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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 25, 1981

REPORT MADE AT THE KGB PARTY CAUCUS MEETING BY YU. V. ANDROPOV, 'THE RESULTS OF 26TH CONGRESS OF THE CPSU AND TASKS FOR THE PARTY ORGANIZATION OF THE KGP THAT ENSUE FROM THE CPSU CONGRESS' DECISIONS AND THE CPSU CENTRAL COMMITTEE REPORT

This document was made possible with support from the Carnegie Corporation

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    In a report made on the behalf of the KGB, Andropov outlines the results of the 26th CPSU Congress, including the Congress' decisions on the 11th five-year plan, detente with imperialist countries, and the role and function of the KGB. Andropov approves the decisions taken by the Congress on behalf of the KGB.
    "Report Made at the KGB Party Caucus Meeting by Yu. V. Andropov, 'The Results of 26th Congress of the CPSU and Tasks for the Party Organization of the KGP that Ensue from the CPSU Congress' Decisions and the CPSU Central Committee Report," March 25, 1981, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, 'Deiatel'nost' Organov gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti SSSR na Sovremennom etape: Sbornik Dokumentov i materialov,' No. 15918, Vypusk 2 (Moskva: 1983), in GDA SBU, f. 13, o. 768, ll. 9-27. Obtained by Nate Jones and translated by Angela Greenfield. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/176633
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THE RESULTS OF 26th CONGRESS OF THE CPSU AND TASKS FOR THE PARTY ORGANIZATION OF THE KGB THAT ENSUE FROM THE CPSU CONGRESS’ DECISIONS AND THE CPSU CENTRAL COMMITTEE’S REPORT

REPORT MADE AT THE KGB PARTY CAUCUS MEETING BY THE MEMBER OF THE CPSU CENTRAL COMMITTEE’S POLITBURO, CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE FOR STATE SECURITY OF THE USSR (KGB), COMRAD Yu.V.ANDROPOV

March 25, 1981

Comrades,

It has been three weeks since the conclusion of the 26th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

The Supreme Forum of the CPSU worked for eight days discussing not only the most pressing issues in the life of the Party and the country, but also issues that are acknowledged as important and pressing worldwide, even in the country of most ardent adversaries of socialism.

The 26th Congress of the party once again demonstrated the triumph of Marxist-Leninist ideas in the specific actions of the soviet people. In these ideas, the party finds accurate answers to all questions posed by life, and uses them as a basis for determining reliable paths for achieving the target objectives.

The CPSU Central Committee’s Report to the 26th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union represents an example of the creative evolution of Marxism-Leninism. This document contains an amalgam of theory and practice, revolutionary impulse and sound judgment, adherence to high standards and optimism.

Using V.I.Lenin’s words, the party brought to its congress “thought through and carefully, by joint labor and joint efforts of all members of the party, processed practical experience of economic development.”[1] The Report, as well as other documents of the Congress, weigh in on the experience of building communism, analyze pressing issues of current development, and set forth concrete tasks in every aspect of domestic and foreign policies.

When charting the future objectives, the party makes the following two interconnected objectives the corner stone of [its plan]: the people’s prosperity and the enduring peace. Such was the mandate from the communists to the congress delegates. This mandate has been implemented in the comprehensive program of economic and social development of the country, as well as in the new foreign policy initiatives directed at maintaining and strengthening peace.

The noteworthy characteristic of the congress’ atmosphere in general was the sense of confidence in the historical correctness of our cause. This confidence is based in the strict scientificity of the course we follow, on the increased strength of the country, and on the truly limitless creative potential of the soviet people.

I would also like to mention one other aspect of the congress’ work – I am referring to the international resonance of its decisions. The revolutionary forces of the modern day see them as a powerful advance of socialism, as a manifestation of the commitment to the principles of proletarian internationalism.

The times are long in the past when the West expressed its disbelief in the realness of our plans. They are now carefully studying the new five-year plans. Business circles in their own merchant’s way are calculating what they can get in our country and what they can sell.

In the capitals of capitalist countries they are meticulously analyzing the foreign policy course set forth by the congress. And this fact is the confirmation of the great role that our country plays in the world arena, of the influence that the Soviet Union exercises over the hearts and minds of people around the world.

Life has proven correct the conclusion of the 25th Congress of the CPSU, that in the stage of developed socialism the role of the party in society would grow. The whole work of the congress, the horizons that it opens up, convincingly demonstrates that the party is at the top of its historic mission.

The communist party is developing alongside the Soviet society. It is growing, gaining strength and becoming more mature. It currently unites 17 million 480 thousand of the best representatives of the nation. Among the new members who have joined its ranks in the years after the previous congress, 59 percent are workers. This is a very important and noteworthy fact. The CPSU, having become the party of the whole nation, hasn’t lost its class nature. In its essence it has always been and remains the party of the working class.

The Report is filled with concern over the continuous reinforcement of the party ranks, over the perfecting of the style and methods of party leadership, over the support of new and progressive things, over the development of criticism and self-criticism, over the improvement of the ideological and political education.

