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January 12, 1983

V.M. Chebrikov, 'On the Results of the November 1982 Plenary Meeting of the CPSU Central Committee and the Tasks of the Party Chapter of the KGB of the USSR that follow from the Plenary Meeting's Decision and from the Speech of the General Secretary'

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




January 12, 1983




We are here today to discuss the results of the November 1982 Plenary Meeting of the CPSU Central Committee and the tasks of the KGB party chapter in light of its decisions.


These days soviet people live in an atmosphere of political and labor uplift caused by the decisions of the Plenary Meeting and the notable anniversary – the 60-year anniversary – of the USSR. The communists and all Soviet people are taking as guidance the provisions and the conclusions of the speech of the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov, delivered at the Plenary Meeting.


Today, in this audience, there are comrades which, just like myself, had the opportunity to work alongside Yuri Vladimirovich, who for fifteen years was head of the State Security Committee. Comrade Yu.V.Andropov gained high standing and deep respect of the communists, of all of the Soviet people, and is regarded as a talented and unconditionally loyal to communist ideals, party member and statesperson, who firmly follows Lenin’s legacy. He is a man of high culture, broad outlook on the world, and outstanding professional and personal qualities. Yuri Vladimirovich united and inspired us, in the first place, with his personal example. Every day he displayed examples of selfless dedication to work, self-discipline, humility, and sensitivity. From him we learned, and continue to learn, to act with skill and decisiveness on the frontlines of the class struggle between socialism and imperialism and to direct our efforts towards the successful implementation of domestic and foreign policy of the party.


Under the leadership of comrade Yu.V.Andropov the state security service successfully achieved the objective of reliably protecting the Soviet State and society from the nefarious activities of imperialistic clandestine agencies, and decisively put a stop to the activities of those who took a path of anti-government, hostile actions, who threatened the interests of our Homeland. And today, having contributed to the glorious traditions of the VCheKa[1] and KGB, officers of the state security service spare no effort, and their lives when needed, to honorably fulfill their duty before the party and the people. They work in difficult and sometimes critical situations. But no matter where they are, the chekists act bravely, displaying courage and heroism, and they do everything possible to successfully complete the tasks assigned to them.


It won’t be an exaggeration to say that the modern generation of state security agents is made up of the chekists who were schooled under Andropov.


Comrades! The work of the November Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee, the joint ceremonial meeting of the CPSU Central Committee, Supreme Council of the USSR and the Supreme Council of the RSFSR have convincingly demonstrated the monolithic cohesion of the party, with the communists and all soviet people tightly united around the Leninist Central Committee and the Politburo of the Central Committee. The decisions of the Plenary Meeting gained whole-hearted and unanimous support of all soviet people.


A number of issues addressed at the Plenary Meeting have crucial importance for the development of our economy. I will touch upon only the most important issues which are currently at the center of attention of the Central Committee and of our whole party.


I am referring, in the first place, to the fact that the party and the people have to direct all of their efforts towards implementing the most important task posed by the 26th CPSU Congress, the task of greater intensifying the production of public goods as well as increasing the efficiency of the public economy. The Central Committee of the CPSU demands an increase in the efforts to further streamline planning and management of the economy and improve the style and methods of economic management. The decision was taken to maximize the utilization of the available capabilities in order to improve the management of the economy, boost scientific and technological progress, increase productivity, and increase the production volume and quality of goods. The Plenary Meeting raised the issue of the pressing need for strengthening public compliance, work-place discipline and implementation standards at every stage of production and management. Special attention is dedicated by the party to the improvement of the situation in the transport industry, iron and steel industry, and capital projects. Key importance is given to the saving of fuel, raw materials, and metal and other materials, as well as financial assets. We have to ensure the utmost efficiency of the use of labor resources.   


The November Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee discussed measures for accelerating the fulfillment of the USSR Food Program which, as we all know, occupies the central place in our plans and is of primary importance for the growth and prosperity of the soviet people.


It is of primary importance that the decisions of the Plenary Meeting are already being translated into concrete and meaningful measures for the increased accountability of the assigned tasks at every level.


The shared understanding and businesslike atmosphere, which characterized the work of the Plenary Meeting, the depth and the principled nature of the discussion of vital issues, the measured, scientific approach to solutions, the consistent commitment to state-wide and nation-wide interests, the cause chosen by the Central Committee to decisively and uncompromisingly eradicate any sort of negative manifestations in our society, all of which is evidence of the unalterable resolve of the party to follow the legacy of the Great Lenin every time and in everything!


