July 30, 1955
Shortened Transcript of the Meeting held by the 2nd Chief Directorate of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the USSR on July 30, 1955
This document was made possible with support from The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
of the meeting held by the 2nd Chief Directorate of the KGB
attached to the Council of Ministers of the USSR on July 30, 1955
Present at the meeting: the leadership and the heads of the Departments of the 2nd Chief Directorate, the operational team of the Directorate in charge of supervising counterintelligence work of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR, the head of the 2nd Department of the KGB of the Latvian SSR, and the heads of the leading Sections of that Department.
Comrade FEDOTOV – the head of the 2nd Chief Directorate of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the USSR.
Comrades, we are meeting today in order to listen to the report of the head of the 2nd Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR so that we can, on the basis of that report, make a thorough review of the state of the agent-operational work of the counterintelligence branch in Latvia.
We selected the 2nd Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR because all basic lines [orientations] of counterintelligence work are most fully and thoroughly represented in the work of that Department with the exception, perhaps, of the line on the diplomatic corps and other similar representatives of capitalist countries.
Because of that, by analyzing the work of the 2nd Department of the KGB of the Latvian SSR, we think that we will be able to understand more fully the deficiencies that prevent us from moving forward. This review will not only significantly help the 2nd Department of the KGB of the Latvian SSR and other regional branches but will also enable the 2nd Chief Directorate to draw appropriate conclusions, so we intend to transcribe all the remarks and send the transcript to the regional branches.
When deciding to hold this meeting, we were motivated by the following:
In the course of 1954 and in the first half of this year , relevant organizational work has been done in order to implement the decision of the Central Committee of our Party regarding the duties of state security institutions in the USSR.
As you know, based on that decision, the decrees and instructions which defined the basics of the organization of our agent-operational work were issued; also, the relevant decrees on specific lines [orientations] of our work, including the decree No. 00729 about the agent-operational work of the 2nd (counterintelligence) Directorates and Departments; instructional meetings/seminars for the heads of the 2nd Departments were organized in the course of which we tried to acquaint the leadership of Soviet counterintelligence with our entire existing expertise; a series of instructional cluster meetings were organized for the officers of the search branch, [and also] the meeting of the operational officers in charge of counterintelligence work in the ports. We are also holding a series of such meetings at this time and plan to continue doing so in the immediate future.
All these measures have doubtlessly led to certain results. We have made a step forward, [and] in some cases, a visible and significant step forward. There is absolutely no doubt that, on the whole, our Chekist institutions began to work better and more effectively.
Still, can we conclude from all of this that everything is going well and that we can relax? No, by no means. If we take a look at the situation as a whole, we can conclude that, despite [some] positive steps forward in the work of counterintelligence, they are still very much at an initial stage, and, as a whole, counterintelligence work remains unsatisfactory.
This makes it imperative for us not to lessen our efforts in that direction, to continue finding and removing all that hinders our work, especially because it would be presumptuous to say that we fully understand everything and that everything is clear to us. There are whole areas of [our] work which we still need to delve into and delve deeply in order to find the correct ways of approaching them. Take, for example, the area of work concerning detecting spies among the returnees, the re-immigrants, if those spies аre not active in any way and do not communicate with [foreign] intelligence services, and also other, no less complex problems of our work.
Not all is going well with respect to our planning and implementation of active measures against enemy intelligence services. We have initiated some activities of the local level branches of our counterintelligence services in that direction, but now life itself is telling us that we need to make certain corrections. Not in all cases are we successful in dangling our agents to foreign intelligence services. The explanation for that is that in a series of cases when preparing such measures, it was assumed that enemy organizations opposing us are led by dim-witted people. However, in practice, we more often encounter the adversary who is smart, cunning, and not so easily fooled. That means that we have to find ways to improve our work.
It is clear to everybody that if we do not do something, there will be no improvements. Therefore, the more concern we show, the more we push ourselves, the better results we will obtain.
Taking all that into consideration, on the basis of a careful analysis of the work of one of the top ranking branches of our counterintelligence service, such as the 2nd Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR, we need, in today’s meeting, to try to understand more deeply the state of our counterintelligence work as a whole, including [both] positive experiences and all the deficiencies, in order to derive appropriate conclusions and determine future paths for improving and strengthening that work.
of the head of the 2nd Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR, Comrade LARYUTIN, on the state of Chekist work in the Department
- ОPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT
Counterintelligence work in the present-day Latvian SSR has its peculiarities because foreign intelligence services had an extended period of time during the existence of the bourgeois Latvia to establish their agent networks for intelligence collection and other subversive activities against the Soviet Union.
Until 1940, American, British, German and other embassies of capitalist countries were located in Riga, each numbering 50-70 employees, a significant number of whom were experienced intelligence officers.
A wide-ranging intelligence and counterintelligence activities were conducted on the territory of Latvia by the German intelligence service during the Patriotic War [WWII].
After the end of the Patriotic War, capitalist intelligence services, especially American and British intelligence services, widely used the channel of repatriation to send their agents to Latvia.
Since 1951-1952, American and British intelligence services stepped up sending their agents to the territory of the Latvian SSR using illegal channels.
It has been determined that there are about 100,000 Latvians abroad, most of whom escaped from Latvia in 1944-45.
Helped by the anti-Soviet nationalist centers active abroad, American and British intelligence services
recruit spies among their members and train them in the specially established schools in order to send them to the territory of Latvia.
American and British agents dispatched to the Soviet Union are, in addition to spying, told to help intensify the activities of the nationalist underground in the republic and create conditions necessary for infiltrating spies into the industrial regions of the Soviet Union.
In addition to that, the Latvian SSR has two ports, Riga and Ventspils, systematically frequented by foreign ships. The sailors of these ships go into the port towns, interact with local population, and some of them make suspicious contacts resembling intelligence activity or try to convince individual Soviet citizens to betray their Homeland.
Considering the operational environment in the republic, the counterintelligence work of the Department is conducted in the following directions:
- The exposure and elimination of the active agents of capitalist intelligence services on the territory of the Latvian SSR, planted both before and during the war, and also of those sent through the repatriation channel and the illegal channel.
- The seizure of the channels for sending enemy agents into the republic through the dangling of our agents and their infiltration into the intelligence services of the adversary.
- The exposure and cultivation of intelligence officers among the sailors of foreign ships, docked in the ports of Riga and Ventspils, and of their contacts suspected of espionage in Latvia.
The 2nd Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR
will implement all these activities by creating high quality agent networks and by working with dedication in accordance with the decrees of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 00405, 00729, 00420.
In December 1954, the agent-operational work of the Department was inspected by the inspection team of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the USSR.
As a result of this inspection, serious deficiencies in counterintelligence work were discovered which were noted in the resolution of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the USSR dated January 22, 1955.
These deficiencies primarily have to do with the following:
- There are too few measures being conducted regarding the seizure of the channels for sending the agents of foreign intelligence services to the republic.
Far from all the family and other Latvian contacts of the members of Latvian émigré centers, working for capitalist intelligence services, are found and placed under surveillance.
- The cultivation of individuals suspected of contacts with foreign intelligence services is poorly organized. The measures implemented in these cases are of a primitive character and cannot provide the conditions necessary for the exposure of concrete espionage activities of these individuals and their channels of communication with foreign intelligence centers.
- The work with agents, their ideological edification and testing for loyalty, is of poor quality. The acquisition of new agents capable of accomplishing the tasks of our services is done [only] by a small number of the operatives of the Department.
- Inadequate assistance is provided to the municipal branches of the KGB of the republic for organizing the cultivation of individuals suspected of espionage.
In order to resolve these deficiencies, the 2nd Department developed a set of appropriate
measures approved as a whole by the 2nd Chief Directorate of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the USSR.
In order to implement the proposed measures in practice, all the Chekists in the Department were mobilized and, as a result, the sense of responsibility of each operative for his assigned area of activity increased.
The top ranking officers of the Department led the way in the most serious agent operations and measures.
The operatives in the Department began considering each agent cultivation, linked to enemy intelligence services and émigré centers, from the perspective of its potential use for counterintelligence purposes.
- ORGANIZATION OF COUNTERINTELLIGENCE WORK
The Department is composed of five Sections.
The 1st Section works on the American line [orientation]; the 2nd Section on the British line; the 3rd Section on the line of Western European countries; the 4th Section on the cultivation of the former members of White Russian émigré organizations; the 5th section performs the search function.
Family and other contacts of more than 30 foreign intelligence agents from among Latvian nationalists living abroad have been located in the republic.
Considering that there was a statement about insufficient attention being paid to these individuals in the conclusions of the inspection team of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the USSR, a plan of counterintelligence measures has been developed which includes active agent development or agent surveillance of the family and other contacts of the foreign intelligence agents mentioned above on the territory of the Latvian SSR in order to make possible the timely capture of spies if they are dispatched and show up at their contacts’ location as well as for dangling our agents to foreign intelligence services.
The implementation of this plan was assigned to the specially selected group of operatives.
A large part of the Latvian population corresponds with relatives in the U.S. and other countries. This channel is used by the American foreign intelligence service to keep in contact with its agents.
Two operatives, including the head of the 1st Section, are employed in organizing counterintelligence measures on that line.
In 1953, information was received that the Israeli foreign intelligence service was trying to establish contact with Jewish nationalists in Riga who have relatives in Israel.
15 Jewish nationalists with whom the Israeli foreign intelligence service established or tried to establish contact are being cultivated.
This work is conducted by two operatives.
During the postwar period, through the process of repatriation, 37,500 people returned to the republic. As is well-known, the repatriation channel was widely used by foreign intelligence services for sending their agents into the republic.
The specially selected operatives from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Sections, in accordance with their lines of work, have been given the task of identifying and exposing foreign agents among the returnees.
In the period prior to the war, as well as during the German occupation of the Latvian SSR, the German intelligence service recruited numerous agents in Latvia. In the past years, some of them have been repressed [imprisoned/executed] by our services, while others are under surveillance and are being cultivated in order to detect their potential contacts with the West German foreign intelligence service.
