Tuesday, June 05, 2001

Inside Soviet Military Intelligence ( I ) by Victor Suvorov (1984)

To the memory of Oleg Vladimirovich Penkovsky

Inside Soviet Military Intelligence ( I ) by victor Suvorov (1984)

Copyright (c) 1984 by Viktor Suvorov
ISBN 0-02-615510-9
OCR: MadMax, May 2002
1 The Triumvirate
2 History
3 The Pyramid
4 The GRU and the Military Industrial Commission (VPK)
5 But Why is Nothing Known about it?
6 The GRU and the 'Younger Brothers'
7 The GRU and the KGB
8 The Centre
9 The Procurement Organs
10 Fleet Intelligence
11 The GRU Processing Organs
12 Support Services
1 Illegals
2 The Undercover Residency
3 Agents
4 Agent Recruiting
5 Agent Communications
6 The Practice of Agent Work
7 Operational Intelligence
8 Tactical Reconnaissance
9 The Training and Privileges of Personnel
For GRU Officers Only
Appendix A: Leaders of Soviet Military Intelligence
Appendix B: The GRU High Command and Leading GRU Officers
Appendix C: Some Case Histories of GRU Activities
There is but one opinion as to which country in the world possesses the
most powerful secret intelligence service. Without the slightest doubt that
country is the Soviet Union, and the name of the monstrous secret
organisation without precedent in the history of mankind is the KGB. But on
the question as to which country possesses the second most powerful secret
organisation, the opinions of specialists differ. Strange as it may seem,
the country to which this organisation belongs is also the Soviet Union, and
the organisation itself is called the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the
General Staff.
This book was written in order to confirm this simple fact.
At first it was conceived as an instructional manual for a narrow
circle of specialists. Subsequently it was revised by the author for a wider
public. The revision was confined mainly to the excision of certain
definitions and technical details which would be of little interest. Even
after this, there remained in the book many details of a technical nature,
which may sometimes make for difficult reading. But though I may apologise,
there is nothing to be done. In order to understand a disease (and the
desire to understand a disease implies a desire to fight against it), one
must know its pathology as well as its symptoms.
x x x

For one of their very first chosen myths, the communists decided to
record that the organs of enforcement of the new State were not created
until the nineteenth of December 1917. This falsehood was circulated in
order to prove that Soviet power, in the first forty-one days of its
existence, could dispense with the mass executions so familiar to other
revolutions. The falsehood is easily exposed. It is sufficient to look at
the editions of the Bolshevist papers for those days which shook the world.
The Organs and subsequent mass executions existed from the first hour, the
first minute, the first infantile wail of this Soviet power. That first
night, having announced to the world the birth of the most bloodthirsty
dictatorship in its history, Lenin appointed its leaders. Among them was
comrade A. I. Rikov, the head of the People's Commissariat for Internal
Affairs which sounds less innocuous in its abbreviation, NKVD. Comrade Rikov
was later shot, but not before he had managed to write into the history of
the Organs certain bloody pages which the Soviet leadership would prefer to
forget about. Fifteen men have been appointed to the post of Head of the
Organs, of which three were hounded out of the Soviet government with
ignominy. One died at his post. One was secretly destroyed by members of the
Soviet government (as was later publicly admitted). Seven comrades were shot
or hanged, and tortured with great refinement before their official
punishment. We are not going to guess about the futures of three still
living who have occupied the post. The fate of the deputy heads has been
equally violent, even after the death of comrade Stalin.
The paradox of this endless bloody orgy would seem to be this. Why does
the most powerful criminal organisation in the world so easily and freely
give up its leaders to be torn to pieces? How is the Politburo able to deal
with them so unceremoniously, clearly not experiencing the slightest fear
before these seemingly all-powerful personalities and the organisations
headed by them? How is it that the Politburo has practically no difficulties
in displacing not only individual heads of State Security but in destroying
whole flocks of the most influential State Security officers? Where lies the
secret of this limitless power of the Politburo?
The answer is very simple. The method is an old one and has been used
successfully for thousands of years. It boils down to the principle: 'divide
and rule'. In the beginning, in order to rule, Lenin divided everything in
Russia that was capable of being divided, and ever since the communists have
continued faithfully to carry out the instructions of the great founder of
the first proletarian state.
Each system of governing the State is duplicated and reduplicated.
Soviet power itself is duplicated. If one visits any regional committee of
the Party and then the Regional Executive Committee one is struck by the
fact that two separate organizations having almost identical structures and
deciding identical prob1ems nevertheless take completely contradictory
decisions. Neither one of these organisations has the authority to decide
anything independently.
This same system exists at all stages and at all levels of the
Government. If we look at the really important decisions of the Soviet
leadership, those which are published in the papers, we will find that any
one of them is taken only at joint sessions of the Central Committee of the
Party and the Council of Ministers. I have in front of me as I write the
last joint resolution on raising the quality and widening the range of
production of children's toys. Neither the Council of Ministers of the
gigantic State structure nor the Central Committee of the ruling Party is
able, since neither has the power and authority, to take an independent
decision on such an important matter. But we are not talking here just about
Ministers and First Secretaries. At all lower levels the same procedure is
to be observed. For example, only a joint decision of the Central Committee
of the Communist Party of a republic and the Council of Ministers of the
same republic, or the Provincial Committee and the Provincial Executive
Committee, is valid. At these levels of course, such crucial problems as the
quality of children's toys are not decided; but the principle remains that
no separate and independent decisions can be taken. In shape and form,
Soviet power is everywhere duplicated, from the planning of rocket
launchings into space to the organisation for the burial of Soviet citizens,
from the management of diplomatic missions abroad to lunatic asylums, from
the construction of sewers to atomic ice-breakers.
In addition to the governing organs which give orders and see that they
are carried out, there also exist Central Control Organs which are
independent of the local authority. The basic one of these is of course the
KGB, but independently of the KGB other powerful organs are also active: the
innocent-sounding People's Control for example, a secret police organisation
subordinated to a Politburo member who exercises almost as much influence as
the Chief of the KGB. In addition to the People's Control, the Ministry of
the Interior is also active and this is subordinated neither to the KGB nor
to Control. There is also the Central Organ of the press, a visit of which
to a factory or workshop causes hardly less anger than a visit of the OBHSS,
the socialist fraud squad. On the initiative of Lenin, it was seen as
essential that each powerful organ or organisation which is capable of
taking independent decisions be counter-balanced by the existence of another
no less powerful bureaucratic organisation. The thinking goes: we have a
newspaper Pravda, let's have another on a similar scale - Izvestia. Tass
created, as a counter-balance to it, APN. Not for competition but simply for
duplication. In this way the comrades in the Politburo are able to live a
quieter life. To control everybody and everything is absolutely impossible,
and this is why duplication exists. Everybody jealously pursues his rival
and in good time informs whoever he should inform of any flashes of
inspiration, of any deviation from the established norm, any effort to look
at what is going on from the standpoint of a healthy critical mind.