The discussion of the November Plenary Meeting documents which took place in all party chapters of the KGB Central Apparatus show that the Soviet chekists wholeheartedly approve the results of the Plenary Meeting. The decisions of the Plenary Meeting are accepted as a basis for all organizational, ideological, and political work aimed at mobilizing the communists and all members of the personnel to fulfill difficult and demanding tasks that the state security service is facing. Today we have to check our work against those high requirements that the Party Central Committee has posed us, and narrow down our goals. 


As the November Plenary Meeting pointed out, the primary concern of the CPSU and the Soviet State has always been, and still is, the elimination of the nuclear war threat hanging over humankind. Universal peace, friendship and cooperation between nations – these are our goals.


The policy of peace conducted by the Soviet Union, along with other socialist countries, is confronted by the aggressive course of imperialist reactionaries, who dangerously escalate the international situation. The tone of the politics of the United States and their NATO partners, today, is set by the most adventurist and militant groups whose class hatred towards socialism overrides their common sense. Judging by the words and actions of some politicians in the West who have lost touch with reality, American imperialism and other international reactionary forces are striving to use any available means to fight the real socialism by any means in order to stop the losses that the capitalist system sustained in the '70's.


The class enemy is directing their efforts towards undermining and weakening the military and economic potential and the social and political system of the Soviet Union – the main stronghold of the socialist block and progressive forces around the globe. 


All of this poses to the state security services difficult and challenging tasks. It requires that they develop and implement effective measures to disrupt enemy’s plots.


Comrades! The main tactical and strategical directions of state security services’ work at the present stage were determined in accordance with the directives of the CPSU Central Committee at the May 1981 National Consultation Meetings of the Leadership of the Agency and Troops of the KGB of the USSR.


In his report at this meeting Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov gave clear and articulate directions in every area of the chekists’ work. 


The substance of these directions, as we all know, is that in the atmosphere of heightened international tensions caused by aggressive attempts and subversive activities of the imperialist reactionaries, the state security services, when confronting the enemy, have to act more decisively and in a more offensive mode.


We are called to, in the first place, not miss the preparations of the enemy for a nuclear strike and not miss the real threat of the outbreak of a war. We are called upon to secure the safety of our state, to protect the interests of our society from any type of encroachment on the part of the enemies of socialism, and to decisively crack down on any attempts by the enemy to hurt the defense and economic potential of our country.


The conclusions and directions of the May 1981 National Consultation Meetings are fully relevant to this day. Moving forward, we will continue to strictly adhere to the directions provided at this meeting, with an adjustment for the changes that are taking place in the political and operating environment now.


So what are the characteristic features of the current operating environment?


Following the general aggressive and adventurist course of US leading circles and their NATO allies, the clandestine services of imperialist states, centers for ideological sabotage, and foreign anti-communist organizations have significantly increased their subversive activities. The enemy is now acting in a more brazen, sophisticated manner. They now resort to all sorts of shady schemes and provocations. 


The leading role in organizing and conducting subversive activities against us belongs to the government and clandestine services of the USA. The American Administration has undertaken a number of steps aimed at an even greater involvement of clandestine services in furthering the American imperialist plans. The mandate of the CIA to conduct “clandestine operations” against socialist countries has been broadened. Directive No.4 signed by Reagan contains instructions to the US clandestine services to closely cooperate with each other in achieving their set goals. It stresses that the government of the US intends to spend “as much money as needed to obtain intelligence information.”


Under pressure from the US government, the clandestine services of the FRG, England, Japan, Israel and some other imperialistic states have noticeably stepped up their espionage and subversive activities.


In a situation where the leading circles of American imperialism are trying to violate the established balance of power in the world and ensure their military and strategic superiority, the subversive activities against our country have acquired an all-out character. In order to obtain intelligence, along with recruiting agents and infiltrating us with spies, they increasingly use space, state-of-the-art developments in radio and electronic technologies, and other areas of science and technology.   


Clandestine services of imperialist states have increased their efforts to obtain information about the defense and economic might of the Soviet Union and other countries of The Warsaw Treaty and about the foreign policy activities planned in the USSR and other socialist block countries. They have heightened their interest towards information about socio-political situations in our country and about the relations between the Soviet Union and other socialist countries.


Western clandestine services strive to infiltrate ministries, government agencies, science research centers, defense, military and other facilities identified as targets for their espionage efforts in the Soviet Union and in other countries of the socialist block. They pay special attention to grooming and turning some of the soviet citizens who are staying abroad.


