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August 1953

Message to the CC CPSU Presidium, from USSR Minister of Internal Affairs S. Kruglov and Secretary of the CC of the CP of Azerbaijan T. Yakubov

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation

Copy Top Secret

Copy No 4


In the CC CPSU Presidium

[Translator’s note: Placenames are rendered according to the National Geographic map spelling when the place can be identified and the name has not changed]


to Cde. Malenkov, G. M.

to Cde. Khrushchev, N. S.


I report that in connection with the mass crossings of the USSR border by the Azerbaijani population of Iran which took place in 1949-1950 due to hunger [Translator’s note: golod, which can mean either “hunger”, “starvation”, or “famine”], the USSR Council of Ministers, at the request of the former USSR MGB, decided on 20 October 1951 to organize a special filtration camp in the Azerbaijan SSR where an inspection of the detainees was conducted, after which they were settled and given jobs in the Azerbaijan SSR.


At the present time the illegal crossings of the border by Iranian subjects in search of better living conditions is taking on a mass and ever-growing character. In 1951 328 people crossed into the USSR, in 1952 – 634, and in the 7 months of 1953 – more than 500.


Such a mass border crossing by Iranian subjects has caused serious difficulties for Soviet organizations of the Azerbaijan SSR in settling them and finding them work and requires considerable material expense.


Moreover, the possibility is not excluded that during the mass border crossings agents of foreign intelligence services and anti-Soviet nationalist organizations operating actively at the present time in Iran have been sent into Soviet territory.


Considering the above, we consider it advisable that all violators of the border from Iran be sent back after an appropriate inspection, except for individual persons who could be of immediate [operativnyy] interest to us; as regards Iranian subjects on Soviet territory at the present time, [authorities] should be guided by regulations adopted previously.


USSR Minister of Secretary of the CC of

Internal Affairs the CP of Azerbaijan


S. Kruglov T. Yakubov


[date not filled in] August 1953


4 copies sent


1-2 to addressees

3 – to the USSR MVD [Ministry of Internal Affairs] Secretariat

4 – to the file of the 1st Department of the MVD Main Directorate

of Border Troops

Action Officer – Litvinenko

Typed by Samsonova

mb. 3562


Letter reporting on illegal crossings of the border to Azerbaijan by Iranians due to the famine there. Because of the security risk of infiltration by foreign intelligence agents, recommended that all illegal crossings be sent back to Iran.

Document Information


GAPPOD, f. 1, s. 89, i. 187. Obtained for CWIHP by Jamil Hasanli and translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg.


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Leon Levy Foundation