Spy vs. Spy: The KGB vs. the CIA
by Vladislav M. Zubok
 Cold War International History Project,
CWIHP Bulletin 4 (Fall 1994): 22-33,

 

 
  • The KGB reports to Khrushchev

  • The Hunt for Allen Dulles

  • The Crisis in Berlin...and in the KGB

  • Scorpions in a bottle

  • Notes

;The crisis years; of 1960-1962 are remembered as a peak of the Cold War, an apogee of the bipolar confrontation. Many consider them even more dangerous than the Korean War, when the military forces of West and East clashed and almost slipped into a global conflict. The early 1960s were all the more frightening since the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, were engaged in a fierce nuclear arms race, and two more states, Great Britain and France, had developed small nuclear arsenals of their own. By the end of the period the edge in this race clearly belonged to the United States such that, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Washington had at least nine times as many deliverable nuclear warheads as Moscow.1 After the summer of 1961 the Kennedy administration was perfectly aware of that fact, but, nevertheless, sweeping Soviet progress in ICBMs soon eliminated the impregnability of ;fortress America; forever. The loss of strategic invulnerability weighed as heavily on the American psyche as had the loss of the atomic monopoly (and China) in 1949. And, as before, this agitated state of mind offered fertile ground for spy-hysteria. This time, however, it did not reach the proportions of McCarthyism, but remained localized in government offices where cold warriors, especially true believers among them, began to talk again about a ;master plan; of the Kremlin and the KGB to delude and disrupt the Western alliance in preparation for a decisive showdown between the two Cold War blocs. Some of them, most prominently James J. Angleton, head of the CIA's counterintelligence department, tenaciously denied the reality of the Sino-Soviet split as a ;hoax; designed to lull the West into complacency. Angleton, along with a Soviet defector, KGB major Anatoly Golitsyn, also believed that there was a KGB mole inside the CIA's Soviet Division, and that Soviet intelligence was assiduously planting its illegals and agents, primarily displaced persons from Eastern Europe and Russia, in various high-placed positions in the West. They even claimed that former British Labour party leader Hugh Gaitskell had probably been murdered by the KGB, that his successor, Harold Wilson, was probably a KGB asset, and that the famous double agent Oleg Penkovsky, a GRU (Soviet military intelligence) colonel, was also a Soviet plant.2
The seemingly wild surmises of an American counterintelligence officer become more understandable as we learn more about the strange ;behind the mirror; world of spying, double-agents, and deliberate disinformation in which huge and well-funded rival intelligence services clashed with no holds barred. Intelligence at any time is a necessary and valuable instrument of a state's foreign policy. But in the years of Cold War tension the intelligence services were more than just ;eyes,; they were powerful weapons in propaganda warfare between the ideological blocs. Furthermore, in a situation of mutual fear produced by the nuclear deadlock, when mammoth armies confronted each other in Europe and around the world, intelligence networks were the only mobile force in action, the ;light infantry; of the Cold War: conducting reconnaissance, but also trying to influence the situation in the enemy's rear by means sometimes just short of military ones. The plans and instructions related to operational work and intelligence sources, in particular involving planting agents abroad and using double-agents, justifiably belong to the most zealously guarded secrets of intelligence bureaucracies. But recently, thanks to the collapse of the Soviet Union, historians have acquired a rare chance to peek into the mysteries of one of the two intelligence giants of the Cold War--documents of the Committee on State Security (KGB). These are not papers of the First Main Directorate (PGU), which was responsible for foreign intelligence and which continues under the new regime in Russia and, of course, preserves its secrecy (although some of its former officers, Oleg Kalugin, Leonid Shebarshin, and Vadim Kirpichenko among them, have recently written memoirs3). The documents in question were sent by the KGB to the Secretariat and the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CC CPSU), whose archives, unlike those of the KGB, have in part at least become accessible to scholars and the public.4
For all their fascination, the internal KGB documents cited in this article should also be treated with a good deal of caution. They contain references to events, plans, individuals, and explicit or implicit relationships that are uncorroborated and should be carefully investigated and cross-checked with other evidence before their accuracy and significance can be confidently gauged. Many of the assertions contained in the documents will require, in particular, collation with relevant materials in the archives of other governments and intelligence agencies, especially the CIA, and analysis by specialists in the history of intelligence. Many names in the documents are transliterated from the Russian after being transliterated from other languages, and the spelling may not be accurate. Moreover, in assessing reports by KGB leaders to Khrushchev, readers should recall the tendency of bureaucrats in any government to exaggerate capabilities or accomplishments to a superior, a provoclivity that may be accentuated when, as in this period, there is intense pressure to produce results. Finally, in addition to remembering the lack of systematic access to KGB and CIA archives, those who evaluate the documents that do become available must keep in mind that evidence on crucial matters may have been deliberately destroyed, distorted, fabricated, or simply never committed to paper. All of these caveats should simply serve as reminders that however revealing these materials are, much additional research will be needed before a balanced and informed evaluation of the role of intelligence agencies and activities in the Cold War, on all sides, can be attained.
The KGB reports to Khrushchev
On 14 February 1961, Nikita S. Khrushchev received an annual report of the KGB marked ;Top Secret--Highly Sensitive.;5 Only Khrushchev could decide who among the top Soviet leadership might see the report, in which the Collegium of the KGB informed him as the First Secretary of the CC CPSU and as a Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR about the achievements of Soviet foreign intelligence during 1960. In this period, Khrushchev was told, 375 foreign agents were recruited, and 32 officers of the State Security were transferred abroad and legalized. The stations abroad obtained, among others, position and background papers prepared by Western governments for the summit conference in Paris in May 1960, including materials on the German and Berlin questions, disarmament, and other issues. They also provided the Soviet leadership with ;documentary evidence about military-political planning of some Western powers and the NATO alliance as whole; [...] on the plan of deployment of armed forces of these countries through 1960-63; evidence on preparation by the USA of an economic blockade of and military intervention against Cuba;--the last a possible allusion to preparations for the forthcoming April 1961 CIA-supported invasion by anti-Castro Cuban exiles at the Bay of Pigs.6
The sheer numbers conveyed the vast extent of information with which the KGB flooded the tiny group of Soviet leaders. During one year alone it prepared and presented 4,144 reports and 68 weekly and monthly informational bulletins to the Party's Central Committee and the USSR Council of Ministers; 4,370 documentary materials were sent to Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko; 3,470 materials to Defense Minister Rodion Malinovsky and the Head of the General Staff Alexander Vassilevsky; and 790 materials to other ministries and agencies.7
Soviet foreign intelligence appeared to have been particularly successful in ;sigint; (signals intelligence) operations. The sprawling Service of Radio Interception and Code-Breaking of Diplomatic and Agent-Operational Communications of the Capitalist Countries, the innermost part of the KGB empire (analogous to the U.S. National Security Agency), managed to break many diplomatic and intelligence codes. During 1960 it reported deciphering 209,000 diplomatic cables sent by representatives of 51 states, and the most important among them--133,200--were reported to the CPSU Central Committee. The Kremlin therefore apparently eavesdropped on some of the West's most classified communications. True, there were clouds on the horizon. The enemy became increasingly sophisticated and difficult to penetrate. The Directorate of Counterintelligence confronted, according to the annual report, ;serious difficulties; in 1960. ;The adversary goes to great lengths,; the KGB complained. ;For instance, the Committee noticed cases when the enemy's intelligence officers met their agents on a beach and secretly exchanged materials while swimming. If it happens on a beach, they would lie close by, pretend they do not know each other and dig their materials in the sand, and then cautiously extract them.; There were more serious challenges than the ;beach; method. U.S. intelligence, the KGB found, began to use a new type of heavily-protected codes. They wrote on a very thin (papirosse-type) paper prepared specifically for this purpose. Also a special plane was constructed in the USA to bring illegal agents to the USSR. ;Since this plane is made of rubber-layered tissue,; the report said, ;and can conduct flights at low altitudes, it has practically no chance, according to our experts, of being located by existing radar stations.;8