A group of operatives from the 3rd Section, tasked with the German line, are also cultivating the contacts of 13 former top ranking German foreign intelligence officers in Latvia who are abroad at this time and collaborate with intelligence agencies.
At the same time, also on the German line, the agent-operational work among the Baltic Germans, living in various regions of the republic as individuals without citizenship, is also being intensified.
On the basis of archival documents and the testimonies of the agents of the French intelligence service arrested in 1940-1941, the search is under way for more than 30 French agents, two of whom were located in Riga and are being cultivated, [and] one of whom lives in the Karaganda region [Kazakhstan].
As a result of the operations to dangle our agents to foreign sailors and the establishment of direct contact with them, our operatives received materials on 19 foreign sailors which are of operational interest.
In the cases of 2 foreign sailors, the approval was granted by the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the USSR to initiate their recruitment as agents.
Among the contacts of foreign sailors who were detected and are now under cultivation, the most interest is elicited by P., a resident of Riga, who had a suspicious meeting with the Dutchman RAIMDOT.
Together with RAIMDOT, P. went to one of the suburbs of Riga where, as recorded by surveillance, they dug out some kind of object in the woods.
The substantial recruitment pool for foreign intelligence services in Latvia is represented by the former members of various anti-Soviet White Russian émigré organizations (NTS, ROVS, BRP, etc.) which were very active in the bourgeois Latvia. The significant number of the leaders
of these organizations live abroad and are employed by foreign intelligence services.
Two operatives of the 4th Section are tasked to work on that line.
- OPERATIVES’ WORK WITH AGENTS
Operatives’ work with agents is based on training them in the spirit of loyalty to the Soviet state and instilling habits needed for intelligence work.
In order to improve the work with agents, the plans with respect to the majority of agents have been worked out, detailing in what capacity, and for what kind of operation, each of them would be the most useful, [and] how to check on him.
As a result, the operatives of the Department began to work with agents in a more effective manner, directing them to look for information in the behavior of those who are being cultivated and in their way of life in order to detect those aspects that resemble espionage activities.
The meetings of operatives with agents take place according to the schedule which is discussed and supervised by the leadership of the Department and of the Sections.
These measures made possible more active use of those agents who have a potential to be infiltrated into foreign intelligence services.
The following measures are illustrative of that.
1. Back in 1946, Agent “R.,” whose relative S. lives abroad and works for one foreign intelligence service, was recruited.
In the course of his work with us, “R.” turned out to be a very capable agent.
He participated in dangerous operations involving the fight against the armed nationalist underground and the agents of foreign intelligence services.
In 1954, we recommended the candidacy of “R.” for infiltration into the foreign intelligence service of one capitalist country.
The sending of “R.” abroad was approved by the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the KGB.
His preparatory training is coming to an end and his assignment abroad will take place very soon.
2. In 1950-1951, tasked by our service, Agent “G.” began mail correspondence with Latvian nationalists working for a foreign intelligence service in one of the Western European countries.
As instructed by us, in his letters, Agent “G.” wrote about the existence of an anti-Soviet group in Latvia.
In 1954, the agent of a foreign intelligence service “E.” was parachuted on the territory of Latvia and was turned by us.
As one of the assignments, “E.” was tasked by that foreign intelligence service to establish contact with “G.”’s nationalist group created by us and assist it to set up a communication channel with his employers.
As a consequence, the meeting between these two agents was organized but without them revealing their affiliation with us to each other.
At this time, Agents “G.” and “E.” are being used by the 2nd Department of the KGB in the operations abroad.
3. Since August 1953, Agent “Kazimir” conducts mail correspondence with his mother in the course of which the address of a foreign agent on the wanted list was obtained.
Subsequently, the contact with that agent was established and, after an appropriate approach, he was turned in July 1954.
The measures have been worked out to dangle “Kazimir” to the foreign intelligence service of one capitalist country with the aim for them to use “Kazimir”’s apartment as a safehouse for their agents sent to the Latvian SSR.
4. In September 1954, Agent “T.,” a member of the underground group created by us, was sent abroad, infiltrated the enemy foreign intelligence center and successfully accomplished the tasks given by our service.
For proper work with the agent, the head of the Section Major MIKHAILOV was officially thanked in a decree by the Chairman of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the USSR. Agent “T.” was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.
5. Among his contacts in one European country, our agent “Vilis” has a relative “T.” who has conducted enemy activities against the USSR for a long time and who handles sending spies to the Baltic states.
In June of this year, “T.” sent a letter to “Vilis” via the object of cultivation “A.” who was sent abroad to play an unwitting role in another operation.
As it became clear now, “T.” completely trusts “Vilis” and has great hopes for him.
We are working on the selection of an agent who will be sent to that country with a recommendation from “Vilis.”
6. In order to seize the control of the communication channels of the NTS centers with their agents in the Soviet Union, in cooperation with the 6th Department of the 2nd Chief Directorate of the KGB, Agent “M.” was sent abroad in April of this year.
We are preparing Agents “Dvinskiy” and “Morozova” for similar tasks.
Naturally, all recommendations for dangling our agents to foreign intelligence services were sent to the 2nd Chief Directorate where they were mostly approved and the officers of the 2nd Chief Directorate are taking part in their implementation in practice together with us.
Despite some positive results in dangling our agents to foreign intelligence services, there are still significant shortcomings in our work with agents.
Some operatives in the Department keep working with agents in a superficial manner, [and] are not giving agents well-thought-out assignments.
For instance, the deputy head of the 2nd Section Comrade RIZHKOV worked out measures for an operation in which he intended to use an agent who has no desire to work with the state security service.
Senior Operative of the same Section Comrade GRODNENSKIY acted imprudently regarding the secret recording of a candidate for recruitment in 1955.
As a result, when that candidate for recruitment was taken to the [Latvian] KGB [headquarters], it turned out that working with him was not possible because on that day he was supposed to hand out the salaries [at his job].
Some operatives (Comrades KANALTSEV, MALYSHEV, RESHCHENKO, MELDERIS) are in contact with a small number of agents while at the same time they work poorly to recruit more.
On the whole, the existing number of the agents of the 2nd Department, both qualitatively and quantitatively, cannot accomplish the tasks required of the Chekists – the counterintelligence officers of Latvia.
In the period from January 1 to July 25 of this year, 11 agents were recruited, for concrete tasks – 6, for dangling to foreign intelligence services – 5.
In order to implement the decree of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 00420, the following measures are being taken:
Each operative who is in contact with 2-4 agents is provided with directions for recruiting new agents and [instructed] from which community [to recruit].
At this time, we are getting ready for the recruitment of а number of candidates among Latvian and Jewish nationalists, and [also] among the contacts of the objects of cultivation and individuals who have contacts abroad of interest to us.
- THE SITUATION REGARDING THE CULTIVATION OF INDIVIDUALS SUSPECTED OF ESPIONAGE ON BEHALF OF THE INTELLIGENCE SERVICES OF CAPITALIST COUNTRIES
Among the existing operational surveillance files, there are 35 cultivation [cases] accessed as the most promising.
Among them, those with the most significant operational interest are the following:
The agent network case “Sion” [Zion] concerning a group of Jewish nationalists with whom the Israeli foreign intelligence service has established contact.
In the course of agent-operational measures, it was established that the primary object of cultivation TS., during her meetings in Riga in 1954 with G., a liaison of the Israeli foreign intelligence service and a member of a nationalist group in Moscow, gave him a permission to establish contact with the Jewish nationalist Z. located in the Arkhangelsk region. She also informed G. about the questions of interest to the Israeli foreign intelligence service.
In April of this year, G. came to Riga again where he had several meetings with TS. and also met other Jewish nationalists.
Our operational equipment recorded that, as a result of these meetings, the husband of TS. began to express the view of the necessity of active anti-Soviet nationalist activities.
It is necessary to note that there were also serious mistakes concerning the agent network case “Sion.” For instance, without an in-depth study, there was an attempt to recruit the object of cultivation V., which, as a result of that, was unsuccessful. The timely measures to dangle our agents to G. during his visit to Riga were not taken.
The case file on SH. who crossed illegally from the American zone of occupation into the GDR in 1953 and took up residence in Riga in 1954.
The information has been received that SH. intends to get a job as a mechanic on a foreign-bound ship and that he has stated that he wanted to go abroad again.
In connection with this, the agent of the Latvian Sea Basin “Polundra” has been included in the cultivation of SH.
Among the close contacts of SH., a Russian woman “K.,” an engineer, the head of a chemical laboratory at the factory where K. works, was detected.
The operational equipment planted in the apartment of “K.” established that the object of cultivation in his conversations with “K.” expresses the views critical of the Soviet life, describes to her the activities of the NTS, and tries to influence her in the anti-Soviet direction.
At the same time, active agent-operational measures implemented in the recent period established that a number of the objects of cultivation were without sufficient justification and based on unconfirmed information suspected of contacts with foreign intelligence services.
Along with the measures implemented in connection with the above mentioned cases, a number of other cases, regarding which for a long time there was no movement, have been opened and had agents assigned to them.
The majority of ongoing agent operations are taking place according to the plans approved by the leadership of the Department or of the KGB [of Latvia].
Still, although there are some positive results, there are also a number of significant deficiencies regarding agent operations.
Many operatives approach the planning of measures concerning the assigned cases in a superficial way. The planned measures are often brought into life slowly with operational mistakes being made.
Very few measures are designed to detect the interest of those being cultivated in gaining information which constitutes a state secret.
At this time, there are a significant number of cases in the Department for which it is necessary to implement the appropriate measures to determine the question of the utility of the cultivation of the individuals involved.
It is necessary to note that the leadership of the Department and of the Sections
is still insufficiently focused on resolving such cases in the near future.
