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Digital Archive International History Declassified


  • March 10, 1938

    Report on Imre Nagy’s Arrest by the NKVD (Commissariat of Internal Affairs)

    Matusov and Altman report on Nagy's arrest on 4/5 March 1938 and subsequent release on 8 March, and describe some of his work.

  • June, 1941

    Report from the People’s Committee of Internal Affairs to the Central Committee of the Hungarian Communist Party, about Agent 'Volodya' (Imre Nagy)

    Sverdlov provides a brief overview of agent "Volodya" (Imre Nagy) and his work.

  • June 29, 1949

    Untitled report on Soviet activities in Lebanon

    The Soviets are monitoring Germans arriving from Damascus to Beirut.

  • June 19, 1953

    National Security Council Report, NSC 158, 'United States Objectives and Actions to Exploit the Unrest in the Satellite States'

    Recommendations adopted by the National Security Council at the suggestion of the Psychological Strategy Board on covert actions to be undertaken in the Soviet Satellite States. Authorized by the National Security Council, NSC 158 envisaged aggressive psychological warfare to exploit and heighten the unrest behind the Iron Curtain. The policy was endorsed by President Eisenhower on June 26, 1953.

  • 1961

    Intelligence Report on Counterintelligence Interactions with Great Britain and Israel

    A report on the progress of agent recruitment.

  • May 06, 1968

    The KGB’s 1967 Annual Report

    Yearly report by KGB Chief Andropov to the CPSU leadership on the actions taken by the KGB in the field of espionage, counter-espionage, and counter-propaganda.

  • September 17, 1973

    KGB Request on Exchange of an Arrested KGB Agent in Tunisia

  • June 22, 1978

    Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, 22 June 1978 (Excerpt)

    Andropov discusses the trial and possible sentencing of Shcharansky, who was charged with spying for the United States.

  • July 25, 1983

    Information from Gen. G. Anachkov on Albanian intelligence Officers’ Recruitment of Agents in Bulgaria

  • September 25, 1986

    Meeting Minutes of the Politburo of the CC CPSU, Regarding Persecution of Political Dissidents and Spies

    In this September 1986 excerpt, Gorbachev receives a report from KGB chief Chebrikov that he had requested on “what kinds of people are serving sentences for crimes, which Western propaganda calls political.” Obviously following Gorbachev’s lead, Chebrikov proposes to alleviate the prison sentences of two-thirds of the 240 persons he lists under this category; but, in response to a question from Gromyko, he notes two cases where the guilty parties had already received a sentence that could not be reduced—execution for espionage.

  • June, 2007

    The Tanov Case. Folder 43. The Chekist Anthology.

    In this entry Mitrokhin describes the essential role that the KGB agent Tanov played in repressing the dissident movement in the Soviet Union in the late 1960s. Mitrokhin states that Tanov had important connections and was a trusted person among Soviet dissidents which helped him to receive important information about their activities. Tanov’s primary target was Orlova who was friends with many dissidents in the U.S.S.R. and in the West. She introduced Tanov to many of her acquaintances, which helped him to broaden his connections. Mitrokhin partially focuses on describing how Tanov gained trust among anti-soviet activists. Mitrokhin also states that because of Tanov’s critical role, the KGB was able to establish a detailed list of dissidents, their activities, connections, places where they met as well as personal portraits

  • June, 2007

    An Illegal Trainer (KGB history of agent "Halef"). Folder 60. The Chekist Anthology.

    Describes training techniques used by the KGB in logistical preparation of their operatives for assignments abroad. This article focuses on the employment history of the KGB agent codenamed “Halef.” Between 1955 and 1967, Halef was stationed in Hong Kong and Tokyo. In 1967, due to his insignificant feedback and a weak performance as a field operative, Halef was transferred back as a trainer. As a trainer, Halef traveled extensively. While in the United States, the KGB developed a fictitious identity for Halef – a so-called legend-biography – in case his activity aroused suspicion and he were detained by authorities. In the United States, France and Mexico, Halef’s objectives included developing and testing means of communication with the KGB, which could be used to inform the KGB of an operative’s arrival to and departure from a country, request a meeting, or announce an emergency. In addition to assessing the existing signal language used among operatives, the KGB also instructed Halef to collect the data necessary to set up new surveillance locations in a number of countries. In 1977, Halef was performing assignments in Pakistan and Burma. In 1978, he and his wife were engaged in assignments throughout the USSR. From the USSR, they were relocated to the GDR and then to Bulgaria, where they boarded a cruise ship going from Varny to Suhumi to survey the ports of the Black Sea basin. Traveling through Odessa, Halef photographed military vessels and observed the procedures of the border patrol and customs officers.

  • June, 2007

    The Yuri Case. Folder 91. The Chekist Anthology.

