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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 05, 1982

MEMORANDUM FROM S.N. MUKHA TO COMRADE V.V. SHCHERBITSKY

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    The KGB of Ukraine provides a report to Shcherbitsky about the success of the agent "Michael," a US citizen, who has been providing the with information on US technology for thermal protection in missiles which the USSR intends to use in the development of its own missiles.
    "Memorandum from S.N. Mukha to Comrade V.V. Shcherbitsky," July 05, 1982, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, GDA SBU, f. 16, o. 7, d. 2, t. 5, ll. 78-79. Obtained by Nate Jones and translated by Angela Greenfield. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/176637
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State Security Committee (KGB) of the Ukrainian SSR

State Security Committee (KGB) Of the Ukrainian SSR

July 5, 1982                                        

City of Kiev                                                        

No.190

                                                                                                                                                Classified Declassified[1]

                                                                                                                                                Copy No.1

24/2-3424

08/ 30/13

Private and Confidential

CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF UKRAINE

to Comrade V.V.Shcherbitsky

Memorandum

In 1978 the State Security Committee of Ukraine, to obtain intelligence in the area of science and technology, recruited a citizen of the US, the Vice-President of an American company Consarc. The agent’s code name is “Michael.”

During the term of the cooperation the source gathered and transferred around 70 specimens of technical and technological information related to specialized materials science. All of the information obtained from him is pertinent to the objectives of the Military-Industrial Commission of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Main Objectives of the science and technology intelligence services. It received positive evaluation from the KGB of the USSR and from the defense industry.

Considering the many years of “Michael’s” practical work in the area of specialized materials science, his knowledge of the trends in science and technology development in the US and his knowledge of the nuances of many technological processes, at the end of 1981 Center decided to use the agent as an unofficial consultant of the Ministry of the Defense Industry of the USSR on issues surrounding the technology of the production of carbon-carbon composite materials used for thermal protection in missile and space equipment. The respective directives task the Ministry to master, by the end of 1984, a commercial production technique for producing specialized products using these materials.

Starting December 1981 through June 1982, on the territory of the USSR, under the seal of secrecy and without unmasking the identities of the participants, there were five meetings conducted between “Michael” and the experts of the Ministry of the Defense Industry of the USSR. As a result, the source turned over a set of drawings of vacuum induction furnaces used for manufacturing products from carbon-carbon composite materials, as well as information shedding light on many of the specific details and nuances of the production technology, which allowed the Ministry to determine which production equipment the industry needs to complete the program of retrofitting the domestically produced intercontinental ballistic missiles with the new thermal protection materials. The information, both oral and written, transferred by “Michael” was found valuable by the Ministry of the Defense Industry of the USSR.

Based on the obtained information, the Ministry of the Defense Industry of the USSR decided in May 1982 to purchase from the agent production equipment in order to manufacture products from these materials. Due to the fact that the necessary equipment was placed, by the US Administration, on the embargo list, “Michael” suggested that he will deliver the equipment to the USSR by employing certain subterfuges through a subsidiary company in Scotland. The Ministry allocated 5 million US dollars for the trial order of the equipment. Simultaneously, through the Military-Industrial Commission of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, the agent was issued 40 thousand rubles in hard currency equivalent as a payment for the provided information.

Information obtained from “Michael” is of cross-sectoral importance, i.e. apart from the Ministry of the Defense Industry of the USSR it is also going to be disseminated through the KGB information service to the Ministry of Mechanical Engineering and the Ministry of Medium Machine Building[2].

The efforts to use the source as a consultant for the defense industry with respect to specialized materials are currently underway in close cooperation and under the leadership of the KGB of the USSR.

We are going to continue reporting on the progress of further work with “Michael.”

Chairman of the State Security Committee

Of the Ukrainian SSR,

[signature] S.N.Mukha

[1] Translator’s note: Handwritten note in Ukrainian states: “Declassified on 08/30/2013”

[2] Translator’s note: The Ministry of Medium Machine-Building of the USSR was the ministry which supervised the Soviet nuclear industry, including production of nuclear warheads. It was established on June 26, 1953. On September 11, 1989 the Ministry of Medium Machine Building was renamed into the Ministry of Atomic Energy and Industry of the USSR.