5. MANAGEMENT OF THE PERIPHERY
In recent times, the 2nd Department somewhat improved its work in managing the periphery and providing practical assistance to the municipal and regional branches in the cultivation of individuals suspected of espionage.
The measures related to the concrete operational cases were worked out and implemented in coordination with the Liepaja, Jelgava, Ventspils, and other municipal branches.
A number of the operatives of the 2nd Department visited the municipal and regional branches to provide them with practical assistance in the cultivation of individuals suspected of espionage. Among them were the head of the Department, deputy heads of the Department, and the heads of the Sections.
It is necessary to note that the quality of counterintelligence work in a number of municipal and regional branches continues to be very low.
Counterintelligence work in the Alsunga-Ogre regional branch and the Jelgava municipal branch is organized poorly.
The Alsunga regional branch (headed by Comrade NOVIKOV) in the course of several years did not recruit a single agent in the domain of the 2nd Department.
The 2nd Department needs to increase the control of, and the assistance to, the municipal and regional branches in the cultivation of individuals suspected of espionage on behalf of foreign intelligence services.
In order to eliminate the existing deficiencies in counterintelligence work, the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR has taken the following measures:
- The plans developed to step up the work in the Sections and [the plans] regarding concrete cases have been placed under strict supervision of the leadership of the KGB and the Department.
- Operatives have been told to take more seriously the question of the recruitment of new agents, especially in those cases where for a long time there was no movement, but which deserve serious operational attention.
- The control over the cases in the municipal and regional branches which are operationally in the domain of the 2nd Department was strengthened.
Comrade SHEREMETYEV – the deputy head of a Section of the 2nd Department of the 2nd Chief Directorate.
In December 1954 and in July of this year, I acquainted myself with the state of the Chekist work in the 2nd Department of the KGB of Latvia.
The agent-operational work of the 2nd Department regarding the American and the British lines [orientations] has come to life somewhat in recent times.
Operatives began to approach the work in a more organized and thoughtful manner. Several useful recruitments were made; the measures regarding concrete cases were more thought-out and better implemented.
The heads of the Department and the heads of the 1st and 2nd Sections have under their purview the most serious cases and are in contact with the most valuable agents.
In his report, Comrade LARYUTIN spoke of the positive aspects of the work, that is why I want to focus more on the deficiencies and the analysis of them.
In the counterintelligence work of the 2nd Department there are still a number of substantial deficiencies, which are only slowly being removed. As the Committee for State Security attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR stated in its resolution from May 11 of this year regarding the report of Comrade LARYUTIN: “Some operatives show the elements of complacency and self-satisfaction.”
In my statement, I would like to comment on the key aspects of counterintelligence work of the 2nd Department of the KGB of Latvia.
From the analysis of the operational environment, it is clear that there is a necessity of the organization of agent-operational work involving the study of the Latvian-based family and other contacts of Latvian nationalists employed by the American and British foreign intelligence services. However, up until recent times, this work was conducted without a defined plan.
At present time, there are plans developed by the 1st and the 2nd Sections which include the organization of the agent surveillance of the family and other contacts of foreign intelligence agents. Individuals, which seem most suspicious in terms of possibly belonging to the agent network of the American and British foreign intelligence services, are being cultivated. However, this is just a start and the comrades from the 1st and the 2nd Sections still have a long way to go.
Until recently, no work was done on the analysis of international mail correspondence in order to detect individuals who engage in one-sided correspondence, or individuals who send letters from different addresses in Latvia to certain specific addresses abroad.
Only at present time there are comrades assigned to this kind of work in the Sections.
In addition, no agent work is done regarding the detection of individuals suspected of espionage among the groups such as the returnees, the former foreign citizens, the individuals who used to work in foreign embassies. Some operatives, including the deputy head of the Section Comrade SOBACHKIN, show а certain misunderstanding regarding the question of organizing agent work to detect individuals suspected of espionage among the returnees. These comrades believe that this kind of agent work concerning the returnees will lead to the situation of the past when the returnees were cultivated on a mass basis. This is not accurate. We do not have to cultivate all the returnees, but only to detect among them those suspected of espionage based on their way of life, behavior, and contacts.
To make such work possible, as stated in the Decree No. 00729, our services need to have agent networks which are small in quantity, but high in quality.
Such agent networks have yet to be established by the 2nd Department of the KGB of Latvia.
Of great importance for the correct organization of the work of the 2nd Department is the information about the espionage methods of foreign intelligence services: the assigned tasks as well as the agents who are being prepared to be dispatched to the USSR. The 2nd Covert Department [2-N] of the KGB of Latvia, which receives the captured spies and conducts operations with agents abroad, has this kind of information. However, there is still no proper professional contact among these two Departments.
In recent times, the quality of the work of operatives with agents has gone up.
The 2nd Department has prepared and conducted a number of measures aimed at sending its agents abroad to dangle them to the American and British foreign intelligence service.
At the same time, the work of the 1st and the 2nd Sections with agents had significant deficiencies.
Agent networks are insufficient in terms of quantity, and they also continue to include individuals who, based on their capabilities and personal characteristics, are not able to assist our service in the detection and exposure of spies.
For instance, Senior Operative of the 1st Section Comrade KUZIN has Agent “Stabiņš,” а house painter by profession, barely literate, who never provided any materials of interest.
Similar agents are also found in the 2nd Section. For instance, Senior Operative Comrade GRODNENSKIY has Agent “Rimskiy” who has been ill for a long time and who, as Comrade GRODNENSKIY himself stated, can no longer be employed in the work of our service.
After the existing cultivations are put through a review, many agents
who are involved in them will have to be removed from agent networks, because they do not have the contacts of interest to our service and their personal characteristics do not fit with the requirements for agents.
Although the operatives of the 1st and 2nd Sections prepare for their meetings with agents, the preparations for the meetings are not very intensive and goal-oriented.
Not always is the agent behavior toward the object of cultivation worked out in detail. The mistakes made by the agent are not subjected to analysis.
There are also cases in which agents are given improper, intrusive tasks, the carrying out of which leads to those under cultivation beginning to grow suspicious of our agents.
For instance, the 2nd Section is working on a case involving G., based on the information that he had been in close contact with the agent of the British foreign intelligence service KYUNDORF from 1931 to 1941 and allegedly assisted him in selecting individuals to be recruited for espionage on behalf of Britain (in 1941, KYUNDORF was sentenced to death).
In 1951, Agent “Dadzis” tried twice to talk to G. about KYUNDORF. As “Dadzis” stated at that time, when he heard the last name KYUNDORF, G. was “silent for a few minutes and stared at the agent.”
In 1952, “Dadzis” was again tasked to mention KYUNDORF. When she asked: “Where is KYUNDORF?,” G.’s facial expression changed and he replied with a question: “Don’t you know where KYUNDORF is?”
It should have been clear that G. does not want to talk about KYUNDORF and that such an insistence by the agent can negatively affect the cultivation.
And yet, in spite of that, according to the plan approved by the leadership of the 2nd Department, Senior Operative GRODNENSKIY sent Agent “Dadzis” to G. again in March of this year with a cover story that a man who was imprisoned together with KYUNDORF gave the agent a letter for him.
G. read the letter and wrote down the address of KYUNDORF and the last name of the man who brought the letter. Soon after that, “Dadzis” asked G. whether he planned to write to KYUNDORF to which he replied negatively and said that he did not want to talk about that topic again.
A serious deficiency is that the operatives of the 1st and 2nd Sections conduct about the 80 to 90 percent of their meetings with agents during the day.
The situation with the cultivation of individuals suspected of espionage by the 1st and 2nd Sections is particularly bad. The cultivation of these individuals is done in the old way, primitively, and in no way is it different from the methods of cultivation of an anti-Soviet group, for instance.
Agents are still poorly instructed on how to study the behavior of the cultivated individuals with the aim of detecting facts that would confirm their espionage activities.
There are too few measures aimed at finding out whether the cultivated individuals are interested in receiving the information that constitutes a state secret. Also, insufficient attention is paid to exposing their potential contacts with foreign intelligence services.
In 1955, there were almost no active offensive measures regarding individuals suspected of espionage.
True, validation measures were conducted regarding a number of individuals which made it possible to clarify their cases and stop pursuing them. As a result of these activities, just in the 1st Section, 22 cases were archived this year. As is well-known, these activities
were already supposed to be completed in 1954. However, there are still some cases in the Sections based on unimportant materials.
At the same time, there are cases in the 1st and 2nd Sections which deserve serious attention and need the active cultivation of the individuals involved in them. However, these cases are conducted in a primitive manner.
In 1954, the 1st Section began to cultivate a group of Jewish nationalists (6 people) in the agent network case “Sion,” the contact with whom was made by the Israeli foreign intelligence officer LEVANON who was based in Moscow as an employee of the Israeli diplomatic mission.
Significant work has been done in cultivating this group. The objects were placed under agent surveillance. The work of agents was combined with the use of operational equipment.
As a result, the intentions of this group became known to our service; their new criminal contacts were uncovered. At this time, this case involves 11 people.
However, there are deficiencies in this case as well. For instance, the operatives of the 1st Section, and, in particular, the deputy head of the Section Comrade TATARINOV did not make use of the favorable conditions for dangling our agents to G., a liaison of the Israeli foreign intelligence service, who came to Riga twice on instructions from LEVANON to establish contact with the Zionists.
Individuals cultivated in the agent network case “Sion” have relatives and friends in Israel, some of whom work for the Israeli foreign intelligence service. It seems that this state of affairs could facilitate the sending of our agents to Israel and dangling them for recruitment to the Israeli foreign intelligence service. However, there have been no proposals from Comrade TATARINOV on that account.
In the pipeline of the 1st and 2nd Sections, there are cases which deserve interest, but the cultivation of which has for a long time not been undertaken at all.
In December 1954, the inspection team of the KGB of the USSR, sent to check the work of the KGB of Latvia, noted that the management of the peripheral branches of the KGB and the assistance to them by the 2nd Department were performed poorly.