    In this entry, Mitrokhin draws upon KGB sources to describe Yuri Velichkov Bagomil Stanimerov (b.1941), a Bulgarian citizen who graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1968. Stanimerov was recruited by the Bulgarian branch of the KGB in 1970, and became a resident of Sweden in 1972. Mitrokhin’s summary of KGB documents indicates that in April 1974, CIA officer Huey Walter “Hearst” made Stanimerov an offer in the name of the National Security Council. While Stanimerov refused the offer, he told Hearst that he would continue collaborating with him. Stanimerov subsequently traveled to many foreign countries, but the Americans no longer expressed interest in him. In 1975, Stanimerov was sent to work in the Bulgarian embassy in the United States. The Americans began to train Stanimerov as a spy and tried to ideologically convert him. The Mitrokhin account posits that the KGB gave Stanimerov instructions in case the latter succeeded in infiltrating the CIA. In 1978, the KGB received information regarding the fact that Stanimerov was being investigated by the FBI for his ties with the Bulgarian intelligence services

  • June, 2007

    The Vernii (Devoted) Case. Folder 92. The Chekist Anthology.

    In this entry, Mitrokhin draws upon KGB files to describe Ivan Illarionovich Ortinskii-“Vernii” (b. 1922), a native of the Lvov region, Ukraine. A priest in a Greco-Catholic church, Vernii pursued his religious studies at the Vatican and lectured at a seminary in Rome in 1964. Beginning in 1973, Vernii lived in Ingolstadt, Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). According to the entry, the KGB established contact with Vernii when the latter visited his parents and kin in Lvov in 1968. In 1971, Vernii was recruited as an agent by the KGB branch of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Between 1971 and 1974, collaboration between Vernii and the KGB took place within the territory of the Ukrainian SSR. As an agent, Vernii provided the KGB with information regarding his church, and the leadership of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). Mitrokhin’s summary of KGB documents indicates that Vernii transmitted information to the KGB through his sister, Ukrainian SSR agent “Chestnaya” (born Ortinskaya). Mitrokhin concludes the entry by stating that in 1978, Vernii informed the KGB from Vienna that he would no longer work as an agent, since he had aroused much suspicion within the Greco-Catholic Church.

  • June, 2007

    The Homyakov Case. Folder 87. The Chekist Anthology.

    In this entry, Mitrokhin draws upon KGB files to describe Martin Ole Heinstadt-“Homyakov” (b.1947), a citizen of Norway, and a secretary/archivist at the Norwegian Embassy in Moscow. According to the entry, the Second Chief Directorate (SCD) of the KGB sent one of its operatives, Valerii Evgenevich Zverev, to a function at the Norwegian embassy in Moscow in May 1971. Zverev had been sent to the embassy in order to strengthen ties with SCD KGB operative “Pavlov.” As a cover, Zverev had adopted the identity of a foreign correspondent. The entry states that during the May 1971 gathering, Zverev met Homyakov with whom he was subsequently able to meet regularly. Homyakov began to give Zverev information about official embassy business, including details regarding Soviet citizens and embassy visitors Mitrokhin’s summary of KGB documents indicates that in order to continue receiving information, the SCD KGB ensured that Homyakov and Zverev met in a secluded region, away from the eyes of foreign visitors. The SCD KGB sent operative Andrei Mikhailovich Agekyan, who acted as a mediator between Homyakov and Zverev. Agekyan presented himself as an attorney who was capable of resolving disagreements. The entry mentions that Agekyan was able to “rescue his friends from impending problems.” KGB sources, as described by Mitrokhin, state that there was an agreement with Homyakov regarding the means of establishing contact with the SCD while he was in Norway. From May 4 to September 3, 1972 Homyakov was again in Moscow, where he worked as a guard at the Norwegian embassy. In relocating Homyakov to Moscow, the SCD KGB was able to continue to maintain its operations in the Norwegian embassy, and receive key documents from the Norwegian military attaché. Homyakov was later arrested by Norwegian authorities for espionage.

  • June, 2007

    The Ezhov Case. Folder 85. The Chekist Anthology

    In this entry, Mitrokhin gives an account of KGB operative Peter Yots (codename “Ingo” or “Ezhov”), and his assignments within the FRG. The KGB file presents a brief biographical sketch of Yots who was born in 1937 in Berlin, and was trained as an electrical technician who specialized in deciphering coded radio transmissions and telegrams. Drawing upon KGB files, Mitrokhin asserts that Yots worked as an agent in the First Chief Directorate which sent him to West Germany in 1961 to fulfill the aims of operation “Glavnoiie.” The operation, according to the file, required Yots to monitor the movement of FRG forces and military equipment at the “Aizedlerhoff” railroad station. Yots was, nonetheless, soon relocated to Nuremberg where he took up a job as a lighting technician at a local theater. Between 1962 and 1964, Yots contributed to operation “Delta” from the island of Nidervert off the coast of Nuremberg. The KGB account relates that Yots was authorized by the First Chief Directorate to use necessary means to intercept telegraph messages and other communications, so as to inflict “maximum damage” upon the enemy. In 1967, Yots was relocated to Munich, where he became employed as a lighting technician at a local television station. One of Yots’ Munich missions, codenamed “Zarevo,” involved carrying out the surveillance of the “Alley Café”—a bar owned by Adolf and Mariette Laimer which was frequented by Americans. The KGB entry mentions that Yots also monitored the U.S Consulate and all surrounding public venues which attracted American diplomats and personnel. Yots was relocated by the First Chief Directorate to Czechoslovakia on August 2, 1968 but returned to Munich in 1969.