The enemy constantly creates obstructions to the normal work of diplomatic, trade and other representations of socialist states in the Western countries, conducts all sorts of provocations against them, and ratchets up the atmosphere of spy mania. They instigate campaigns to accuse socialist countries of supporting international terrorism. They undertake attempts to insinuate their involvement in some terrorist attacks that stirred a wide public response, as we can see from the made-up stories spread by the West about the attempted assassination of the Pope.


Apart from intelligence officers of imperialist states, the espionage work is performed by diplomats, reporters, representatives of commercial and production companies, and tourists who are sent by the enemy as its agents to the USSR and other socialist countries.


Striving to undermine the socialist system from within, the enemy is using every possible means to broaden and organizationally improve the mechanism of ideological sabotage, and to improve its technological base. The work of this mechanism is directed and coordinated at the government level.


In the summer of 1982, during his speech at the opening ceremony of the so-called “captive nations week,” US President Reagan stated that “conducting an ideological war may become the cheapest and most effective weapon to achieve the objectives that the administration set with respect to the socialist countries.”


In accordance with the directives of the American Administration, the direction and the tone of the subversive propaganda has noticeably changed, it has acquired an all-out character and essentially turned into a “psychological war.” Its main components, in addition to blatant anti-Sovietism, are open incitement of subversive activities, open calls for fighting against the existing form of government in the USSR, and specific recommendations to the anti-Soviet and anti-social individuals on how to organize underground activities.


The enemy is looking for like-minded people, trying to strike relationships with hostile elements on the territory of the USSR, to step up their activity, to create on this basis so-called “pockets of social agitation,” and to ultimately create political opposition to the Soviet system. Striving to achieve this goal, they use various subversive methods and increase their hostile activity from illegal positions. The trend towards illegal clandestine activities can currently be traced in directives of almost all foreign subversive centers.


For instance, one of the documents of a foreign anti-Soviet organization, the "People's Labor Union," closely connected with the CIA, contains a call for organizing “underground groups of like-minded people” at production factories in the Soviet Union. This document directly states that “we need to strive to create a wide, invisible organization. Local groups are its foundation… These groups have to establish connections between each other which should be securely protected from security services… They have to systematically and energetically penetrate and infiltrate the current government structure and management, the party, state and economic agencies, and any government organizations… The activity of invisible organizations have to be developed in three directions: gathering of information… spreading of information… organization of political actions.”


As they say, comments in this regard are superfluous.


While orienting the hostile elements towards illegal activities, the enemy is striving, at the same time, to use any opportunity to conduct subversive activities from legal positions, too. It is indicative that seven years ago they attempted to use the Helsinki Accords for this purpose. This manifested in the creation of so-called “Helsinki Groups,” or rather chain-links in an anti-Soviet organization, the unification of which, in accordance with the enemy scheme, could have led to the advent of legal opposition in the USSR. Currently the enemy is striving to create a similar anti-Soviet formation under the flag of “fighting for peace”. They instigated the creation of the so-called “Trust Group.” The emergence of this group is evidence that there is an active search underway to develop new forms of subversive activities against our country.


Clandestine services of imperialist countries have stepped up their efforts to undermine the economy of the USSR. The enemy continuously finds new ways to conduct economic sabotage, going to any lengths to complicate and slow down the implementation of the development plans of our national economy. Yet again, just like during the “cold war” years, they are using against us a full arsenal of clandestine and subversive tools. A particular attention is being paid by the imperialist states and their clandestine services to the development of operations aimed at impeding the fulfillment of our Food Program and complicating the situation in transportation and other vital areas of our economy.


The enemy doesn’t stop short of employing such extreme forms of fighting as terrorism. Clandestine services of imperialist states conduct terrorist attacks against Soviet agencies and citizens abroad. We have information that some foreign anti-Soviet organizations commenced the training of terrorists with the purpose of committing criminal acts on the territory of our country.


Comrades! The decisions of the Central Committee’s November Plenary Meeting, as well as the guidelines and conclusions contained in Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov’s speech at the Plenary Meeting, require that we raise to a new, higher level of the quality of work and professionalism in the KGB agency and troops in order to ensure the security of the Soviet state and society. We have to decisively and timely thwart any enemy attempts aimed at complicating the internal political situation in the country and at impeding the implementation of the CPSU foreign policy course. We are obligated to use our specialized tools to facilitate the unconditional fulfillment of the November Plenary Meeting’s decisions.