Duplication in everything is the prime principle and reason behind the
terrifying stagnation of all walks of life in Soviet society. It is also the
reason for the unprecedented stability of the regime. In duplicating the
Organs, the Politburo was able to neutralise any attempt by them to raise
the standard of revolt against their creators, and thus it has always been.
The creation of a system of parallel institutions began with the
creation of the Tcheka, an organisation called into existence to
counter-balance the already growing powers of the People's Commissariat for
Internal Affairs. During the course of the whole of the civil war these two
bloody organisations existed independently, and as rivals, of each other.
Their influence grew to immense proportions, and Lenin suggested the
creation of yet another independent organ to carry out the task of control
and retribution, the Rabkrin. This organ, known today as the People's
Control, is still waiting for somebody to research into its history. The
Rabkrin was Lenin's love-child, remembered by him even on his deathbed. The
Rabkrin or, more formally, the Workers' and Peasants' Inspectorate was not
created as an organ of repression for the whole population, but as an
organisation for the control of the ruling Bolshevik elite and, above all,
the Tcheka and the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs.
In the meantime the tentacles of the Tcheka had spread out over the
frontiers and the Bolkshevik leaders were forced to create yet another
parallel organisation to the Tcheka, capable of counterbalancing its
external activities. Neither the People's Commissariat nor the Rabkrin was
able to fulfill this role. On the personal order of the indefatigable Lenin
on 21 October 1918, an external intelligence service, completely independent
of the Tcheka, was created under the meaningless title of the Registered
Directorate of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army. At the present time it
is called the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the
Soviet Army, and also known by its military classification as 'unit 44388'.
In history there is a number of examples of similar organisations within
repressive regimes. The most obvious of these is of course Hitler's Germany.
The SS and the SA and, on the front, the Wehrmacht Divisions and the
Divisions of the SS, all existed under the same duplication principle, as
did the two Intelligence Services, the Gestapo and the Abwehr.
This multiplication of institutions can only be explained by the desire
of the ruling class to guarantee the stability of its regime. It is
important to clarify this, so that one can understand the role of Soviet
military intelligence in Soviet society and in the international arena, and,
in addition, the reason why this organisation has remained throughout Soviet
history largely independent from the KGB, in spite of the many ordeals it
has been subjected to.

Chapter One
The Triumvirate
The Party, the KGB and the Army form the triumvirate which rules the
Soviet Union. All other institutions and organisations, including those
which appear officially to wield State power, occupy a subordinate position.
But no single one of the three holds absolute power. They are all
interdependent and have to share power with their rivals. There is a
constant underlying struggle between these three forces, with attacks and
retreats, bloody skirmishes, victories, defeats, armistices, secret
alliances and permanent treachery.
The Party cannot exist without a continuous repression of the people,
in other words without the KGB. The KGB in turn cannot exist without a
continuous fanning of the flames of communist fanaticism and the deception
of the people, in other words without the Party. Each of the two considers
its own function to be the important one and the function of its rival
merely supplementary. Thus the Party and the KGB are striving for undivided
rule, but with this in mind each understands that it is not possible to kill
off its rival. Too much depends on the continued existence of that rival.
Both the Party and the KGB need the Army, which plays the part of a
performing crocodile, ensuring a quiet life for the other two. In the
triumvirate system the Army is the most powerful element but it is also the
most deprived as regards its rights. Unlike the Party and the KGB, the Army
has never played the leading role in the trio. Should this ever happen, the
Party and the KGB would be swiftly destroyed. The fact is that this
crocodile does not need either the Party or the KGB. Its natural state is a
free life in a swamp, enjoying the ability to gobble up whatever it wishes.
Both the Party and the KGB are Perfectly well aware that they, in the role
of trainers of the performing crocodile, would be its first victims should
the crocodile ever be set at liberty. So why has the crocodile never gobbled
up its trainers?
The Party and the KGB hold the crocodile firmly in check by means of
two strong leashes. The Party leash is called the Political Department, that
of the KGB the Special Department. Every organ of the Army is penetrated by
the Political Department of the Party and the Special Department of the KGB.
On those occasions when the Army has attacked the Party, which has happened
several times, beginning with the military opposition of the twenties, the
Tchekists of the KGB have come into action and quickly gained control over
dissident elements in the Army. When the Army has attacked the KGB, as
happened after the death of Stalin, the Party has gone into action against
it. And at times when the KGB has been plotting against the Party, the Party
has invariably allowed the crocodile to take a bite at the Tchekists, but
not a bite to the death. After such incidents the situation has returned to
normal -the crocodile's trainers have manipulated their leashes in such a
way and from different sides that it is impossible for any quarrel to have a
conclusion. They have even been able to give the crocodile a few kicks and,
if necessary, to direct it to another side, as it is said 'against any
aggressor'. Its dependent situation notwithstanding, the Army is
sufficiently strong sometimes to pull its two trainers after it. Thus it is
not possible for the Army to be left out of the triumvirate. None of the
remaining inhabitants of the Soviet Union has any independent part to play
in the concert. They fulfil an auxiliary role. They supply food to the
trainers and the crocodile, put on their make-up for the show, announce the
different acts and collect money from the terrified spectators.
The general staff of the Soviet Army is the brain of the crocodile, and
military intelligence is its eyes and ears. The GRU is a part of the general
staff, in other words a part of the brain. In fact it is that part which
analyses what the eyes see and the ears hear, the part which concentrates
the unblinking eyes of the crocodile onto the most interesting targets and
trains its ears to hear with precision every rustle of the night. Although
the crocodile is firmly tied to the Party and the KGB, the general staff and
the integral GRU are practically independent of external control. Why this
should be is explained by the Party's experience. In the period before the
war, the Party supervised the general staff so carefully, and the Tchekists
insisted strongly on the observance of every minute directive of the Party,
that the general staff completely lost the ability to think independently.
As a result the crocodile, despite its enormous size, completely lost its
presence of mind, its speed of reaction and any capability to think and take
independent decisions All this brought the system to the edge of
catastrophe, as the Army became practically incapable of fighting. The Party
learnt from this sad experience and realised that it must not interfere in
the working of the crocodile's brain, even if this brain had ceased to think
along Party lines. The Party and the KGB preferred, for purely practical
reasons, to keep only the body of the crocodile under control and not to
interfere with the work of its brain, of its sharp ears and piercing eyes.