With the life of KGB officers and agents in the United States becoming increasingly rough due to the effectiveness of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI and harsh restrictions on travel for Soviet journalists and diplomats, the Committee tried to exploit the increasing trickle of Soviet visitors to the United States to include its operatives and agents. Another channel was sending younger KGB officers, Oleg Kalugin among them, as graduate and post-graduate students to Columbia, Harvard, and other American universities. Yet nobody could replace illegals. The KGB in 1960 began to move its ;sleepers; in other countries to the United States ;with the aim of planting them in a job in American intelligence or intelligence schools.; One priority was ;to insert KGB agents as professors of Russian, Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian languages in the language school of USA military intelligence in Monterey,; California.9
The report distinguished between old and new priorities of Soviet foreign intelligence. An old one was to ferret out, in competition with the GRU (Glavrazvedupr) or military intelligence, Western plans for rearmament and NATO's level of combat readiness. New efforts were targeted, first, at scientific-technical espionage and, second, at elaborate propaganda and disinformation campaigns. The former had proved to be a stupendous success in the 1940s, when the Soviets obtained detailed information on the wartime Anglo-American atomic bomb project, and it continued to be important as Cold War sanctions and barriers cut the Soviets off from Western technologies and industrial machinery. During 1960, the KGB's scientific-technical intelligence service reported that it stole, bought, and smuggled from the West 8,029 classified technologies, blueprints, and schemas, as well as 1,311 different samples of equipment.10 A special target in this regard was, of course, the United States. On 7 April 1960, the Central Committee had directed the KGB to prepare a ;prospective working plan of the intelligence service of the Committee of State Security at the Council of Ministers against the United States of America.;11 The plan, presented on 10 March 1961, postulated a wide array of measures.12 Among them were efforts to insinuate agents into U.S. scientific-technical centers, universities, industrial corporations, and other institutions specializing in missile building, electronics, aircraft, and special chemistry. The KGB planned to use ;third countries; as a springboard for this penetration campaign. Its agents in Great Britain, France, West Germany, and Japan were to worm their way into scientific, industrial, and military research and consulting institutions of these countries with access to American know-how or subcontracting to U.S. military agencies. Agents residing in England, Austria, Belgium, West Germany, and Israel were instructed to move to the United States with the goal of finding jobs in the military-industrial sector. It also planned to organize ;on the basis of a well-screened network of agents; several brokerage firms in order to obtain classified scientific-technical information and ;to create conditions in a number of countries for buying samples of state-of-the-art American equipment.; One such firm was to be opened in the United States, one in England, and two in France. The KGB also prepared to open in a European country a copying center that would specialize copying blueprints and technical documentation in the fields of radioelectronics, chemistry, and robotics.13
Some orthodox anti-communists in the CIA, known as the fundamentalists, were tipped off by the Soviet defector Golitsyn about an alleged KGB ;monster plot; to create a strategic web of deception. According to Golitsyn, the KGB's new chairman, Alexander Shelepin, the energetic and imaginative former leader of Young Communist League, revealed this plot in May of 1959 to the KGB establishment. Golitsyn even maintained, contrary to all evidence and logic, that the political and military split between China and the USSR after 1959 was a fake, just a facet of Shelepin's diabolical master plan.14
There was no such ;master plan; in the KGB. But under Shelepin the Committee indeed hatched several schemes of strategic and tactical deception: to conceal Soviet intentions and weak spots from the West, as well as to disrupt consensus in Western societies and alliances on policies, means, and goals for waging the Cold War. In the plan presented to the Central Committee on 10 March 1961, mentioned above, for example, the KGB proposed ;to carry out disinformation measures on the information that American intelligence obtains about the Soviet Union; to pass along the channels of American intelligence disinformation on economic, defense, and scientific-technical issues; to disinform the USA intelligence regarding real intentions of Soviet intelligence services, achieving thereby the dispersion of forces and means of the enemy's intelligence services.;15 The deception went side by side with blunt slander campaigns and forgery. In its 1960 report, the KGB took pride in operations carried out to compromise ;groupings and individuals from the imperialist camps most hostile towards the USSR.; The Committee publicized in the West 10 documentary pieces of dis-information, prepared in the name of state institutions and government figures of capitalist countries, and 193 other disinformation materials. The KGB took credit for staging a number of rallies, marches, and pickets in the United States, Japan, England, and other countries. It claimed to be instrumental in engineering 86 inquiries of governments and presentations in parliaments and 105 interviews of leading figures in these countries. In addition it asserted that it had helped organize 442 mass petitions to governments, distributed 3.221 million copies of various leaflets, and published abroad 126 books and brochures ;unmasking aggressive policies of the USA; and its allies, as well as 3,097 articles and pieces in the media. The Committee reported that it had instigated all this through 15 newspapers and magazines on the KGB payroll.16
During the early Cold War and later, both U.S. and Soviet intelligence services used penetration, deception, and propaganda to groom potential allies and neutralize enemies on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Each had a record of successes and failures during the 1950s. The KGB successfully played on French suspicions of West German militarism to frustrate ratification of the European Defense Community (EDC), the Western plan to create a ;European army.; The CIA had its own triumph in Iran by overthrowing Prime Minister Mossadeq and opening the way for conversion of that country into a mainstay of Western defense structures in the Middle East for a generation. But U.S. intelligence failed during the 1950s to establish a network of influence in Eastern Europe, not to mention the Soviet Union itself. The KGB even in 1960 acted under the impression that it could do better in the United States, using the growing fatigue with the Dulles-Eisenhower hard line and growing public support for U.S.-Soviet rapprochement. The Committee pledged, in accord with its April 1960 instruction, to establish closer contacts with liberal Democrats in the U.S. Congress and to encourage them ;to step up their pressure for improvement of relations between the USA and the Soviet Union and for settlement of international problems through negotiations.; The KGB concentrated its propaganda efforts, it reported, on ;left-wing trade unions, Quakers, pacifist, youth and other social organizations,; and was even ready ;to provide those organizations and some trusted individuals with the needed financial assistance in a clandestine way.;17
According to the plan, the KGB proposed to subsidize the ;American progressive publishing house 'Liberty Book Club' in order to publish and disseminate in the USA and other capitalist countries books prepared at our request.;18 The experiment seemed to promise further successes, since the KGB intended to internationalize it by opening club affiliates in England, Italy, and Japan. In a spirit of innovation, demonstrated in those years, the Committee also ;studied the possibility of using a major American public relations agency for the distribution in the USA of truthful information about the Soviet Union.;19 These and similar undertakings required a lot of money, and some KGB operatives like Konon Molody (Gordon Arnold Lonsdale) were encouraged to engage in lucrative businesses in the West and then funnel the profits into KGB foreign accounts.20
A special division of the KGB was busy fabricating disinformation on the production in the United States of chemical and bacteriological weapons and the development of new means of mass destruction. Faked documents, innuendo, and gossip were used to undercut U.S. positions and influence among delegations of Afro-Asian and Latin American countries in the United Nations and ;to promote disorganization of the American voting machine in the structures of the UN.; There were even attempts to sidetrack tariff talks among Western countries and ;to use financial difficulties of the United States for strengthening of mistrust in the dollar.; On the KGB's list of targets in the propaganda warfare campaign were all the predictable suspects: U.S.-led regional alliances (NATO, SEATO, and CENTO) and U.S. military bases abroad, all denounced as tools for American meddling into the internal affairs of host countries. The Committee also contemplated a terrorist strike at Radio Liberty and the Soviet Studies Institute in Munich ;to put out of order their equipment and to destroy their card indexes.; Inside the United States this warfare was to be spearheaded against the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), a counterpart of the KGB psychological warfare division, and ;the reactionary militarist group in U.S. ruling circles - [Nelson] ROCKEFELLER, [Lauris] NORSTAD, A. DULLES, E. [J. Edgar] HOOVER, as well as their allies in pushing an aggressive course in other countries.;21
One name on the hit list was that of Allen W. Dulles, experienced in the espionage trade since the late 1930s and since 1953 presiding over the Central Intelligence Agency.22 In 1960-1961, Dulles became the chief target of the KGB's vendetta.