An important role in achieving these objectives belongs to the party chapters. They have to direct all of their attention to the qualitative improvement of work ethics at all branches of the chekist agency, to increasing the effectiveness of control and compliance audits at every level of operational activities, and to become an example of the fighting spirit and commitment to principles, initiative and tenacity.


All organizational and ideological work of the communist managers, party committees and party bureaus, of the party caucus, of the Komsomol and workers’ unions have to be directed at the unconditional fulfillment of the decisions of the 26th Congress of the CPSU, directives of the May 1981 National Consultation Meetings decisions of the Panel of the KGB with respect to the improvement of operational activities, and increasing combat and mobilization readiness of the agency and troops of the KGB of the USSR. These are the most important things, Comrades!


In accordance with the decisions of the November Plenary Meeting, we have to concentrate our operational efforts and resources in the most crucial, key areas and sectors of the confrontation with the enemies of socialism. For this purpose we need:


First, to conduct a broad organizational effort to study and interpret the Plenary Meeting’s decisions as they relate to the specific areas of the chekist work;


Second, to identify and put to work unused reserves in order to improve our work overall.


Third, to strive to get to the point where each operative has a good understanding of how our successes depend on his personal contribution to the common cause of securing the state, how conscientiously he follows the party line, and carries out his official duties.    


Now let me touch upon some of the issues in operating activities which have the most crucial importance in light of the November Plenary Meeting’s decisions.


As it was mentioned at the Plenary Meeting, “the aggressive schemes of imperialists force us, along with the brotherly socialist states, to take care, and serious care at that, of maintaining our defense capabilities at the appropriate level.”[2] And, therefore, it is of crucial importance that our foreign intelligence provides timely and accurate information about political and military plans and plots of the imperialists, about real threats of a war breaking out, and, first of all, about the enemy’s preparations for a sudden nuclear strike.


We need to know what issues the enemy is working on in the area of improvement of their strategic weapons and creating fundamentally new warfare.


Intelligence services need to be more persistent in getting information which could be used to further advance science and technology and to develop the economic and military potential of the country. The responsibilities of the First Chief Directorate and other KGB subdivisions with respect to ensuring the security of soviet installations and people overseas, are growing. chekists need to act courageously and purposefully and subordinate everything to the achievement of the set goals.


Our intelligence service has always had to work in tough, difficult conditions, but today they stand their critical watch far away from their Homeland in a very complicated environment.


I am convinced that the leadership of the First Chief Directorate takes this into account and does everything necessary to ensure that even in the current environment the tasks posed in front of the intelligence service are completed successfully.


In light of the decisions taken at the November Plenary Meeting and other party directives, counter-intelligence has to mobilize all of its capabilities in order to ensure the timely detection and thwarting of any attempts to cause harm to the economic and defense might of our country, and to securely protect state and military secrets.  


It is necessary to continue to comprehensively improve counter-intelligence measures, and pay special attention to increasing the effectiveness of fighting espionage conducted from legal and illegal positions.


Counter-intelligence activities have to have a purposeful and creative nature. We have to actively search for western clandestine agents, and more effectively expose their espionage activities on the territory of our country. It is imperative that we step-up our activities in the international exchange sphere. We have to timely detect, expose and compromise any attempts of the enemy to use for their hostile purposes something that is meant to strengthen international cooperation and promote the development of détente. We have to try our best to make them lose their taste for such activities.


The counter-intelligence chekists are obliged to improve the system of counter-intelligence measures in order to combat the enemy’s technical reconnaissance. An important task of counter-intelligence units is, to the maximum extent possible, to utilize existing capabilities in order to obtain intelligence on political, defense, science, technology and economic issues, the application of which may assist in the foreign policy course of the party, in strengthening the defense capabilities of the country, and enhance scientific and technological advancement.


In today’s complicated international environment Army and NAVY chekists have to constantly improve counter-intelligence support of the Soviet Military Forces, and, by effectively utilizing all available operating capabilities, to make every effort to assist in increasing their combat readiness and their ability to deal a devastating blow to the aggressor no matter under what conditions it sets off a war. Military counter-intelligence officers have to fully apply themselves to ensure the security of strategic missile forces, of the fleet deployed in the World Ocean and of the strike groups located at primary strategic theaters, as well as the units and formations who are in a constant state of combat-readiness. We have to pay more attention to the protection of the military economy, the Military Forces’ system of combat and materiel supply.