Since V.I.Lenin’s times there always has been an unbreakable rule for the party to combine the development of theory with practical activities. Important theoretical provisions concerning the consistent patterns of the current stage of our development and the development of the world, included in the Report, show the correctness of this tradition. With this respect the decision of the congress about amending and restating the CPSU Program is of primary importance.

The faithfulness of our party to Lenin’s mandate – to cherish our unity as the apple of one’s eye – has manifested itself most prominently at the congress. The congress with a massive, convincing force showed the cohesion of the party around its Central Committee. It manifested itself in the unanimous votes of the congress for its decisions, in the speeches of the delegates and of the foreign guests attending the congress, who spoke fondly and wholeheartedly of the work of the Central Committee and its Politburo.

We, the chekists[2], cannot but express our feeling of passionate gratitude for the constant attention which the Central Committee of the CPSU pays to improving the work of the state security agencies in accordance with the requirements of the present development stage of the soviet society and the class struggle on the international arena.

Comrades! When I talk about the issues which were discussed at the congress, I would like in the first place to bring to your attention the economic policy of the party. I am not going to site the numbers of the results of the previous five-year plan and the economic development of the country as a whole in the '70's, because you are very familiar with those. I am going to stress the main conclusion – life has proven that the economic strategy and policy developed by the 24th and 25thCPSU Congresses was correct. By following this course the working people of the country have achieved a considerable increase in national wealth, growth in industrial, technical and scientific potential, as well as improvements in the level of education and prosperity of the nation. The defense capability of our Homeland has strengthened.

The completed five-year plan was the tenth in order. Each one of them took its glorious place in the history of building socialism. Ten five-year plans represent years of audacious labor of the soviet people which transformed the economic and social image of the country.

When one thinks about the data characterizing our economic development during that period, one can’t help but be astonished with the enormous changes which took place in the economy of our country.

According to the data provided by the Central Statistics Office of the USSR, compared with 1928, in 1980 industrial production increased 136 times and agricultural production – 3.2 times. Prior to the first five-year plan the country produced 5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, but at the end of the tenth five-year plan – 1 trillion 295 billion kilowatt-hours. During the same period oil production increased from 11.6 million tons to 603 million tons, coal – from 35.2 million tons to 653 million tons, and steel – from 4.3 million tons to 148 million tons. Grain production increased more than 2.5 times.

The significance of these results is even more impressive when you compare them with the development results of the capitalist world countries for the same time period. Let’s take for example such a classic capitalist country as England. Electricity production in the USSR increased 259 times, in England – 17 times, steel – 35 times and 1.3 times respectively, cement – 68 times and 3.7 times [respectively].

These numbers show both our social superiority and our increased economic abilities. The eleventh five-year plan takes into account and encompasses all of the achievements of the tenth and earlier five-year plans.  Productive forces of our society have now reached a whole new level at which the objective of the intensification of the economy has been put into forefront.

Those present here today may have noticed with which acuity the Report was talking about the unsolved problems, about shortcomings in the planning and management areas, about the reasons that cause some of the sectors of the national economy to fall behind. The main reason is that the inertia of the past practices, whereas quantity and not so much quality was the main focus, has not been fully overcome.

The historic conditions were so that we started building in the environment of economic backwardness, destruction, blockade and absence of necessary human resources. In order for us to withstand the fierce fight with world capitalism, we had to create our own industrial base within a very short time frame. The objective of comprehensive increase of production across the board was put into the forefront.  What we currently have is a developed economy and highly qualified human resources. Our country is also rich in natural resources. But even the most lucrative natural resources are not limitless. The economic development predetermined the necessity to decisively address the issues of efficiency and quality. The current objective is not to produce at any cost, but at the least possible cost, both in terms of material and labor.

“The main objective of the eleventh five-year plan, as it is stated in the Main Guidelines for the Economic and Social Development of the USSR for 1981-1985 and for the Period Up to 1990, is to ensure further growth of the prosperity of the soviet people based on the sustainable, forward-moving development of the economy and the accelerated scientific and technological advance, and to transition the economy onto the path of intensive development, more efficient use of the industrial potential of the country, and conservation by all means possible of all types of resources as well as improving the quality of work.”[3]

What, and how it, needs to be done in order to complete the transition to the path of intensive economy development was the recurring theme in comrade L.I.Brezhnev’s and comrade N.A.Tikhonov’s speeches, as well as in the speeches of the delegates at the congress. The discussion of measures aimed at accelerating scientific and technological advance, improving the quality of work, maximizing the use of existing major production resources and internal reserves, improving productivity, decreasing costs, and saving material resources was characterized by remarkably deep theoretical analysis as well as specificity.

So that you can better picture yourself how massive the role is of intensification and cost savings in production, I will provide a few examples. 

Until recently less than half of the oil was extracted from the well. The other half remained underground. Introduction of new technologies that have now been developed allows an increase in the oil production at oilfields and receives an additional 36 million tons of oil per year.