In 1955, the 2nd Department as a whole as well as the 1st and 2nd Sections have increased the quality of that work; operatives began to pay more attention to the work of the local KGB operatives.
In order to offer their practical assistance in the specific cases, the leadership of the 2nd Department, the heads of the 1st and 2nd Sections and other operatives of the Sections visited the local KGB branches.
However, along with assisting the regional KGB branches with the conduct of specific cases, the 2nd Department also needs to pay serious attention to organizing the work of agents in these branches in order to detect individuals suspected of espionage among the family and other contacts of the foreign intelligence officers, targeting the USSR from the territories of Sweden and West Germany, [among] the returnees, especially the ones who returned alone, and other groups.
The decree of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers No. 00729 demands the skillful combination of the use of agents with the use of operational equipment and external surveillance; however, this is difficult to implement in the KGB of Latvia.
Operational equipment [use] and external surveillance in the KGB of Latvia are done poorly.
When an important conversation is being conducted by the object or we position our agent in his apartment, instead of the [recorded] conversation, we only get noise. This happened on several occasions
in the agent network case “Sion” and so on.
4 objects of the agent network case “Sion” noticed that they were under operational surveillance. One of the objects came to Moscow to meet with his Zionist contacts. However, he noticed that he was being followed on the train, was able to escape the operatives, warned his Moscow contacts by phone, and did not meet with them.
The leadership of the 2nd Department and their operatives seem to have gotten used to this state of affairs given that they have not required the branches mentioned above to improve their work.
Comrade KOPYTOV – the deputy head of a Section of the 4th Department of the 2nd Chief Directorate.
On the instructions of the leadership of the 2nd Chief Directorate of the KGB, in order to prepare for today’s meeting, I visited the 2nd Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR and acquainted myself with their work on the detection of the agents of Western European and Scandinavian countries and the centers of the émigré organizations abroad.
Counterintelligence work on these lines [orientations] is being done by the Department in the following manner:
In 1955, a number of measures were prepared and initiated to dangle our agents to foreign intelligence services conducting subversive activities against the Soviet Baltic states.
Work is being done to set up agent surveillance of the close family and other contacts of the former operatives of the German foreign intelligence service and active nationalists who are at this time employed by foreign intelligence services. The recruitment, and the preparation for the recruitment, of agents among these contacts for use in the search for enemy agents are ongoing.
Measures are being taken concerning the detection and cultivation of individuals suspected of contacts with foreign intelligence services among the returnees, the Baltic Germans, and the close contacts of the French intelligence officers who were active in the bourgeois Latvia.
Several measures were taken concerning the intensification of the work on the ongoing cases. The plan of the work on the Scandinavian line [orientation] was put together and the measures to be taken by the 3rd and the 4th Sections and carried out by the qualified agents were worked out.
However, the instructions of the 2nd Chief Directorate concerning the organization of work in a number of areas are being carried out slowly. Up until this time, work on the French and Scandinavian lines is still not organized in the appropriate manner.
The Department has materials about the agents of the French intelligence service who were active on the territory of the bourgeois Latvia. Measures on tracing these individuals are being conducted slowly. At the same time, agents recruited by the 2nd Department who know these individuals and their families well are not being used.
In the process of the detection of the close contacts of the French intelligence officers, the materials deserving of interest were obtained regarding the contacts of SPADE, SHMITLEIN, VERMERSH, and the individuals were detected who, after appropriate checks, could be used in the cases on this line and in the measures of dangling them to the French foreign intelligence service. In addition to the head of the Section Comrade SMIRNOV who works on the French line, it would be useful to add one more operative to work in this area.
The attention given to the organization of the work on the Scandinavian line is absolutely insufficient, although in 1955 a group (of 2 operatives) did a certain amount of work in acquiring agents
who, based on their contacts and abilities, are capable of detecting enemy agents sent to Latvia.
In 1955, the 3rd Section recruited 5 and established contact with 7 agents, including the recruitment of 2 agents among foreign sailors. The approval of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the USSR to recruit three agents was received. In the case of one of the agents, measures are being taken to dangle him to the American foreign intelligence service, while two [other] agents are getting ready to be sent abroad for dangling to the West German foreign intelligence service.
There were no recruitments by the 4th Section. In 1955, this Section sent one agent abroad and got two agents ready to be dispatched.
One of the key deficiencies in the work with agents, which the 2nd Chief Directorate drew attention to on several occasions, remains the absence of systematic checks on agents recruited with the use of compromising materials.
The significant number of agents, including the most qualified agents, are not used in concrete cases. The heads of the Sections do not lead their subordinates by example in this matter. Out of 6 agents, working for the head of the Section Comrade SMIRNOV, only one agent is engaged on a [specific] case and another is indirectly connected to an operation abroad.
Individual operatives know their own agents poorly and do not study their abilities. Meetings with a number of agents are not conducted regularly.
Work with the ongoing cases is still conducted poorly. Absent are measures to test the interest of the objects of cultivation in the information of secret character, in the existence of the illegal channels of contact, and so on.
Management and assistance in the cases being processed by the peripheral branches are conducted poorly. The stage of completion for a number of cases which deserve interest has not been communicated since 1953.
Comrade GORBATENKO – the head of the 1st Department of the 2nd Chief Directorate.
In my statement, I want to focus on two lines [orientations] in the work of the 2nd Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR corresponding to the lines of the work of the 1st Department of the 2nd Chief Directorate.
The first, and one of the most important lines, in the work not only of the 2nd Department of the KGB of the Latvian SSR, but also the most important line in the work of all of our local counterintelligence branches is the fight against the subversive activities of the American foreign intelligence service.
The second, maybe less important for some of our branches in Central and Northern regions as well as for the regions in the Urals and the Far East, but very important in the work of the state security branches of the Baltic republics, particularly for Latvia, is the fight against the subversive activities of the Israeli foreign intelligence service.
From the report of Comrade LARYUTIN and the statements of other Comrades, it is clear that the counterintelligence work of the KGB of the Latvian SSR began to come to life in recent times. It seems that the decrees of the Chairman of the KGB No. 00405 and No. 00729 have been understood by the operatives of the 2nd Department and that, in accordance with them, certain measures have been taken to organize counterintelligence work in an appropriate way.
Through what channels could American agents penetrate into Latvia?
First of all, the organization of counterintelligence work should proceed from the fact that, on the territory of Latvia, there could have remained old agents, recruited by the American foreign intelligence service prior to 1940. Then, there are agents who got inside using the legal channels of repatriation and re-immigration, and, lastly, those who were dispatched at different times using illegal channels and have not yet been detected by us.
The 2nd Department has organized its counterintelligence work along those three lines [orientations].
There are a number of cases being processed by the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR concerning the fight against the American foreign intelligence service that, to a certain degree, give us an opportunity to learn about the interests of the adversary, an opportunity to detect the methods of communication used by the American foreign intelligence service with its agents dispatched to the territory of Latvia, and, in a number of cases, an opportunity to disinform the American foreign intelligence service on certain questions.
However, it is necessary to say right away that these cases in no way mean that we and the KGB of Latvia have solved the problem of infiltrating agents into the American foreign intelligence service or into the nationalist émigré centers linked to the American foreign intelligence service.
A key deficiency in the work of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR concerning the question of using the existing capabilities for sending our agents abroad for counterintelligence purposes is that the counterintelligence service does not properly study and analyze materials about foreign intelligence services and schools involved in the preparation and dispatching of agents directly to the territory of the Latvian SSR.
From the conversations with Comrades LARYUTIN and GALKIN, it became clear that the 2nd Department does not know about the status of the cases handled by the 2nd Covert Department [2-N].
Furthermore, it became clear that between the officers of these two parallel Departments, aimed at common objectives, a harmful antagonism came into being, with the result that there is no professional contact between the officers of these two Departments not only regarding the organization of active measures against the American foreign intelligence service, but also against all other enemy intelligence services.
It is an absolutely incomprehensible fact that Comrade LARYUTIN, who is the head of counterintelligence in the republic, does not even acquaint himself with the reports and statements of the agents returning from abroad after carrying out our assignments.
It is necessary that the leadership of the 2nd Chief Directorate and the leadership of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR put everything in order by making these two Departments work as one, considering that they are aimed at common objectives.
In the counterintelligence work of the 2nd Department of the KGB of the Latvian SSR, two important aspects are neglected, which are exactly those that distinguish the work of the counterintelligence branch from the work of other Chekist branches: the activities suspected of espionage of those being cultivated are not detected through agent networks and the exposure of their potential contacts with foreign intelligence centers receives insufficient attention. This, in my opinion, is a serious deficiency in the work of the 2nd Department [of the KGB] of the Latvian SSR.
It is known to everybody that foreign intelligence services, along with other methods of contact with their agents sent to the Soviet Union, actively use mail correspondence with the application of ciphers and secret writing. Foreign intelligence services, as a rule, give their agents one or several addresses abroad to which they have to send the information collected through espionage.
This is why for the detection of active enemy agents, a great deal of importance must be assigned to the area of work such as the all-round and thorough control of international mail correspondence: the thorough control of letters sent abroad with a false, invented return address, and also of the international correspondence of individuals which is one-sided.
The 2nd Department of the KGB of the Latvian SSR does not pay enough attention to this area of work. Actually, this deficiency is typical not only for the work of the 2nd Department [of the KGB] of Latvia. We have information that indicates that a number of our other [counterintelligence] branches also do not organize the work on the control of international mail correspondence in an appropriate manner.
One gets the impression that some officers in our counterintelligence branches have no sense for the new [trends] and that everything new is being taken in very slowly. There is some kind of attachment to everything old. Many officers think that, if they are working on 3-5 cases, even if the cases are 10 years old (and some of them initiated without sufficient grounds), and they have one agent on each case, who, by the way, provides them with nothing useful, then they are performing well and accomplishing the tasks given to our service.
