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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • June, 2007

    On Human Rights. Folder 51. The Chekist Anthology.

    Outlines the KGB’s response to the USSR’s signing of the Helsinki Accords in 1975. The accords obligated signatories to respect their citizens’ human rights. This gave Soviet dissidents and westerners leverage in demanding that the USSR end persecution on the basis of religious or political beliefs. Some of the KGB’s active measures included the establishment of a charitable fund dedicated to helping victims of imperialism and capitalism, and the fabrication of a letter from a Ukrainian group to FRG President Walter Scheel describing human rights violations in West Germany. The document also mentions that the Soviet Ministry of Defense obtained an outline of the various European powers’ positions on human rights issues as presented at the March 1977 meeting of the European Economic Community in London from the Italian Foreign Ministry. The KGB also initiated Operation “Raskol” [“Schism”], which ran between 1977 and 1980. This operation included active measures to discredit Soviet dissidents Andrei Sakharov, Yelena Bonner, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, measures designed to drive a wedge between the US and its democratic allies, and measures intended to convince the US government that continued support for the dissident movement did nothing to harm the position of the USSR.

  • June, 2007

    "The Kontinent" magazine. Folder 45. The Chekist Anthology.

    In this folder Mitrokhin provides the KGB plan to limit the influence of “The Kontinent” magazine on the dissidents’ movement in the West and in the Soviet Union.

  • June, 2007

    Directorate K Memorandum No. 153/838, 21 January 1976. Folder 13. The Chekist Anthology

    The Memorandum No. 153/838 considered problems associated with the dissident movement of the Peoples Workers’ Union (Narodno-trudovoy soyuz, NTS). Vasili Mitrokhin writes that among the primary concerns mentioned in the Memorandum was the execution of complex active measures to aggravate contradictions between the leadership of various NTS groups. The Memorandum instructed operatives to observe relations of the NTS with the publishers of the journal “Continent.” In order to fuel up tensions between the NTS groups, operatives needed to, among other things, find out whether members of the “Continent” received higher payments than members of the NTS. In general, Mitrokhin suggests that the foremost purpose of the Memorandum was to gather disreputable information and undermine activities of the NTS.

  • June, 2007

    Solzhenitsyn, Codenamed Pauk [Spider]. Folder 40. The Chekist Anthology.

    This folder contains information about KGB active measures directed at author Alexander Solzhenitsyn following his exile from the Soviet Union in 1974. The operational directives prepared by the KGB’s leadership for 1974 and 1975 are reproduced verbatim. They included plans to limit Solzhenitsyn’s influence in the West, discredit him and the pro-democracy literary journal “Continent” with which he was closely associated, and make his family fear for their personal safety. Many of the specific measures undertaken by the KGB are described in the document. These included televised interviews with men featured in “The Gulag Archipelago” in which they claimed that Solzhenitsyn fabricated or misrepresented their statements to him, the publication of personal letters between Solzhenitsyn and his close male friends which were intended to reveal the “intimacy of their relations,” and the publication of an article claiming that Solzhenitsyn failed to pay his taxes while he resided in Switzerland. The 1978 operation codenamed “Vampire 1” involved planting a news story which suggested that Solzhenitsyn was a KGB spy, and having it reprinted in prominent newspapers and journals throughout Europe and the US. The document concludes with an index of acronyms, people, and codenames mentioned in the folder.