Experts calculated that improvement of the technical characteristics of engines will allow us to save up to 7 million tons of fuel per year.

Improvements in metal rolling technology, where currently 25 million tons per year go to scrap, promise large metal savings.

The significance of the 26th congress’ decisions on the issue of the intensification of the economy, as well as on socio-economic issues in general, is in fact that they do not only encompass the eleventh five-year plan, but also the prospects for up to 1990. This approach allows us to better tie the current objectives with the long-term objectives, and to see more clearly the general perspective of the building of communism.

The congress laid out a comprehensive program for improving the prosperity of the nation. A special accent is made on improving the supply of the population with food products and industrial commodities. Having paid unremitting attention to the development of the key industry sectors, the congress at the same time envisions that the branches of type-B industry group will develop at a faster rate than the branches of type-A industry group.

A new and very important aspect of our economic construction, which you without doubt have noticed when familiarizing yourselves with the decisions of the congress, is the development of the Food Program. Its objective is to utilize the integrated development of agriculture and industrial sectors that serve it, in order to increase the food production and to achieve within a short time the task of consistent supply of the population with food products.

The term “agro-industrial complex” has become a staple in our everyday speech. It denominates a new occurrence in the economic life related to the expansion of public production and amplification of the complexity of its interrelations. The Main Guidelines have a special section dedicated to the agro-industrial complex. This section contains a comprehensive program of actions aimed at further development of agriculture and sectors of industry that deal with storage and processing of agricultural products. It is not enough to produce this or that product, one has to also be able to store it and to deliver it to the consumer. In the last five-year plan, despite the fact that three out of the five years had unfavorable growing conditions, the average annual grain production rate reached 205 million tons. The current five-year plan envisions that its average annual production will reach 238-243 million tons. It is planned that meat production will increase from 15.1 million tons in 1980 to 18.2 million tons in 1985. A considerable increase is planned with respect to the production of other types of agricultural products. The Central Committee points out that the solution for the food problem encompasses not only the increase in production of agricultural products but also the efforts of cutting losses during harvesting, storage and processing. This is our sizable reserve.

The Report stresses, “With respect to agriculture as a whole, it has the same primary issue that other sectors of public economy have, i.e. increasing efficacy and quality. We will continue to allocate large financial and material resources for the rural areas, and will proceed with the systematic shift of agriculture to the industrial base. But the center of gravity now (and this is a hallmark feature of the agricultural policy of the '80s) has shifted towards the return on capital, increase of productivity in agricultural sector, and deepening and improving its connections with all of the agro-business sectors.”[4]

It is self-evident that the achievement of the objectives set by the party in the area of economic development, of improving its effectiveness and the quality of work, requires a high-level organization of production, improvement of planning and management in public economy, as well as strengthening of workplace discipline. The higher the level of the production forces and of the economic intensification, the higher the impact of various interruptions and disruptions of normal production rhythm on the economic results, irrespective of who is responsible for them, be it higher-level planning or supply organizations or members of the production team themselves. That is why the Report pays such great attention to the issues of improving management of the economy, strengthening of the workplace discipline, and increasing the responsibility for fulfilling government plans.

Starting in the first years after the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution, the Communist Party and the Soviet Government have placed, and are placing, special emphasis on resolving social issues. Strictly speaking, the October Revolution came to be because of the objective necessity to resolve social antagonisms stemming from the entire course of social development and induced by capitalism. Its historic mission was, specifically, to destroy the form of government based on exploitation and social inequality, and to reform all aspects of social life in accordance with socialist principles. As V.I.Lenin pointed out, the October Revolution opened the path for “building new forms of social connections between people.”[5]

Since then our country has advanced far ahead on the path of social progress. Communists and all of the soviet people have done a great job in this respect. They did what no one has done before them. When today we see that the new forms of social connections between people which V.I.Lenin spoke about became the reality in the society of developed socialism, we can’t help but feel proud.

In the Report, the issues of socio-political and intellectual development of the society are segregated into a special section. It analyzes in great detail the changes in the social and class structures of the society. They are characterized by converging of all classes and social groups, by strengthening of the union between workers, farmers and intelligentsia, with the working class at the vanguard, by the strengthening of the brotherly friendship between all of the national groups of our Homeland.

The Congress mapped out large-scale efforts in the area of equalizing cultural and social conditions of life of the working people in different regions of the country, of influencing the demographic processes, and improving care for families, women, war veterans and veterans of labor. In this five-year-plan the public consumption funds will significantly increase. Funding of public education and public health will be increased. Residential housing, cultural and social construction [projects] will continue on a large scale.

The Congress emphasized that at the source of national wealth and its growth is the honest and conscientious laborer, which in our socialist conditions serves as a criterion for measuring both the person’s position in the society and the benefits that this person receives from the society.  The Congress also pointed out the importance of strict and consistent application of this principle, the need for increasing the control over measuring of labor and consumption.

