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November 10, 1999

Memorandum, FBI National Security Branch to All Field Offices, 'Information on Surveys Conducted by the Russians for Sabotage and Infiltration in the U.S. during the 1950s and 1960s'

An FBI memo written in the wake of a "60 Minutes" segment regarding The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB.

April 2004

KGB Active Measures in Southwest Asia in 1980-82

Materials provided by former KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin to CWIHP, following the publication of the Working Paper No. 40, "The KGB in Afghanistan." As with all Mitrokhin’s notes, his compilation on Soviet “active measures” in South and Southwest Asia is based on other smuggled-out notes and was prepared especially for CWIHP. Please read the Notes on Sources for information on the nature and limitations of these documents.

June 2007

The Komsomol meeting. Folder 47. The Chekist Anthology.

In this note Mitrokhin describes events which took place at Moscow State University (MGU) in November 1956. Three students from the faculty of geography, Varuschenko, Nedobezhkin and Nosov, openly criticized actions of the Central Committee of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League (Komsomol). According to Mitrokhin, they claimed that the committee did not represent the youth’s interests, that the leaders of Komsomol were corrupted by the Communist Party, and that there was an absence of activities. The students stated that the Central Committee required fundamental reform in order to keep students united and active in political life.
According to Mitrokhin, most students from all MGU faculties agreed with the statements made by the activists from the faculty of geography. They demanded to elect Varuschenko to the executive board of the Central Committee and also proposed to organize an independent organization to discuss issues that concerned most youths. That month Varuschenko was elected to the Central Committee and the Independent Club of Geographers was founded.
Mitrokhin states that the KGB was extremely concerned about these circumstances. The administration feared that they had lost control over the youth. The KGB stated that the reason for this opposition was foreign propaganda brought to the Soviet Union by foreign students. As a result, the KGB quickly disbanded the new club and the new executive board of the Central Committee. Varuschenko was expelled from the university.

June 2007

The Ginzburg's Case. Folder 48. The Chekist Anthology.

In this folder Mitrokhin specifically focuses on Alexander Ginsburg’s anti-Soviet activities in the 1970s. The note recounts that Ginsburg was a repeat offender for promoting opposition to the Soviet regime and the head of the Russian Social Fund and Solzhenitsyn Fund. His position allowed him to receive financial and material aid from different foreign institutions–something that was prohibited by Soviet law. Ginsburg had been supplying these funds to many organizations promoting anti-socialist propaganda (including Ukrainian nationalist clubs, Jewish extremists, and Orthodox activists). According to Mitrokhin, Ginsburg received 270,000 rubles of foreign aid in the 1970s.

Mitrokhin reports that the KGB believed that in 1976 the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) ordered Ginsburg to unite all anti-Soviet adherents to actively and publicly support the Helsinki Accords. He also had been passing on important information about major anti-Soviet activities held in the Soviet Union to American correspondents Thomas Kent, Alfred Short, and others.

As Mitrokhin reports, in 1979 the CIA exchanged Ginsburg for two Soviet spies. After the exchange, Alexander Ginzburg was tried, but was not convicted because all witnesses refused to give evidence.

June 2007

KGB Practices. Folder 70. The Chekist Anthology.

This entry contains brief descriptions of a variety of KGB operations carried out between the early 1960’s and late 1970’s, and provides a sampling of the kinds of operations that were common in that era. Operation “Grom” [“Thunder”] involved fabricating a US State Department memo on Soviet citizens’ inclination towards treason. The memo discussed ways in which the US could exploit this tendency to its advantage. It was published on the front page of the British newspaper “Daily Express.” A pamphlet created by the KGB and attributed to the terrorist organization ‘BAS’ (South Tyrolean Liberation Committee) was introduced as evidence in the trial of BAS leader Norbert Burger in Austria. In July 1976 the KGB residency in Singapore spied on Chess Grandmaster Boris Spassky during his visit to Singapore, and noted in its report that he spent much of his free time on the tennis court. The KGB created and disseminated a letter, ostensibly from nationalist Ukrainian emigrants, protesting the French government’s cooperation with Zionists, and threatening reprisals against French Zionists. The KGB residency in Austria organized operation “Bonga” [“Bigwig”] in which forged letters from Chairman Mao were produced. These letters indicated that Mao himself had essentially organized the opposition to Hua Guofeng’s reforms, and that Hua might lead China to a revisionist course. In March 1977, the newspaper of the Austrian Communist Party printed a translation of a secret Chilean document in which the Chilean secret police asked Gen. Augusto Pinochet for additional funds to carry out undercover operations abroad. Pinochet’s reply contained a harsh rebuke for the request, and a strong admonishment against engaging in clandestine operations abroad. Mitrokhin did not mention where the document came from, nor did he state whether it was authentic or a forgery.

June 2007

Counter-Intelligence Protection, 1971. Folder 97. The Chekist Anthology.

Information on KGB counter-intelligence surveillance of Soviet tourists vacationing in other socialist countries who had contact with foreigners. The document states that Western intelligence services organized “friendship meetings” through tourist firms to meet Soviet citizens, gauge their loyalty to the USSR, and obtain political, economic, and military intelligence. KGB counter-intelligence paid particular attention to Soviet citizens who were absent from their groups, took side trips to different cities or regions, made telephone calls to foreigners, or engaged in “ideologically harmful” conversations in the presence of foreigners. Mirokhin regrets that the KGB underestimated the strengths and methodology of Western intelligence services. He concludes that the KGB should have adopted some of the same methods, and targeted Western tourists visiting socialist countries.

June 2007

By way of introduction. Folder 5. The Chekist Anthology.

Contains Vasili Rozanov’s brief personal observations of the first years of Lenin’s regime. Rozanov, Russian writer and philosopher, describes the creation of the early police agencies that emerged between 1917 and 1918. Among the first military and police institutions set up across Russian cities by Lenin’s Bolshevik government were the Military-Revolutionary Committee (Vojenno-revolutsyonnyj komitet, VRK) and the Union of People’s Commissioners (Sovet Narodnyh Komisarov, SNK). These agencies aimed to bring anti-Soviet newspapers and publications under government control. All bourgeois and Menshevik publications were to be shut down. On 20 December 1918, the SNK established a special commission entitled the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission (Vserossiyskaya chrezvychajnaya komissiya). The commission’s core function was to combat counterrevolution and sabotage. Mitrokhin quotes Rozanov as having written that every new recruit of the Extraordinary Commission had to “disavow one’s own will and be subordinate to duty alone.” Lenin’s policy was to achieve unconditional and unquestioning obedience so that no decision could be taken without directives from the Party.

According to Mitrokhin, Rozanov also indicates that in 1921 Lenin viewed freedom of speech as a political tool of bourgeois. In 1922, during the drafting of the Penal Code of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Lenin advised Kurskiy, RSFSR Justice Commissioner (Narkom justisyj), to impose the highest degree of punishment for involvement in propaganda and agitation. Lenin sought to avoid the mistakes of the Paris Commune, which, he believed, had closed down bourgeois newspapers too late.

Written by Rozanov in 1919, this personal account begins with a literary introduction that depicts the first years of Lenin’s regime as an “iron curtain descending upon Russian History.”

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.