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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • November 13, 1969

    Stasi Note on Meeting with KGB Officials, 13 November 1969

    Meeting between KGB First Deputy S. K. Zvigun (Tsvigun) and East German Minister for State Security Mielke. They discuss anti-Soviet "ideological subversion" on the part of the United States and other enemies, as well as Soviet dissidents such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov.

  • March 13, 1976

    Committee for State Security Report, 'On the Results of Search for Authors of Anti-Soviet Anonymous Documents in 1975'

    The Committee for State Security reported on results in exposing authors and distributors of anti-Soviet propaganda during 1975. In comparison with results from 1974, the number of authors writing, distributing, and preparing these anti-Soviet documents was overall reduced, but due to copying technology, the volume of documents has grown.

  • June, 2007

    The Case of Dissident Velikanova. Folder 38. The Chekist Anthology

    In this entry, Mitrokhin describes how on November 1, 1979 KGB operatives arrested dissident Tatiana Mikhailova Velikanova. Mitrokhin relates that since Velikanova’s name was widely known outside Soviet borders, the KGB warned its resident agents abroad to adopt certain procedures in case of an emergency. Tatiana Mikhailova Velikanova (b.1932) was a highly-educated Russian and a mother of three. Beginning in the late 1960s, Velikanova actively participated in public anti-state demonstrations—particularly at the Pushkin Square in Moscow. Drawing upon KGB files, Mitrokhin mentions that in 1969, Velikanova became a member of the Initiative Group for the Defense of Human Rights, a club which according to the KGB, boasted Tatar autonomists, extreme nationalists, religious fanatics, and secessionists amongst its ranks. For more than ten years, Velikanova and her associates were producing anti-Soviet and politically harmful material, distributed to foreign publishing houses and radio stations. Under Velikanova’s initiative, The Chronicles of Current Events, a samizdat publication was issued in Moscow in 1974. The Chronicles described topics such as arrests, judiciary procedures, the pursuit of dissidents, and other aspects of political life in the Soviet Union. The periodical shed negative light on the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). By Mitrokhin’s account, although Velikanova had been officially sanctioned by the state with regards to continuing her work, she paid no heed to the warnings. In essence, Velikanova remained largely unmoved by the searches and interrogations subsequently conducted by the State Prosecutor’s Office. The KGB file stated that the West had helped Velikanova by supplying her with financial resources. Velikanova further received assistance from the Fund for Aiding Political Nonconformists. Velikanova’s file stated that she was being investigated by the KGB in accordance with the wishes of the Prosecutor’s Office.

  • June, 2007

    The Operational Situation as Reported in 1971, 1975, and 1981. Folder 35. The Chekist Anthology.

    In folder 35 Mitrokhin discusses the KGB’s assertion of an increase in domestic dissent and unrest in the 1970s and early 1980s as well as the methods the KGB utilized to combat this threat. Soviet intelligence believed that this increase in domestic unrest was due primarily to an increased effort by the United States and its allies to promote internal instability within the USSR. In response, the KGB continued to screen foreigners, increased the harshness of penalties for distribution of anti-Soviet literature, and monitored the activities and temperament of nationalists, immigrants, church officials, and authors of unsigned literature within the Soviet Union. Mitrokhin’s note recounts the KGB’s assertion that foreign intelligence agencies were expanding their attempts to create domestic unrest within the USSR. These activities included the support and creation of dissidents within the Soviet Union, the facilitation of the theft Soviet property such as aircrafts, and the public espousal of a position against Soviet persecution of dissidents and Jews. Responding to public exposure of these activities, the KGB proclaimed its legality and trustworthiness while also beginning to assign some agents verbal assignments without written record.