Chapter Two
Soviet military intelligence [The Russian version of the English
'intelligence' - razvedka - has wider significance and includes everything
we understand by the terms 'intelligence', 'reconnaissance', 'surveillance'
and all activity governing collection and processing of information about
actual or potential enemies.] and its superior organ, the GRU, are an
integral part of the Army. The history of Soviet intelligence can therefore
only be surveyed in the light of the history of the development of the Army
and consequently in the light of the continuous struggle between the Army,
the Party and the KGB. From the moment of the creation of the first
detachment of the Red Army, small intelligence groups were formed within
these detachments quietly and often without any order from above. As the
regular army developed into newly-formed regiments, brigades, divisions,
army corps and armies, so these intelligence organs developed with it. From
the outset, intelligence units at all levels were subordinated to the
corresponding staffs. At the same time the superior echelons of intelligence
exercised control and direction of the lower echelons. The chief of
intelligence of an army corps, for example, had his own personal
intelligence unit and in addition directed the chiefs of intelligence of the
divisions which formed a part of his army corps. Each divisional
intelligence chief, in his turn, had his own intelligence unit at the same
time as directing the activities of the intelligence chiefs of the brigades
which formed his division. And so on down the scale. On 13 June 1918 a front
was formed, for the first time in the composition of the Red Army. This
front received the name of the Eastern Front, and in it there were five
armies and the Volga military flotilla. On the same day there was created a
'registrational' (intelligence) department in the Eastern Front. The
department had the intelligence chiefs of all five armies and the flotilla
reporting to it. These intelligence chiefs of the front possessed a number
of aircraft for aerial reconnaissance, some cavalry squadrons and, most
important, an agent network. The agent network for the Eastern Front was
first formed on the basis of underground organisations of Bolsheviks and
other parties which supported them. Subsequently the network grew and,
during the advances of the Eastern Front in the Urals and in Siberia, agent
groups and organisations intervened in the rear of the enemy before the main
forces attacked. Subsequent to the formation of the Eastern Front, new
fronts were added to the Red Army: the Southern, Ukrainian, Northern,
Turkistan and, later, Caucasian, Western, South- Eastern, North-Eastern and
others. The intelligence set-up for each front was organised in the same way
as that for the Eastern Front. There were also some independent and separate
armies which did not form part of the fronts, and these, as a rule, had
their own independent networks.
In the spring of 1918, besides the agent, aerial and other types of
intelligence services, the diversionary intelligence service came into
being. These diversionary detachments reported to the intelligence chiefs of
fronts, armies, corps and sometimes divisions, and were called the 'cavalry
of special assignments'. Formed from the best cavalrymen in the Army, they
dressed in the uniform of the enemy and were used to carry out deep raids in
the enemy's rear, to take prisoners - especially staff officers - to collect
information on enemy positions and activities and to undermine and sometimes
physically destroy the enemy's command structure. The number of these
diversionary units and their numerical strength constantly increased. In
1920, on the Polish Front, on the staff of the Soviet forces, there was a
separate cavalry brigade for 'special assignments' with a strength of more
than two thousand cavalrymen, and this was on top of several regiments and
separate squadrons. All these units were dressed in Polish uniform. Much
later these diversionary units received the name Spetsnaz, now given to all
special forces of the GRU.
>From its inception, military intelligence suffered the greatest
Possible antagonism from the Tchekists. The Tcheka had its own central agent
network and an agent network in local areas. The Tchekists jealously guarded
their right to have secret agents and could not resign themselves to the
idea that anyone else was operating similar secret networks. The Tcheka also
had units of 'special assignments' which carried out raids, not in the
enemy's rear, but in its own rear, destroying those who were dissatisfied
with the communist order.
During the civil war the Tcheka strove to unite all special assignment
units under its own control. Several cases are recorded of the Tchekists
trying to take over organs of military intelligence. One such attempt
occurred on 10 July 1918 when the Tcheka shot the whole staff of the Eastern
Front intelligence department, which had been in existence for only twenty-
seven days, together with the entire staff of the front and the commander
himself, M. A. Muravev, who had been trying to intervene in favour of his
intelligence department. The whole of the agent system of military
intelligence passed into the control of the Tchekists, but this brought the
front to the very edge of catastrophe. The new commander, I. I. Vatsetis,
and his chief of staff had no intelligence service of their own, and were
unable to ask for the necessary information. They could only request
information in a very tactful way, being well aware of the Tcheka's attitude
to those it disliked. (As regards Vatsetis the Tchekists did indeed shoot
him, but much later.)
Naturally while the agent network was under the control of the Tcheka,
its own work was given priority, and any tasks set it by the Army Command
were given very low priority. This of course brought the forces very near to
complete defeat. If the army intelligence service is separated from the army
staff, then the brain becomes nothing more than the brain of a blind and
deaf man. Even if the blind man receives essential information from one
source or another, his reaction will still be slow and his movements
imprecise. The leader of the Red Army, Trotsky, placed an ultimatum before
Lenin: either give me an independent military intelligence service or let
Dzerzhinsky lead the Army with his Tchekists.
Lenin knew what the Tcheka was capable of but he also knew that its
capabilities were extremely one-sided. He therefore ordered Dzerzhinsky not
to interfere in matters of military intelligence. In spite of this, the
Tcheka's attempts to swallow up military intelligence went on, and these
efforts still continue on a reduced scale up to the present day.
Towards the end of 1918 the organisation of military intelligence from
regimental staff level up to the level of front staff had been virtually
completed. There remained only one staff which as deprived of its own
intelligence service of the Republic, the staff of the Red Army (at that
time called the Field Staff, later the General Staff). For this reason the
general staff remained blind and deaf, obtaining information indispensable
to its work at secondor third-hand. In addition to this, the absence of a
superior intelligence organ meant a complete lack of co-ordination of the
front intelligence services. Military intelligence had acquired a pyramid
structure, but the top of the pyramid was missing. The Chief of the Army and
in charge of all military production, Leon Trotsky several times approached
Lenin with the demand that he should create such a superior military
intelligence organ. Understanding the necessity for the creation of such an
organ, but realising that this would inevitably mean a strengthening of the
position of Trotsky, Lenin prevaricated and repeatedly refused Trotsky's
suggestion. At the beginning of autumn, the position of the communists
worsened sharply. Production, fuel and political crises became more acute.
Armed uprisings were taking place against the communists. There was an
attempt on the life of Lenin himself. In order to save the regime the
communists decided on a desperate measure. In each town and village they
would take hostages and, in the case of the slightest manifestation of
discontent among the inhabitants, these hostages would be shot. The Soviet
state was saved, by mass executions. Then another problem arose. The Tcheka,
released from its restraints and drunk with blood, got out of control. In
Tver and Torzhok the Tchekists, together with the hostages, destroyed
communist leaders who displeased them. One threat to the stability of the
state had been replaced by another, far worse. Lenin, not yet completely
recovered, immediately resumed day-to-day leadership. Without restricting
the terror, he took a number of steps to control it. The most important of
his decisions were, firstly, to give to the People's Commissariats (i.e. the
ministries), the provincial and town committees the right to take part in
court cases against arrested communists. A communist would be declared not
guilty if two members of the Party Committee testified in his favour.