The Hunt for Allen Dulles
The Dulles brothers had long inspired complex feelings inside the Soviet leadership. Time and again Vyacheslav Molotov and then Nikita Khrushchev betrayed an apprehension of them bordering on respectful awe. Khrushchev, in his typical manner, even engaged personally in a semi-public feud with Allen Dulles boasting that he read his briefing papers prepared for President Eisenhower and found them ;boring.; The Soviet leaders had some reasons to believe that their sources of ;humint;--;human intelligence; garnered from agents and illegals--were many times greater than those of their American adversary. After a flurry of defectors following Stalin's death, the political and military intelligence apparatus had been reorganized, and its discipline and morale seemed to be restored. But the lull proved short-lived. From the mid-fifties onward Khrushchev's policies of reducing the KGB empire and curbing its operatives' privileges produced a new spate of treason. The response was ruthless: a new head of the First Main Directorate (PGU), Alexander Sakharovsky, reportedly took draconian measures to root out a plague of ;defecting;; he personally pushed for operations designed to eliminate post-Stalin ;traitors; Aleksandr Orlov, Vladimir Petrov, and Piotr Deriabin who had fled to the West and cooperated with Western counterintelligence.23 (Evidently all three operations failed or were abandoned, since none of the three defectors was assassinated.) Until the spring of 1960, Soviet foreign intelligence had reasons to believe it had a sound edge over its American counterpart. During 1960, Soviet operatives, together with ;friends; from East European security forces, reportedly penetrated Western embassies in Eastern Europe on 52 occasions. They succeeded in illegally smuggling to the USSR five U.S. intelligence officers. They had a high-placed mole in the British counterintelligence MI5--George Blake--another one in NATO headquarters in Brussels, and many lesser ones. But Allen Dulles had struck back with a new technological breakthrough: U-2 planes and then reconnaissance satellites to overfly and photograph the USSR. Shelepin sounded the alarm and in September 1959, during Khrushchev's visit to the United States, he sent a memo to the Department of Defense Industry of the Central Committee proposing a program to monitor the U.S. satellite ;Discoverer.; He proposed to obtain ;directly and by agents; the data on frequency ranges used by transmitters on these satellites. Ivan Serbin, head of the Department, agreed that the issue was grave enough and sent Shelepin's memo for consideration to the Commission on military-industrial issues at the Council of Ministers.24
In fact, the U.S. space reconnaissance program produced a minor panic among Soviet academics who consulted for the KGB. Two of them, Academician L.I. Sedov and doctor of physics and mathematics G.S. Narimanov, warned in September 1959 that the ;Discoverer; satellites could be successfully used by the Americans for military and intelligence purposes, ;to put out of work our defense installations with electronic equipment over a large territory.; With the help of satellite equipment, Shelepin reported, from a height of 200-300 km it would be possible efficiently to photograph stretches of the Earth of 50-90 km in width and 150,000 km in length.25
In other words, the KGB alerted the Soviet leaders in a timely fashion to the coming intelligence revolution. Khrushchev's reaction to the downing of an American U-2 seven months later, in May 1960, was, therefore, anything but surprise. The political slight, and even humiliation, that Khrushchev saw in this affair to himself and his country provoked his furious response. He disrupted the summit in Paris and irreparably ruined his relations with Eisenhower.26 But in his opinion the U.S. president, though he accepted responsibility for the intelligence flights, merely shielded the real culprit: Allen Dulles. So Khrushchev, his considerable venom concentrated on the debonair socialite spymaster, evidently asked Shelepin to prepare a plan to discredit the CIA chief. Three weeks after Khrushchev's return from Paris, Shelepin's plan was formally approved by the Secretariat of the Central Committee. The document,27 printed below, offers an extraordinary window into the state of mind and the methods of Soviet intelligence at the height of the Cold War confrontation with the United States: [Handwritten note across top: ;To the Secretariat [for signatures] (round the clock28 among the secretaries) [--] M. Suslov, N. Mukhitdinov, O. Kuusinen;29]
USSR Top Secret
Committee of State Security Council of Ministers of the USSR
7 June 1960
CC CPSU30
The failure of the intelligence action prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with the plane ;Lockheed U-2; caused an aggravation of existing tensions between the CIA and other USA intelligence services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and also provoked protests by the American public and certain members of the Congress, who are demanding investigation of the CIA activities. The Committee of state security considers it advisable to make use of this newly complex situation and to carry out the following measures targeted at further discrediting CIA activity and compromising its leader Allen DULLES: 1. In order to activate a campaign by DULLES' political and personal opponents: a) to mail to them anonymous letters using the names of CIA officials criticizing its activity and the authoritarian leadership of DULLES; b) to prepare a dossier which will contain publications from the foreign press and declarations of officials who criticized the CIA and DULLES personally, and to send it, using the name of one of members of the Democratic Party, to the Fulbright Committee [the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations] which is conducting an investigation into CIA activities in relation to the failure of the summit; c) to send to some members of Congress, to the Fulbright Committee, and to the FBI specially prepared memos from two or three officials of the State Department with attached private letters, received (allegedly) from now deceased American diplomats, which would demonstrate CIA involvement in domestic decision-making, the persecution of foreign diplomats who took an objective stand, and which also would point out that, for narrow bureaucratic purposes, the CIA puts deliberately false data into information for the State Department; d) to study the possibility and, if the opportunity presents itself, to prepare and disseminate through appropriate channels a document by former USA Secretary of State F. DULLES, which would make it clear that he exploited the resources of A. DULLES as leader of the CIA to fabricate compromising materials on his private and political adversaries; e) to prepare, publish and disseminate abroad a satirical pamphlet on A. DULLES, using the American writer Albert KAHN who currently stays in Moscow to write the pamphlet.31
2. With the aim of further exposing the activities of American intelligence in the eyes of the public and to create preconditions with which the FBI and other USA intelligence services could substantiate their opinion about the CIA's inability to conduct effective intelligence: a) to fabricate the failure of an American agent ;Fyodorov,; dropped in the Soviet Union by plane in 1952 and used by organs of the KGB in an operational game with the adversary. To publish in the Soviet press an announcement about the arrest of ;Fyodorov; as an American agent and, if necessary, to arrange a press-conference about this affair; b) to agree with Polish friends about the exposure of the operational game led by the organs of the KGB along with the MSS PPR [Ministry of State Security of the Polish People's Republic] with a ;conduit; on the payroll of American intelligence of the Organization of Ukrainian nationalists (OUN)- ;Melnikovists.; To this end to bring back to Poland the Polish MSS agent ;Boleslav,; planted in the course of this game on the OUN ;conduit,; and to arrange for him to speak to the press and radio about subversive activity by American intelligence against the USSR and PPR. To arrange, in addition, for public appearances by six American intelligence agents dropped on USSR and PPR territory as couriers of the ;conduit; in the course of the game; c) to suggest to the security bodies of the GDR that they arrange public trials for the recently arrested agents of American intelligence RAUE, KOLZENBURG, GLAND, USCH-INGER and others. To arrange for wide coverage of the trials' materials in the media of the GDR and abroad; d) to disclose the operational game ;Link; that the KGB conducts with the adversary and to organize public statements in the media aimed at foreign audiences by the agent ;Maisky,; a former commander of the ;security service; of the Foreign [Zakordonnikh chastei] OUN (ZCh OUN), who had been transferred to Ukrainian territory in 1951 and used by us for this game. Along with revelations about the anti-people activity of the ZCh OUN, ;Maisky; will reveal American and British intelligence's use of the anti-Soviet organizations of Ukrainian emigration in subversive work in the Soviet Union; e) Since about ten agents of the MSS of the GDR who ;defected-in-place; to American intelligence have accomplished their missions and currently there is no prospect of their being further utilized, it should be suggested to our German friends to stage their return on the basis of disagreement with USA aggressive policies. In particular, this measure should be carried out with the participation of our friends' agent ;Edelhardt; who had been assigned by an affiliate of American intelligence in West Berlin to gather spy information during his tourist trip around the USSR. To organize one or two press-conferences on these affairs with a demonstration of the spy equipment he received from American intelligence; f) to discuss with our Polish and Albanian friends the advisability of bringing to the attention of governmental circles and of the public of the United States the fact that the security agencies of Poland and Albania for a number of years had been deluding American intelligence in the operational games ;Win; and ;John; and had obtained millions of dollars, weapons, equipment, etc. from it. 3. To utilize, provided our Hungarian friends agree, the American intelligence documents they obtained in the U.S. mission in Budapest [the underlined words were inserted by hand--ed.] to compromise the CIA and to aggravate the differences between the CIA and other intelligence services by publicizing some of the documents or by sending them to the FBI. If necessary, the necessary documents should be forged using the existing samples. 4. In order to create mistrust in the USA government toward the CIA and to produce an atmosphere of mutual suspicion within the CIA staff, to work out and implement an operation creating the impression of the presence in the CIA system of KGB agents recruited from among rank-and-file American intelligence officers, who, following their recruitment, admit their guilt, allegedly on the order of Soviet intelligence. To stage for this purpose a relevant conversation within range of a [CIA] listening device, as well as the loss of an address book by a Soviet intelligence officer with the telephone number of a CIA official; to convey specially prepared materials to the adversary's attention through channels exposed to him, etc. 5. To work out and implement measures on blowing the cover of several scientific, commercial and other institutions, used by the CIA for its spy activities. In particular, to carry out such measures with regard to the ;National Aeronautics and Space Administration; [NASA] and the ;Informational Agency; of the USA [U.S. Information Agency (USIA)]. 6. In order to disclose the subversive activities of the CIA against some governments, political parties and public figures in capitalist countries, and to foment mistrust toward Americans in the government circles of these countries, to carry out the following: a) to stage in Indonesia the loss by American intelligence officer PALMER, who is personally acquainted with President SUKARNO and exerts a negative influence on him, a briefcase containing documents jointly prepared by the MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] of the USSR which apparently belong to the CIA station in Jakarta and which provide evidence of USA plans to utilize American agents and rebel forces to overthrow the government of SUKARNO;32