As you know, ideological sabotage is the main means of subversive activities that the enemy uses inside Ssoviet society at the current stage. In order to successfully combat ideological sabotage we have to know the operative environment well, and specifically, the environment which is the target of the enemy’s subversive activities. In addition to carefully checking on all of the leads about the planned hostile actions, this will allow us to achieve the main objective – to prevent anti-Soviet and anti-social manifestations on the territory of our country. Ultimately, the criteria for evaluation of the success of the chekist operations should be, as Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov pointed out, their ability to prevent unwanted manifestations or criminal acts.


We have to raise the quality of work in identifying and documenting criminal activities of hostile elements, in order to have the ability to timely and decisively thwart them and apply to the enemies of our form of government the principle of inevitability of punishment for the committed criminal offenses. In this work we ought to strictly follow the Soviet laws.


It is important to be able to see the changes in the enemy’s tactics. Right now they are betting on the instigation of nationalistic attitudes by undermining the greatest achievement of the Soviet state – the friendship of the peoples. It is known, that inter-ethnic issues in our country, which were left behind for us by the exploitative regime, have been resolved once and for all. Of course, at the same time, we need to remember, as comrade Yu.V.Andropov stressed in his speech called “Sixty Year Anniversary of the USSR,” that in the cultural heritage, in the traditions, in everyday life of each ethnic group there is not only good, but also bad, obsolete. We still encounter manifestations of national cockiness, of arrogance, of tendencies towards segregation and disrespectful treatment of other nations and nationalities. It is those negative manifestations that the clandestine services and ideological subversive centers of the enemy, as well as nationalistic elements, are trying to instigate and use in their subversive activities.


It is worth pointing out that we were successful in disrupting the enemy attempts to implement their hostile plans. Our agents acquired specific operational skills in combating nationalistic manifestations, and they achieved reasonable results. However, taking into account that the enemy bets on nationalism as the means for undermining the cohesiveness of the Soviet multi-national state, we have to continue to improve our tactics, and meticulously monitor the situation in nationalistic circles, and take necessary measures in a timely manner.


I feel like today it is particularly necessary to touch upon the issues of chekist work in the area of transportation. First of all, it is because the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee is concerned about the state of affairs in the transportation sphere. This was also very candidly discussed at the November Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee.


What is the central point of the issue? The central point is, in fact, that transportation, which plays a vital role in the state, is still not able to satisfy the increased demand for transportation services in the country. This creates serious complications for the development of the whole economy, including our defense industry. Therefore the November Plenary Meeting defined as a task of primary importance, the closing of the gap between transportation supply and the demand of the soviet economy.


In principle, the chekist work in the transportation sphere is not a new activity for us. Back in the first years of the Soviet rule, on a direct order from Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission[3] helped the party to ensure the uninterrupted work of railways in the country. Lenin viewed this problem as crucial for building the foundation for the socialist economy.


In current conditions it has again become necessary to use the resources of the state security services in order to assist transportation agencies to ensure uninterrupted work of the transportation network of the country. On the initiative of Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov, and in accordance with the decision of the CPSU Central Committee, in September 1981 the Fourth Directorate and respective local subdivisions were created within the State Security Committee in order to conduct chekist work in the sphere of transportation.


The directorate has its own personnel and clearly defined objectives. The relevant subdivisions commenced work at line maintenance facilities, and this work is already showing tangible results.


At this time the most important thing is to raise the quality of this work to the level required by the party.


Within the scope of our work we have to concentrate our efforts on the following primary areas:


on protecting our transport from the subversive actions of the enemy clandestine services;

on preventing any emergency situations;

on providing any possible assistance to the party, government, and commercial entities in improving order and organization on main traffic arteries.


I’ll go even further – we have to treat this important assignment given to us by the party as one of the top-priority tasks which we have to fulfill as soon as possible.


The November Plenary Meeting, with urgency, brought up an issue of pressing necessity to considerably raise the efficiency of our economy. The Party assigned state security agencies challenging tasks related to protecting the country’s economy. We have to use the directives of the May 1981 National Meetings as guidance in this work.


The chekists have to, first of all, protect the soviet economy from any subversive attempts of the imperialist clandestine services. For this we need to do everything possible to improve our work in the area of thwarting the attempts by enemy spy agencies to penetrate, through their agents, our defense facilities, industrial production facilities, transportation facilities and communications facilities, as well as science, technology and design centers and enterprises. We have a challenging task in front of us – to provide reliable protection of defense, science, technology and economic secrets. We have to timely expose the enemy’s attempts to hurt our economy using international trade and economic relations channels. Of no less importance is to use chekist resources to prevent various violations and malfeasances in the economy which may lead to adverse political and social developments. We are obliged to react with urgency to the alerts about the formation of preconditions for emergency situations, which may cause fatalities and serious financial losses.  