Secondly, Lenin directed his attention to the annulment of the Tcheka's
monopoly of secret activity. He finally accepted Trotsky's proposal and on
21 October 1918 signed a decree, creating a superior organ of Soviet
military intelligence which was to be called the Registrational Directorate
of the Field Staff of the Republic.
The newly created directorate did not increase or decrease the
importance of the front and army intelligence services, it merely co-
ordinated them. But at this time the directorate began the creation of a new
network of agents which could be active in countries all over the world,
including those where the front networks already had active agents. The
organisation created in 1918 has, in principle, survived to the present day.
Certainly the founding rules are fully applicable to our own time. These
are, firstly, that each military staff must have its own independent
intelligence set-up. Secondly, the intelligence set-up of subordinate staffs
is to be fully under the command of the intelligence of superior formations.
Thirdly, the agent network must be part of the composition of the general
staff intelligence network and part of the composition of the front and
fleet intelligence services. (In peace-time this means military districts
and groups of forces.) Fourthly, diversionary intelligence is subsidiary to
agent intelligence. It must be found on front or fleet level, military
districts and groups of forces and also at the level of armies and
flotillas. And, fifthly and most importantly, military intelligence must be
quite separate from the organs of enforcement and their intelligence
services. Since 1918, each one of these rules has been broken at least once,
if not more often, but invariably the mistake has been summarily corrected.
The creation of the GRU [The GRU, like the KGB, has been through
several name changes in its history; at this time it was called
'Registraupr', later 'Razvedupr'. For our present purposes the name GRU will
be used consistently.] was not only an act of self-preservation on Lenin's
part from the ravages of the Tcheka, but also a concession to Trotsky.
Having entrusted this weapon to Trotsky and the Army, Lenin was careful to
equip it with a safety device by the name of Simon Ivanovich Aralov, who
came from the V. Tcheka. On becoming chief of the registrational
directorate, Aralov formally remained a member of the collegium of the
Tcheka. This step was taken in the interests of subterfuge, and even up to
the present day has confused many researchers. Remaining formally within the
Tcheka, Aralov, from the first day of his work in military intelligence, had
to become a rival and consequently enemy of the Tchekists. This had entered
into Lenin's calculations; he had not been slow to see that it would be
impossible for Aralov to avoid daily skirmishes with the Tchekists on the
most mundane questions, and that this would inevitably lead to a
confrontation which would preclude any possibility of Aralov being exploited
as a trusted Tchekist. But this was not all. In the case of any agreement
with the Army, not one of the Army's chiefs would dare to trust Aralov. The
GRU would be a part of the Army but the Army would not be able to make use
of the GRU in the struggle against the Party and the Tcheka.
Lenin's calculations proved themselves sound remarkably quickly. In the
spring of 1919 the reinforced army under Trotsky's leadership openly came
out against the Party's meddling in the affairs of the Army. A united group
of Army delegates, the so-called 'Military Opposition', at the eighth
congress of the Party in March 1919, demanded de facto independence of the
Army from Party influences. At that time it was still permitted to express
personal opinions at party conferences, and more than 100 delegates out of
269 declared themselves in favour of the military programme. There were
widespread abstentions and the Party and the Tcheka found themselves in a
minority at their own conference.
Only a few votes were necessary to secure the complete and legal
victory of the Army, but at this point the delegates from the military
intelligence service, knowing the heavy hand of Aralov, maintained an icy
silence and strict neutrality. Then at the most dramatic moment of the
session Aralov spoke critically of the military opposition, after which the
delegates of the military intelligence service with one voice supported the
Party. The number of supporters of the military opposition shrank to
ninety-five, a clear defeat. The session closed with a victory for the
Party. The military opposition crumbled and many of its members never again
took any action against the Party. The Army had learnt a lesson. In the
struggle against the Party, never count on the support of the military
intelligence service. Emboldened by victory, the Tcheka renewed its
penetration of the Army. Many unrepentant members of the military opposition
were arrested and shot. The humiliation of the Army inevitably affected
military intelligence too, and on 13 May 1919 the Tchekists executed members
of the staff of military intelligence in the 7th Army who had displeased
them. Military intelligence naturally objected sharply to the Tcheka's
taking the law into its own hands, and from that time on it was its sworn
enemy. Lenin was delighted. Military intelligence henceforth was an
inseparable part of the Army, but its chief was the personal enemy of both
the Army and the Tcheka. Another unwritten rule was established in the
organisation of the GRU, too, which was that the chief of the GRU must be
appointed only from among the senior officials of the Tcheka secret police
(historically known as the V. Tcheka, GPU, OGPU, NKVD, NKGB, MGB, MVD and
KGB and unofficially as 'the Organs'). This rule has also been broken
several times, but the Party has always been able to correct its mistake in
The agent network of the GRU was reinforced at almost lightning speed.
There are several reasons for this. Firstly, inside Russia after the
Revolution, in her central provinces alone, there were more than four
million foreigners: Germans, Austrians, Hungarians, Poles, Slovaks, Czechs,
Koreans, Bulgars, Serbs, Croats and others. Most of them were former
prisoners of war. More than three hundred thousand of them voluntarily
enlisted in the Red Army. There was no need to recruit such people. The
overwhelming majority of them were convinced, fanatical communists. Military
intelligence simply sent them off to their own countries as GRU agents.
Secondly, after the Revolution Moscow became the Mecca of communism, and
after the foundation of the Comintern, communists from all countries flocked
to Moscow. The Comintern openly declared as its aim the destruction of
capitalism, and in this manifesto it was helped from all sides, the Tcheka
and the GRU in particular developing their espionage activities. On the
orders of the Comintern [The Communist International, grouping together the
communist parties of the world and declaring itself as 'the headquarters of
the worldwide communist revolution'.], thousands of communists spread into
foreign states worldwide under the control of the Soviet intelligence
organisations. Some of these, like the German communists Richard Sorge and
Karl Ramm, the Finnish communist Otto Kusinien, the Hungarian Sandor Rado,
are now well known to history, but thousands more remained unknown,
activists labouring strenuously to fulfil the will of Soviet intelligence.
Thirdly, after the Revolution millions of emigres appeared from Russia, all
over the world. Any Soviet intelligence officer who had undergone the most
elementary linguistic training could move about freely from country to
country without attracting the slightest suspicion.
