludes that the KGB should have adopted some of the same methods, and targeted Western tourists visiting socialist countries.

  • June, 2007

    By way of introduction. Folder 5. The Chekist Anthology.

    Contains Vasili Rozanov’s brief personal observations of the first years of Lenin’s regime. Rozanov, Russian writer and philosopher, describes the creation of the early police agencies that emerged between 1917 and 1918. Among the first military and police institutions set up across Russian cities by Lenin’s Bolshevik government were the Military-Revolutionary Committee (Vojenno-revolutsyonnyj komitet, VRK) and the Union of People’s Commissioners (Sovet Narodnyh Komisarov, SNK). These agencies aimed to bring anti-Soviet newspapers and publications under government control. All bourgeois and Menshevik publications were to be shut down. On 20 December 1918, the SNK established a special commission entitled the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission (Vserossiyskaya chrezvychajnaya komissiya). The commission’s core function was to combat counterrevolution and sabotage. Mitrokhin quotes Rozanov as having written that every new recruit of the Extraordinary Commission had to “disavow one’s own will and be subordinate to duty alone.” Lenin’s policy was to achieve unconditional and unquestioning obedience so that no decision could be taken without directives from the Party. According to Mitrokhin, Rozanov also indicates that in 1921 Lenin viewed freedom of speech as a political tool of bourgeois. In 1922, during the drafting of the Penal Code of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Lenin advised Kurskiy, RSFSR Justice Commissioner (Narkom justisyj), to impose the highest degree of punishment for involvement in propaganda and agitation. Lenin sought to avoid the mistakes of the Paris Commune, which, he believed, had closed down bourgeois newspapers too late. Written by Rozanov in 1919, this personal account begins with a literary introduction that depicts the first years of Lenin’s regime as an “iron curtain descending upon Russian History.”

  • June, 2007

    Aleksandr Antonov, 1917-1921 case. Folder 7. The Chekist Anthology.

    Contains a detailed account of the Tambov Province peasant revolt. The article narrowly focuses on the causes of the revolt, Aleksandr Antonov’s biography, and the NKVD efforts to suppress the revolt. In 1919-1921, a forced systematic collection of peasant food and supplies coupled with high taxes contributed to an atmosphere of unrest in Tambov Province. Together with several followers, Aleksandr Antonov launched a resistance movement directed against Bolshevism. In 1919, Antonov trained 150 men in the art of war and the number of followers grew rapidly since then. Having penetrated Antonov’s inner circle and arrested some of the key figures of the organized resistance movement in Tambov, the NKVD eventually put down the revolt.

  • June, 2007

    Operation "LES" (The Forest). The 1940-50 MGB Operation Against Moldavian "Freedom Party." Folder 8. The Chekist Anthology.

    In the post-WWII period there were approximately 30 active anti-Soviet organizations in Moldova. Operation “LES” aimed at the elimination of the “Freedom Party” that existed from 1949 until 1950. “Freedom Party” was established in May 1949 by brothers Istratiy and Viktor Andreev. It was divided into separate cells of five members. Each member created their own cell, and each cell had its own leader. The organization networked with nationalist groups throughout Moldova and western Ukraine, where it often purchased ammunition and enlisted nationalist-minded partisans. According to its charter, the core function of the “Freedom Party” was to restore people’s freedom and guarantee the return of monarchy. By 1950, the operation “LES” involved more than 20 KGB agents. Agents “Moriak,” (Sailor) “Busuioc,” (Basil) and “Vernyj” (Trustworthy) were among the KGB’s main informants. At the time of their arrest on 5 June 1950, the anti-Soviet formation “Freedom Party” had 33 members.