The Congress documents reveal the party’s efforts towards forming a new man; they highly praise the development of literature and art, and their major role in the spiritual life of the people. [The documents] emphasize the significance of the principle of national identity and party values, the need for evaluating literary works and art from the class position. Due to the crucial nature of this directive and the importance of following it in our chekist work, I will cite an excerpt from the Report: “… lack of ideological content, unscrupulous beliefs, departure from distinctly class-specific evaluation of some of the historic events and figures, are capable of causing harm to the creativity of even gifted people. Our critics, literary journals, artistic unions and, in the first place, the party organizations [that they belong to], have to be able to correct those who are carried away in one direction or another.  And, of course, very vocally and unequivocally speak out against those works of art that besmirch our soviet reality. In these cases we have to be uncompromising. The Party has never been and will not be indifferent to the ideological orientation of our art.”[6]

Comrades that are present in this auditorium know better than anyone else that even today we still have people who commit anti-social acts and who impede our forward movement. The incompatibility of these incidents and actions with the principles of our social life is particularly stark against the backdrop of the heroic work of soviet people who are selflessly building the new world. It is for this reason that the Report mentions that the further strengthening of material and intellectual foundations of the social way of life is inseparable with the overcoming of everything that contradicts it. The Report points out the need for the resolute combatant of infringements on socialist property, social parasitism, alcohol abuse, bribery, and manipulations with short-supply commodities. All members of the workforce, all non-government organizations and all communists have to take part in this battle.

At the 26th Congress of the CPSU the role of law enforcement agencies was specifically emphasized. The Soviet people have the right to demand that they work with maximum efficiency, that each crime gets properly investigated and those responsible receive the punishment they deserve.

The most substantial changes in the life of our society are reflected in the new Constitution of the USSR. The Congress documents determine objectives of the development of the political system in our society, and stress the significance of improving socialist democracy. The objectives set by the Congress for the development of the soviet political system envision every possible effort for ensuring a wider participation of the workers in the administration of the government and society. The program of economic and social development planned by the 26th Congress of the CPSU from the beginning to the end reflects the interests of the people. It is for this reason that it won the hearts and minds of the soviet people who are full of resolve to implement it and to conquer new frontiers on the road to communism.

Comrades! It is well-known that with respect to international relations this reporting period was a difficult and tumultuous time. It was signified in the first place by the intensive struggle between the two directions in world politics – the course for harnessing the military arms race, strengthening of peace and promoting detente, protecting of sovereign rights and freedoms of the nations, on one side, and the course for undermining détente, escalating of the arms race, the politics of threats and interference into the business of others, suppressing of liberation struggle.

Our foreign policy has consistently maintained, and is maintaining, a very principled, class-specific character. It is directed at the strengthening of the positions of socialism, at supporting national liberation groups and promoting social progress, and ensuring peace and security of the nations.

When we talk about foreign policy, in the first place we naturally turn to our relations with brotherly socialist countries. This is due to the commonality of our class interests, the ideological unity and the common objectives of building socialism and communism. Our cooperation was vital at the time when the nations of brotherly countries were rising to fight against destruction and embarked on the path of crucial socio-economic transformations. It was also indispensable when imperialism waged a “cold war” on us.  

This cooperation is especially important nowadays. The need to defend détente and to withstand the underhanded plotting of imperialism, the new large-scale objectives in the economic and social areas – all of this imposes an even higher demand [on us] to strengthen the unity and cohesion of brotherly socialist countries. 

It was pointed out at the congress that on every issue of priority with respect to the socio-economic development and foreign policy, we reached a crucial unity of opinions. The main sentiment in the relations between the socialist countries is the desire to pursue even further cooperation, and to use its possibilities to [achieve] comprehensive progress both in each of the socialist countries and in the [socialist] community as a whole.

The deep understanding of the commonality of the key interests of the socialist countries, genuine interest in seeing each other succeed can be seen in the concern of the socialist countries over the situation that is taking place in Poland.

The situation there, to tell you the truth, is quite complicated. The dangerous duality of power which, as even our Polish comrades admit, have developed in the country cannot continue for long. Historical experiences show that threats to socialist gains call for resolute actions. Unfortunately we have yet to see such resolute actions.

During a recent Soviet-Polish meeting the leaders of the People’s Republic of Poland stated that they were taking actions to overcome a serious imminent threat to the socialist gains of the Polish people.

As to our position, it is very clearly stated. The USSR along with other brotherly countries have always provided and will continue to provide the necessary assistance to socialist Poland and Polish communists, and will support their strenuous efforts to improve the situation in the country. This approach received full support at the 26th Congress of the CPSU and is shared by the Soviet communists and by all Soviet people.

A short note on China. The processes that take place there are complex and sometimes contradictory. In the effort of looking for ways of overcoming difficulties in economic, social and cultural areas, the Chinese leadership was forced to deviate from many Maoist postulates dating back to the “cultural revolution” time period. But by rejecting the “ultra-leftist” leaning characteristic of Mao, the current Chinese leaders are quite obviously leaning to the right. Such course doesn’t bring to the Chinese workers either the expected improvement of life conditions or the revival of democratic rights and freedoms. The dissatisfaction of the working class is growing. Young people spontaneously come out to rallies and demand work and ability to study.