External circumstances favoured communism too. After the First World
War the world veered sharply towards communist doctrines. Communist parties
were strong and united. In Germany and Hungary there were communist
revolutions. The heat of the conflagration was felt in Spain, France and
China. Soviet intelligence skilfully exploited the situation which was
unfolding. The First World War also left behind a legacy of despair - the
world had given way and there were many people who had lost their hopes and
ideals. Embittered and depressed, their recruitment presented no difficulty
whatsoever. In one of the early GRU instruction manuals there is the
following advice: 'If you need a facilities agent (a radio operator, owner
of a safe house or transmission point) find a tall handsome man who has lost
a leg or an arm in the war.'
One last, but by no means negligible factor, is that Russia has always
possessed too much gold. After the Revolution, mountains of gold from
millions of people killed in the torture chambers of Soviet power were added
to the State Treasury. In addition to this, communists plundered churches
all over Russia which from ancient times had been famous for their wealth.
Great profit was harvested from the domes of the richest cathedrals, for
these were roofed with solid gold. In looting the churches, the communists
said, 'For the needs of the world revolution.' What they meant was, 'For the
needs of espionage.'
x x x

There were many elementary errors and failures in the work of these
early field officers who had no experience whatsoever. For example, the
counter-intelligence officers of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which at the
time were independent states, simply told any suspicious person who claimed
to be a fugitive Russian officer, or engineer or doctor, to tie a necktie.
In 1920, by this method alone, more than forty GRU agents were unmasked in
these three small countries. The GRU was unperturbed by these failures,
however, its philosophy being that if it could not have quality it would go
for quantity. It was an astute calculation. If one agent in a hundred sent
abroad showed himself to be talented, and his natural talent made up for his
lack of education, then that was enough. Nobody was worried about the agents
who were discovered. Let them get out of the mess if they could. The Soviet
Union will never admit that the people it sends out belong to Soviet
This large-scale attack was highly successful. Out of the thousands of
intelligence agents sent abroad, some dozen began to give positive results.
The help of communists abroad also began to tell. Gradually quality began to
creep into the work of the GRU. One of the first outstanding successes was
the creation of the so-called 'Mrachkovski Enterprises' or, as it was
officially called in GRU documents, 'the network of commercial
undertakings'. Jacob Mrachkovski (his brother was a member of the Central
Committee) was sent to Germany where he organised a small shop and then a
small factory. Subsequently he bought, in fictitious names, several
factories in France, Great Britain, Canada, the United States and finally
China. The money put into these undertakings quickly grew and, after several
years, the Mrachovski undertakings began to show profits of tens of millions
of pounds. The money earned was used by the GRU as its chief source of
'clean' money, that is, money which had never been on Soviet territory and
consequently could be used for agents' operations. In addition to obtaining
money the Mrachkovski undertakings were widely used for the legalisation of
newly posted intelligence officers who by now were beginning to be better
trained. Journeying from country to country, they found help and support
from the Mrachkovski network. They got themselves jobs and after some months
received the most laudatory references and went off into other countries
where the same thing took place. This went on until the agent was able to
stand on his own two feet. The security of the network was so tight that no
undertaking ever suspected the existence of another. Mrachkovski himself
travelled all over the world, buying up new enterprises, installing one or
two of his own people and obtaining perfectly legal and highly lucrative
licences and patents.
Relations with the Tchekists were gradually stretched to their limit.
The Party was striving to inflame the hostility between the GRU and the
Organs of State. Lenin made a great success of this, as did his successors.
The next conflict broke out in the spring of 1920. Both Lenin and Trotsky
considered themselves outstanding thinkers, theoreticians and practical men;
men of deep knowledge as regards military affairs and international
relations. Naturally neither one nor the other took any notice of evaluated
intelligence. They both demanded that the intelligence material should be
laid before them 'grey' and unevaluated: they would then draw their own
conclusions and analyse the material on the basis of Marxist doctrine. But
Marxism had very precisely and categorically foretold that there would be a
world war in Europe which would be the last war of mankind. The imperialist
war would develop into a worldwide revolution, after which a golden age
would begin. Yet the war had finished two years before and no worldwide
revolution had happened. Intelligence reported that there were no signs of
this revolution coming about, so both Lenin and Trotsky were either
compelled to admit that Marxism was wrong or to take measures to bring the
revolution about. They decided to trigger off a revolution in Europe,
starting with Poland. Intelligence assessments were ignored, and naturally
the adventure ended in complete failure. Both the organisers immediately
started to hunt for a scapegoat. The only possible explanation for the
scandal was that the intelligence service had done its work badly. Lenin
announced to the rank and file of the Party, 'We have suffered this defeat
as a result of the negligence of the intelligence service.' But the GRU was
a completely unknown entity, even to some of the highest representatives of
the Soviet bureaucracy, and much more so to the rank-and-file Party members.
All eyes turned towards the Tchekists. Their unpopularity among the people,
even before this, was evident. After Lenin's announcement their authority
finally fell. Dzerzhinsky caused a scandal in the Kremlin and demanded
explanations from the Politburo. In order to calm the Tchekists and to
support his own version of the story, Lenin permitted the Tchekists to purge
the GRU. The first bloody purge took place in November 1920. On Lenin's
orders hundreds of intelligence officers who had allegedly failed to
evaluate the situation correctly were shot.
Up to this time there had been no need to account for the GRU's
activities, but now information was made available to some Party members.
This has led some specialists to the mistaken conclusion that the GRU did
not exist until this time.
However, the GRU did not take long to recover from the 1920 Purge. This
may be explained mainly by the fact that the overseas organs of the GRU were
practically untouched, and this for eminently sound reasons. Neither Lenin
nor Trotsky had any idea of shooting the intelligence officers who were
overseas, not only because they were manifestly innocent, but also because
their deaths would have absolutely no salutary effect on others since nobody
would hear about them, not even the many members of the Central Committee.
The other reason for the quick recovery of the GRU was that its agent
intelligence network in the military districts was also left untouched. At
the end of the civil war, the fronts were tranformed into 'military
districts', but the chain of command in the new districts did not undergo
any essential changes. A 'registration' department was included on the
strength of the staff of each district which continued in peace-time to
carry on agent intelligence work in countries where the district would have
to carry out military activities in any future war. Up to the time of the
1920 purge there were fifteen military districts and two fleets in the Red
Army. They all carried out, independently from each other, agent
intelligence work of a very intensive nature.
The internal military districts were no exception. Their intelligence
centres were moved out to the frontiers and it was from there that the
direction of agents was undertaken. Each internal military district also has
its tasks in wartime, and its intelligence work is based around these tasks.
