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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June, 2007

THE VERNII (DEVOTED) CASE. FOLDER 92. THE CHEKIST ANTHOLOGY.

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    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.
    "The Vernii (Devoted) Case. Folder 92. The Chekist Anthology.," June, 2007, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Contributed to CWIHP by Vasili Mitrokhin. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110783
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