  • June, 2007

    The Bukovsky Case 1959-1976. Folder 26. The Chekist Anthology

    Vasili Mitrokhin describes the KGB handling of Vladimir Konstantinovich Bukovsky, native of Bembei, Bashkir ASSR. Bukovsky has been under investigation by the KGB since 1959, when he was still in the 10th grade in the Moscow Secondary School No. 59. As a high school student, he authored a journal “Martyr” that contained negative comments about the CPSU. In 1960, he established a youth organization that produced illegal leaflets. Since then, Bukovsky engaged in a number of dissident events and was time and time again warned by the KGB against participating in such activities. Bukovsky continued and in 1963 Miss Stevens, an American citizen, passed to him a copy of a book by Milovan Djilas entitled “The New Class.” Bukovsky proceeded to disseminate it. On 1 June, 1963 criminal charges were pressed against Bukovsky following his arrest. It was decided to enroll him at the psychiatric clinic, the custody was first granted to his parents. Bukovsky continued his anti-Soviet activity and on 5 December 1965 joined protests in defense of Siniavsky and Daniel. He was interned in a psychiatric clinic that month. In the fall of 1966, Bukovsky, Daniel and Gubanov established a youth organization called “Avangard.” In 1967, Bukovsky was arrested once again. At trial, he spoke against Article 70 and 190 of the Constitution, stating they were ambivalent, vague and exploited to persecute political opponents of the CPSU. In 1972, Bukovsky was sentenced and sent to a labor camp. In 1976, he was exchanged for Corvalan, the leader of the Communist Party of Chile.

  • June, 2007

    By the Church Gates. Folder 1. The Chekist Anthology.

    This folder includes information on the arrest of Patriarch Tikhon, 1919 and 1922, and Felix Dzerzhinsky’s minutes of 2 December 1920 meeting asserting exclusive role of the VChK in undermining the Church. The note includes extracts of a 23 February 1922 decree on confiscation of Church treasures, and describes the subsequent liquidation of Bishop Phillipe and Professor Uspenski, the emergence and persecution of the True Orthodox Church and True Orthodox Christians operating underground, and KGB Penetration of the True Orthodox Church’s top leadership during the 1960’s. Efforts to strengthen Orthodox control over Belorussian, Kazakh, and Ukrainian national churches, the February 1975 conference of heads of Warsaw Pact security services and their decision to engage in joint action against the Vatican, the World Council of Churches and other religious institutions in the West, and the KGB’s campaign against underground religious manuscript publishers (samizdat) during 1970’s are discussed. The file contains KGB statistics on religious participation throughout the USSR, and a description of Archbishop Sinod’s, anti-Soviet activities in 1920’s and his support for Hitler during the Great Patriotic War. The notes section includes Mitrokhin’s thoughts on religion in Kievan Russ in 988 and extracts from FCD operations files on Church personalities involved in operations abroad. Includes operational codenames of KGB agents who had infiltrated the True Orthodox Church

  • June, 2007

    Disarming 'Osot' ideologically, 1963-73. Folder 12. The Chekist Anthology.

    Vasili Mitrokhin provides a detailed account of the KGB active measures in the case of Vladimir Dremluga, codenamed “Osot.”

  • June, 2007

    The Telegram "Dogma." Folder 50. The Chekist Anthology

    According to Mitrokhin, in 1979 KGB headquarters sent a telegram to its residencies abroad stating that Soviet intelligentsia, the American embassy in Moscow, and foreign correspondents who were accredited to work in the Soviet Union, had been holding anti-soviet activities. The telegram text, which is provided by Mitrokhin in his entry, states that Kopalev, Chukovskaya, Kornilov, Vladimov, and Vojnovich were expelled from the U.S.S.R. Union of Writers for their anti-socialist publications. However, after this incident they started to gain influence among Soviet writers and many anti-soviet materials were published, which led to publication of the almanac “Metropol.” The American embassy assisted the publication by organizing events with influential intelligentsia of the West who inspired Soviet writers in favor of capitalism. Mitrokhin states that KGB officials ordered all residencies to immediately stop these activities. It was planned to publish provocative materials about all Western supporters of the almanac. KGB residencies in the West were in charge of collecting these materials.

  • June, 2007

    Neutralizing of Dissidents’ Activities in the 1970s. Folder 49. The Chekist Anthology

    In this entry Mitrokhin describes dissidents’ activities in the Soviet Union and KGB attempts to stop them.

  • June, 2007

    Non-conformism. Evolution of the 'democratic movement' as a politically harmful process since the mid-1950s. Folder 9. The Chekist Anthology.

    In this transcript, Mitrokhin points out that according to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) bourgeois ideology affected cohesion of the Soviet society in three major ways: 1) by creating opposition and manipulating people’s personal weaknesses in order to pull apart the Soviet organism; 2) by inflaming disputes between younger and older generations, members of intelligentsia and working class; 3) by building up everyday propagandist pressure.