The direction of activities of a frontier district is very precisely
defined; at the same time the internal district, independent of
circumstances, may operate in different directions. Consequently its agent
network in peacetime operates in different directions, too. For example, in
1920 agents of the Moscow military district operated on the territories of
Poland, Lithuania (at that time still independent) and Finland. This system
has prevailed in all respects, except that the districts and fleets have
become more numerous, as also has money available for intelligence. We are
richer now than we were then.
x x x

After 1927 Soviet military intelligence began to blossom. This was the
year in which the first five-year plan was drawn up, which aimed (as all
subsequent five-year plans have) exclusively at the growth of the military
potential of the country. The plan stipulated the creation and speedy growth
of the tank, ship-building, aviation and artillery industries. The Soviet
Union set itself the target of creating the most powerful army in the world.
The Soviet leadership made haste and demanded from its designers not only
the creation of new kinds of weaponry and military technology, but also that
Soviet armaments must be the best in the world. Monumental sums of money
were spent to attain this aim: prac-tically the whole of Russia's gold
reserves was thrown into the task. At Western auctions the Soviet
authorities sold off Russian corn and wood, pictures by Rembrandt and
Nicholas II's stamp collection. A tidy sum of money was realised.
All GRU residents received book-length lists of foreign military
technology which they would have to steal in the near future. The lists
included equipment for bombers and fighters, anti-aircraft and anti-tank
guns, howitzers and mortars, submarines and torpedo boats, radio valves and
tank engines, the technology for the production of aluminium and equipment
for boring out gun barrels. Yet another GRU tradition first saw the light of
day in this period: that of stealing analogous kinds of armaments at the
same time in different countries and then studying them to select the best.
Thus, at the beginning of the 1930s, Soviet military intelligence succeeded
in stealing samples or plans of torpedoes in Italy, France, the United
States, Germany and Great Britain. It was hardly surprising that the Soviet
torpedo, manufactured in the shortest possible time, conformed to the
highest international standards. Sometimes Soviet copiers selected the best
assemblies and components and constructed out of them a new type which often
turned out to be the very best in the world. Luck too was on the side of
Soviet military intelligence. Nobody took very seriously the efforts of the
Soviet Union in the military sphere, and few countries went to great pains
to hide their secrets from it. Communists the world over were obsessed by
the idea of helping Soviet intelligence, Soviet residents were able to throw
their money round, and finally the great depression threw into the arms or
Soviet intelligence thousands of opportunists who feared losing their
factories, workshops or offices. Soviet intelligence, by the beginning of
the 1930s, had attained unprecedented heights of power. Within Soviet
territory the GRU had practically no political influence. In the
international sphere it did not very much seek to enter into the political
life of parties and states, but in the field of clean espionage the GRU
already clearly occupied the leading position in the world, having by far
overtaken the political intelligence work of the OGPU. At the beginning of
the 1930s the GRU budget was several times larger than the overseas budget
of the OGPU. This situation remains true today.
The system in use today of recruitment and running of agents had
already fully developed by the end of the 1920s. In agent organisations
directly subordinated to the GRU the recruitment and running of agents was
in the hands of 'illegals', that is, GRU officers posted abroad undercover
with forged documents and offices, posing as Soviet diplomats, consuls,
trade representatives, correspondents and so on. In agent organisations
subordinated to military districts and fleets the recruitments of agents was
carried out from the territory of the Soviet Union. Only rarely did certain
officers of the intelligence directorates of districts travel abroad with
forged documents for short periods. Before diplomatic recognition of the
Soviet Union, emphasis was concentrated on the activities of illegals, but
after its recognition, undercover residencies were added to the numerous
illegal residencies. The GRU illegals and undercover residencies acted
independently from each other but in the pre-war period the communications
of illegals from GRU residencies with the Centre were frequently
accomplished through the Soviet embassies. This was a very serious mistake.
With the beginning of the war when the embassies were closed or blockaded,
the communication with illegals was disrupted. The mistake was subsequently
rectified. Military district intelligence always operated independently of
the GRU illegals and Soviet embassies, and for this reason at the beginning
of the war it was practically unharmed. Gradually a tendency became
noticeable in the operations of military district intelligence services to
limit the use of Soviet officers even for short trips abroad. Faced with
wartime conditions the military district intelligence services began to
recruit and run their agents only from Soviet territory. The recruitment of
new agents was carried out either on Soviet territory or on the territory of
neighbouring countries by means of agents who had been recruited earlier.
There is an interesting story to be told about the recruitment of
agents at this time, whose moral holds as true today. In the pre-war period,
recruitment took up little time. The Comintern simply made a decision and
immediately scores, sometimes hundreds of communists became Soviet secret
agents. In the interests of successful agent work, the GRU always demanded
from them that they should publicly resign from the communist party. The
vast majority accepted this without demur. After all, it was only a
camouflage, a Bolshevik manoeuvre to help defeat the lass enemy. Sometimes
however, there were communists who were unwilling. In Germany, one group
agreed to the GRU's demands only on condition that it was accepted into the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The demand was a simple one, for it is
not difficult for the GRU to write out a dozen new party cards, and as the
new agent group was working so successfully, the GRU did not want to refuse.
At a routine meeting the GRU case officer, an employee of the Soviet embassy
in Berlin, informed the group's leader that their demands had been met. He
congratulated the group on becoming members of the CPSU and informed them,
in conclusion, that the General Secretary of the Party himself, comrade
Stalin, had written out the party cards. As an exceptional case, the German
communists had been accepted without going through the candidacy stage.
Their party cards were naturally to be kept in the Central Committee.
At this news the group's productivity redoubled. It was supposed to
receive a certain sum of money for its work, but the group members refused
to accept the money. More than that, they began to hand over to their case
officers sums of their own money, in order to pay their membership fees to
the Soviet communist party. Punctually they handed over to their case
officers all documents and payslips concerning their earnings together with
their party subscriptions. This took up a great deal of time during the
agent meetings, but the Germans were working very productively and nobody
wanted to offend them.
Some time later, the Gestapo got on their trail, but all the members of
the group managed to escape into Austria, then to Switzerland and finally
through France to Spain where the civil war was going on. From Spain they
were brought to Moscow, Terrible disappointments awaited them in the capital
of the Proletariat of all the world, the chief of which was that nobody into
at any time written out their party cards, or accepted them into the Soviet
communist party. The GRU officials had of course assumed that the agents
would never set foot in the Soviet Union on that therefore it would be very
easy to dupe them. However, on their arrival in Moscow, the first thing the
agents did was to declare a hunger strike and demand a meeting with the
higher leadership of the GRU. The meeting took place and the GRU leadership
did all in its power to help the Germans join the party, after going through
the candidate stage, naturally. But foreigners can only be accepted in the
CPSU through the Central Committee, and the natural questions arose: 'Were
you ever members of the communist party? Why did you leave it?' The fanatics
told exactly what had really happened but were damned out of their own
mouths. To burn one's party card is a cardinal sin - and the Central
Committee threw out their application. The Germans again declared a hunger
strike and demanded a meeting with Stalin in person. At this point the NKVD
offered its help to the Central Committee, but the GRU intervened, being in
no way desirous that its agents should fall into the hands of the NKVD. So
the ex-agents ended up in the GRU cellars.