This impression is inappropriate and this vice must be eliminated as quickly as possible. I think that we have to tell the officers of local branches to study attentively one more time the decrees of the Chairman of the KGB and the instructions of the 2nd Chief Directorate about the methods of communication used by enemy foreign intelligence services and draw proper conclusions for themselves.
The most important in all of this is that professional contacts are established between the 2nd Departments and the 6th Special Departments.
On the question of the work of the 2nd Department against the Israeli foreign intelligence service.
It is known that after the establishment of the diplomatic relations in 1953, Israeli foreign intelligence officers from the Embassy in Moscow set the goal of rebuilding the Zionist underground in the USSR and, in order to do so, began active work not only in Moscow, but also in other cities of the Soviet Union, including Riga.
In doing so, Israeli foreign intelligence officers are relying on the old Zionist cadres and study all possible ways to re-establish contact with them and recreate Zionist cells for subversive activities against the Soviet Union.
It is known to us that such an attempt to rebuild the Zionist underground in Riga was made by the attaché at the Embassy LEVANON. For this purpose, he twice sent to Riga an active, now arrested, Zionist who was successful in establishing contact with several Zionists living in Latvia.
The 2nd Department received our timely notification regarding these facts. All this made it imperative to organize the thorough cultivation of the contacts of Israeli foreign intelligence officers. However, such work is still organized poorly.
Furthermore, in the work on this line [orientation], a number of serious mistakes were made. Comrade SHEREMETYEV noted the fact that the liaison of Israeli foreign intelligence officers noticed external surveillance twice and that stopped us from carrying out a number of important measures in Moscow. As a result, we had to delay twice the implementation of a very important measure concerning that case in Moscow. Only recently were we able to catch an Israeli foreign intelligence officer in the act and, at the same time, arrest a group of Jewish nationalists who were in contact with intelligence officers from the Embassy.
In conclusion, I would like to say that, on the whole, the work of the 2nd Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR in the fight against the American and Israeli foreign intelligence services must be recognized as unsatisfactory and below the standards set by the Central Committee of the Party and the decrees of the Chairman of the KGB.
Comrade KONDRASHIN – the head of the 2nd Department of the 2nd Chief Directorate.
Based on the materials in our possession and the results of the control of the work of the 2nd Department of the KGB of Latvia, the counterintelligence work of the 2nd Department on the British line [orientation] inside the country must be characterized as unsatisfactory.
Such an evaluation can be justified by the following facts:
- During the last 2-3 years, the 2nd Department did not expose a single British spy.
- In the operational work of the Department, there have not been for a long time any cultivations involving the British line in relation to which we could say with confidence that they engage with British spies.
The cultivation of the individuals suspected of espionage for the British is conducted in a very primitive way. Agents engaged on these cases are used passively and inappropriately. As a rule, the tasks that agents are given concern the clarification of certain questions in the biography of the cultivated individual, the circumstances of his life abroad, the past contacts with foreign intelligence officers, etc. There is no doubt that, in a number of cases, it is important to get answers to such questions, but that is not the most important. The most important aspect of the cultivation is checking the behavior and way of life of the object of the cultivation, finding out whether the cultivated individual is interested in obtaining information constituting a state secret,
the exposure of possible covert contacts of the cultivated individual with foreign intelligence services.
With that goal in mind, in each concrete case, it is necessary to come up with the justified covert tasks for agents engaged on concrete cases, dangle the agents of our service to those being cultivated whom they could “use” as a source for obtaining classified information, [and] conduct other offensive agent-centered measures.
However, such active measures on the British line have almost not been conducted at all. And [even] if agent-operational activities are being undertaken in certain cases, the completion of such plans is often unjustifiably delayed.
For instance, the 2nd Department is cultivating the journalist TS., who lived in Switzerland during the war and had close contact with foreign intelligence officers there.
The behavior and way of life of TS. indicate that he could be engaged in espionage.
In 1954, information was received from our agent abroad “Tankist” which indirectly confirms that TS. is engaged in espionage.
Despite the fact that the materials on TS. deserve serious attention, his cultivation is organized poorly. This is evident from the plan of agent-operational activities concerning his case which was approved in February of this year and is still not completed.
The plan called for the use of Agent “Tankist” in the cultivation of TS., considering that they knew each other well.
A special assignment was worked out for Agent “Tankist;” however, due to the sluggishness of the head of the Section Comrade MIKHAILOV, who is in charge of the TS.’s case,
“Tankist” met with TS. only once during this period.
In order to study the character of TS.’s contacts with a number of his acquaintances, it was necessary to conduct the lettered measure “N” in his apartment.
This measure was not conducted. The officers of the 2nd Special Section conducted a superficial “reconnaissance” of the apartment in which TS. lives and, for no convincing reason, declined to conduct the measure.
Comrade MIKHAILOV was content with the explanations of the officers of the 2nd Special Section as to why it was not possible to conduct the lettered measure in TS.’s apartment and did not undertake any activities to check whether this was really the case.
Furthermore, based on agent information, it became known that TS. with his friend I. rented a separate room [apartment] which they allegedly used for drinking and meeting with women.
It was planned to establish the location of this apartment so that it could be covertly searched and prepared for the organization of the lettered measure “N.”
These measures were not implemented because the external surveillance of TS. and I. which lasted for 7 days could not establish the location of their “bachelor apartment.”
In this case, the capabilities of Agent “Tankist” were not used to establish the location of the apartment.
Based on agent information, it became known that TS. has shown an interest in an officer of the Naval-Military Fleet.
In order to ascertain the interest of TS. in obtaining classified information, it was decided to dangle to him the agent of
the Special Department [military counterintelligence] from among the senior officers of the Riga Naval-Military Base.
The carrying out of this measure has also unjustifiably been delayed.
At this time, this agent has only been brought into contact with TS.’s wife under the excuse of getting English language lessons from her.
From the entire plan, only one measure was carried out, which consisted of the transporting to Moscow and interrogation of TS.’s imprisoned acquaintance from Switzerland. And this measure was carried out by the officers of the 2nd Department of the 2nd Chief Directorate.
This is a typical example of the procrastination in the work of the 2nd Department of the KGB of Latvia. And if it is taken into consideration, that the individual in charge of this case is the head of the Section, then it becomes clear that the officers of the Sections do not have an example to follow and that the situation with their own cases is even worse.
It is also necessary to make a complaint regarding the 2nd Department not informing the 2nd Chief Directorate in a timely manner about the results of measures conducted in the existing cases. The following example is typical in this regard:
In 1952, we have taken under control the cultivation of an Illegal K. who, in the past, had close contacts with British foreign intelligence officers TEPFERS and LAVSON. In 1944, he was involved in the transportation of Latvian nationalists to Sweden.
It was known to the 2nd Department that K.’s case was taken under control by the 2nd Chief Directorate and that therefore the 2nd Department was responsible for sending information about the results of his cultivation in a systematic way. However, in order to receive this information, we had to send 4 requests to the 2nd Department. Subsequently, with the approval of the 2nd Chief Directorate, the 2nd Department attempted
to recruit K., but he declined the offer of cooperation with us, and the decision was made to continue to maintain contact with him.
In August 1954, we requested from the 2nd Department [to send] any newly received information about K. and about how the operational contact with him was going. The 2nd Department did not reply to our request.
In June 1955, we again asked the 2nd Department about K. and received the answer that he had left for the Krasnoyarsk region already in June 1954 and that his file was sent to the 2nd Department of the Regional KGB branch of the Krasnoyarsk region.
The file was sent without any recommendations about the direction of his cultivation and whether to maintain operational contact with him.
Another serious deficiency in the work of the 2nd Section is that the Section does not develop new cultivations based on the material provided by agents. This indicates that agent networks are still insufficiently oriented on the detection of individuals suspected of espionage in a number of different groups: the contacts of Latvian nationalists employed by the British intelligence service, the returnees, especially those who returned as single individuals, former citizens of foreign countries, etc., and that the operatives do not exert necessary efforts in that important area.
It is also important to note the absence of the necessary number of agents working on the British line in the 2nd Section. On average, there are 5 agents per every operative in the Section, which is clearly not enough.
Despite that the operatives of the 2nd Section are lightly loaded with operational cases as well as with the work with agents, in 1955, six operatives of the Section recruited only three agents.
The operatives of the 2nd Section poorly prepare for recruiting agents. The exploratory meetings with individuals targeted for recruitment are conducted superficially. This year there was the case of an individual who was targeted for recruitment and only in the process of recruitment, it became clear that he was seriously ill, which led to the recruitment having to be cancelled.
In the Section, there are no serious agents among the returnees. Such agents are necessary because about 3,000 returnees came back to Latvia from Britain and the British zone of occupation in Germany. Only in Riga there are 600 returnees. And many of them returned as single individuals. It should be kept in mind that because of the founding of the Committee “For Return to the Homeland,” the number of returnees has sharply increased.
Taking into consideration the activities of the foreign intelligence centers against Latvia, the operational environment in the republic, and the existence in it of the groups which deserve serious attention of our service, we cannot be in any way satisfied with the state of counterintelligence work by the 2nd Department of the KGB of Latvia against the British foreign intelligence service.
The operatives of the 2nd Department of the KGB of Latvia have to take all the necessary measures to increase the level and quality of the Chekist work on detecting and exposing the British agents on the territory of Latvia as soon as possible.
In recent times, the work of the Department of the KGB of the Latvian SSR regarding the
organization of active counterintelligence measures in the fight against the subversive activities of the British foreign intelligence service against the Soviet Union has to some extent come to life.
In that respect, the work of the operatives of the 2nd Department on the case of the foreign intelligence officer A. is noteworthy as well as the successful recruitments of Agents “K.” and
“Ines” who could be used in active measures. But that’s only the beginning; the tentative steps in carrying out the tasks facing the 2nd Department.
