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October 3, 1983

V. Chebrikov, 'On Measures to Improve Preventive Work Conducted by the State Security Service'

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

To the Members of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU,

To the Politburo member candidates

As well as Secretaries of the CPSU Central Committee

Comrades Savitskiy, Ligachyov, I.F. Dmitriev, A.Lukyanov

October 3, 1983



Central Committee of the CPSU


October 3, 1983 No.2181-4

City of Moscow


On Measures to Improve Preventive Work Conducted by the State Security Service


Using as guidance the decisions of the 26th CPSU Congress, the November 1982 and June 1983 Plenary Meetings of the CPSU Central Committee, and directives of the General Secretary of the CPSU, The Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR, Comrade Yu.V.Andropov concerning the provision of reliable state security in the Soviet Union, the KGB of the USSR is constantly improving its measures to protect the Soviet form of government and social order against subversive activities of the clandestine services of imperialistic states, as well as foreign anti-Soviet centers and hostile elements inside the country.


While achieving this objective, a lot of attention is being paid to the issue of improving preventive work aimed at thwarting state crimes and negative political manifestations, as well as to the participation of checkist apparatuses in the efforts organized by the party and the government aimed at strengthening law and order and increasing ideological vigilance of Soviet people.


Various measures taken by the state security service in the past few years, in many cases, have allowed us to prevent leaks of classified information, to timely thwart a number of emergencies at military, defense and other important industrial and transportation facilities, to localize certain politically negative processes, to disrupt multiple hostile actions of the enemy, and to prevent a considerable amount of individuals who became susceptible to ideologically foreign influences from stepping on the path of crime. Using its specialized tools and resources, the state security service provides comprehensive assistance to the party and government entities and to the management of defense facilities and those pertaining to the national economy in the successful realization of the economic policy of the CPSU and in preventing anti-social manifestations.


In the atmosphere of a sharp increase of international tensions and the ever-increasing clandestine and subversive activities of the enemy, the preventive work of the state security services acquires even higher importance, as it is one of the effective methods to protect our state and society from the encroachment of forces who are hostile towards socialism. In this connection, the Collegium of the State Security Committee of the USSR found it feasible to address the leadership and operatives of the KGB in the letter called “On Measures to Improve Preventive Work Conducted by the State Security Service.”


This document contains an evaluation of the preventive work, defines its role and importance in the work of the state security service, envisions measures to introduce relevant corrections in the content of this work and to improve the level of professional training, as well as the conduction of preventive activities in every area of combating espionage and subversive actions of the clandestine services and ideological subversion centers of the enemy.


Simultaneously, based on the Leninist principle of the inevitability of punishment for committing crimes against the state, attention is being directed at the necessity of taking decisive steps against the real enemies of the Soviet State.


The document underscores the importance of strict compliance by the operative personnel of the state security services with the provisions of the Constitution of the USSR and Soviet law when conducting preventive activities, as well as improving the cooperation in this work with the heads of ministries, state committees, agencies, establishments, enterprises, public organizations, and military command, as well as strengthening relations with the workforce. 


The contents of this letter from the Collegium of the State Security Committee of the USSR will be communicated to all first secretaries of the Communist Party Committees in all Soviet republics, territories and regions.


The draft order of the Chairman of the KGB of the USSR and the letter of the Collegium of the KGB of the USSR “On Measures to Improve Preventive Work Conducted by the State Security Service” are attached herewith.


Please advise acceptance.


Chairman of the Committee                                                      


V. Chebrikov


[Handwritten notes read “Acceptance by” and contain illegible names and signatures of KGB officials]

Reports from the Committee for States Security (KGB) of the USSR discuss how agents should go about preventative work and educating workers on socialist ideology.

Document Information


National Security Archive READD-RADD Collection. Translated by Angela Greenfield.


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