In October 1982 the CPSU Central Committee made a decision to create within the State Security Committee of the USSR[4] an autonomous Sixth Directorate with the respective local subdivisions in the regional KGB offices, which were tasked with conducting counter-intelligence activities to protect the country’s economy from the subversive activities of the enemy. Based on the directives of the CPSU Central Committee, the KGB Panel determined the objectives for the state security services in this important area of chekist activities. When working towards achieving them, we have to take into account that the work in this area requires a creative, thought-through and well-grounded approach.


The KGB Panel pays special attention to the fact that all intelligence subdivisions – Second and Third Chief Directorates, Fourth, Fifth and Six Directorates of the KGB of the USSR, and respective local subdivisions, have to work in the closest possible cooperation, in a coordinated and purpose-driven manner, and in an atmosphere of mutual understanding. Only under this condition counter-intelligence service will be able to effectively fulfill the challenging tasks posed upon it.


At the head of our counter-intelligence subdivisions there are experienced chekists and proven leaders. There is no doubt that they take into consideration new tendencies in the enemy’s activities, when they organize work towards improving the methods that have already paid off, as well as look for new methods which would allow our counter-intelligence to confidently and timely expose the most sophisticated ruses of the enemy clandestine services.


Our border security personnel stand watch in cooperation with the counter-intelligence subdivisions. They successfully complete tasks assigned to them, and they carry out, with honor, their international duty to help the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan protect its young state from the aggressive actions of imperialism. In current conditions border security troops are obliged to increase the level of protection of the frontiers of our Homeland, and to push back on those who have the audacity to attempt to entrench upon the sovereignty of our border. The Command and the Military Council of the Border Security Troops of the KGB need to do everything necessary, so that on March 1, 1983 Border Security Troops can seamlessly, in an orderly fashion, bring their work into full compliance with the new Law on the State Border of the USSR.


All activities of the State Security Committee – one of the most crucial elements of the government apparatus of our country, have to be conducted in strict conformance with the current legislation. A communist in a leadership position, no matter what this position is, is obliged, when taking any decision, to base it on the law and on other regulatory acts. This is not a new requirement. However it doesn’t hurt to be reminded about it again. There were no incidents in the KGB when someone acted outside of the law or in violation of the law. However, we can’t allow the emergence of even the smallest antecedents which may lead to the violations of the law. Hurried, not thought-through and not passed through the appropriate approval process, decisions may cause serious harm and disorient the employees. It is especially dangerous when it concerns the decisions or directives which are related to the foundations of the state security services’ work. We have to always remember that the authority and the rights of the State Security Committee are clearly defined, that we are trusted with harsh specialized tools, but we can and should only use them for the purpose of ensuring state security and for no other purpose.


The well-known directives of the May 1981 National Consultation Meetings which contain the requirement to improve intelligence activities simultaneously with consistent and unwavering strengthening of socialist law-abiding, are gaining even greater importance in the current situation. I am talking about the special responsibility of our personnel for the quick and full detection of dangerous attempts on the state interests and the interests of society. This is fully relevant for the personnel in both operative and investigative branches. The work of the Investigative Department of the State Security Committee complies with these requirements. The objective of the department’s leadership and all of its officers is to continue paying the closest attention to the improvement of investigative work and strengthening its cooperation with the operative units both on the issues of investigations and on the issues of conducting preventive measures.


Successful achievement of objectives posed in front of the state security services depends on the efforts of all chekist communities, irrespective of whether they conduct operative and investigative work or deal with technology, scientific research, production or business activities.


When we talk about the work of the technical surveillance branch and specialized services of the State Security Committee, we have to stress that their primary objectives flow out of the intelligence and counter-intelligence objectives. In recent years these branches and services have increased the quality of their work, and their capabilities have noticeably grown. Today, they are performing very important and complicated functions, and they make significant contributions to the cause of ensuring the state security of our Homeland. The KGB Panel will continue to pay a lot of attention to the work of these branches and services, and will make sure that their role in the successful achievement of our objectives continues to grow.  


The objectives of the administrative, construction and financial branches lie in satisfying the needs and requirements of the operative and technical surveillance branches in a timely and quality manner.


I would like to turn your attention to the fact that in their work these branches have to fully comply with the directives that were voiced at the Plenary Meeting in connection with the acceleration of the implementation of state-of-the-art technologies, the intensification and increase of the efficiency of production, the economizing and rational use of resources, and identifying new, not previously used reserves.