Comrade BESKROVNIY – the head of the 3rd Department of the 2nd Chief Directorate.
From the report and other materials that we are familiar with, such as the conversation with Comrade SMIRNOV, the head of the 3rd Section, it is very obvious that the German line [orientation] in the 2nd Department is in an unenviable position.
Of course, one cannot disagree that the main emphasis needs to be put on the measures against the American and British foreign intelligence services. However, it seems to me that we need to consider all things in the light of the existing situation, and since that situation has changed, we have to make certain corrections in what was done previously, especially regarding the West German foreign intelligence service. In our counterintelligence work, we must take into consideration an important fact which is that German imperialism cannot tolerate and already does not tolerate the second-class position in the common front of the aggressive states of the Western Bloc.
We have every reason to believe that this will lead to a serious intensification of the subversive activities of the West German foreign intelligence service against the USSR.
In light of that, our task involves finding out the plans of the West German foreign intelligence service and opposing [them] with our offensive measures. It is necessary to consider the existing situation in the German line of the 2nd Department of the KGB of the Latvian SSR from those standpoints.
It seems to me that this is especially important for our
Baltic republics where the activities of the German foreign intelligence service before the war and during the war were widespread, and where there is a sizable group of individuals, previously connected with the foreign intelligence branches of the fascist Germany. Without a doubt, these individuals are known to the West German foreign intelligence service.
Paying significant attention to the organization and strengthening of the work on the detection of the agents of the German foreign intelligence service, active on the territory of Latvia prior to 1940 and during the Patriotic War, and also looking for the opportunities to conduct counterintelligence measures against the West German foreign intelligence service, the 2nd Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR received instructions to strengthen the work on the German line in October 1953.
These instructions directed the operatives of the 2nd Department to work on the promising cases, weed out those not worthy of attention, [and] strengthen agent networks. Special attention was to be placed on the detection of individuals who were the rezidents [heads of agent networks], smugglers, [and] the owners of safe houses for the German foreign intelligence service.
In order to provide assistance and help intensify the work on the German line, an operative of the 2nd Chief Directorate was sent to the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR in 1954.
However, it has to be said that our instructions were carried out locally in a very slow manner and that the measures they called for were not implemented. But this is not only the fault of our Latvian comrades, but of us, the officers of the 3rd Department, as well because we did not show enough determination and insistence to get our instructions carried out.
We have to point out that in recent times, the 2nd Department did perform a certain amount of work on the German line; however, the fact that during a long period of time
this orientation was not given sufficient attention has left serious consequences on what can be done now.
At this time, the 3rd Section, which is in charge of the German line, has completed the review of the existing operational cases on our line and started to conduct measures related to the remaining cases.
In recent times, the work with agents improved. There are 24 agents working on the German line, 16 of whom on specific cases. However, on the whole, finding agents for the [existing] cases needs [more] serious attention.
The most immediate task which needs to be tackled by the 3rd Section of the 2nd Department is the study of groups from which the German foreign intelligence service could recruit agents, in particular, the individuals who had past contacts with the German foreign intelligence service before and during the war.
The leadership of the Department needs to consider all of this seriously and, in light of the present remarks, to take steps to intensify the work on the German line by conducting active measures to dangle our agents to the German foreign intelligence service. One would also want Comrade LARYUTIN to pay a lot more attention personally to the work of the 3rd Section on the German line.
In conclusion, I would like to make one more comment. The fact is that the report of Comrade LARYUTIN, full of all kinds of numbers and background information, does not contain, in our opinion, the deep analysis of the situation in the Department and, most importantly, the causes of those deficiencies that are mentioned in the report and in the discussion of it here. I believe that today’s exchange of opinions about the key points of the report will help our comrades in Latvia to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in their work in a genuinely relevant way.
Comrade POVAROV – the head of the 4th Department of the 2nd Chief Directorate.
The state of counterintelligence work of the 2nd Department against the foreign intelligence services of the Scandinavian countries and France has caused us grave concern. For a long period of time, there have been no noteworthy operational results by the 2nd Department on these lines [orientations].
Such a state of agent-operational work on the above-mentioned lines is, in our opinion, the outcome of underestimating the work against the foreign intelligence services of the Scandinavian countries and the necessity of the active search for and the cultivation of the agents of the French foreign intelligence service by the comrades from the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR.
It is known that the French foreign intelligence service conducted active intelligence work on the territory of the bourgeois Latvia. As a result of the study of the archival agent and investigative materials, the information on 26 agents of the French intelligence and counterintelligence services active in Latvia was obtained. However, the search for these agents is still organized poorly and the cultivation of the detected agents and the owners of safe houses is conducted very slowly and often by incorrect methods.
Instead of organizing the work of agents in a thoughtful way, the comrades often tend to conduct the measures hastily, counting on the effect, on the quick result. In the majority of cases, such conduct results in the failure of cultivations, [and] the exposure of our agents.
The number of agents on the French line is very small and agents are used in an insufficiently sophisticated way. There are no new recruitments.
Along with the significant work on the French line,
the Department also has interesting operational cases and leads on the Scandinavian line, but the problem is that, on this line as well, it does not have the sufficient number of agents.
Despite having opportunities to prepare and conduct operations abroad which involve sending trusted agents to the Scandinavian countries with the aim of infiltrating them into the foreign intelligence services of those countries, this work is still not being done. The comrades from the 2nd Department have not made any proposals on that account.
In the conduct of operations abroad, in our opinion, the comrades still do not use foreign sailors to dangle through them our agents who have contacts in the Scandinavian countries; do not recruit agents suitable for participation in operations abroad from among the sailors of the Soviet commercial and fishing fleets; poorly use opportunities for dangling trusted agents to the Swedish foreign intelligence service through Latvian nationalist centers in Sweden.
Taking into consideration the border status of the republic, the existence on its territory of
many family and other contacts of the Latvian bourgeois-nationalist émigrés, who are in close contact with the foreign intelligence services of the Scandinavian countries, it is necessary in the shortest possible time to strengthen counterintelligence work on the cultivation of the above mentioned contacts on the territory of Latvia and on detecting among them individuals who are suspected of espionage activities, and also to recruit and dangle our trusted agents to foreign intelligence services in Scandinavia.
The carrying out of these tasks will enable the seizure of the potential channels of communications of the foreign intelligence services from Scandinavia with their agents using nationalist groups.
It is also necessary to intensify efforts to acquire promising agents in order to expand the agent
capabilities of the 2nd Department to detect individuals suspected of contacts with the foreign intelligence services of Sweden, France, and other countries.
In the interest of the acquisition of such agents, it is useful to review the termination of the cultivation of the individuals who have influential connections in the Scandinavian countries and to study the opportunities for their recruitment.
Comrade MERETUKOV – the head of the 6th Department of the Second Chief Directorate.
It is known that prior to the establishment of Soviet rule, the anti-Soviet White Russian émigré organizations, such as the “NTS,” “ROVS,” and others actively operated on the territory of Latvia.
During the period of the Patriotic War, the Executive Bureau of the “NTS” sent its envoys to Latvia to engage in the recruitment efforts there.
The émigré espionage centers, especially the “NTS,” show a great deal of interest toward their contacts in Latvia.
For instance, the president of the “NTS” POREMSKIY maintains regular contact with the citizen “M.” who, having escaped from Latvia, is living in London [and] who, according to POREMSKIY’s instructions, is using her daughter to find out the status of individuals in Latvia who are of interest to POREMSKIY.
It is possible to say with full justification that the interest shown by the leaders of émigré organizations toward their contacts in Latvia is, without any question, linked to their calculations of using them for hostile purposes.
In this regard, in the overall plan of counterintelligence work of the 2nd Department of the KGB of Latvia, the organization of active, goal-oriented work on this line [orientation] is of great importance.
The 2nd Department has performed a great deal of work directed at strengthening the fight against the émigré espionage centers [and] has a certain number of operational files on that line.
A number of agent cultivations are of interest from the point of view of the detection and exposure of the envoys of émigré espionage centers.
The 2nd Department is also conducting several special operations against émigré centers.
However, given opportunities that the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR has, and the interest which émigré espionage centers have shown toward Latvia, in particular toward their contacts remaining there, we have a right to expect of the 2nd Department more serious results in the work on this line.
In our opinion, the officers of the 4th Section of the 2nd Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR correctly focus their attention on the search for opportunities to conduct operations abroad, while, at the same time, they are not working actively enough on the task of detecting and exposing the envoys of émigré centers potentially active on the territory of Latvia.
There are only two more or less promising cultivations of the individuals suspected of criminal connections with such an active organization as the “NTS” in the 2nd Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR. But even in these cases, measures were not carried out in a sophisticated manner, which would have made possible the complete resolution of everything related to the objects of cultivation.
In the local branches of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR, there are also no cultivations which deserve serious interest on the line dealing with émigré centers, with the exception of the cultivation of “B.,” the former owner of a safe house for the “NTS.”
The poor quality work on the detection of individuals suspected of membership in émigré espionage centers is, in our opinion, mainly the consequence of the fact that operatives do not spend enough time acquiring new valuable agents, and that, based on their characteristics, the existing agents are not able to carry out this task.
Suffice it to say that in the course of the last 8 months, the 4th Section of the 2nd Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR did not recruit a single agent on the line dealing with émigré organizations.
In a number of cases, there are serious mistakes made in the selection of candidates for recruitment as agents; a lot of time and resources are spent on the recruitment while the recruitment brings in no real results. It is obvious that what is seen here is the absence of the thorough study of candidates for recruitment and their capabilities.
In our view, if the 2nd Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR removes these key deficiencies in the conduct of specific cultivations and sets up a well-functioning agent network, then they will have really good operational results and the tasks put before the 2nd Department regarding the fight against the agents of émigré espionage centers will be accomplished successfully.
In conclusion, I would like to address one more issue.