  • June, 2007

    The Solzhenitsyn Case. Folder 40. The Chekist Anthology

    In this entry Mitrokhin states that in 1974 the KGB prepared a plan to repress Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s anti-soviet activities in the West. The plan emphasized the importance of separating Solzhenitsyn from his supporters as well as using their testimony from interrogations against Solzhenitsyn. KGB chief Yuri Andropov approved this plan on September 19, 1974. Mitrokhin provides two pages of the signed plan in this entry, where Solzhenitsyn’s code-name was “Spider.” In 1975 the KGB prepared a more detailed and specific plan to take Solzhenitsyn’s activities under control. It was also crucially important to control the context of “The Continent” magazine. The plan called for KGB agents in the West to publish provocative materials about Solzhenitsyn that would give the impression that he was an undercover agent for the KGB. The plan was prepared by the First, the Second, and the Fifth Chief Directorates of the KGB. The plan is provided by Mitrokhin in the entry. In 1978, when Solzhenitsyn delivered his speech at Harvard University, the KGB was very pleased with its turnout and used it against him in his further anti-socialist activities. Representatives of the KGB in the Soviet Union and the Ministry for State Security of East Germany prepared operation “Vampire – 1.” This operation was focused on publishing many materials about “Spider” that would put him in a compromising position in the West. In 1978 “Neue Politik,” a western German magazine, published an article “Confessions of an agent “Vetrov,” also known as Solzhenitsyn” stating that Solzhenitsyn had been an active KGB undercover agent. This article was published in major magazines and newspapers in many Western countries. Mitrokhin states that this provocative publication almost ended Solzhenitsyn’s career.

  • June, 2007

    The Pathfinders (the Sinyavsky-Daniel show trial. Folder 41. The Chekist Anthology

    In this case Mitrokhin provides a history of the Sinyavsky-Daniel show trial. Between 1959 and 1962 two unknown Russian authors (pseudonyms Tertz and Arzhak) published two anti-soviet books, “This is Moscow Speaking” and “The Trial Begins,” in Western countries. The KGB was not familiar with the authors and did not know where they lived. According to Mitrokhin, KGB agent “Efimov” discovered that a litterateur from Moscow, Yuliy Daniel, had some anti-soviet materials. In the beginning of 1964 the analysis of all available information proved that Daniel was the author of “This is Moscow Speaking” and that his pseudonym was Arzhak. It was soon discovered that Tertz, whose real name was Sinyavsky, was Arzhak’s close friend. The KGB began a new operation “The Imitators,” which helped to learn about their connections abroad, new works in progress, places where authors kept their original writings as well as the means they used to send their literature to the West. Mitrokhin states that KGB agents had difficulties working because Sinyavsky once was an agent for the KGB, so he was familiar with all of the techniques. In September 1965, after the KGB collected all of the necessary information, a criminal case was opened. Sinyavsky and Daniel were arrested. Mitrokhin provides details of the investigation process. In February 1966 the Supreme Court of the Soviet Union sentenced “the imitators.” Sinyavsky was sentenced to seven years in jail and Daniel was sentenced to five. After Sinyavsky served his time, he moved to France with his wife where he became well respected among immigrants. According to Mitrokhin, however, later on he lost that respect because he published a provocative book A Walk with Pushkin. Mitrokhin states that the KGB kept monitoring Sinyavsky’s activities throughout his career in France.

  • June, 2007

    Around the Nomination (The Case of Orlov). Folder 42. The Chekist Anthology

    In this folder Mitrokhin expresses the KGB’s concerns regarding the potential for Yuri Orlov’s nomination for a Nobel Prize. Orlov was well known in the Soviet Union for his dissident activities and for organizing the Moscow Helsinki Group to monitor Soviet adherence to the 1975 Helsinki Accords. According to Mitrokhin, he openly supported all anti-soviet groups and organized public protests for the Soviet human rights movement. As the KGB was concerned, they made many efforts to take the movement under control, but these did not lead to success. Mitrokhin provides examples of the KGB’s attempts to stop Orlov’s activism. Mitrokhin states that the West, however, was in extreme support of Orlov’s ideology. In order to help his movement to gain more influence, Western officials nominated Orlov for the Nobel Prize in 1978. The KGB immediately developed a complex plan to assure Nobel officials that Orlov did not deserve the prize and that it would have been unfavorable for the prestige of the Nobel Prize if Orlov was awarded it. Mitrokhin states that KGB chief Yuri Andropov took control over the operation because Orlov winning the prize would have been crucially harmful for the Soviet political system. Mitrokhin provides the detailed plan in this entry. A KGB resident in Oslo sent an urgent telegram to Moscow on October 27, 1978 stating that Anwar El Sadat and Menachem Begin became laureates of the Nobel Peace prize. Mitrokhin provides full telegram text in this entry and also states that the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed his satisfaction with the fact that Orlov did not win the prize because it would have negatively affected relations between the two countries.

