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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • June, 2007

    Aleksandr Antonov, 1917-1921 case. Folder 7. The Chekist Anthology.

    Contains a detailed account of the Tambov Province peasant revolt. The article narrowly focuses on the causes of the revolt, Aleksandr Antonov’s biography, and the NKVD efforts to suppress the revolt. In 1919-1921, a forced systematic collection of peasant food and supplies coupled with high taxes contributed to an atmosphere of unrest in Tambov Province. Together with several followers, Aleksandr Antonov launched a resistance movement directed against Bolshevism. In 1919, Antonov trained 150 men in the art of war and the number of followers grew rapidly since then. Having penetrated Antonov’s inner circle and arrested some of the key figures of the organized resistance movement in Tambov, the NKVD eventually put down the revolt.

  • June, 2007

    Operation "LES" (The Forest). The 1940-50 MGB Operation Against Moldavian "Freedom Party." Folder 8. The Chekist Anthology.

    In the post-WWII period there were approximately 30 active anti-Soviet organizations in Moldova. Operation “LES” aimed at the elimination of the “Freedom Party” that existed from 1949 until 1950. “Freedom Party” was established in May 1949 by brothers Istratiy and Viktor Andreev. It was divided into separate cells of five members. Each member created their own cell, and each cell had its own leader. The organization networked with nationalist groups throughout Moldova and western Ukraine, where it often purchased ammunition and enlisted nationalist-minded partisans. According to its charter, the core function of the “Freedom Party” was to restore people’s freedom and guarantee the return of monarchy. By 1950, the operation “LES” involved more than 20 KGB agents. Agents “Moriak,” (Sailor) “Busuioc,” (Basil) and “Vernyj” (Trustworthy) were among the KGB’s main informants. At the time of their arrest on 5 June 1950, the anti-Soviet formation “Freedom Party” had 33 members.

  • June, 2007

    The Solzhenitsyn Case. Folder 40. The Chekist Anthology

    In this entry Mitrokhin states that in 1974 the KGB prepared a plan to repress Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s anti-soviet activities in the West. The plan emphasized the importance of separating Solzhenitsyn from his supporters as well as using their testimony from interrogations against Solzhenitsyn. KGB chief Yuri Andropov approved this plan on September 19, 1974. Mitrokhin provides two pages of the signed plan in this entry, where Solzhenitsyn’s code-name was “Spider.” In 1975 the KGB prepared a more detailed and specific plan to take Solzhenitsyn’s activities under control. It was also crucially important to control the context of “The Continent” magazine. The plan called for KGB agents in the West to publish provocative materials about Solzhenitsyn that would give the impression that he was an undercover agent for the KGB. The plan was prepared by the First, the Second, and the Fifth Chief Directorates of the KGB. The plan is provided by Mitrokhin in the entry. In 1978, when Solzhenitsyn delivered his speech at Harvard University, the KGB was very pleased with its turnout and used it against him in his further anti-socialist activities. Representatives of the KGB in the Soviet Union and the Ministry for State Security of East Germany prepared operation “Vampire – 1.” This operation was focused on publishing many materials about “Spider” that would put him in a compromising position in the West. In 1978 “Neue Politik,” a western German magazine, published an article “Confessions of an agent “Vetrov,” also known as Solzhenitsyn” stating that Solzhenitsyn had been an active KGB undercover agent. This article was published in major magazines and newspapers in many Western countries. Mitrokhin states that this provocative publication almost ended Solzhenitsyn’s career.

  • June, 2007

    The Pathfinders (the Sinyavsky-Daniel show trial. Folder 41. The Chekist Anthology

    In this case Mitrokhin provides a history of the Sinyavsky-Daniel show trial. Between 1959 and 1962 two unknown Russian authors (pseudonyms Tertz and Arzhak) published two anti-soviet books, “This is Moscow Speaking” and “The Trial Begins,” in Western countries. The KGB was not familiar with the authors and did not know where they lived. According to Mitrokhin, KGB agent “Efimov” discovered that a litterateur from Moscow, Yuliy Daniel, had some anti-soviet materials. In the beginning of 1964 the analysis of all available information proved that Daniel was the author of “This is Moscow Speaking” and that his pseudonym was Arzhak. It was soon discovered that Tertz, whose real name was Sinyavsky, was Arzhak’s close friend. The KGB began a new operation “The Imitators,” which helped to learn about their connections abroad, new works in progress, places where authors kept their original writings as well as the means they used to send their literature to the West. Mitrokhin states that KGB agents had difficulties working because Sinyavsky once was an agent for the KGB, so he was familiar with all of the techniques. In September 1965, after the KGB collected all of the necessary information, a criminal case was opened. Sinyavsky and Daniel were arrested. Mitrokhin provides details of the investigation process. In February 1966 the Supreme Court of the Soviet Union sentenced “the imitators.” Sinyavsky was sentenced to seven years in jail and Daniel was sentenced to five. After Sinyavsky served his time, he moved to France with his wife where he became well respected among immigrants. According to Mitrokhin, however, later on he lost that respect because he published a provocative book A Walk with Pushkin. Mitrokhin states that the KGB kept monitoring Sinyavsky’s activities throughout his career in France.

