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June 28, 1991

National Intelligence Daily for Friday, 28 June 1991

The CIA’s National Intelligence Daily for Friday, 28 June 1991 describes the latest developments in Yugoslavia, USSR, Algeria, Egypt and Vietnam.

June 2007

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

Vasiliy Mitrokhin provides a detailed account of the KGB active measures in the case of Vladimir Dremluga, codenamed “Osot.” In 1963, at the age of 23, Dremluga was put on probation for his repeated attempts to leave the country. In 1964, Dremluga enrolled in the Leningrad University where he met Pyotr Yakir and Viktor Krasin, the leading members of the samizdat journal Chronicle of Current Affairs. A year later, Dremluga was dismissed from the University for indecent behavior. In 1968, he was sentenced to three years in jail for acting inimically to the country. While in prison, Dremluga did not disavow his anti-Soviet beliefs. Upon his release in 1971 he was sentenced again. During his second imprisonment in Yakutia, the KGB decided to proceed with active measures against Dremluga. Dremluga's second prison term had no impact on his overt anti-Soviet statements. However, he became reclusive, exercising more caution and deliberation in making new acquaintances. The next step for the KGB was to introduce him to agent “Mayskiy” (May). Agent Mayskiy reported that Dremluga's lengthy imprisonment had restricted his communication with friends in Moscow who shared his beliefs. He actively sought ways to reconnect with them. The KGB's plan was to initiate a “postal chain” for Dremluga to supposedly reestablish his channels of communication. Agent Mayskiy offered Dremluga to correspond with his peers in Moscow through Svetlana, Mayskiy's friend in Yakutsk who had an acquaintance in Moscow. Svetlana was to be reached through “Maslova,” allegedly a teacher at the prisoner's night school. In fact, all correspondence went directly to the KGB. By means of such “postal chain,” the KGB was able to work out Yakir and Krasin and, consequently, press criminal charges against them. In his written conversations, Dremluga continued to express anti-Soviet opinions. But his convictions were soon undermined by the Yakir and Krasin's trial and letters he received from the operatives in Moscow, depicting a tragic defeat of the democratic movement. Dremluga became uncertain and wavering. Having isolated Dremluga from his like-minded friends, the KGB then insisted that he repent and publicly condemn his own anti-Soviet actions. For fear of reprisal, Dremluga eventually renounced his views and condemned his activity.

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

Tracking down writers of anonymous letters and leaflets, 1957-74. Folder 14. The Chekist Anthology.

Vasili Mitrokhin describes investigative methods used during anti-Soviet incidents in Sverdlovsk and Serov. On November 7, 1969 anti-Soviet leaflets were distributed in the city of Sverdlovsk. The KGB collected 60 copies. It was determined that the leaflets were made on a portable typewriter of a foreign make using a standard-format paper. It was also estimated based on the content of the leaflets that the author was approximately 17-20 years old. On April 26, 1970 the anonymous leaflets appeared in the city for the second time. They were printed on the same typewriter, but differed in content. The KGB operatives collected 14 copies. Similarly to the first group of leaflets, they feature a signature of the “Executive body of the party ‘Free Russia’.”

On May 1, 1970 identical leaflets were disseminated in the city of Serov. The KGB operatives narrowed down the circle of suspects to 176 students. From local testimonies, they discovered that Uzlov, a student at the Ural Institute of Engineers, had been a member of a youth organization called “Revolutionary Workers’ Party,” which was later renamed to “Free Russia.” Nikolay Shaburov (born 1945) and Victor Pestov (born 1946) were leaders of the “Free Russia.” They designed the text of the leaflets and recruited followers to help distribute the copies. Members of the “Free Russia” were arrested and convicted.

June 2007

The 'MRAKOBES' [Obscurantist] Case, 1960-61. Folder 15. The Chekist Anthology.

This report from Vasili Mitrokhin presents evidence of an anonymous writer—“Mrakobes”— who between 1960 and 1961 delivered anti-Soviet letters and caricatures of government and party leaders to foreign embassies and Soviet institutions in Moscow. The letters were written by hand and contained Church Slavic fonts and constructions. They were put in a letter box at different times of the day, in different parts of Moscow. Each set of letters was put in a different letter box.

Examination of text, envelopes, and paper demonstrated that the anonymous author was familiar with rare literature, had a good command of musical and church lexicon, and made good use of figures of speech. The author was also estimated to be a middle-age male with education in humanities. From some letters intercepted by the KGB, operatives obtained his fingerprints. They also observed that one letter box was frequented by the anonymous writer more than others. The KGB laid an ambush. The hideout for the operatives was camouflaged as a storage room and a light signal was set up.

Several weeks later, on February 5, 1961 “Mrakobes” delivered four letters. A surveillance team identified him as S.F. Petrakov (born 1924). To verify it was the right person, the team wanted to check his fingerprints against the earlier obtained fingerprint. Petrakov was invited to a medical inspection, during which an operative posing as a doctor fingerprinted him with a magnifying glass. Petrakov’s identity was confirmed. He confessed to having produced around 100 anti-Soviet documents that had been mailed by post at various times.

June 2007

The KGB Directorate of Ryazan Oblast. Folder 17. The Chekist Anthology.

Mitrokhin observes that having surveyed Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, codenamed “Pauk” (Spider), for a long time, the KGB had sufficient evidence to prosecute him. However, their intention was to debunk his teachings. The KGB Directorate of Ryazan Oblast invited agent “Marina”—Natalia Reshetovskaya— to participate in their actions against Solzhenitsyn. Mitrokhin indicates that Marina went through an intensive course of operative and psychological preparation. The KGB familiarized her with the nature of ideological subversion practiced by security services dealing with Solzhenitsyn. Marina also gained necessary expertise by performing practical tasks, learning the surroundings of Solzhenitsyn, and taking a look at his literary works.

Beyond Solzhenitsyn, the KGB Directorate of Ryazan Oblast also oversaw various clubs and organizations attended by intelligentsia that might have had harmful political inclinations. There were several instances of such developments recorded in Ryazan Oblast. In 1967, Belik, teacher at a music school in Ryazan, founded the Olymp Society, whose policy was to combat government censorship. Bigalko, teacher of Russian language at the Pedagogical Institute, started a discussion club called “Disk” that encouraged students to think critically and challenge authority. The KGB Directorate of Ryazan Oblast compiled reports on teachers and representatives of intelligentsia who held anti-Soviet views. Professor Vilensky was one of them. He urged the introduction of another political party, listened to foreign radio programs, and drew comparisons between the Soviet and bourgeois ways of life. Such behavior contributed to an atmosphere of impunity among citizenry, which further encouraged unwanted generalizations.

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.