  • June, 2007

    The Tanov Case. Folder 43. The Chekist Anthology.

    In this entry Mitrokhin describes the essential role that the KGB agent Tanov played in repressing the dissident movement in the Soviet Union in the late 1960s. Mitrokhin states that Tanov had important connections and was a trusted person among Soviet dissidents which helped him to receive important information about their activities. Tanov’s primary target was Orlova who was friends with many dissidents in the U.S.S.R. and in the West. She introduced Tanov to many of her acquaintances, which helped him to broaden his connections. Mitrokhin partially focuses on describing how Tanov gained trust among anti-soviet activists. Mitrokhin also states that because of Tanov’s critical role, the KGB was able to establish a detailed list of dissidents, their activities, connections, places where they met as well as personal portraits

  • June, 2007

    "The Kontinent" magazine. Folder 45. The Chekist Anthology.

    In this folder Mitrokhin provides the KGB plan to limit the influence of “The Kontinent” magazine on the dissidents’ movement in the West and in the Soviet Union.

  • June, 2007

    The Logician (The Zinoviev’s Case). Folder 46. The Chekist Anthology.

    In this short entry, Mitrokhin claims that the Fifth Chief Directorate of the KGB handled the case of Alexander Zinoviev. Zinoviev was an author of anti-soviet books, including "Yawning Heights" and "Bright Future." Mitrokhin states that Zinoviev was stripped of his Doctorate of Philosophy and also expelled from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union for his anti-socialist publications. His KGB code-name was “Logician.” In November, 1978 the KGB residency in Bonn was ordered to monitor Zinoviev’s activities after he immigrated there.

  • June, 2007

    Practicing Psychiatry for Political Purposes. Folder 28. The Chekist Anthology.

    According to Mitrokhin, psychiatry was used against people who promoted anti-socialist ideology. Mitrokhin provides the cases of Eugene Nikolaev and Vladimir Borisov who were forced to stay in psychiatric hospitals for their “incorrect political beliefs.” Nikolaev later wrote a book "The Betrayal of Hippocrates" where he described all of the methods used by doctors to change his views opposing the Soviet system. Mitrokhin reports that in 1975 the KGB became aware of the negative stands of the West on dissidents’ psychiatric treatment in the Soviet Union. They stated that Soviet policies neglected human rights. In December of the same year, the KGB prepared a plan, a copy of which is provided by Mitrokhin in the note, to eliminate the anti-soviet campaign that discredited the practice of psychiatry for political purposes. The KGB’s goal was to create the illusion that psychiatry was only used for legitimate medical reasons. The KGB officials started intensively expanding relations between foreign and Soviet doctors, organized numerous conferences and symposiums, and created an exchange program for neurologists in order to reach their goal. “Professor,” a trusted agent of the KGB, was ordered to collect materials about the abuse of psychiatry in capitalistic countries.

  • June, 2007

    The Campaign against Soviet Economic Policy. Folder 31. The Chekist Anthology

    Mitrokhin states that in 1978 the West attempted to gain influence over Soviet fiscal policy because the U.S.S.R. was in opposition to the Helsinki Accords. Soviet officials ensured the Soviet public that any attempts by the West to change the socialist system in the country would not affect domestic politics in any way. However, it would negatively affect the development of relations between the West and the East and would damage international economic and trade cooperation. According to Mitrokhin, the Soviet administration was especially concerned with Carter’s efforts to end any kind of collaboration with the Soviet Union. Mitrokhin provides a detailed plan prepared by Soviet officials to stop the anti-socialist campaign in the West that was led by the Carter administration.

  • June, 2007

    An Illegal Trainer (KGB history of agent "Halef"). Folder 60. The Chekist Anthology.