  • June, 2007

    Around the Nomination (The Case of Orlov). Folder 42. The Chekist Anthology

    In this folder Mitrokhin expresses the KGB’s concerns regarding the potential for Yuri Orlov’s nomination for a Nobel Prize. Orlov was well known in the Soviet Union for his dissident activities and for organizing the Moscow Helsinki Group to monitor Soviet adherence to the 1975 Helsinki Accords. According to Mitrokhin, he openly supported all anti-soviet groups and organized public protests for the Soviet human rights movement. As the KGB was concerned, they made many efforts to take the movement under control, but these did not lead to success. Mitrokhin provides examples of the KGB’s attempts to stop Orlov’s activism. Mitrokhin states that the West, however, was in extreme support of Orlov’s ideology. In order to help his movement to gain more influence, Western officials nominated Orlov for the Nobel Prize in 1978. The KGB immediately developed a complex plan to assure Nobel officials that Orlov did not deserve the prize and that it would have been unfavorable for the prestige of the Nobel Prize if Orlov was awarded it. Mitrokhin states that KGB chief Yuri Andropov took control over the operation because Orlov winning the prize would have been crucially harmful for the Soviet political system. Mitrokhin provides the detailed plan in this entry. A KGB resident in Oslo sent an urgent telegram to Moscow on October 27, 1978 stating that Anwar El Sadat and Menachem Begin became laureates of the Nobel Peace prize. Mitrokhin provides full telegram text in this entry and also states that the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed his satisfaction with the fact that Orlov did not win the prize because it would have negatively affected relations between the two countries.

  • 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

    "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

    The Logician (The Zinoviev’s Case). Folder 46. The Chekist Anthology.

    In this short entry, Mitrokhin claims that the Fifth Chief Directorate of the KGB handled the case of Alexander Zinoviev. Zinoviev was an author of anti-soviet books, including "Yawning Heights" and "Bright Future." Mitrokhin states that Zinoviev was stripped of his Doctorate of Philosophy and also expelled from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union for his anti-socialist publications. His KGB code-name was “Logician.” In November, 1978 the KGB residency in Bonn was ordered to monitor Zinoviev’s activities after he immigrated there.

  • June, 2007

    Practicing Psychiatry for Political Purposes. Folder 28. The Chekist Anthology.

    According to Mitrokhin, psychiatry was used against people who promoted anti-socialist ideology. Mitrokhin provides the cases of Eugene Nikolaev and Vladimir Borisov who were forced to stay in psychiatric hospitals for their “incorrect political beliefs.” Nikolaev later wrote a book "The Betrayal of Hippocrates" where he described all of the methods used by doctors to change his views opposing the Soviet system. Mitrokhin reports that in 1975 the KGB became aware of the negative stands of the West on dissidents’ psychiatric treatment in the Soviet Union. They stated that Soviet policies neglected human rights. In December of the same year, the KGB prepared a plan, a copy of which is provided by Mitrokhin in the note, to eliminate the anti-soviet campaign that discredited the practice of psychiatry for political purposes. The KGB’s goal was to create the illusion that psychiatry was only used for legitimate medical reasons. The KGB officials started intensively expanding relations between foreign and Soviet doctors, organized numerous conferences and symposiums, and created an exchange program for neurologists in order to reach their goal. “Professor,” a trusted agent of the KGB, was ordered to collect materials about the abuse of psychiatry in capitalistic countries.

  • June, 2007

    The Campaign against Soviet Economic Policy. Folder 31. The Chekist Anthology

    Mitrokhin states that in 1978 the West attempted to gain influence over Soviet fiscal policy because the U.S.S.R. was in opposition to the Helsinki Accords. Soviet officials ensured the Soviet public that any attempts by the West to change the socialist system in the country would not affect domestic politics in any way. However, it would negatively affect the development of relations between the West and the East and would damage international economic and trade cooperation. According to Mitrokhin, the Soviet administration was especially concerned with Carter’s efforts to end any kind of collaboration with the Soviet Union. Mitrokhin provides a detailed plan prepared by Soviet officials to stop the anti-socialist campaign in the West that was led by the Carter administration.

  • 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 Case of Hmelyova: "The Witch." Folder 37. The Chekist Anthology

    In this entry, Mitrokhin relates the KGB details surrounding “The Witch”—Aida Moiseeva Hmelyova (b. 1936), a native of the Kokchetavskii region in Russia. Mitrokhin describes how Hmelyova was investigated by Moscow’s Fifth Directorate of the KGB which shadowed her throughout 1969.

  • 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 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 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

    A novel entitled 'Where is the truth?' Folder 18. The Chekist Anthology.

    Mitrokhin describes how the Novosibirsk KGB Directorate dissuaded a former Gulag inmate from completing a novel based on his prison experiences during 1949-54. Pereverzev had been sent away to a forced labor camp twice. Having completed his prison terms, he returned to Novosibirsk and decided to write his own account of the Soviet reality. According the KGB Directorate, such writings would be readily accepted by bourgeois publishers. They became intent on putting an end to Pereverzev’s literary pursuits The KGB Directorate in Novosibirsk discovered that Pereverzev corresponded with citizens from capitalistic countries, visited the GDR on two occasions, and attended the American exhibition in Novosibirsk entitled “Public education in the USA.” Pereverzev was taken under closer surveillance. Agents “Gorin” and “Sorokin” obtained 1,100 typewritten pages of Pereverzev’s novel that depicted his imprisonment. Agent Sorokin, being a professional writer himself, judged the novel as a composition of high quality. Sorokin, however, was instructed to convince Pereverzev that the style and content of his writing were good-for-nothing. Sorokin pointed out flaws in the composition and advised Pereverzev to consult a publisher and ask for an official review from a respected local journal. The KGB Directorate arranged for both sources to give Pereverzev negative evaluation. Having received criticism from authoritative institutions, he began to despair of his abilities and gave up on finishing the novel.

  • June, 2007

    Gulag Camps, 1959-73. Folder 19. The Chekist Anthology

    Mitrokhin provides an overview of several corrective labor camps in different parts of the Soviet Union. He selectively describes the state of these facilities, the kinds of prisoners, disciplinary measures, difficulties, etc.