In these conditions the Chinese leadership resorts to the old trick of their ancient feudal rulers – they are trying to distract the people by invoking an external enemy. In this case it’s the Soviet Union. Peking’s foreign policy is aimed at exacerbating the international situation as they are leaning towards imperialism based on their anti-Soviet sentiments, and at undermining of the unity of the communist and labor movements.

Time will show to what extent China will be able to succeed in overcoming the pernicious Maoist legacy. As to the Soviet Union, it’s not looking for a confrontation with China. We are following the course laid out by the 24th and 25th congresses of our party.

Comrades! You are aware that in the past few years we have had to work on the objectives of building [socialism] in increasingly difficult conditions. The aggressiveness of the imperialist policies, American in the first place, has drastically increased. The policy of the most extremist imperialist forces caused a considerable rise in the international tensions.

What is the cause of it? We would need to look for an answer in the class-specific composition of the capitalist countries’ policies.

By exacerbating international tensions, imperialism is looking to release its deep-rooted internal conflicts, and is trying to slow down the advanced movement of the forces of socialism, of national liberation and social progress.

At one point, the leading circles of the West tried to use détente to obtain the most benefits [for themselves]. They were counting on creating greater opportunities to undermine socialism from within through ideological influence, through propagation of dissidence, through spreading ideological porousness in the soviet society. Furthermore, they were of the opinion that we, along with other socialist countries, would turn a blind eye to the fact that our society was permeated with enemy ideology, [they thought] that we would ignore the activities of the anti-social and anti-socialist elements who they call “dissidents”. The soviet people did not give imperialism this type of a discretionary right, and they never will since socio-political and ideological cohesiveness of our society is at stake.

During the years of détente certain events took place in a number of countries around the world as a result of which imperialism lost its position there. The liberated countries and Non-Aligned Movement have now positioned themselves as an important factor in international policy. The union between world socialism and the national liberation movement has grown stronger.

The ranks of the world communist movement widened even further, and the influence of communist and working class parties grew at the grassroots level. They achieved new successes in their struggle against the capitalist oppression and for the social rights of working people. The communist movement is showing a tendency to unify. Communists emerge as the most active advocates for peace and security of nations. 

In these conditions the most reactionary circles of the West, having encountered the failure of their plans to gain unilateral advantages, have yet again resorted to the policy “from the position of strength.” They brought to the forefront an ardent anti-communist – the American president R. Reagan, and an ardent anti-Sovietist – the English prime-minister M. Thatcher. But as the Report states, these forces have an agenda to achieve the unachievable – to put a barrier on the path of progressive changes in the world, to regain their role as masters of the destinies of nations.

The world has changed. The times have passed when imperialism could decide on issues of war and peace as it pleased. The furtherance of peace is now a cause supported by all progressive forces around the world because they understand that it is the most important issue of our time. That is why there is so much interest towards soviet initiatives which will largely predetermine whether international development will follow the path of strengthening peace and security of nations or whether it will follow the path of the increase of the nuclear war threat. The new soviet initiatives put forward in the Report represent an organic continuation and, at the same time, development of the Peace Program relevant to the current situation at the international arena.

The workers of the socialist countries welcome the decisions of the congress.They were received with the sense of deep approval by the nations of newly liberated states, and by national liberation fighters. The workers of capitalist countries saw in it the expression of class solidarity and support. All progressive people around the globe consider the congress’ decisions a factor of great importance in the struggle for peace and social progress.

As to the ruling circles of the bourgeois states, we obviously cannot expect that they would be applauding the successes of socialism. The class sentiments of the bourgeoisie were expressed through a new paroxysm of anti-Sovietism and anti-communism. Sentiments aside, the reality such that even the most ardent haters of socialism have to consider it. This is true both with respect to the progress in every aspect of our internal life and with respect to the effectiveness of our foreign policy initiatives.

It has been widely accepted – whether voluntary or reluctantly, directly or indirectly – that the congress and the decisions taken by the congress will have the most crucial impact on the development of international relations as whole throughout the '80's.

Washington finds itself in a complicated situation. It is forced to make statements that soviet proposals require “serious consideration”. At the same time, contrary to the common sense, it is trying to “tie” the Soviet-American dialogue and détente to either the situation in Afghanistan or to the situation in Poland, in this way trying to hamper the real solution to current international problems.

Their blatant, cynical attempts to put an equal sign between the justified struggle of nations for their national and social liberation and “international terrorism” supposedly instigated by Moscow, sparked genuine indignation and outrage around the world.

We can only wonder how such political ignorance can still be present in capitals of western countries. Ideologists of imperialism under no circumstances will acknowledge that revolutionary, national liberation movements come to existence due to objective patterns of social development, based on the nation’s volition and not because of the “directives from Moscow”.