b) to carry out measures, with regard to the arrest in February of this year in the UAR [United Arab Republic] of a group of Israeli intelligence agents, to persuade the public in the UAR and Arab countries that American intelligence is linked to the activities of those agents and coordinates its work in the Arab East with Israeli intelligence. To compromise, to this end, American intelligence officers KEMP and CONNOLLY who work under cover of the UN commission observing the armistice in Palestine; c) to prepare and implement measures to make public the fact that American intelligence made use of the Iranian newspapers ;Fahrman; and ;Etelliat,; specifically mentioning the names of their agents (Abbas SHAHENDEH, Jalal NEMATOLLAKHI); d) to publish articles in the foreign press showing the interference of American intelligence in the domestic affairs of other states, using as an example the illegal American police organization in Italy, found and liquidated at the end of 1959, that ;worked on; Italian political parties under the direction of one of the diplomats at the American embassy; e) to prepare and publicize a document by an American intelligence officer in Japan Robert EMMENSE in the form of a report to the USA ambassador [to Japan Douglas] MACARTHUR [II] into which information will be inserted about a decision allegedly taken by American intelligence to relocate ;Lockheed U-2; planes temporarily to Japan, and then, in secrecy from the Japanese government, to return them to their old bases. 7. To work out measures which, upon implementation, would demonstrate the failure of the CIA efforts to actively on a concrete factual basis use various émigré centers for subversive work against countries in the socialist camp. In particular, using the example of the anti-Soviet organization ;The Union of the Struggle for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia; (SBONR), to discredit in the eyes of American taxpayers the activities of American intelligence in funding émigré organizations. To bring to light, along with other measures, real or forged American intelligence documents on its finances and guidance of subversive activities of the SBONR. 8. With the means available of the KGB to promote inquiries in the parliaments of England, France and other countries of their governments about their attitude to the hostile actions of USA intelligence intended to aggravate international tension. 9. To arrange public appearances by distinguished public and political figures of the East and West with appropriate declarations denouncing the aggressive activity of American intelligence. 10. To prepare and publish in the bourgeois press, through available means, a number of articles on the activities of the CIA and its leaders on the following questions: a) about how A. DULLES used his position to promote his own enrichment. In particular, to demonstrate that DULLES gets big bribes from the ;Lockheed; corporation for allocating contracts to produce reconnaissance planes. To indicate that the source of this information is the wife of a vice-president of ;Lockheed; corporation and well-known American pilot Jacqueline COCHRAN, who allegedly leaked it in France on her way to the USSR in 1959; b) about the CIA's violation of traditional principles of non-partisanship on the part of the USA intelligence service. To demonstrate that in reality the CIA is the tool of reactionary circles in the Republican Party, that it ignores the Senate, the Congress and public opinion in the country; c) about the unjustifiably large expenditures of the CIA on its staff and its multitudinous agents and about the failure of its efforts to obtain information on the military-economic potential and scientific-technical achievements of the Soviet Union; d) about the unprecedented fact that the American embassy in Budapest is hosting Cardinal MINDSZENTY, furnishing evidence that the Americans are flouting the sovereign rights of the Hungarian People's Republic and demonstrating the sloppy work of American intelligence that damages American prestige in the eyes of world public opinion;33
e) about the CIA's flawed methods of preparing spy cadres in the [training] schools at Fort Jersey (South Carolina) and in Monterey (California). To draw special attention to futility of efforts by the CIA and by DULLES personally to build a reliable intelligence [network] with emigrants from the USSR and the countries of people's democracies. To present a list of names of American intelligence officers and agents who have refused to work for DULLES on political, moral and other grounds; f) about utilization by the CIA leadership of senior officials from the State Department, including ambassadors, for subversive and intelligence operations that cause great harm to USA prestige. In particular, to cite the example of DULLES' use of American ambassador [to South Korea Walter P.] MCCONAUGHY in subversive plans in Cambodia and then in South Korea; g) about the activities of American intelligence in West Berlin in covering officers of West German intelligence services with documents of American citizens. 11. To approach the state security leadership in countries of people's democracy requesting that they use available means to discredit the CIA and to compromise A. DULLES. Asking for your agreement to aforementioned measures, CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE [signature] (A. Shelepin) The signatures of Mikhail Suslov, Nikolai Mukhitdinov, and Otto Kuusinen showed that the responsible members of the Secretariat had approved the document--a process that could not have taken place without Khrushchev's assent as well. On 3 November 1960, Shelepin reported to the Central Committee on the KGB's progress in carrying out the plan.34 On 25 February 1961, after the Kennedy Administration came to power in Washington, the KGB again returned to the operation against Dulles, an Eisenhower holdover who for the time being remained in his post. The KGB suggested measures ;to foment mistrust towards the leadership of American intelligence on the part of the Kennedy administration and the intelligence services of the allies.; Among other things, the KGB intended ;to create among Americans an opinion that documentary information leaks directly from the staff of the CIA.; It also plotted ;to arrange through a 'double' channel, known to the adversary, a transmittal from Washington of a real classified instruction signed by DULLES and obtained by the KGB.; Also proposed were measures ;aimed at discrediting the activities of American intelligence directed at the removal from the political arena of politicians and governments, in particular in India and Turkey, who are not welcomed by the USA.;35
It would be tempting to try to track down all the ;incidents; produced by this elaborate planning. It is obvious, however, that the Kennedy administration was looking for a pretext to replace the old cold warrior atop the CIA, and one presented itself after the April 1961 failure of the CIA-trained expedition against the Castro regime at the Bay of Pigs. Soviet intelligence had known about the preparation and evidently Castro's border troops were all in readiness, tipped off by Moscow (and The New York Times, for that matter) and ready to teach Americans a bloody lesson. Broadly speaking, the KGB in this case won a considerable victory over its overseas enemy. In late September 1961 Dulles announced his retirement, which went into effect two months later. But the battle between the two intelligence giants continued, and between April 1961 and October 1962 Soviet intelligence suffered terrible blows from internal treason: senior GRU officer Oleg Penkovsky served a precious 18 months as a source for the Western intelligence community. In May 1961, KGB officer Yuri Loginov became an agent for U.S. intelligence. In December 1961, Anatoly Golitsyn defected from Helsinki. In June 1962, Yuri Nosenko, deputy head of the KGB Second Chief Directorate, internal security and counterintelligence, began passing classified Soviet documents to the CIA (and in February 1964 he, too, would defect). The scale tilted abruptly in the CIA's favor. The Crisis in Berlin...and in the KGB
The disastrous wave of betrayal and defections in the KGB occurred at a moment of maximum international tension between the Moscow and the West, marked by the Berlin and the Cuban crises. This was not simply a coincidence. In the cases of some double-agents and defectors, among them Penkovsky and Nosenko, psychological and ideological, not material motives, prevailed. As Khrushchev raised the ante, bluffing against Washington, some informed members of the Soviet post-Stalin elites felt acutely uncomfortable. Khrushchev seemed unpredictable, mercurial, reckless, and just plain dangerous--not only to the West but to those Soviets growing accustomed to peaceful coexistence and the relative luxuries it allowed for the chosen members of the nomenklatura. The seemingly permanent state of nerve-wracking crisis, coinciding with a drastic expansion of cultural and human contacts across the Iron Curtain and the weakening of Stalinist fundamentalism in the East, strained loyalty to and belief in the regime and system, and in some cases pushed individuals to switch sides. The KGB's foreign intelligence and other divisions were heavily involved in various ways in the Berlin Crisis. They tested the temperature of U.S. and NATO reactions to Khrushchev's threat to sign a separate treaty with the German Democratic Republic which would give the GDR control over Western access routes to West Berlin. One scoop came when Khrushchev decided to let the East German communists close the sectorial border between the East and West Berlin, a decision resulting in the infamous Wall. On 4-7 August 1961, the foreign ministers of four Western countries (the United States, Great Britain, France and West Germany) held secret consultations in Paris. The only question on the agenda was: how to react to the Soviet provocations in Berlin? In the course of these meetings Western representatives expressed an understanding of the defensive nature of Soviet campaign in Germany, and unwillingness to risk a war.36 In less than three weeks the KGB laid on Khrushchev's desk quite accurate descriptions of the Paris talks, well ahead of its rival, the GRU. The intelligence materials correctly noted that, in contrast to the West Germans, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk supported talks with the Soviet Union aimed at preservation of the status quo ante. However, the KGB and GRU warned that pressure in the alliance was forcing the Americans to consider economic sanctions against the GDR and other socialist countries, as well as to accelerate plans for conventional and nuclear armament of their West European allies, including the West German Bundeswehr.37