    Describes training techniques used by the KGB in logistical preparation of their operatives for assignments abroad. This article focuses on the employment history of the KGB agent codenamed “Halef.” Between 1955 and 1967, Halef was stationed in Hong Kong and Tokyo. In 1967, due to his insignificant feedback and a weak performance as a field operative, Halef was transferred back as a trainer. As a trainer, Halef traveled extensively. While in the United States, the KGB developed a fictitious identity for Halef – a so-called legend-biography – in case his activity aroused suspicion and he were detained by authorities. In the United States, France and Mexico, Halef’s objectives included developing and testing means of communication with the KGB, which could be used to inform the KGB of an operative’s arrival to and departure from a country, request a meeting, or announce an emergency. In addition to assessing the existing signal language used among operatives, the KGB also instructed Halef to collect the data necessary to set up new surveillance locations in a number of countries. In 1977, Halef was performing assignments in Pakistan and Burma. In 1978, he and his wife were engaged in assignments throughout the USSR. From the USSR, they were relocated to the GDR and then to Bulgaria, where they boarded a cruise ship going from Varny to Suhumi to survey the ports of the Black Sea basin. Traveling through Odessa, Halef photographed military vessels and observed the procedures of the border patrol and customs officers.

  • June, 2007

    The Case of Hmelyova: "The Witch." Folder 37. The Chekist Anthology

    In this entry, Mitrokhin relates the KGB details surrounding “The Witch”—Aida Moiseeva Hmelyova (b. 1936), a native of the Kokchetavskii region in Russia. Mitrokhin describes how Hmelyova was investigated by Moscow’s Fifth Directorate of the KGB which shadowed her throughout 1969.

  • June, 2007

    The Yuri Case. Folder 91. The Chekist Anthology.

    In this entry, Mitrokhin draws upon KGB sources to describe Yuri Velichkov Bagomil Stanimerov (b.1941), a Bulgarian citizen who graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1968. Stanimerov was recruited by the Bulgarian branch of the KGB in 1970, and became a resident of Sweden in 1972. Mitrokhin’s summary of KGB documents indicates that in April 1974, CIA officer Huey Walter “Hearst” made Stanimerov an offer in the name of the National Security Council. While Stanimerov refused the offer, he told Hearst that he would continue collaborating with him. Stanimerov subsequently traveled to many foreign countries, but the Americans no longer expressed interest in him. In 1975, Stanimerov was sent to work in the Bulgarian embassy in the United States. The Americans began to train Stanimerov as a spy and tried to ideologically convert him. The Mitrokhin account posits that the KGB gave Stanimerov instructions in case the latter succeeded in infiltrating the CIA. In 1978, the KGB received information regarding the fact that Stanimerov was being investigated by the FBI for his ties with the Bulgarian intelligence services

  • June, 2007

    The Vernii (Devoted) Case. Folder 92. The Chekist Anthology.

    In this entry, Mitrokhin draws upon KGB files to describe Ivan Illarionovich Ortinskii-“Vernii” (b. 1922), a native of the Lvov region, Ukraine. A priest in a Greco-Catholic church, Vernii pursued his religious studies at the Vatican and lectured at a seminary in Rome in 1964. Beginning in 1973, Vernii lived in Ingolstadt, Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). According to the entry, the KGB established contact with Vernii when the latter visited his parents and kin in Lvov in 1968. In 1971, Vernii was recruited as an agent by the KGB branch of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Between 1971 and 1974, collaboration between Vernii and the KGB took place within the territory of the Ukrainian SSR. As an agent, Vernii provided the KGB with information regarding his church, and the leadership of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). Mitrokhin’s summary of KGB documents indicates that Vernii transmitted information to the KGB through his sister, Ukrainian SSR agent “Chestnaya” (born Ortinskaya). Mitrokhin concludes the entry by stating that in 1978, Vernii informed the KGB from Vienna that he would no longer work as an agent, since he had aroused much suspicion within the Greco-Catholic Church.