As to our assistance to the countries who are fighting for their national independence, including military assistance, it is conducted based on these countries’ governments’ requests. This is a response to the attempts of exporting counter-revolution, in the first place. This is exactly the case with Afghanistan.

“Our foreign policy program, - as was stressed at the congress, - is the program of furtherance and deepening of détente, the program of struggle against the arms race.”[7] The congress enthusiastically confirmed that the Soviet Union has both the desire and the will to fight for its implementation, to do everything possible for achieving sustainable peace on earth.

Comrades! It is quite obvious that when at our caucus meetings we discuss the main directions of internal and external policy of the CPSU determined by the 26th Congress of the CPSU, we have to, in the first place, be fully aware of the objectives the congress put forth for the state security agencies, and we have to think of how to conduct our work so that to better meet the party requirements.

The Report to the 26th Congress of the CPSU reads, “The fierceness of class struggle on the international arena poses high demands on the operations of the state security agencies, on the party loyalty, knowledge and working style of our chekists. The State Security Committee of the USSR[8] works very proactively, and highly professionally, strictly adhering to the provisions of the Constitution and soviet laws. The chekists are always vigilant and watchful against the imperialist intelligence agencies’ schemes. They very decisively stop actions of those who choose the path of anti-state, hostile activities, who plots against the rights of soviet people, against the interests of the soviet society. And this work deserves deep gratitude on the part of the party and all of the soviet people.”[9]

These warm words make us happy and inspire us. But they don’t only contain praise. In fact they contain the viewpoint of the Central Committee on the main aspects of work of the state security agencies in modern conditions.

What type of conclusions should we, the chekists, make from the international situation analysis provided at the congress? What practical actions should we undertake based on the political objectives set forth for the state security agencies by the 26th Congress of the CPSU?

The general conclusion is that the exacerbation of the international situation requires increased watchfulness, decisiveness and proactiveness in every area of chekist work in order to fully complete the objective of ensuring security of the country and our socialist society. 

The nature of chekists’ work, as you know, is that they are always at the forefront of the class struggle, that they don’t have down time. But I believe never before, starting from the Great Patriotic War and the “cold war” years, it hasn’t been as acutely apparent as it is now. 

The Report states that the imperialists are waging an arms race on an unprecedented scale, and are expediting the preparations for war. Deep and detailed intelligence operations which the US and their NATO partners are conducting against the USSR and its allies, are an integral part of this.

As you know, one of the crucial elements of a nuclear strategy is to strike in such a way that one strike disables as many vital installations of the enemy as possible. And therefore the one who better knows the objectives, the intent and the whole nature of the military and political preparations of the other side, will gain the advantage long before the missiles hit the target. In this connection, long before the military confrontation comes around, a confrontation of the intelligence services springs to life. Our objective is to win it.

A key role in reaching this objective belongs to the foreign intelligence service of the KGB of the USSR. Our intelligence service has a lot of experience, draws upon glorious traditions, has at its disposal loyal, well-trained personnel, and is armed with up-to-date specialty equipment. It bravely engages the enemy.

But today we have to think about how to further increase the efficiency of the intelligence service in the face of new, more complex tasks. In short, the intelligence service needs to learn to act in a more pointed, more accurate, faster way. Its objective is not to miss the military preparations of the enemy, and of the most important enemy in the first place, its preparations for a nuclear strike, and not to miss the real risk of the outbreak of war.

Not to miss means to know the details and particulars which comprise these preparations, to be able to visualize the whole picture. We must know about the brewing military schemes of the United States, its NATO allies and Peking hegemonists, in detail, ahead of time and at the earliest possible stages.

It is equally important not to miss the possibility of an enemy breakthrough in the military and military technology areas, which may allow the enemy to disrupt the established strategic parity and to gain advantage over us. 

Let’s not turn a blind eye to the fact that occasionally we don’t get from our intelligence the necessary concrete data about certain impending crisis situations. Occasionally, we face unexpected situations when the political situation suddenly gets tense and the counter-intelligence regime in this or that country becomes tighter.

In view of that, we need the 1st Chief Directorate and our other subdivisions who deal with mining and analysis of intelligence information, to look at their cases from a new angle and to search for additional reserves. [We need] less information of secondary importance, more important intelligence data of military, political, scientific and technological nature.

And one more thing – we need more action on main avenues related to disrupting enemy plots and preventing their subversive activities. We have to better organize operations and mobilize people, and to arm them with deep understanding of the internal dynamics of the political situation in the world, of its complexity and volatility. This is what the Report was talking about.

It is well known that a well-established intelligence service can be of no little importance to any state in achieving its foreign policy objectives. If we take the foreign policy of our socialist country, it is aimed at achieving the most honorable, most humanistic goals. It has the social justice for all working people on its side. This gives our intelligence service a special nature and a manifold increase in its power. It has to do everything possible to use its specific resources in its specific field in order to even more actively assist in carrying out the party’s cause aimed at staving off the threat of war, defending détente and providing peaceful living conditions for our people, for building communism. 