Another line of KGB involvement in the crisis concerned strategic deception. On 29 July 1961, KGB chief Shelepin sent a memorandum to Khrushchev containing a mind-boggling array of proposals to create ;a situation in various areas of the world which would favor dispersion of attention and forces by the USA and their satellites, and would tie them down during the settlement of the question of a German peace treaty and West Berlin.; The multifaceted deception campaign, Shelepin claimed, would ;show to the ruling circles of Western powers that unleashing a military conflict over West Berlin can lead to the loss of their position not only in Europe, but also in a number of countries of Latin America, Asia and Africa.;38 Khrushchev sent the memo with his approval to his deputy Frol Kozlov39 and on August 1 it was, with minor revisions, passed as a Central Committee directive. The KGB and the Ministry of Defense were instructed to work out more ;specific measures and present them for consideration by the CC CPSU.;40
The first part of the deception plan must have pleased Khrushchev, who in January 1961 had pledged, before the communists of the whole world, to assist ;movements of national liberation.; Shelepin advocated measures ;to activate by the means available to the KGB armed uprisings against pro-Western reactionary governments.; The destabilizing activities started in Nicaragua where the KGB plotted an armed mutiny through an ;Internal revolutionary front of resistance; in coordination with Castro's Cubans and with the ;Revolutionary Front Sandino.; Shelepin proposed to ;make appropriations from KGB funds in addition to the previous assistance 10,000 American dollars for purchase of arms.; Shelepin planned also the instigation of an ;armed uprising; in El Salvador, and a rebellion in Guatemala, where guerrilla forces would be given $15,000 to buy weapons. The campaign extended to Africa, to the colonial and semi-colonial possessions of the British and the Portuguese. The KGB promised to help organize anti-colonial mass uprisings of the African population in British Kenya and Rhodesia and Portuguese Guinea, by arming rebels and training military cadres. Nor did Shelepin forget the Far East. An ardent supporter of Sino-Soviet reconciliation, he played this ;Chinese card; once again. He suggested ;to bring to attention of the USA through KGB information channels information about existing agreement among the USSR, the PRC [People's Republic of China], the KPDR [Korean People's Democratic Republic; North Korea] and the DRV [Democratic Republic of Vietnam; North Vietnam] about joint military actions to liberate South Korea, South Vietnam, and Taiwan in case of the eruption of armed conflict in Germany.; The Soviet General Staff, proposed Shelepin, together with the KGB, ;should work out the relevant disinformation materials; and reach agreement ;with Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese friends about demonstration of military preparations in those areas.; Next came the bubbling cauldron of the Middle East. Shelepin planned ;to cause uncertainty in government circles of the USA, England, Turkey, and Iran about the stability of their positions in the Middle and Near East.; He offered to use old KGB connections with the chairman of Democratic party of Kurdistan, Mulla Mustafa Barzani, ;to activate the movement of the Kurdish population of Iraq, Iran, and Turkey for creation of an independent Kurdistan that would include the provinces of aforementioned countries.; Barzani was to be provided with necessary aid in arms and money.41 ;Given propitious developments,; noted Shelepin with foresight, ;it would become advisable to express the solidarity of Soviet people with this movement of the Kurds.; ;The movement for the creation of Kurdistan,; he predicted, ;will evoke serious concern among Western powers and first of all in England regarding [their access to] oil in Iraq and Iran, and in the United States regarding its military bases in Turkey. All that will create also difficulties for [Iraqi Prime Minister Gen. Abdul Karim] KASSIM who has begun to conduct a pro-Western policy, especially in recent time.;42
The second component of the Shelepin grand plan was directed against NATO installations in Western Europe and aimed ;to create doubts in the ruling circles of Western powers regarding the effectiveness of military bases located on the territory of the FRG and other NATO countries, as well as in the reliability of their personnel.; To provoke the local population against foreign bases, Shelepin contemplated working with the GDR and Czechoslovakia secret services to carry out ;active measures...to demoralize; military servicemen in the FRG (by agents, leaflets, and brochures), and even terrorist attacks on depot and logistics stations in West Germany and France.43
One of the more imaginative strands in the web of Soviet strategic deception concerned the number and even existence of new types of arms and missiles. Along with the General Staff, the KGB long practiced a dubious combination of super-secrecy and bluffing, thereby producing a series of panicky assessments in the West about a ;bomber gap; and then a ;missile gap.; This time Shelepin asked Khrushchev to assign to his organization and the military the task of making the West believe that the Soviets were absolutely prepared to launch an attack in retaliation for Western armed provocations over West Berlin. The disinformation package included the following tasks: -- to convince the West that Soviet land forces were now armed with new types of tanks ;equipped with tactical nuclear weapons;; -- to create a conviction among the enemy ;about a considerable increase of readiness of Rocket Forces and of the increased number of launching pads--produced by the supply of solid liquid ballistic missiles of medium range and by the transfer from stationary positions to mobile launching positions on highways and railroads which secure high maneuverability and survivability;; -- to spread a false story about the considerable increase in the number of nuclear submarines with solid-fuel ;Polaris; missiles; -- to bring to Western attention ;information about the strengthening of anti-aircraft defense;; -- to disorient the enemy regarding the availability in the Soviet Air Forces of ;new types of combat-tactical aircraft with 'air-to-air' and 'air-to-ground' missiles with a large operational range.;44
It is not clear when Shelepin learned about Khrushchev's decision to close the sectoral border between East and West Berlin, but the Wall went up just two weeks after his letter. It seems that the Wall took some heat off the problem. But in October-November 1961, the KGB and the military leadership evidently still believed that the signing of a separate peace treaty with the GDR was possible and designed its ;distraction; measures anticipating that this treaty would be a source of serious tension with the West. Indeed, sharp tension did arise in late October when U.S. tanks confronted two Soviet tank platoons in Berlin near Checkpoint Charlie. On November 10, Soviet Defense Minister Rodion Malinovsky and KGB Deputy Chief Peter Ivashutin asked the Central Committee Secretariat to approve, in addition to the crisis contingency planning by the military forces, deceptive steps ;directed at producing in the adversary's mind a profound conviction that the Soviet Union firmly intends to use force in response to military provocations of Western powers and has at its disposal all necessary combat means.; The KGB took upon itself the task ;to inform Western intelligence through unofficial channels that the Soviet Union has taken necessary measures to strengthen its troops in the GDR and to arm them with more modern tactical missiles, newer tanks, and other armaments sufficient for the delivery of a quick and crushing response strike on the adversary.; Through the same channels KGB intended ;to increase the adversary's belief in the high maneuverability and mobility of Soviet armed forces and their readiness, in case the West unleashes an armed conflict in Germany, to move within a minimal time up to the battle lines of the European theater. To convey as a proof thereof that this summer, during the exercises in the Near-Carpathian and other military districts, some divisions demonstrated an average speed of advancement of about 110-130 km per day.; Along the lines of Shelepin's proposal, the KGB's military-industrial consultants suggested other disinformation steps. Perhaps echoing Khrushchev's boast that his missiles could ;hit a fly in the sky,; the Committee proposed to convey to U.S. intelligence the information that during its recent series of atomic tests--in Sept.-Oct. 1961--the Soviet Union successfully ;tested a superpowerful thermonuclear warhead, along with a system of detecting and eliminating the adversary's missiles in the air.; The KGB laboratories fabricated ;evidence; for U.S. intelligence about ;the solution in the Soviet Union of the problem of constructing simple but powerful and user-convenient atomic engines for submarines which allow in the short run increasing considerably the number of atomic submarines up to fifteen.; (The ever-vigilant Shelepin deleted the number from the text--the super-secretive Soviets excised numbers even in disinformation!) Finally, the KGB received instructions ;to promote a legend about the invention in the Soviet Union of an aircraft with a close-circuited nuclear engine and its successful flight tests which demonstrated the engine's high technical capacities and its safety in exploitation.; ;On the basis of the M-50 'Myasischev' aircraft, with consideration of the results of those flight tests,; according to this disinformation, ;a strategic bomber with nuclear engines and unlimited range has been designed.;45
Even now, reading those documents gives one chills down the spine. Determined to deal with their opponent from a position of strength, and possessing the intoxicating capacity to hide or invent information, to deceive and to bluff, Kremlin leaders went too far, to the very brink where the fine line between deterring an attack and preparing for one blurred altogether. To make matters worse, Khrushchev often held his cards so close to his chest that even his closest subordinates could not guess his true intentions. Inside the KGB there were many levels of knowledge, to be sure, but it seems, for instance, that the famous ;Bolshakov channel; and the sensitive information that passed along it to the Kennedy administration during the Berlin crisis were sometimes not reported even to the KGB's highest hierarchy, only to the CPSU General Secretary.46