In the meantime, the political situation had changed sharply. Hitler
had become Stalin's best friend and the communists likewise friends of the
fascists. There ensued an exchange of gifts - the most up-to-date German
military aeroplanes for Stalin (including the top secret ME109, JU87, JU88,
DO217, HElll and even the ME110) in exchange for the surrender of all German
communists who had taken political asylum in the Soviet Union. Hitler's
calculation was very simple. In the short time before war broke out, the
Russians would not be able to copy the planes, but he would have the heads
of his political opponents. It was a fruitful deal for Stalin too. He was
bored with the German communists and now he would be able to give them to
the Gestapo in exchange for the best German aeroplanes. In addition to the
ordinary members, there were members of the German Central Committee and the
Politburo, together with the editors of the communist newspaper. These were
not taken to Germany, but the Gestapo was told it could shoot them in situ,
in the Moscow area. However, as far as the former GRU agents were concerned,
the decision had been taken not to hand them over. They knew too much. The
German embassy in Moscow was informed that they had all died in Spain and
had never got as far as Moscow. The fascists did not object but suggested
they would present one more aircraft at the same price. Unfortunately, the
former agents, not knowing anything about the bargaining that was going on,
again declared a hunger strike, and this decided their fate. The Soviet side
now admitted to the fascists that they were in Moscow and proposed a
compromise. The fascists could shoot their victims in the Soviet Union
without talking to them. The execution took place among the huge coal
bunkers of the Kashierski Electric Power Station. Beforehand, the Gestapo
men had personally identified each of the people to be executed and
photographed them; then, under cover of protracted whistling of locomotives,
they shot them all. Afterwards, joint detachments of the GRU, the Central
Committee of the Soviet communist party and the Gestapo burnt the bodies in
the furnaces of the power station.
The Germans' mistake was threefold: they believed too quickly in the
promises of the GRU; they insisted too strongly on the GRU's fulfilling its
promises; and they forgot that if somebody puts a high enough price on the
head of an agent, however good he may be, the GRU will sell him without
x x x

In the meantime the Party, under the leadership of Stalin, arrived face
to face with the ultimate necessity of subjugating all layers of Soviet
society and utterly eradicating dissension. The decision was taken by the
Party to purge the whole country of potential dissidents. Today we have
irrefutable proof that the 'Great Terror' was carefully planned and
prepared. On the testimony of A. Avtorhanov the Central Committee of the
Party had, as long ago as 13 May 1935, taken the decision to create a
special security commission for carrying out mass repressions in the
country, which took place in 1937 to 1938.
For almost two years the Special Commission prepared the most bloody
page in the history of mankind. Its members were Stalin, Zhdanov, Yezhov,
Shkiriatov, Malenkov and Voyshinski. It is interesting to note that the then
head of NKVD, Yagoda, was not a member of the Commission, and this was a
sensible move. Before carrying out its massive blood- letting of the whole
of society, the Party took pains to purge the surgical instrument itself,
the NKVD organs. The purge began secretly as early as 1935 and at that stage
concerned only the organs and the overseas residencies of the NKVD. In order
not to frighten anybody, it was carried out secretly and without public
trials. Naturally it was the GRU which was entrusted with the task of
purging the NKVD overseas organs. In 1935 Yan Karlovich Berzin, the GRU's
chief, travelled to the Far East with special powers and a group of trusted
helpers. Secret orders appointing one I. S. Unshlikht and later S. T.
Uritski as chief of the GRU were issued. But no order was issued for Berzin
to relinquish his post. In other words, the appointment of Uritski was
simply a cover-up for the long absence of Berzin. In the Far East Berzin and
his assistants secretly liquidated the leading illegals of the NKVD. In the
following year Berzin, with his assistants, appeared in Spain. His official
job was Chief Advisor to the Spanish Government, a post in which he was
extremely active. Firstly, he endeavoured to direct the activities of the
Spanish Government along lines favourable to Moscow. Secondly, he personally
ran from Spain the whole of the overseas network of the GRU. And finally, he
did not forget his most important task. The head of the Foreign Directorate
of the NKVD, Slutski, was also in Spain, also personally supervising the
activities of all his overseas agents. In all probability Slutski was aware
that Berzin and the GRU had some connection with the mysterious
disappearance of NKVD illegals. Evidence has been preserved which shows that
Slutski and Berzin had clashes practically every day in Spain. However, at
the same time, the intelligence chief of the NKVD was finding himself
increasingly subject to the chief of Soviet military intelligence. At the
end of September 1936 the NKVD chief, Yagoda, was dismissed from his post
and the secretary of the Central Committee of the Party, Ezhov, was
appointed in his place. Ezhov himself began a most cruel purge of the NKVD -
and he no longer required the assistance of the GRU. More than 3,000
Tchekists were shot on Ezhov's orders, including Yagoda and Slutski
themselves. It is interesting to note that Yagoda's death followed an open
trial, but Slutski was murdered secretly, in the same way as his best
illegal residents had been executed previously. After the Party, in the
person of Ezhov and with the help of the GRU, had purged the NKVD, the time
came for the Army to be dealt with. This purge began with the liquidation of
the general staff - and the complete destruction of the GRU. Among those
military leaders first executed together with Marshal Tukhachevski were army
commanders Yakir and Uboreevich and Corps Commander Putna, the Soviet
military attache in London. As might be expected, all military attaches are
GRU officers; but Putna was not simply a military attache. Until his
appointment to London he had been deputy chief of the GRU. His execution
served as an extra excuse for the NKVD to carry out a special purge in the
ranks of the GRU. Hatred which had been collecting for many years at last
came out into the open. In the course of the purge first the acting head of
the GRU, Uritski, was arrested and shot, and after him all the rest. The
NKVD and GRU now exchanged roles. NKVD men with special powers went around
the world destroying both GRU illegals and also those intelligence officers
of the GRU and NKVD who had refused to return to the Soviet Union and
certain destruction. In the course of the 1937 purge the GRU was completely
destroyed- even down to the lavatory attendants and cooks on its payroll.
Berzin, back from Spain, had to re-create the GRU from scratch.
x x x

By the autumn of 1937, by a special effort of the Comintern
-particularly in Spain with the help and coercion of the International
Brigades - the GRU had somewhat recovered its strength. A year later Soviet
military intelligence had returned to its stormy activities. But in the
summer of 1938, in the course of a second wave of terror, the GRU was again
destroyed, losing its entire strength. This time Berzin himself, one of the
cleverest and most successful leaders the GRU has had, was among the
The blow delivered automatically meant a blow to all organisations
subordinate to the GRU, that is to the intelligence directorates of the
military districts. Here the death-dealing whirlwind came twice, literally
destroying everything. During the pre-war years, in the areas of western
military districts the intelligence directorates had extended the existing
reserves of underground armies in case of the occupation of these areas by
an enemy. Secret depots and stores of weapons and explosives had been
established, radio sets had been secreted and refuges for partisans and
intelligence officers had been set up. In the terror, all this was
destroyed, and tens of thousands of trained partisans and saboteurs, ready
to meet the enemy, were shot or perished in prisons and concentration camps.