I have already mentioned that as part of the military preparations, our enemy is striving to learn as much detail as possible about everything around our country and in our country. Fending-off these attempts of the enemy is the job of state security agencies as a whole, but the most important role in achieving this objective belongs, quite understandably, to the counterintelligence units. Counterintelligence units can be credited with quite a number of successfully executed operations. They hold a leading position in this area. But today even counterintelligence agents have to assess their work from the point of view of increased requirements posed by the Congress’ decisions, and they have to make appropriate conclusions.

Clearly in its fight against socialism the enemy will even more actively use its intelligence agencies, trying to pry into our political, military, economic, science and technical secrets. As it has happened on more than one occasion in history, an aggravated international situation and increasing military preparations of the imperialists, even now, are accompanied by stepped-up surveillance and subversive operations by the enemy intelligence agencies. Stopping the enemy is, in the first place, the job of the personnel working in the second and third lines.    

In our daily work, we very clearly see that the enemy becomes more and more obnoxious in their methods of gathering information, that they become more and more brazen in conducting their surveillance and subversive operations. This increases the danger of their actions. But due to the peculiarities of the current situation, they are rushing to realize their plans. And that makes them vulnerable. This has been very skillfully used by our counterintelligence agencies on many occasions.

The increased enemy onslaught is evident from the expanded and stepped-up activity of intelligence professionals, diplomats, journalists, persons visiting the Soviet Union as tourists. They are using more sophisticated methods of spying and other intelligence and subversive activities. In these circumstances, along with using the proven methods to combat them, we have to come up with other methods which would allow us to uncover not only the classic moves of the enemy, but all of their newest subterfuges. Counterintelligence professionals have a lot to thing about with this respect, to think and to take steps to further improve the tactics of combating the enemy taking into account the new elements in the political environment and operating conditions. That being said, primary importance has to be given to tracking down their activities at an early stage, when possible, and not allowing them to get to the sites and secrets that they are interested in. 

Special importance in the current situation is given to what we call security procedures, i.e. measures that are put in place to protect classified information at enterprises and organizations, as well as to regulate foreign nationals visiting our country. I cannot say that we are always displaying proper organization in this area. Why should we lie to ourselves? Some foreign journalists have lately become “naughty”, so to say. They started behaving disrespectfully towards our laws and traditions, shamelessly abusing our hospitality. Some tourists and foreign nationals who come on private business or to study, too, started behaving quite unceremoniously. We should not put up with this, especially in the current conditions.

Unfortunately, occasionally there are people in our midst who incorrectly understand the nature of some of the steps that we have taken pursuant to the Helsinki Accords. They mistakenly perceive these agreements as the weakening of the class struggle. They do not realize that the enemy is trying to use this faulty perception in order to increase their subversive activities.

The objective of the counterintelligence community is to fully engage its capabilities, and to more effectively coordinate its efforts with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Intourist, management of enterprises and organizations, in order to ensure that foreign nationals strictly comply with the regulations governing their stay in our country. We have to make sure that soviet citizens who have access to state secrets, strictly comply with applicable requirements, and conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.

While I am talking about the objectives of the counterintelligence community, I would like to touch upon one more issue. The instances of industrial and railway accidents have recently spiked. For most of these incidents we have come to the conclusion that they were a result of procedural violations, safety breaches or workplace discipline violations. However, I believe that you should not be placated by that, since such incidents quite often result in fatalities, economic losses, and damage the national defense capability of our country. We shouldn’t forget that these instances negatively affect people’s attitudes, and can cause undesirable effects. That is why we say to the head of the regional or city KGB office that, after he makes sure that the explosion or the accident are not a result of enemy actions, he should not consider his mission accomplished and “wash off his hands”. Even if it is not an act of sabotage, it is still a serious enough reason for the chekists to review this incident from the point of view of its possible impact on political sentiments of the people, and to pose necessary questions to the appropriate government authorities.

I would also like to turn your attention to the following moment. Of course, an explosion or an accident are always unexpected. But blatant safety breaches, procedural violations or workplace discipline violations, which result in an accident or an explosion are not something unexpected. Our personnel should not, and moreover have no right to, ignore such violations. Taking appropriate measures to prevent emergency situations is our responsibility, too.

The Report says that in current conditions “… the activity of propaganda outlets of our class enemies has increased, their attempts to exercise corrosive influence over the minds of the soviet people have intensified.”[10] Enemy intelligence agencies in their struggle against socialism have resorted, on an even wider scale, and with even more impudence, to using the most boorish and insidious methods of ideological sabotage.

chekists have done a lot in the area of combating ideological sabotage. But the situation doesn’t change. The new element in the subversive actions of the enemy has to be taken into account by our comrades who work in the fifth line; their goal now is not to ideologically brainwash loners of anti-social background, but whole groups of the population. In order to undermine the social, political and ideological unity of our society, the enemy instigates and utilizes manifestations of nationalism, chauvinism and religious prejudices. It tries to capitalize on such issues as, for example, deficiencies in healthcare and difficulties in provision of certain food products.

