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October 3, 1983

Ministry of State Security (Stasi), 'Notes on Statements made by Comrade Colonel General Kryuchkov'

This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)

Notes on Statements made
by Comrade Colonel General Kryuchkov, V. A.
on October 3, 1983



At the beginning, Comrade Kryuchkov expressed his satisfaction with the opportunity to have talks in Berlin. He again forwarded greetings from the Chairman of the KGB, Comrade Chebrikov, the leadership, and from all friends.   


Then he briefly highlighted the positive development path taken by Soviet society in recent time under the leadership of Comrade Andropov. From that he derived increasing tasks for the KGB and the organs of foreign intelligence.


Comrade Kryuchkov noted how at the KGB, and especially so in the 1st Main Directorate, those assignments were discussed thoroughly which result from qualitative improvement of operative work, the education of Chekist cadres, and from support towards solving the big economic tasks. Reserves to increase effectiveness of operative work he especially defined for planning; the plan has to contain big challenges, but it has to be still realistic. You have to review exactly what parts of the plan were not fulfilled, and why that was the case. It is necessary to raise discipline in operative work, to have clarity about deficiencies concerning discipline and order, and to counter such deficiencies.


- Chekists have to understand problems of Soviet reality in a comprehensive manner. They cannot get problems just from the newspaper; instead they have to be closely connected to real life. As examples for this, Comrade Kryuchkov mentioned travels inside the country, meetings with comrades from other ministries (for instance planning commission, agriculture), and with those from district committees. For all that it is important to have frank exchanges and name the problems. If problems are exactly known, then you can work well towards their solution.


- He highlighted the good care by party, state, and KGB leadership for the people working in foreign intelligence. As examples, he listed the speedy solution of accommodation problems, issues of material supply, medical care, and the generous procurement of material means.


- Regarding the greater tasks Soviet society is faced with, Comrade Kryuchkov noted that the foreign intelligence leadership is making decisions how to make contributions towards solving main economic assignments. He named as examples: Special plan containing measures to strengthen the economy; this includes also informing the party leadership how certain problems are solved in foreign capitalist countries, or which measures are suitable to solve the food program.


Comrade Kryuchkov referred to specific responsibilities of the party organization within the KGB to solve those tasks, and he explained that there also exist plans for how to work on party education.


Furthermore, Comrade Kryuchkov provided assessments on important international problems.


- USA:

Although the course to launch an arms race had already begun under Carter, today we have a new quality of threat. The Reagan administration indeed aims at achieving strategic superiority.

Comrade Kryuchkov mentioned that the Reagan administration continued its arms build-up during the period of [INF] negotiations [in Geneva]. Thus the Soviet side is increasingly moving towards an offensive unmasking of this policy by the Reagan administration.


The heightened aggressive policy of the United States is showing in all parts of the world – especially so in Latin America (provocations against Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala), in the Middle East, in Africa, and in Asia.

Since Vietnam there had been no such open military interference by the United States than currently in the Middle East.


Comrade Kryuchkov emphasized that American policy is already right now very strongly influenced by the 1984 presidential elections, and that we have to consider this aspect when we analyze American policy. He reported how the Reagan administration undertakes steps in order to justify the arms build-up in a demagogic way. In this context he referred to the American air provocation.


The United States is attempting to paralyze the anti-war movement. Currently the latter is in its peak; we have to provide it, though, with any kind of support and new impulses.


With regard to American domestic policy, Comrade Kryuchkov highlighted the increasing contradiction (race problem, social issues, unemployment, crime rate). He emphasized the need to analyze contradictions within American society even better in order to find effective opportunities for attack. He stressed the need for active measures with regard to the presidential elections, without overrating our options of influence.


- Great Britain:

The position of Thatcher is solid. The Labour opposition is currently weak. An assessment of its new leadership under [Neil] Kinnock is not yet possible.


- France:

Domestic and foreign policy are both contradictory. Since Mitterrand came to power, relations with the Soviet Union have worsened. (expulsion of Soviet diplomats was a strong signal to the United States to support its course). France has indulged itself in military adventures (Chad). Rapprochement with NATO. Economic dependence on the United States. Communists in government do not play an opposition role. Mitterrand is preparing a new coalition with exclusion of the communists; integration of the centrists.

Lack of willingness to include [French] nuclear arms [in Geneva negotiations] is blocking compromise on this issue.


- Italy:

Large contradictions in domestic policy; unstable. In foreign policy terms strong support for the American position. Changes are not be expected.


- Middle East:

Main cause for tensions are disunity among the Arab countries and policy of interference by the United States and other Western countries.

Comrade Kryuchkov referred to the need for working out detailed analyses, and for gathering information about individual countries and political tendencies within those countries.

Currently the PLO lives through its most complicated period. Hope of the Palestinians for the establishment of a state of their own is dwindling.

The situation of Al Fatah is particularly difficult.

We have to unmask imperialist policy in the Middle East and strengthen our positions through appropriate measures wherever possible.


- Angola:

Complicated situation. Decisive question is: Can the regime be maintained. Currently the UNITA is controlling 50 percent of the territory and 35 percent of the population. It is militarily well equipped, and it enjoys the full support of the United States. Organs of State Security are still weak. The Angolan army cannot guarantee the security of the state.

The economic situation is unstable.

We need more information about the situation in Angola in order to draw the correct conclusions.


- Namibia:

Negotiations have basically arrived at a standstill.


- Mozambique:

Situation is overall complicated. Though the personal power of President [Samora] Machel is solid, this does not solve the problems. Here as well, counterrevolutionary forces are in control of a part of the country.