No wonder that a great number of junior and senior officials in the Soviet military and intelligence elites were scared to death. Some of them were convinced that Khrushchev was crazy and had become a victim of his own ;hare-brained schemes.; This scare still waits to be described by a creative quill. But one of its most tangible traces was a stream of well-positioned defectors. In his June 1960 plan to discredit Allen Dulles and the CIA, quoted earlier, Shelepin had envisioned fostering ;an atmosphere of mutual suspicion within the CIA staff; by fostering fears of KGB penetration within the agency. In fact, as Shelepin hoped, a paranoid ;mole-hunt; in the Western intelligence community did occur, but apparently as a by-product of authentic defections from Soviet intelligence rather than because of Shelepin's deliberate deception campaign. Major Anatoliy Golitsyn became a pivotal figure in this regard. He was the least informed of the new crop of KGB defectors, but the echoes of Shelepin's grandiose plans reached his ear. It has been argued, with some justification, that the harm that this stocky Ukrainian defector caused to careers and environment in the CIA could have been done only by a Soviet double-agent. The alliance between Golitsyn and CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton was indeed more ruinous for American operatives who fell under suspicion in the frantic ;mole-hunt; than for real KGB agents.47
It is ironic that KGB leadership had no premonition about this at all. There is, indeed, newly available evidence about how painful Golitsyn's defection was to the KGB. On 28 July 1962, a new KGB chief, Vladimir Semichastny, wrote to Shelepin, now promoted to the Party Secretariat: According to reliable evidence American intelligence is preparing a broad campaign of provocation against the Soviet Union that will involve a traitor of Motherland GOLITSYN and other traitors, along with double-agents and provocateurs. ;The Americans count on this provocation,; continued Semichastny while ignoring the irony of his words, ;to dispel to some extent the impression among the public that the USA is an organizer of world espionage, and to demonstrate that the Soviet Union is conducting active intelligence work in all countries.; The Committee proposed ;measures to discredit GOLITSYN; in the eyes of his CIA debriefers by implicating him in a felony. According to the plan, the newspaper Soviet Russia was to publish an article about a trial that allegedly had been held in Leningrad on a case of hard currency smuggling. The KGB would ;let Americans know, without mentioning GOLITSYN's name, that this article has something to so with him.; In case Golitsyn came up ;with slanderous declarations,; the KGB planned to arrange more publications about his invented criminal background and to demand, after that, from the U.S. government through official channels the ;extradition of GOLITSYN as a criminal.; As a last resort, Semichastny asked for Party sanction ;to carry out an operation on his [GOLITSYN'S] removal.;48

Scorpions in a bottle
Glasnost on Soviet intelligence activities has yet to reach the level achieved by the American side during the congressional hearings of the Church and Pike committees in the mid-1970s. But the documents found recently in the CC CPSU archives do shed considerable light on KGB operations and indicate, without mincing words, how ambitious, various and extensive were KGB activities, especially against the ;number one enemy,; the United States. There is little doubt that almost any document on the Soviet side has its U.S. counterpart in Langley still hidden from public view.49 The process of mutual emulation started after the defection of Soviet cypher clerk Igor Gouzenko in Ottawa, Canada, in the summer of 1945. Ever since then the American intelligence agencies and the FBI, seconded by Soviet defectors, argued that they needed more discretionary resources and rights to match a well-prepared and ruthless enemy. The KGB documents prove that the enemy was, indeed, ingenious, resourceful, and prepared to go very far. The emphasis on disinformation and on the use of various groups and movements in the ;third world; had, of course, been a direct continuation of the OGPU-NKVD tradition in the 1920s-1940s.50 Back then, the Soviet intelligence leaned extensively on the networks of the Comintern and other individuals sympathetic to the Soviet ;experiment.; This network suffered from blows and defections as a result of Khrushchev's de-Stalinization campaign and its spectacular unveiling at the February 1956 CPSU Twentieth Party Congress. But the collapse of colonial empires and the surge of radicalism and nationalism in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East was a bonanza for Soviet intelligence, bent on expanding their contacts in those parts of the world. The KGB, no doubt, fulfilled orders from the top. Khrushchev's support of ;wars of national liberation; was a big step toward the globalization of Soviet foreign policy, and therefore of the Cold War. It is clear from the KGB documents, however, that even at that time of escalating covert superpower rivalry in the Third World, the Kremlin leadership retained clear Realpolitik priorities: with the exception of those posted in Cuba, Soviet intelligence agents in Third World countries were used by the Soviet leadership and its external arm, the KGB's First Directorate, as pawns in a geostrategic game centered firmly on Berlin. Yet, the KGB had its own distinctive impact on the Cold War. The documents presented in this article challenge the myth that KGB officials (and some American counterparts as well) like to promulgate: that the intelligence services of both sides, by increasing ;transparency; about the adversary's intentions and capabilities, thereby contributed to stability and predictability in a dangerously polarized world. Some intelligence efforts that were genuinely devoted to reconnaissance, and reduced fears of a surprise attack, may well have done so. But the games of deception, disinformation, and distraction designed by the KGB masterminds had a deleterious effect on global stability. They certainly contributed to the perception in Washington of expansive Soviet ambitions. In some cases they even exacerbated the danger of armed conflict. And the elaborate plots to sow the seeds of mistrust between the U.S. leadership and intelligence agencies was dictated by anything but a clear comprehension of how dangerous this kind of conspiracy had become in the nuclear age. The legacy of the covert activities undertaken by the KGB and CIA at this key juncture of the Cold War was ambiguous: besides the function of obtaining and relaying objective information to their respective leaderships, the two rival intelligence organizations behaved, to borrow Oppenheimer's classic description of the nuclear predicament, like two scorpions in a bottle, prepared to sting each other until death. The fact that the Cold War in the 1970s and the late 1980s looked more like a ;long peace; appeared to have limited impact on the mentality of intelligence officials in Washington and Moscow.51 By then, the KGB's First Directorate concentrated even more on technical-scientific espionage, which reflected, on the one hand, a long-standing symbiosis between the Soviet intelligence services and the military-industrial nexus, and, on the other, a distancing from ;cloak and dagger; covert activities. Vladimir Kryuchkov, later a KGB chief and conspirator in the August 1991 hardline coup attempt, was to a large extent a product of this specialization in scientific-technical espionage. The paranoia of Kryuchkov, who to this day believes that the West was nurturing a ;fifth column; to demoralize and subvert Soviet society, as well as that of his CIA counterpart Angleton, was underpinned and ;substantiated; by the shady games and counter-games in which the two intelligence services had engaged all during the Cold War. The alleged existence of American ;agents of influence; inside Soviet society and even government--a key tenet of Kryuchkov's homilies for vigilance--had been, indeed, a matter of pride for the CIA since the 1970s and can now, to a very limited extent, even be documented from U.S. government sources. But the paranoia, even when it fed on realities, remained for the most part a self-deception. The KGB's methods and proclivity for Jesuitical twists of imagination distorted the minds of Kryuchkov and many others. While the whole atmosphere of the Cold War existed, this mind-frame was contagious and spread like cancer. There was always a sound and pragmatic side to intelligence: the collection and analysis of information. There were failures and errors in this work, but, in general, the record shows considerable accuracy and consistent objectivity, at least as far as the specific actions and motives were concerned. But the darker side of intelligence activity, linked to the Cold War mentality and actions, always co-existed with the former, sometimes casting a long shadow. The resources spent on intelligence operations related to psychological warfare and deception had a dynamic of diminishing returns: the disruption caused by them in the enemy's camp rarely justified the money and efforts spent on them.

Vladislav M. Zubok
 

1. [Ed. note: It is clear that the United States enjoyed massive numerical superiority in strategic nuclear weapons over the USSR at the time of the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, but the precise ratio of deliverable nuclear weapons has not been definitely ascertained. Several accounts have used a ratio of 17-1, e.g., Robert S. McNamara,
Blundering into Disaster: Surviving the First Century of the Nuclear Age (New York: Pantheon, 1986), 44-45. A recent accounting of U.S. and Soviet nuclear arsenals during the Cold War, based in part on statistics recently declassified by the U.S. Department of Energy, implied a ratio of closer to nine-to-one at the time. It showed that in 1962 the United States had a total stockpile of 27,100 warheads, including 3,451 mounted on strategic delivery vehicles, and the USSR possessed a total stockpile of 3,100 warheads, including 481 strategic weapons. (Robert S. Norris and William M. Arkin, ;Nuclear Notebook: Estimated U.S. and Soviet/Russian Nuclear Stockpiles, 1945-94,; >The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 50:6 (Nov-Dec. 1994), 58-59.) However, the table did not reflect disparities in strategic delivery vehicles, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), which overwhelmingly favored the United States.]
2. See Tom Mangold, >Cold Warrior: James Jesus Angleton: The CIA's Master Spy Hunter (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991), and David Wise,
Mole-Hunt: How the Search for a Phantom Traitor Shattered the CIA (New York: Random House, 1992; Avon, 1994).
3. See Oleg Kalugin with Fen Montaigne, >The First Directorate: My 32 Years in Intelligence and Espionage Against the West (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994); Leonid Shebarshin, >Ruka Moskvy [>Arm of Moscow] (Moscow: Center-100, 1992), and >Iz Zhizni Nachalnika Razvedki [>From the Life of the Head of Intelligence] (Moscow: International Relations, 1994); and Vadim Kirpichenko,
Iz arkhiva razvedchika [>From the Archive of an intelligence officer] (Moscow: International Relations, 1993).