Of course different agencies are dealing with these issues within the limits of their authority. However, each one of these issues needs to become a focus of our attention if we see that it may result in negative consequences for state security.

In the current situation, when in accordance with the decisions that the Congress' ideological and educational work in the masses is expanding, we take a broader view of certain aspects of the preventive measures which are currently being conducted by the KGB and are aimed at preventing highly dangerous crimes against the state. We have accumulated significant experience in conducting preventive operations against certain individuals. We have to replicate [this experience] even further. At the same time we have to pay more attention to preempting negative political processes. Preventive measures need to, in the first place, preempt the emergence of these processes and committing of unlawful actions. State security agencies by virtue of the forms and methods that they use, are capable of getting to the source of these anti-social manifestations.

When we talk about the new objectives for the chekists, we obviously mean the activity of the agency and the troops of the KGB as a whole. In order to successfully achieve these objectives, to struggle and to win, we have to improve the quality of work and combat readiness of the operations units, border security troops, investigative divisions, as well as specialized technical and administrative services.

We need to have a well-organized service, flexible tactics, and appropriate newest, cutting-edge equipment.

The Report to the 26th Congress dedicates a lot of attention to the challenges of governance. All that has been said with respect to this issue is in every way applicable to the state security agencies and to the managers at all levels. Due to the nature of the chekist work, we have to deal with large cohorts of people who decide on operations’ issues in a wide variety of areas. Here, even more than anywhere else, we need particular precision, speed and accuracy in fulfilling orders, as well as teamwork and camaraderie in the subdivisions.

In light of these requirements, if we assess the situation we have [in our agency], then we would have to concede that we are far from having it in order. We haven’t outgrown such flaws as unnecessary paperwork, lax supervision over execution of decisions taken, and unjustified delays in fulfilling important orders and directives. I want to once again stress with urgency that in our work we cannot put up with such a flaw as parochialism. Leaders of some subdivisions, concerned only with their own needs, do not take into account interests of other subdivisions and the KGB as whole. And it is even more unbecoming of our comrades to attempt to resolve this or that “uncomfortable” issue at someone else’s expense.

Our common goal is to create an environment in the chekist community where everything is subordinated to the main objective – the successful completion of tasks given to the state security agencies. As it was stressed at the Congress, we need to continue to maintain the spirit of self-criticism, and uncompromising attitude towards shortcomings. We need to display more initiative and more integrity.

I have already in the past talked about how the party and the soviet people see the chekists. I won’t repeat myself. I just want to stress that in light of the Congress’ decisions such requirements to the chekists as the deep belief in the justness of the party’s cause and unconditional loyalty to the soviet people, high professionalism, and law-abidance, become of even higher importance. A chekist must not only absorb and adopt Marxist-Leninist theory, but also be able to apply it in the struggle. We had incidents, when certain agents, when they came face-to-face with seasoned political demagogy, so-called “dissidents”, couldn’t counter them with solid Marxist-Leninist arguments, though such arguments obviously exist.

Studying and propagating of the decisions of the 26th Congress of the party is now posed as one of the most important tasks for all party organizations. This is fully applicable to the party organization of our KGB. Its work should be even tighter connected with solving practical issues in the area of ensuring state security.

It is important today that the mobilizing influence of the party increases in every area of the agency’s operations. A truly combat-ready party organization has to unlock in every communist-chekist his best features, his best qualities and put them to work for our cause.

There is room for improvement in this area for party organizations, personnel departments, and heads of subdivisions.

Comrades! In the time that lapsed since the Congress, all political and work life of the country convincingly proves that the communists and all soviet people are taking the decisions and tasks given to them as their life cause. The unity between the party and the people, and the leadership role of the CPSU in our society, are reflected in this with their full force. The Report says, “The power of the party is in the unity with the people! The power of the people is in the unity with the Party and in its leadership!”[11]  

Please allow me, on behalf of the communists-chekists, on your behalf, to report to the Central Committee of the CPSU and to the Politburo of the Central Committee that all personnel of the agency and the troops of the KGB of the USSR wholeheartedly approve the decisions of the  26th Congress of Lenin’s Party, and will do everything possible to honorably fulfill the task of securing our Socialist Homeland!

[1] V.I.Lenin. Complete Works, vol.40, p.142

[2] Translator’s note: nickname for members of the KGB

[3] Materials of the 26th Congress of the CPSU, Moscow, Politizdat Publishing House, 1981, p.139.

[4] Materials of the 26th Congress of the CPSU, p.46

[5] V.I.Lenin. Complete Works, vol.40, p.316.

[6] Materials of the 26th Congress of the CPSU, p.62

[7] Materials of the 26th Congress of the CPSU, p.219

[8] Translator’s note: KGB

[9] Materials of the 26th Congress of the CPSU, p.65

[10] Materials of the 26th Congress of the CPSU, p.75

[11] Materials of the 26th Congress of the CPSU, p.219