As everybody knows, the Party and the Government have entrusted state security service with an important task: to bring out the decomposition and ultimately the liquidation of that enormous reservoir for the imperialist foreign intelligence services, which consists of the so-called “displaced persons” from among the Soviet citizens, the number of whom at this time is more than 400,000 people.
In the process of accomplishing this task, that is to say,
for bringing about mass return of the “displaced persons” to the USSR, the Committee “For Return to the Homeland” was founded in the democratic sector of Berlin.
The success of the work of the Committee “For Return to the Homeland” directly depends on its effective and convincing propaganda among the “displaced persons,” which is conducted mainly through the newspaper and radio station of the Committee.
As can be seen from the letters sent to the Committee by the “displaced persons” from almost all capitalist countries, the large majority of Soviet citizens abroad was greatly satisfied by the founding of the Committee.
The number of the returnees and re-immigrants sharply increased.
The activities of the Committee caused great alarm among the leaders of the imperialist foreign intelligence services and the heads of the anti-Soviet centers abroad who are conducting a vicious campaign against the Committee.
It is well-known that there is a significant number of Latvians abroad who found themselves there as a result of the war. The Committee has received a lot of letters from them in which they ask for articles in the [Committee’s] newspaper about Latvia and the life of the Latvian returnees. However, the Committee cannot fulfil their requests because propaganda materials sent by the 2nd Department are very limited in number.
Perhaps I am mistaken, but it seems that this important operation has still not received enough appreciation by the KGB of the Latvian SSR. Otherwise, it is difficult to explain why there are no quality articles sent for the Committee’s newspaper from Latvia, why to this day there is not a single radio program in Latvian language [abroad], and why the publication of the newspaper “For Return to the Homeland” in Latvian language is delayed.
In the directives of the Chairman of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the USSR, there are clear instructions how to organize the work on the line [orientation] of the Committee “For Return to the Homeland.”
The Committee “For Return to the Homeland” mostly needs articles, statements, letters, and radio recordings of the returnees (workers, kolkhoz members, representatives of the intelligentsia) who themselves had the status of the “displaced persons” abroad. Moreover, the preference should be given to those returnees who came back to the Homeland in recent years.
As is evident from many letters received by the Committee “For Return to the Homeland,” the majority of the “displaced persons” are afraid to return home because they committed crimes against the Homeland.
In this regard, the desirable statements in the Committee’s newspaper and on the Committee’s radio are those made by the returnees who, while being abroad, compromised themselves by serving in the German army, the “ROA,” the national legions, the German police, [or] participated in the anti-Soviet organizations abroad, [and] belonged to enemy agent networks, but were not afraid to return home, repented of their crimes, and are now free and have a job.
Articles and radio recordings should avoid very detailed descriptions of how the returnee fell into German captivity and the suffering he has endured there. The main attention should be focused on the life and work of the returnee at the present time, on his family, and also on the description of the lives of other returnees familiar to him, on positive changes taking place after the war in his native town or village. At the same time, care should be taken to make the language of articles and radio recordings simple, without empty phraseology, and fit them to the education level of the author.
Articles and recordings should be short, specific, and without the elements of melodrama.
It is desirable to attach high-quality photographs (specially taken for the newspaper) to the articles showing the returnees at work and at home, on vacation, and so on.
At the same time, care should be taken about the external appearance of individuals who are being photographed.
The radio program can include poetry about the homeland, the native region, short reviews about the successes of the republic, the region, the province, the successes in industry, agriculture, science, and culture.
The Committee “For Return to the Homeland” needs the addresses of the “displaced persons” abroad to send them the propaganda materials of the Committee.
In this regard, if possible, the collection of such addresses needs to be carried out.
It is to be hoped that the comrades from Latvia will take these remarks into account and organize the work on the line of the Committee “For Return to the Homeland” in an appropriate manner.
Comrade PRUDNIKOV – the head of the 9th Department of the 2nd Chief Directorate.
In order to improve the organization of counterintelligence work in border regions, the search and capture of enemy agents dispatched to the territory of the USSR using illegal channels, and also the organization of counterintelligence work among the foreign sailors arriving in the Soviet ports, the 2nd Department set up two groups of 6 operatives each.
The first group, as stated by Comrade LARYUTIN, is engaged
in the organization of counterintelligence work in border regions and the search for enemy agents dispatched to the territory of the USSR.
The second group conducts counterintelligence work among the sailors of capitalist countries, arriving in the ports of the Soviet Union.
The setting up of these groups gave the opportunity to the 2nd Department to increase the sense of responsibility among operatives and organize work on the lines [orientations] mentioned above in a more goal-oriented manner, which, no doubt, led to certain positive results.
In his report, Comrade LARYUTIN noted that in recent times the 2nd Department detected about 20 enemy agents prepared for being dispatched to the Soviet Union, that the work on the detection of their family and other contacts is being done, and also that they have been placed under agent surveillance.
In addition, the 2nd Department detected and began the cultivation of about 10 foreign sailors suspected of involvement with enemy foreign intelligence services. More than 20 operational cases have been started involving their connections. Two candidacies for recruitment among the foreign sailors were prepared and approved by the 2nd Chief Directorate.
However, it is necessary to note that the measures taken by the 2nd Department still do not provide the complete suppression of the activities of enemy foreign intelligence services and of the possible cases of treason.
Agent-operational work is poorly organized in border regions.
It is known that foreign ships arriving in the ports
of Riga and Ventspils are passing by the coastline of the Gulf of Riga for several tens of kilometers without being monitored, which, especially at nighttime, does not exclude the possibility of the disembarkation of spies as well as the exfiltration of enemy agents and traitors. In spite of that, the 2nd Department has not taken any appropriate measures and has not made any specific proposals [on how to deal with this].
As a result, there have been several cases of the sea border being violated with impunity. This can be explained primarily by the insufficient number of agents in border regions who are able to inform us in a timely manner about the appearance of violators and suspicious individuals.
Speaking of the violators of the state border, it is necessary to note that checking them is often done superficially and does not lead to uncovering the real aims of the violation of the state border.
The 9th Department of the 2nd Chief Directorate has almost never received the information from the KGB of the LSSR about suspicious individuals found on the territory of the republic and also about the ongoing work on the cultivation or surveillance of the contacts of the enemy agents located abroad who are known to us [and] who can be dispatched to the USSR. This is a serious omission of the 2nd Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR.
The 2nd Department has already been told that its agent network engaged on foreign sailors is insufficient in number and poor in quality. The capabilities of other agent networks of the KGB of the Latvian SSR have not been studied and are not used in the work on foreign sailors and their contacts.
As a result, the arriving foreign sailors are poorly covered by agent networks. For that same reason, the study of the individual members of the foreign sailor crews is often done by operatives themselves by establishing personal communication with foreign sailors.
Due to the fact that agent networks are still not up to the appropriate standards, agents are mainly directed to collect the general biographical information on this or that foreign sailor, not to engage in deep cultivation.
In recent times, the 2nd Department detected a great number of the contacts of foreign sailors among Soviet citizens, but the work on these contacts is still organized poorly and in general comes down to checking them in the files.
In a number of cases, the contacts of foreign sailors were left with no attention or analysis.
One of the most important tasks of the 2nd Department is the acquisition of agents among foreign sailors.
The operatives of the 2nd Department sometimes approach this important undertaking in a hasty and superficial manner.
While studying a candidate for recruitment among foreign sailors, no work is done on receiving documentary and other information which can be used in the process of recruitment.
In the possession of the 2nd Department, there are materials indicating that some foreign sailors are offering their services to individual Soviet citizens to take them abroad by sea. However, these circumstances are not used for running various operational combinations.
The 2nd Department barely uses operational equipment in their possession, does not study the potential for covert searches, [and] seizures, and also does not implement a number of other measures which would contribute to the suppression of the enemy activities of foreign intelligence officers who are arriving in Soviet ports as members of the foreign sailor crews.
Agent work concerning the returnees is organized poorly. There are grounds for serious concern in this area.
In order to remove the shortcomings in the work on our line mentioned above, it is advisable that the 2nd Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the LSSR performs the following activities in the near future:
Based on local conditions, work out a plan of the coordinated activities of all branches of the KGB and the MVD in accordance with the instructions of the Chairman of the KGB and the Minister of Internal Affairs No. 10ss/104ss from April 10, 1954.
In order to discover in a timely manner, the appearance of enemy agents on the territory of the Latvian SSR, it is necessary to conduct systematic work on the detection of spies trained in the foreign intelligence schools for being dispatched to the USSR and also to organize agent surveillance of their family and other contacts. [Also] conduct the thorough checking of individuals who show up on the territory of the republic [and] are suspected of belonging to enemy agent networks infiltrated into the USSR. Immediately inform the 9th Department of the 2nd Chief Directorate about the most noteworthy individuals in order to subject them to additional checking and to conduct identification activities using the already captured enemy agents.
Determine in advance the locations of the disembarkment of spies and the directions of their movement deeper into the republic as well as the regions of air drops and cover them appropriately with agents and confidential contacts. At the same time, pay special attention to identifying the parts of the border which are poorly covered by our radar systems.
Develop the habit of acquiring agents or confidential contacts [who live] near the locations of important defense and military facilities [and] whose apartments could be dangled to suspicious individuals appearing in these locations in order to uncover
spies dispatched to the USSR in a timely manner.
Organize work on the detection and cultivation of individuals voicing treasonous opinions or demonstrating a heightened interest in the regime of the security of the state border.
With the approval of the 2nd Chief Directorate, through enemy foreign intelligence officers and agents among foreign sailors as well as through other channels, pass to foreign intelligence services documents with certain [imprinted] marks aimed at the quick capture of spies in case that they are dispatched to the territory of the republic with similar documents.
Take decisive steps to create qualified agent networks for the cultivation of foreign sailors.
Conduct the cultivation of foreign sailors in the direction of the detection of enemy agents, study some of them for recruitment as well as for use in dispatching our agents with counterintelligence goals abroad.