  • June, 2007

    The Cairo Residency, 1972-76. Folder 82. The Chekist Anthology.

    Information on the results of an analysis of the activities of the KGB residency in Cairo, Egypt from 1972-1976, conducted by KGB Service R. Starting in January 1973, the KGB leadership prohibited the residency from using Egyptian citizens as agents; however the resident in Cairo initiated restrictions on penetration operations earlier, in 1967 and 1968. As a result, by 1977, the residency had no agents in the majority of its intelligence objectives. In May 1971, after the defeat of the anti-Sadat opposition group “left Nasserists,” the KGB’s leadership role in the organization came to light. In response, President Sadat took steps to curtail the activities of Soviet intelligence in Egypt. The KGB resident in Cairo was forced to strengthen his efforts to obtain information on the intentions of the Egyptian leadership, while improving security for clandestine operations. In 1967, the Centre decided not to task the Cairo residency with collecting information on the United States or China, because its limited resources permitted it to focus only on Egypt’s internal politics, and its relations with the USSR, the United States, Israel, and other Arab states. The prohibition against using Egyptian citizens as agents meant that the residency often had to rely on operational-technical means of collection; however by June 1977, the KGB’s leaders instructed the Cairo resident to select and recruit a well-known Soviet-Arab for use in gathering political information, and active measures.

  • June, 2007

    Disintegration, 1976-77. Folder 22. The Chekist Anthology

    In 1976, Leningrad KGB Directorate initiated active measures against “Plushkin,” laboratory director, and “Monarkhist,” employee of a suburban forestry, both of whom were intending to establish an anti-Soviet organization.

  • June, 2007

    National Alliance of Russian Solidarists. Folder 53. The Chekist Anthology

    In this entry Vasili Mitrokhin expresses the KGB concerns regarding the National Alliance of Russian Solidarists’ (NTS) anti-socialist activities held in the Soviet Union and in the West. Mitrokhin states that the KGB had the task of taking control of NTS’ activities as well as destroing their reputation and connections with other anti-Soviet organizations. In order to paralyze the NTS, the KGB’s fundamental goal was to establish strong connections with the organization by sending undercover agents. Toward the end of 1963, the NTS became familiar with the presence of KGB agents among their members. KGB’s main goal was to create an illusion that the NTS was ruled by the KGB, which would help to make America and the West to distrust the organization. According to Mitrokhin, taking over the NTS’s publication “The Posev” was important as well. Mitrokhin provides a KGB plan to overturn the publication and he also attaches the list of all KGB agents who were involved in this undertaking, including their short biographies and codenames.

  • June, 2007

    The Cherepanov Case, 1968-1980 Folder 24. The Chekist Anthology

    In this folder Vasili Mitrokhin reports that in 1968, a part-time student of the Vilnius Polytechnic University, Cherepanov, was sentenced to two years in a correctional facility for disseminating inflammatory leaflets in downtown Vilnius calling for the overthrow of the Soviet government. In 1970, he returned to Vilnius upon release and was unable to find employment. The KGB recruited Cherepanov, but in 1974 he was fired from the agency network for attempting to exploit his connection with the KGB for personal use, for behaving provocatively and making derogatory statements about the leadership of the KGB, and for intending to leave the Soviet Union. In 1978, Cherepanov met Yolanda Vachatis, citizen of Canada. They tried to get married, but the KGB intervened. In January 1980, Cherepanov attempted to leave for Israel. He applied for permission from the Office of Visas and Registration at the Ministry of the Interior, but was denied. In March 1980, Cherepanov met with Heikki A. Surye, citizen of Finland. Heikki agreed to assist Cherpanov and handed him a map marked with locations safe for escape. Cherepanov persuaded Surovets to come along. The two began collecting information critical of the Soviet regime in order to publish it in the Western press. On June 30, Cherepanov and Surovets left Vilnius for Riga. Once in Riga, Cherepanov mailed a letter to Vachatis, who resided in France at that time, saying that he was planning to meet her there sometime in July. On July 7, Cherepanov and Surovets reached the border zone. The warning system was set off, but, due to a rainy weather, footsteps could not be traced, enabling Cherepanov and Surovets to cross the border. Heads of the 11th and 2nd customs checkpoints and others were reprimanded for negligence and mismanagement of the situation. Cherepanov and Surovets were taken back to the USSR on July 24.