4. The author encountered the KGB documents used in this article while conducting research in Moscow in late 1992, for a book on Soviet leaders and the Cold War, in the Center for the Storage of Contemporary Documentation (known by its Russian acronym, TsKhSD, for
Tsentr Khraneniya Sovremennoi Dokumentatsii), located at Il'inka 12 in Staraya Ploschad' (Old Square). This is the archive containing the post-1952 records of the CPSU Central Committee. The author was also, at the time, researching the 1960-62 period for his paper on U.S.-Soviet crises for the Conference on New Evidence on Cold War History organized by the Cold War International History Project and held in Moscow in January 1993 in cooperation with TsKhSD and the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Universal History. At that conference, some of the KGB documents cited in this article were described in a paper (;The Mentality of Soviet Society and the Cold War;) by Russian historian Vitaly S. Lelchuk (Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences), sparking a general discussion of the intelligence service's role in the Kremlin's handling of the U-2 affair.
Although the KGB archives for this period remain closed to scholars, with the limited exception of an arrangement with Crown Publishers to publish a series of books on selected topics, scholars have been able to conduct research on an increasingly regular basis in the archives of the CPSU CC (TsKhSD and the Russian Center for the Storage and Study of Recent Documents (RTsKhIDNI)), the Russian Foreign Ministry (MID) archives, and the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF). Moreover, the promulgation of several Russian laws and regulations mandating a 30-year-rule for most archival files, including Politburo records, inspires hope that a more thorough analysis of Khrushchev's foreign and intelligence policies is becoming possible. For details on the Russian archival scene, see Mark Kramer, ;Archival Research in Moscow: Progress and Pitfalls,;
Cold War International History Project Bulletin 3 (Fall 1993), 1, 18-39. For more on the KGB archives, see the report by Arseny Roginski and Nikita Okhotin, circulated in 1992 and slated for publication as a CWIHP Working Paper; Amy Knight, ;The Fate of the KGB Archives,; >Slavic Review 52:3 (Fall 1993), 582-6; and Yevgenia Albats, The State Within a State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia--Past, Present and Future (New York: Farrar, Straus Giroux, 1994).
5. KGB to Nikita Khrushchev, ;Report for 1960,; 14 February 1961, in CC CPSU Secretariat's ;special dossier; [>osobaya papka], hereafter abbreviated as ;St.;, protocol no. 179/42c, 21 March 1961, TsKhSD, fond 4, opis 13, delo 74, ll. [pages] 144-58.
6. Ibid., 1.147.
7. Ibid.
8. Ibid., l. 154.
9. KGB to CC CPSU, 10 March 1961, in St.-199/10c, 3 October 1961, TsKhSD, fond 4, opis 13, delo 85, ll. 133-142, esp. 141-142.
10. KGB to Khrushchev, ;Report for 1960,; 14 February 1961, cited above.
11. The 7 April 1960 directive was cited in KGB to CC CPSU, 10 March 1961, St.-199/10c, 3 October 1961, TsKhSD, Fond 4, opis 13, delo 85, l. 133. The original directive was not located.
12. KGB to CC CPSU, 10 March 1961, cited above.
13. Ibid., ll. 136-137.
14. Mangold, >Cold Warrior, 107 ff.
15. KGB to CC CPSU, 10 March 1961, cited above, 1. 140.
16. KGB to Khrushchev, ;Report for 1960,; 14 February 1961, St. 179/42c, TsKhSD, fond 4, opis 13, delo 74, 1.149.
17. KGB to CC CPSU, 10 March 1961, in St.-199/10c, 3 October, TsKhSD, fond 4, opis 13, delo 85, 1.137.
18. Ibid.
19. Ibid.
20. See Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, >KGB: The Inside Story of Its Foreign Operations from Lenin to Gorbachev (New York: Harper Perennial, 1991), 440.
21. The above two paragraphs are based on KGB to CC CPSU, 10 March 1961, in St.-199/10c, 3 October 1961-TsKhSD, fond 4, opis 13, delo 85, ll. 138-139. [Ed. note: Nelson Rockefeller, a member of the country's wealthiest families, Governor of New York State, and briefly a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 1960, had been a Special Assistant to Eisenhower on Cold War psychological warfare strategy; Gen. Lauris Norstad was the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR); A. Dulles headed the CIA and J. Edgar Hoover was FBI director.]
22. [Ed. note: On the career of Allen W. Dulles, see the profile in H.W. Brands, >Cold Warriors: Eisenhower's Generation and American Foreign Policy (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), 48-68; the new biography by Peter Grose, >Gentleman Spy: The Life of Allen Dulles (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994) and a forthcoming biography by James L. Srodes; and a five-volume internal CIA history of his tenure as Director of Central Intelligence: Wayne G. Jackson, >Allen Welsh Dulles As Director of Central Intelligence, 26 February 1953 - 29 November 1961, declassified with deletions in 1994, copy available from the CIA History Office and on file at the National Security Archive, Washington, D.C.]
23. Oleg Kalugin, ;Vozhdi Razvedki; [;Chiefs of Intelligence;], >Moscow News 2 (10 January 1993), 9; see also Kalugin, >The First Directorate, 93-98. [Ed. note: Orlov defected from the NKVD in 1938 and in 1954 published an exposé that undoubtedly infuriated Moscow:
The Secret History of Stalin's Crimes (London: Jarrolds, 1954). Petrov and Deriabin both defected in 1954. Andrew and Gordievsky, >KGB: The Inside Story, 164, 427, 675 n. 9.]
24. Shelepin (KGB) to CC CPSU, 26 September 1959, and Serbin to Commission on Military-industrial issues, 6 October 1959, both in St. 122/7, 14 October 1959, fond 4, opis 13, delo 57, ll. 56-62.
25. Shelepin to CC CPSU, 26 September 1959, in ibid., ll. 60-61.
26. See Michael R. Beschloss, >Mayday: Eisenhower, Khrushchev, and the U-2 Affair (New York: Harper, 1986).
27. Shelepin to CC CPSU, 7 June 1960, TsKhSD, fond 4, opis 13, delo 65, ll. 12-37 in Special Dossier of the Secretariat of the Central Committee 153/30c from 14.VI.60 (14 June 1960). The 7 June 1960 KGB document's existence first became public knowledge in January 1993 when it was described by Russian historian Vitaly S. Lelchuk to the CWIHP Conference on New Evidence on Cold War History; the document was also referred to in Vitaly S. Lelchuk and Yefim I. Pivovar, ;Mentalitet Sovietskogo Obshchestva i Kholodnaya Voina; [;The Mentality of Soviet Society and the Cold War;], >Otechestvennaya Istoria [>Fatherland History] 6 (Nov.-Dec. 1993), 70-71.
28. That formula meant that the decision was already taken at the top and an agreement of the rest of the Central Committee Secretaries was just a mere formality. In other cases, when no clear consensus existed or a leader was not sure himself, he put it to a vote of the Politburo or the Secretariat.
29. Mikhail Suslov, Nikolai Mukhitdinov, and Otto Kuusinen were three full members (Secretaries) of the CC CPSU Secretariat.
30. This document was sent by the KGB to the Secretariat, the technical body of the Central Committee of the CPSU, which usually dealt with more routine issues than the Politburo.
31. [Ed. note: This evidently refers to the American writer Albert E. Kahn (1912-1979), a journalist and author sympathetic to socialism who had been blacklisted during the McCarthy era and who (after recovering his passport, which the government had taken from him for several years) spent the first half of 1960 in Moscow working on a book on the Bolshoi ballerina Galina Ulanova (subsequently published as >Days With Ulanova (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1962). Contacted by CWIHP in Helena, Montana, where he is the state director of the Montana Nature Conservancy, Kahn's son Brian Kahn stated that to his knowledge his father was never approached to write a publication ridiculing Allen W. Dulles and never did so; and that, while sympathetic to socialism and the USSR, he would not have written anything at the direction of Soviet intelligence. ;[My father] would write a pamphlet on a political issue that he believed in; but he wouldn't do it at the request of anybody,; said Brian Kahn. ;He would never do it if he were aware that he was being manipulated; that he would offend his sense of integrity as a writer.; Brian Kahn said his father once met in the Kremlin with Nikita Khrushchev and proposed collaborating with him on an autobiography, but that the Soviet leader did not pursue the idea, which Kahn later implemented with Pablo Casals (>Joys and Sorrows (Simon & Schuster, 1970)). Albert Kahn also authored, among other books, >Sabotage! The Secret War Against America (Little, Brown, 1942), an expose of pro-fascist activities in the United States;
The Great Conspiracy: The Secret War Against the Soviet Union (Little, Brown, 1946), an account of Western actions against the USSR highly sympathetic to Moscow; >High Treason (Lear, 1950); Smetana and the Beetles (Random House, 1967), a satirical pamphlet about Stalin's daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva; and >The Matusow Affair (Moyer Bell Ltd., 1987), a posthumously-published account of a McCarthy-era case.]
32. The KGB in this case wanted to kill two birds with one stone. Fears that Americans could influence a ;third world; communist leader were pervasive and not without foundation. In 1979 similar fears about Hafizullah Amin, leader of the Afghan ;revolution,; probably helped convince Politburo member Yuri Andropov, former KGB chief, of the necessity of Soviet military intervention to ;save; this country.