- China:

Difficult issue. Some changes in foreign and domestic policy. The decision whether to improve relations with the USSR is resting with China. The current situation is like that today China is taking a positive step, and tomorrow it is doing the opposite. There have been some improvements in trade; however, with the USSR it is just 580 million Rubles whereas it amounts to 6 billions with the United States.

When characterizing the domestic situation, Comrade Kryuchkov referred to contradictory approaches: On the one hand they abolish communes, on the other hand they allow for the development of Kulaks; permission of private production results in generating private capital; allowing foreign capital into the country and granting majority ownership. Increase in crime rates and unemployment. Weakening of socialist propaganda; leading role of the party does not exist. The party is a tool in the hands of the group surrounding Deng [Xiaoping].

Though military potential has grown, it does currently not allow China to solve problems by military means.

Deng is a pathetic anti-Soviet; the party chairman and the foreign minister are not far different from him in this regard.



Course towards re-militarization. Major efforts towards economic expansion, resulting in conflicts with the United States and Western Europe/ European Community.



Positive process continues to move on. Strengthening of the government while taking into account national religious conditions. We must have patience in light of difficult domestic factors. Not hurrying anything. Indian position is developing favorably.


On the political and operative situation Comrade Kryuchkov made the following assessments:


- Overall our work has become more complicated and difficult. Exigencies are growing. The hostile attacks are becoming stronger. Expulsions [of KGB employees from foreign countries] impair our work; we have to expect further actions of this kind.

We are committed to carefully calibrate our countermeasures. It is not possible respectively wise to reduce [foreign diplomats respectively agents] by same numbers and in each case. Other effective countermeasures can be: decisions in the economic field; targeted publications, unmasking of hostile activities, limiting technological work conditions, effective blows against hostile foreign resident spies.


- On the operative situation in individual countries:



The State Police increasingly coordinates its work with Western European intelligence services, in particular with intelligence services of the NATO countries. Pressure by those countries on Austria has increased. Activities of Soviet citizens and institutions were restricted.


Switzerland/ Finland/ Japan

Activities of Soviet institutions were restricted.



Overall a difficult operative situation. Further provocations like Batashov or of other kinds are possible. There are closest contacts between FRG and US intelligence services.

Concerning the political situation Comrade Kryuchkov analyzed:

The FRG is the closest ally of the United States. Without the FRG, the US would not be able to implement its plans in Western Europe. You have to take note here that essential developments were established already during the administration of [Chancellor] Helmut Schmidt – for instance, the missile problem, intensification of intelligence links.


In light of the current situation information gathering tasks are especially as follows:

- interest of the FRG government in dialogue with the USSR;
- contradictions between the Western European countries and the FRG;
- problems within the European Community, differences between the individual countries;
- FRG policy towards developing countries;
- relations between the FRG and individual socialist countries;
- role of the Green Party as a potentially permanent factor in the FRG political landscape;
- determining new objects [for observation] in light of the expected missile deployment.


In the context of a necessary strengthening of operative work against the FRG, Comrade Kryuchkov referred as an example to efforts to work more from third countries (Austria) and to utilize the emigration [from the GDR] issue.


On operative collaboration.


Comrade Kryuchkov outlined that CPSU Central Committee and the Chairman of the KGB, Comrade Chebrikov, value highly collaboration with the MfS. He especially thanked for information forwarded to the KGB on following subjects: FRG, NATO, USA, SWT [Sector Science and Technology], Foreign Counterintelligence.

He is commissioned to discuss continuous and comprehensive cooperation with us. Here he made the following suggestions:


- Due to the difficulty of intelligence work against the United States a joint perspective plan should be worked out.
- In France there exist good preconditions on the side of the KGB for a joint handling of FRG citizens.
- Good progress has been made with regard to deal with NATO and EC; coordination with regard to objects and people should be intensified.
- Following up on the good collaboration between our resident foreign agents in China, a joint handling of Chinese citizens in third countries should be pursued.
- In the context of obtaining scientific and technological information special focus on issues of military strategic developments, strengthening of [our] economies, and other selective areas of concentration like economic exploitation of marine resources.
- Upcoming consultations about questions of active measures should lead to further concrete decisions.
- In the area of foreign counterintelligence increase of efforts in intelligence work against hostile centers, especially in the FRG and the United States.


Comrade Kryuchkov underlined that highest importance is to be attributed to an improvement of work with cadres due to the overall increase of operative tasks. In the KGB, as well as in the MfS, there exists a good basis of cadres to solve the tasks. Both also know their respective capabilities. We should devote more attention to the training of cadres, in part also to the necessary quantitative expansion. For instance, the number of specialists for certain intelligence areas has to grow significantly.

Analyses of information problems in accordance with electronic data storing requires a sufficient number of qualified specialists, as does the implementation of tasks in foreign countries (language abilities).

Comrade Kryuchkov emphasized good experiences from working with the “Institute for the Study of Operative Problems”. Without the qualified work of the latter, responses to important issues for the party leadership would not have been possible. (Example: global perspective of robot construction, exploitation of marine resources, application of growth producing and protecting biological substances in agriculture.) As a consequence of intelligence work, important economic processes were set in motion.


In conclusion, Comrade Kryuchkov thanked again, also in the name of the KGB leadership, for the previous good results of collaboration with the MfS. He promised the willingness of the Soviet comrades to continue cooperation in this direction.

These notes describe statements made by Colonel General Kryuchkov which outline the current state of Soviet institutions and intelligence networks in various regions, including Western Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the United States.

Document Information


BStU, MfS, Abt. X, Nr. 2020, S. 8-15. Translated by Bernd Schaefer.


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