Comrade LIMOV – the deputy head of the 8th Department of the 2nd Chief Directorate.
In May-June of this year, the status of the search activities of the 2nd Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Latvian SSR was checked by the 2nd Chief Directorate. The results of this check and the proposals of those who being checked were discussed on the branch-specific meeting in the town of Riga.
In this regard, there is no need here to go into the details of all detected shortcomings in the work of the 2nd Department concerning the search for state criminals, but what needs to be done is to indicate the main deficiencies that, in our opinion, impede the appropriate organization of the search for criminals on the territory of the republic.
In the KGB of the Latvian SSR, there are 215 search cases concerning dangerous state criminals who are hiding on the territory of the Soviet Union, the majority of whom are hiding in Latvia. The search for this category of criminals is organized poorly. For a significant number of cases, there is no agent surveillance of their family contacts.
A serious deficiency in the search for criminals hiding on the territory of the USSR is that the 2nd Department does not pay sufficient attention to the signals about the location of those who are wanted which come in from agents and Soviet citizens. Facts show that there were cases when timely measures to check these signals were not taken.
In the 2nd Department and the locally authorized branches, agent networks are still not employed as the main tool in the search for state criminals.
For instance, the deputy head of the Section Comrade REINGOLD has 72 search cases and 9 agents, only 4 of whom work on specific cases. Under the supervision of Senior Operative Comrade MALYSHEV, there are 157 search cases while he has 5 agents, 3 of whom work on specific cases.
It is very obvious that the operatives of the Section who have one, two, or three agents working on [specific] cases, deal with the remaining cases under their supervision by corresponding with other branches and, consequently, do not work with agents themselves and distract the operatives of other branches from doing so.
How can we speak of the satisfactory status of work on the search cases when, out of 43 agents of the 5th Section, only 25 people are engaged with the actual cases, and the majority of them are only doing the surveillance of the contacts of those who are wanted and are not [even] used in active search measures.
Out of 430 search cases in the 2nd Department in which family contacts have been detected, in 180 cases and their duplicates, there is no surveillance of the contacts.
The network of agents-identifiers in which there are 135 people is poorly used in the search for state criminals. The sending of agents-identifiers to visit the connections of those who are wanted and to the locations of their possible hiding as well as their use in other active search measures take place very rarely. Many agents-identifiers are used only to identify those who are wanted on the photographs.
It is known that foreign intelligence services recruit and train for sending to the USSR spies, saboteurs, [and] terrorists predominantly from among those who betrayed the Homeland in the post-war period. In spite of that, the 2nd Department does not pay enough attention to the search for this category of state criminals.
A key deficiency in the work of the 2nd Department is its poor management of the peripheral branches and the lack of appropriate control and assistance in the search for state criminals. As a consequence, the organization of searches in the majority of the local authorized branches of the KGB of Latvia is poor.
The main reason for the poor organization of the search for state criminals by the KGB of Latvia is that the leadership of the 2nd Department did not give sufficient attention to that area of counterintelligence work, poorly controlled the activities of the authorized municipal and regional branches in that direction, and did not provide enough practical assistance.
In order to remove the deficiencies in the search cases, the 2nd Department needs to:
Concentrate the attention of operatives on the search for criminals, hiding on the territory of the USSR, Anglo-American agents, and traitors in the post-war period.
Strive to turn agent networks into the main tools in the search for state criminals. Based on the capabilities and personal qualities of each agent-identifier, plan measures for his active use in future searches. Take action to make sure that the close contacts of those who are wanted, [and] who are of operational interest, are put under appropriate surveillance. Intensify the work on acquiring new agents who are able to successfully accomplish the tasks of the KGB regarding the search for criminals.
The leadership of the 2nd Department needs to pay more attention to the work on the search for state criminals, strengthen the management of the activities of the authorized KGB municipal and regional branches in this area, [and] provide them with systematic practical assistance.
Comrade GRIBANOV – the deputy head of the 2nd Chief Directorate.
The leadership and the operatives of the 2nd Department of the KGB of Latvia correctly understand their tasks in light of the instructions of the Central Committee of the Party, have a good enough grasp of the instructions and directives of the Headquarters, and have taken some steps to intensify counterintelligence work.
However, it should be noted that the report of Comrade LARYUTIN was, I would say, too relaxed, too vague, and that which we expected from the report, we did not get. Comrade LARYUTIN poorly analyzed the state of affairs in the 2nd Department, and,
therefore, those serious deficiencies that exist in the work of the Department were not clearly described by him and he told us nothing about many of them. It was only the other comrades among the speakers who substantially completed his report and revealed serious shortcomings taking place in the work of this Department.
It is possible to agree with the assessment made by the comrades among the speakers that at the present time, the work of the 2nd Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of Latvia cannot be assessed as satisfactory.
In this regard, it should be noted that there are deficiencies in the work of the 2nd Department that are found at the present time in many of our [other] local branches and I need to dwell on them in particular.
The number of employees in the 2nd Department in Latvia is big, all regional branches have been preserved, however, operatives are not doing enough work. An operative has 2, 3, 5 agents. With that number of agents, clearly, an operative cannot fully cover his area of work.
Some operatives have a certain degree of dread of conducting active measures.
It should also be noted that, obviously, due to the environment that had existed in an earlier period in the state security services, some operatives have grown unaccustomed to conducting work with agents. Agent recruitment is done poorly, measures being taken are not serious enough, tasks given to agents are not worked through, that is to say, everything that we have constantly been talking about, everything that we should have eliminated from our practical work long ago [is still with us].
In his report, Comrade LARYUTIN could not name a single interesting and noteworthy agent combination involving the cultivation of individuals suspected of espionage. And if the cultivations are performed passively and primitively, then we could hardly hope that we
will be able to unmask the adversary. We must not forget that the adversary is improving his work every day, [and] is using sophisticated methods in his subversive activities against us. Our skill level in conducting cultivations is low and that means that we cannot unmask the true enemies of the Soviet government as the Central Committee of the Party in its resolutions requires us to do.
On the seminars, organized here and in Minsk, we have especially drawn the attention of comrades to that which had to be done right now to step up the cultivation of individuals suspected of espionage. A particular focus was made on the fact that our comrades have to get involved in the detection of the contacts that those cultivated may have with enemy foreign intelligence services and test their interest in obtaining classified information. However, it seems that our instructions were not applied by comrades in their practical work.
At the present time, there are nowhere else such opportunities for infiltration of our agents into the foreign intelligence centers of the adversaries, especially the British and the American, as they are in the KGB of the Latvian SSR. These foreign intelligence services are asking our agents who were dangled to them, [and are] insisting to be sent in the next year or year and a half a perdon in the status of a permanent representative or for training in the intelligence school. And we are not able to do it. For all that time, we have only selected a handful of agents and only for the purpose of sending them abroad for three months and have them return with the money.
This is a proof that agents networks which exist in Latvia are deficient; otherwise, it would be impossible to imagine that out of so many agents, we cannot select the one agent to be sent abroad.
There is also little initiative and persistence in detecting
the agents of foreign intelligence services on the territory of Latvia, even though the information obtained by the KGB of the LSSR indicates that enemy foreign intelligence services have sources in Latvia. And if there are enemy agents on the territory of Latvia, [who are] the sources of information for enemy foreign intelligence services, and we are not able to unmask them, then that already speaks for itself.
A significant role in the organization of counterintelligence work must be played by the leadership of the 2nd Department. Until the leadership of the 2nd Department, the heads of the Sections do not begin to work with agents actively, [and] run the important cases, they will not be able to raise the work of operatives [to a higher level], and the organization of counterintelligence work as a whole will suffer. If out of 6 agents run by the head of the Section, only 2 work on specific cases, that will do little good.
The main task of the 2nd Department of the KGB of Latvia is to infiltrate, on the basis of the already existing operational capabilities, our trusted agents into the centers of American and British foreign intelligence services as well as into the centers of Latvian nationalists.
In this regard, it is extremely regretful that the heads of the 2nd Department and the 2nd Covert Department [2-N] do not even exchange the information they have, let alone work together on the joint agent-operational measures abroad.
In the organization of the operatives’ work, a particular attention should be paid to the personal example of the leader. You yourselves must take part in running the most active operations, in recruiting agents, in cultivating suspects – that is what the work of the entire operational team will depend on.
By your own example, by strengthening the supervision of operatives, you need to awake the creative initiative of officers.
One can indeed come to work on time, follow all the instructions to the letter, but if an officer does not think creatively, he won’t get anywhere.
Control over local branches needs to be strengthened. In the organization of work of the regional branches, the 2nd Department must take into account that the threat of the penetration of enemy agents into the territory of Latvia is real. This is evidenced by the fact that our own agents get to the shores of Latvia on motor boats and nobody is stopping them.
Furthermore. In Latvia, there is a port for foreign steamboats. There were cases when the anti-Soviet elements [individuals] got into a steamboat with the intention of committing treason and were discovered only during the inspection of the boat by border guards. Not a one signal about such individuals came from the existing agent networks.
You have to get your regional branches to work effectively; otherwise, enemy agents will be able to penetrate into the territory of Latvia with impunity.
In conclusion, I have to say that the 2nd Department of the KGB of the Latvian SSR must keep up its efforts in the direction of improving the organization of counterintelligence work.
Together with the Cadre Department of the KGB of the LSSR, it is necessary to review the characteristics of all operatives and get rid of those people who are not capable of working with agents and fill the organization with better people who would be able to accomplish the tasks set for state security service by the Central Committee of our Party.
This document is a 61-page transcript of the meeting of the SCD leadership held in Moscow on Saturday, July 30, 1955. The ostensible purpose of the meeting was to discuss the progress report of the regional counterintelligence branch in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (the Second Department of the KGB of the Latvian SSR). However, the meeting went beyond the Latvian case and focused on the discussion of the overall deficiencies of Soviet counterintelligence at that time and the ways to deal with them.
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