We have to continue to increase the role of the central apparatus of the State Security Committee in organizing operative activities in the local KGB offices. For this purpose, we need to increase control over the fulfillment of the decisions made by the Panel, as well as of the orders and directives issued by the leadership of the State Security Committee. The Chief Directorates, autonomous directorates and branches of the KGB of the USSR have to be better informed about the status of the affairs at local offices and have to provide better assistance to local branches. Furthermore, special attention needs to be paid to the chekist work in such areas of the country where there is a possibility of formation of a highly charged operative environment and where there is a threat of hostile and politically adverse manifestations.


The organizational role of the central apparatus in establishing smooth cooperation and coordination between all KGB agencies and troops is growing rapidly in modern conditions. Based on the decisions of the November Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee, we have to be more assertive in eliminating any manifestations of institutional narrow-mindedness and parochialism which hamper our ability to act jointly in achieving common objectives. We have to deepen military cooperation and liaising with the state security agencies of brotherly socialist countries, who act as a united front in protecting their positions on the global arena. We are obligated to do so by our international duty, by our understanding of the international significance of the work of state security agencies and of their military cooperation. We know very well that by dealing a blow to one socialist country, the enemy means to cause harm to the whole socialist community, of which Polish experience is very indicative. And therefore we have to make it our objective to assist state security agencies of brotherly countries by any means possible in defending the gains of socialism. In this very important issue, we have to use the party as our role model, to follow its directives and its political course. The meetings and discussions of the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, Comrade Yu.V.Andropov, with the leaders of brotherly parties, as well as the recent meetings of the Political Consultative Committee of the States Parties to the Warsaw Pact that took place in Prague all prove the preparedness of the member states to defend socialist gains against the machinations of imperialism, to strengthen our unity, our economic and defense potential, and to actively fight for strengthening peace and détente.




The November Plenary Meeting urgently posed the question about strengthening discipline at every stage of production and every area of management. In his speech at the Plenary Meeting, Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov stressed that “we should start a more aggressive fight against any sort of violations of the party, state and workplace discipline.”[5]


It is well-known that Vladimir Ilyich Lenin attached great importance to the improvement of workplace discipline. He used to say that this work needs to be maintained and pushed forward with every possible effort, since “the success of socialism is inconceivable without the attainment of the proletariat’s conscious commitment to discipline.”[6]


It is entirely obvious that without the proper discipline it is not possible to effectively perform work in any organization. Activities of state security services without a high level of commitment to discipline are inconceivable altogether. Discipline for a chekist is not so much a mandatory subordination to order, directions or rules. Discipline for a chekist is, in the first place, a strict compliance with the party behavioral norms, an unconditional observance of Soviet laws and regulations, and precise and deeply thought-through compliance with the KGB orders and directions of immediate superiors, combined with acreative approach to work with reasonable initiative.  


We don’t need superficial discipline, discipline in the form only. We need internal discipline, deeply thought-through discipline, discipline that is based on creativity and initiative on the part of the executor, and on the executor’s focus on the end result. The basis of chekist discipline should always be our deep conviction in the justness of our cause, unconditional loyalty to the party and to the people, and a high level of awareness of our professional duty and our duty to the party.


The activities of the state security services combine efforts of many groups of people who achieve their objectives across a wide range of responsibilities. Disruption in even one, small link of our system may cause large harm to the state security interests and may cause considerable damage to the political prestige and the economic and defense potential of the country.


This is exactly why the chekists are required to possess special precision, speed and diligence in fulfilling the orders, and display robust cooperation, team spirit, and shared concern for the good of the cause.


This is exactly why the atmosphere in the chekist community has to be pure. We have to maintain the spirit of self-criticism and commitment to principles. Our common objective is to achieve the climate in the community where everything would be subordinated to the main thing – to the successful achievement of the tasks assigned to the state security services.


Using the directives of the CPSU Central Committee as guidance, the KGB party chapters conduct significant work in training chekist personnel. The effectiveness of the party influence on every aspect of the KGB personnel’s activities has grown. But life doesn’t stand still. It poses new, more complex requirements, gives us more challenging tasks.


The November Plenary Meeting’s decisions force us once again to very closely look at issues of personnel’s attitude towards performing their direct job duties. It’s no secret that even in well-functioning work teams there may be people with a passive attitude towards the assigned task, pencil pushers who use the numbers and all sorts of statistics to hide their ineffective and devoid of creativity work. We haven’t yet eradicated such flaws as unnecessary paperwork, lax supervision over the execution of decisions taken, and unjustified delays in fulfilling important orders and directives. There are also instances of people letting down their guard, of delayed and untimely reactions to the incoming alerts, and of unscrupulous attitude towards their work.


