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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June, 2007


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    Vasili Mitrokhin provides a detailed account of the KGB active measures in the case of Vladimir Dremluga, codenamed “Osot.”
    "Disarming 'Osot' ideologically, 1963-73. Folder 12. The Chekist Anthology.," June, 2007, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Contributed to CWIHP by Vasili Mitrokhin.
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Vasiliy Mitrokhin provides a detailed account of the KGB active measures in the case of Vladimir Dremluga, codenamed “Osot.” In 1963, at the age of 23, Dremluga was put on probation for his repeated attempts to leave the country. In 1964, Dremluga enrolled in the Leningrad University where he met Pyotr Yakir and Viktor Krasin, the leading members of the samizdat journal Chronicle of Current Affairs. A year later, Dremluga was dismissed from the University for indecent behavior. In 1968, he was sentenced to three years in jail for acting inimically to the country. While in prison, Dremluga did not disavow his anti-Soviet beliefs. Upon his release in 1971 he was sentenced again. During his second imprisonment in Yakutia, the KGB decided to proceed with active measures against Dremluga. Dremluga's second prison term had no impact on his overt anti-Soviet statements. However, he became reclusive, exercising more caution and deliberation in making new acquaintances. The next step for the KGB was to introduce him to agent “Mayskiy” (May). Agent Mayskiy reported that Dremluga's lengthy imprisonment had restricted his communication with friends in Moscow who shared his beliefs. He actively sought ways to reconnect with them. The KGB's plan was to initiate a “postal chain” for Dremluga to supposedly reestablish his channels of communication. Agent Mayskiy offered Dremluga to correspond with his peers in Moscow through Svetlana, Mayskiy's friend in Yakutsk who had an acquaintance in Moscow. Svetlana was to be reached through “Maslova,” allegedly a teacher at the prisoner's night school. In fact, all correspondence went directly to the KGB. By means of such “postal chain,” the KGB was able to work out Yakir and Krasin and, consequently, press criminal charges against them. In his written conversations, Dremluga continued to express anti-Soviet opinions. But his convictions were soon undermined by the Yakir and Krasin's trial and letters he received from the operatives in Moscow, depicting a tragic defeat of the democratic movement. Dremluga became uncertain and wavering. Having isolated Dremluga from his like-minded friends, the KGB then insisted that he repent and publicly condemn his own anti-Soviet actions. For fear of reprisal, Dremluga eventually renounced his views and condemned his activity.


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