33. Jozsef Cardinal Mindszenty, the Roman Catholic Primate, was arrested by the Hungarian communist regime in 1948
and sentenced to life imprisonment on treason and currency charges in 1949 (reduced to house arrest in 1955). During the Hungarian October revolution of 1956 he was freed, but, after the Soviet intervention, the U.S. embassy in Budapest gave him political asylum until his death in 1971.
34. Shelepin to CC CPSU, 3 November 1960, in St.-199/10c, 3 October 1961, TsKhSD, fond 4, opis 13, delo 85, ll. 23-27.
35. Shelepin to CC CPSU, 25 February 1961, in ibid., ll.28-29.
36. See memorandum of conversation, ;Tripartite Meeting on Berlin and Germany; (D. Rusk, Lord Home, M. Couve de Murville), 5 August 1961, Berlin Crisis collection, National Security Archive, Washington, DC.
37. Lt.-Gen. A. Rogov to Marshal Malinovsky, 24 August 1961, TsKhSD, fond 5, opis 30, delo 365, ll. 142-153. The texts of preceding reports of the KGB with parallel intelligence were not available in the archives.
38. Shelepin to Khrushchev, 29 July 1961, in St. - 191/75gc 1 August 1961, TsKhSD, fond 4, opis 13, delo 81, ll. 130-134, quoted passages on l. 130.
39. Handwritten notation on cover letter from Shelepin to Khrushchev, 29 July 1961.
40. CC CPSU directive, St.-191/75gc, 1 August 1961, TsKhSD, fond 4, opis 13, delo 81, ll. 128-129.
41. [Ed. note: U.S. officials had noted with concern the possibility that Barzani might be useful to Moscow. In an October 1958 cable to the State Department three months after a military coup brought Kassim to power, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Waldemar J. Gallman, stated that ;Communists also have potential for attack [on Iraqi Prime Minister Kassim-ed.] on another point through returned Kurdish leader Mulla Mustafa Barzani. He spent last eleven years in exile in Soviet Union. His appeal to majority of Iraqi Kurds is strong and his ability [to] disrupt stability almost endless. Thus we believe that today greatest potential threat to stability and even existence of Qassim's [Kassim's] regime lies in hands of Communists.; See Gallman to Department of State, 14 October 1958, in U.S. Department of State,
Foreign Relations of the United States, 1958-1960, Vol. XII (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1993), 344-46. Barzani's alleged ties to the KGB are discussed in Pavel Sudoplatov and Anatolii Sudoplatov with Jerrold L. Schecter and Leona P. Schecter, Special Tasks: The Memoirs of an Unwanted Witness--A Soviet Spymaster (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1994), 259-64.]
42. Shelepin also proposed an initiative to entice Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser, a Third World leader avidly courted by both East and West, into throwing his support behind the Kurds. Shelepin suggested informing Nasser ;through unofficial channels; that, in the event of a Kurdish victory, Moscow ;might take a benign look at the integration of the non-Kurdish part of Iraqi territory with the UAR;--the United Arab Republic, a short-lived union of Egypt and Syria reflecting Nasser's pan-Arab nationalism--;on the condition of NASSER's support for the creation of an independent Kurdistan.; Shelepin to Khrushchev, 29 July 1961, in St.-191/75gc, 1 August 1961, TsKhSD, fond 4, opis 13, delo 81, ll. 131-32. When a Kurdish rebellion indeed broke out in northern Iraq in September 1961, the KGB quickly responded with additional proposals to exploit the situation. KGB Deputy Chairman Peter Ivashutin proposed--;In accord with the decision of the CC CPSU...of 1 August 1961 on the implementation of measures favoring the distraction of the attention and forces of the USA and her allies from West Berlin, and in view of the armed uprisings of the Kurdish tribes that have begun in the North of Iraq;--to: 1) use the KGB to organize pro-Kurdish and anti-Kassim protests in India, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Guinea, and other countries; 2) have the KGB meet with Barzani to urge him to ;seize the leadership of the Kurdish movements in his hands and to lead it along the democratic road,; and to advise him to ;keep a low profile in the course of this activity so that the West did not have a pretext to blame the USSR in meddling into the internal affairs of Iraq;; and 3) assign the KGB to recruit and train a ;special armed detachment (500-700 men); drawn from Kurds living in the USSR in the event that Moscow might need to send Barzani ;various military experts (Artillerymen, radio operators, demolition squads, etc.); to support the Kurdish uprising. P. Ivashutin to CC CPSU, 27 September 1961, St.-199/10c, 3 October 1961, TsKhSD, fond 4, opis 13, delo 85, ll. 1-4. The uprising continued until a group of Ba'athist military officers overthrew Kassim in spring 1963, and of course the Kurdish problem remains unresolved more than three decades later. For an overview of Kremlin policy on the Kurdish issue, written before the opening of Soviet archives, see Oles M. Smolandsky with Bettie M. Smolandsky, >The USSR and Iraq: The Soviet Quest for Influence (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1991), 63-98.
43. In particular, Shelepin envisioned operations to set ablaze a British Air Force fuel depot near Arzberg in West Germany, and to stage an explosion at a U.S. military-logistics base in Chinon, France. Ibid., 1.133.
44. Ibid., ll. 133-134.
45. The above five paragraphs are based on Ivashutin and Malinovsky to CC CPSU, 10 November 1961, in St. 2/35c, 14 November 1961, TsKhSD, fond 14, opis 14, delo 1, ll. 10-14.
46. Georgi Bolshakov was a GRU officer who acted under the cover of a press secretary at the Soviet Embassy in Washington in 1961-62. He often met with Robert Kennedy, the President's brother, delivering Khrushchev's personal messages, mostly orally. See Michael Beschloss, >The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-1963 (New York: HarperCollins, 1991).
47. See Mangold, >Cold Warrior, and Wise,
Mole-Hunt, passim.
48. Semichastny to Shelepin, 28 July 1962, in St. 33/26c, 31 August 1962, TsKhSD, fond 4, opis 14, delo 13, ll. 1-6.
49. [Ed. note: Since 1991, CIA directors in the Bush and Clinton administrations have promised to declassify records pertaining to covert operations during the early Cold War, including those relating to the Italian elections (1948), coups in Iran (1953) and Guatemala (1954), the Bay of Pigs (1961), and others. To date, only one recent large-scale declassification of a U.S. covert operation has become known: the release of documents regarding operations in Indonesia against the Sukarno government, included in the >Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) volume for Indonesia, 1958-1960, published by the Department of State in 1994. (See Jim Mann, ;CIA's Covert Indonesian Operation in the 1950s Acknowledged by U.S.,; >Los Angeles Times, 29 October 1994, 5.) Press reports indicate that government officials have blocked the declassification (For publication in >FRUS) of documents disclosing two other CIA covert operations from this period, one to finance pro-American Japanese politicians and the other, during the Kennedy administration, to overthrow a leftist government in British Guyana. See Tim Weiner, ;C.I.A. Spent Millions to Support Japanese Right in 50's and 60's,; >New York Times, 9 October 1994; Tim Weiner, ;A Kennedy-C.I.A. Plot Returns to Haunt Clinton,;
New York Times, 30 October 1994; and Tim Weiner, ;Keeping the Secrets That Everyone Knows,; New York Times (Week-in-Review section), 30 October 1994.]
50. The OGPU (>Obyeddinenoye Gosudarstvennoye Politicheskoye Upravlenie, for Unified State Political Directorate), successor to the short-lived GPU, lasted from 1923 to 1934, when it was converted into the GUGB (Main Administration of State Security) and integrated into the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs). The NVKD in 1946 became the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD).
51. On the mentality of Soviet leaders in the Cold War, see Vladislav M. Zubok and Constantine V. Pleshakov,
Inside the Kremlin's Cold War (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, forthcoming in 1995). For the ;long peace; thesis, including the argument that intelligence activities contributed to stability during the Cold War, see John Lewis Gaddis, The Long Peace: Inquiries into the History of the Cold War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 215-45.
52. In a December 1976 briefing, CIA representatives informed the incoming Carter Administration National Security Council staff officials Zbigniew Brzezinski and David Aaron of ;current Soviet agents and the nature of the materials they provide us with. Brzezinski and Aaron seemed quite impressed, though Brzezinski wondered whether such agents could not be used to pull off a rather massive disinformation operation against the U.S. [Bill] Wells [from the CIA] explained why this is not likely.;
Brzezinski, soon to become Carter's national security advisor, ;said he would like to be briefed in detail on 'agents of influence' that belong to us abroad.; He explained that ;he did not want to be surprised in meeting with or dealing with foreign VIPs, if in fact those VIPs were our agents of influence.; CIA, Memorandum for the Record on a meeting with [prospective] National Security Adviser Brzezinski, 30 December 1976.

 

 

 

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