  • June, 2007

    The Case of Dissident Velikanova. Folder 38. The Chekist Anthology

    In this entry, Mitrokhin describes how on November 1, 1979 KGB operatives arrested dissident Tatiana Mikhailova Velikanova. Mitrokhin relates that since Velikanova’s name was widely known outside Soviet borders, the KGB warned its resident agents abroad to adopt certain procedures in case of an emergency. Tatiana Mikhailova Velikanova (b.1932) was a highly-educated Russian and a mother of three. Beginning in the late 1960s, Velikanova actively participated in public anti-state demonstrations—particularly at the Pushkin Square in Moscow. Drawing upon KGB files, Mitrokhin mentions that in 1969, Velikanova became a member of the Initiative Group for the Defense of Human Rights, a club which according to the KGB, boasted Tatar autonomists, extreme nationalists, religious fanatics, and secessionists amongst its ranks. For more than ten years, Velikanova and her associates were producing anti-Soviet and politically harmful material, distributed to foreign publishing houses and radio stations. Under Velikanova’s initiative, The Chronicles of Current Events, a samizdat publication was issued in Moscow in 1974. The Chronicles described topics such as arrests, judiciary procedures, the pursuit of dissidents, and other aspects of political life in the Soviet Union. The periodical shed negative light on the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). By Mitrokhin’s account, although Velikanova had been officially sanctioned by the state with regards to continuing her work, she paid no heed to the warnings. In essence, Velikanova remained largely unmoved by the searches and interrogations subsequently conducted by the State Prosecutor’s Office. The KGB file stated that the West had helped Velikanova by supplying her with financial resources. Velikanova further received assistance from the Fund for Aiding Political Nonconformists. Velikanova’s file stated that she was being investigated by the KGB in accordance with the wishes of the Prosecutor’s Office.

  • June, 2007

    The Homyakov Case. Folder 87. The Chekist Anthology.

    In this entry, Mitrokhin draws upon KGB files to describe Martin Ole Heinstadt-“Homyakov” (b.1947), a citizen of Norway, and a secretary/archivist at the Norwegian Embassy in Moscow. According to the entry, the Second Chief Directorate (SCD) of the KGB sent one of its operatives, Valerii Evgenevich Zverev, to a function at the Norwegian embassy in Moscow in May 1971. Zverev had been sent to the embassy in order to strengthen ties with SCD KGB operative “Pavlov.” As a cover, Zverev had adopted the identity of a foreign correspondent. The entry states that during the May 1971 gathering, Zverev met Homyakov with whom he was subsequently able to meet regularly. Homyakov began to give Zverev information about official embassy business, including details regarding Soviet citizens and embassy visitors Mitrokhin’s summary of KGB documents indicates that in order to continue receiving information, the SCD KGB ensured that Homyakov and Zverev met in a secluded region, away from the eyes of foreign visitors. The SCD KGB sent operative Andrei Mikhailovich Agekyan, who acted as a mediator between Homyakov and Zverev. Agekyan presented himself as an attorney who was capable of resolving disagreements. The entry mentions that Agekyan was able to “rescue his friends from impending problems.” KGB sources, as described by Mitrokhin, state that there was an agreement with Homyakov regarding the means of establishing contact with the SCD while he was in Norway. From May 4 to September 3, 1972 Homyakov was again in Moscow, where he worked as a guard at the Norwegian embassy. In relocating Homyakov to Moscow, the SCD KGB was able to continue to maintain its operations in the Norwegian embassy, and receive key documents from the Norwegian military attaché. Homyakov was later arrested by Norwegian authorities for espionage.

  • June, 2007

    The Ezhov Case. Folder 85. The Chekist Anthology

    In this entry, Mitrokhin gives an account of KGB operative Peter Yots (codename “Ingo” or “Ezhov”), and his assignments within the FRG. The KGB file presents a brief biographical sketch of Yots who was born in 1937 in Berlin, and was trained as an electrical technician who specialized in deciphering coded radio transmissions and telegrams. Drawing upon KGB files, Mitrokhin asserts that Yots worked as an agent in the First Chief Directorate which sent him to West Germany in 1961 to fulfill the aims of operation “Glavnoiie.” The operation, according to the file, required Yots to monitor the movement of FRG forces and military equipment at the “Aizedlerhoff” railroad station. Yots was, nonetheless, soon relocated to Nuremberg where he took up a job as a lighting technician at a local theater. Between 1962 and 1964, Yots contributed to operation “Delta” from the island of Nidervert off the coast of Nuremberg. The KGB account relates that Yots was authorized by the First Chief Directorate to use necessary means to intercept telegraph messages and other communications, so as to inflict “maximum damage” upon the enemy. In 1967, Yots was relocated to Munich, where he became employed as a lighting technician at a local television station. One of Yots’ Munich missions, codenamed “Zarevo,” involved carrying out the surveillance of the “Alley Café”—a bar owned by Adolf and Mariette Laimer which was frequented by Americans. The KGB entry mentions that Yots also monitored the U.S Consulate and all surrounding public venues which attracted American diplomats and personnel. Yots was relocated by the First Chief Directorate to Czechoslovakia on August 2, 1968 but returned to Munich in 1969.