We have to do everything possible to ensure that the work ethic of communists-chekists corresponds to the highest standards. This is the direct responsibility of communists in leadership positions. They have to know their subordinates well, know their professional and personal qualities, and be responsible for their behavior not only at work, but also when they are off the job. Their direct duty is to skillfully organize the work of the team that they are leading, to ensure its high efficiency, discover in every member of the personnel his best characteristics and best qualities, and to put them to use for the good of the cause. They have to become an example of diligent, self-motivated attitude towards their duty. Direct supervisors are obliged to constantly ensure that the contribution of each individual into common results is accurately evaluated, and to actively use all available incentive methods to reward those who deserve it, as well as to strictly demand their subordinates to perform at a high level of standards. However, we shouldn’t forget that strictness doesn’t have anything in common with rudeness, arrogance, and degrading human dignity. It is well-known that if the unit works well, that means that it has a good leader, and when the leader is good then the unit will be good, too.


Strengthening discipline and cultivating the heightened sense of responsibility for assigned tasks among the personnel, maintaining in the chekist teams the environment of high performance standards and organization, the atmosphere of collaboration and supportiveness, and ensuring strict compliance by all of the employees to the norms of communist morale both at work and off the job have to constantly be at the center of your attention. There is quite a number of things that can be improved here, both by the party chapters and by the office of personnel management.


Working with personnel, performing its selection and placement, have always been key issues in the organization of chekist agencies.  The party has constantly paid close attention to this, and even in the first years of the existence of chekist agencies, it recruited to work in these agencies “the most resilient and seasoned party members.” Nowadays the requirements in the selection process of the chekist personnel have grown considerably, but still the political criteria remain of primary significance: the unfettered dedication to the communist cause, loyalty to the party and to the people. Furthermore, when we talk about loyalty, we mean loyalty not just in words, not just in representations, but loyalty proven by actions, loyalty displayed in specific difficult, crisis situations.


In light of the decisions of the Plenary Meeting, we are obliged to do everything in order to ensure that selection and placement of personnel is conducted in full compliance with the Lenin’s principles. The main thing here is to make sure that in the key, most sensitive areas of our work the enemy is confronted by the best chekists, politically experienced, ideologically seasoned, professionally well-prepared, able to work creatively, and possessing a sense for new things.


This is what Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov constantly advocates for. We know very well how he fought for the purity of the chekist ranks, armed with high party standards and commitment to principles. Under his leadership, Lenin’s principles for chekist agencies’ activities were fully reinstated and became an integral part of their work. The efficiency of their work grew substantially. The work of state security agencies gained well-deserved respect and support of the soviet people. It was highly praised by our party congresses. And today we can say with confidence that the personnel of the State Security Committee is a seasoned, time-tested, and infinitely dedicated to the communist cause unit of our party. The party fully trusts chekists and can rely on them in everything.


This, comrades, gives me the reason on your behalf, and on behalf of all soviet chekists, to assure the CPSU Central Committee and the Politbureau that the personnel of the state security agencies will continue to always do their best to perform at the highest standards imposed by the party, and to provide reliable security for our socialist Homeland.

[1] Translator’s not: The All-Russian Extraordinary Commission, VCheKa, was the predecessor of the KGB.

[2] Yu.V.Andropov. Selected Speeches and Articles. 2nd Edition, Moscow, Politizdat Publishing House, 1983, p.215

[3] Translator’s note: “VCheKa” or “CheKa” in Russian

[4] Translator’s note: The KGB

[5]   Yu.V.Andropov. Selected Speeches and Articles, p.210

[6] V.I.Lenin. Complete Works, vol.36, p.189

Chebrikov discusses the results of the November 1982 Plenary Meeting of the CPU Central Committee and its consequences for the KGB, including the state of the intelligence 'operating environment,' the aggression and intelligence work of the US and its NATO allies, and future steps of the KGB in order to produce higher quality intelligence.

Document Information


'Deiatel'nost' Organov gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti SSSR na Sovremennom etape: Sbornik Dokumentov i materialov,' No. 15918, Vypusk 2 (Moskva: 1983), in GDA SBU, f. 13, o. 768, ll. 117-134. Obtained by Nate Jones and translated by Angela Greenfield.


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Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)