Military intelligence ceased to exist. And not only military intelligence;
the Army had been bled white, and military industry, too. But Ezhov, the
head of the NKVD, had made a fatal mistake in taking Berzin's place when he
was executed on 29 July 1938. The very next day, Stalin received only one
report on both GRU and NKVD activities, instead of the usual two. The
implication was clear: a monopoly of secret activity had begun, and Stalin
now had no way to balance the power of the NKVD. With his customary
precision and deliberation he realised that his control of Soviet
intelligence was slipping away and the same day, 30 July, he set in train
the events which would lead to Ezhov's removal and execution.
In the winter of 1939/40 there occurred an improbable scandal. The Red
Army, whose strength at the moment of the attack was more than four million
men, was unable to crush the resistance of the Finnish Army, whose strength
was only 27,000 men. Reasons for this were quickly found. Of course there
was the cold. (The German Army's right to claim the same reason for its
defeat in the winter of 1941 was unanimously denied.) The second reason was
the intelligence service. In all Soviet historical works (which may be
published only with the permission of the Propaganda Department of the Party
Central Committee), even to this day, the cold and poor intelligence are the
reasons always given. The Party forgets to specify that from 1937 to 1939
Soviet military intelligence was practically non-existent, at the Party's
own wish.
After the Finnish scandal, Stalin did not order a purge of the GRU. It
is probable that at that time there was nobody to purge, but he still
ordered the execution of General Proskurov, the new head of the GRU, and his
staff because of Proskurov's disagreement with him over the Hitler-Stalin
pact. In June 1940 General Filipp Golikov was appointed chief of the GRU.
Under Golikov the GRU was reborn amazingly quickly into an effective
intelligence force. There has been much speculation about this period. Did
the GRU know of the plans for Germany's attack on the Soviet Union or not?
The best answer to the question must lie in Golikov's own survival. Seven
leaders before him and two after him were murdered, yet he went on to become
Stalin's Deputy of Personnel and Marshal of the Soviet Union. The political
leadership may not take the right decision, even with the best information
that Golikov could give, but it will not bite the hand that feeds it.
The war had begun with a catastrophic defeat for the Soviet Union. In
the first few hours the German Army succeeded in securing a strategic
initiative. Thousands of serviceable aircraft were destroyed on their
airfields and thousands of tanks burned in their own parks.
It may have been that Stalin spared Golikov in order to give him a
testing assignment. He was certainly told to take himself abroad and revive
and renew the GRU agent network which had been cut off immediately. He went
first to England and then to the United States and, to give him his due,
this time he succeeded in carrying out his work in an exemplary manner. For
his visits to Great Britain and the United States he naturally did not use
faked documents. He came, with a numerous entourage, as the head of an
official Soviet military delegation to obtain American and British
armaments. For the chief of the GRU and his colleagues the doors of secret
factories and laboratories were opened - the very places Soviet intelligence
had been trying for decades to penetrate. This historical visit was the
beginning of intense penetration by Soviet military intelligence of the
armaments industries of America and Britain. Golikov also succeeded, albeit
only temporarily, in establishing communications with GRU illegals who were
functioning on territory occupied by Germany; but this also signalled the
beginning of GRU penetration of the German general staff from many different
quarters. The consequences of this were that, beginning with Stalingrad,
even top secret plans of the German High Command were known to Soviet
front-line generals before they were known to the German field commanders.
And the Soviet military leadership was equally enlightened as to the plans
of its allies, the Americans and the British. Churchill bears witness to the
fact that Stalin enumerated several points as to the contents of British top
secret plans, though he attributes such enlightenment to Stalin's genius in
foreseeing the future. The only thing that is not clear is why Stalin did
not display a similar clairvoyancy with regard to Hitler's intentions in
1941 and the beginning of 1942.
In the autumn of 1941 Golikov returned from the United States, an
another exceptionally successful visit. He could not, of course, expect to
keep his post, but he stayed alive, and even kept his General's rank. On 13
October he was relieved of the command of the GRU and appointed commander of
the 10th Army.
Later, in 1944, Stalin gave Golikov yet another chance to expiate his
guilt with regard to the sudden German attack. In October he was appointed
plenipotentiary of the Council of People's Commissars on Questions of the
Repatriation of Soviet Citizens. At the same time as he was occupied with
this task several of the former residents of the GRU in Europe were assigned
to him. He acquitted himself again with great credit and, being able to
count on the help of the GRU, succeeded in returning to the Soviet Union
several million people who were practically all shot on arrival. Golikov's
career was on the up and up, and he eventually reached the rank of Marshal
of the Soviet Union.
In the autumn of 1941, after Golikov had relinquished his post, the GRU
was divided into two. One of the newly-created organisations was directly
answerable to Stalin and entitled the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the
Supreme High Command. In the hands of this organisation was concentrated the
agent network controlled by illegals and undercover residencies of the GRU
in a small number of Soviet embassies. The 'other' GRU was subordinated to
the general staff and preserved its former name of Chief Intelligence
Directorate of the General Staff. But now this junior branch of the GRU
co-ordinated the efforts of intelligence officers on all Soviet fronts in
action against Germany. This new set-up was fully justified at that time.
The GRU general staff was freed from having to make decisions on global
problems which at that moment had lost their importance for the Soviet Union
and instead was able to concentrate all its attention on carrying out
intelligence operations against German forces. In order to distinguish
between the two GRU's; the term 'strategic intelligence' was introduced for
the first time and applied to the GRU of the Supreme Command, and the new
title of 'operational intelligence' was given to the Intelligence
Directorate of Fronts and the GRU of the general staff which controlled
these directorates. Both the strategic and operational intelligence services
of the Red Army conducted themselves with great distinction in the course of
the war. The finest achievements of the strategic agent network were of
course the penetration of the German general staff through Switzerland (via
the illegal residency 'Dora') and the theft of American atomic secrets by
way of Canada (through the residency 'Zaria'). Operational intelligence
meanwhile developed activities unparalleled in scale. Besides its agent
intelligence, a very large role was allocated to diversionary intelligence.
Groups of guard-minelayers were formed in the intelligence units of the
fronts and armies whose basic purpose was to hunt down the German military
staff. Parallel with these diversionary elements of the GRU, analogous
groups of NKVD men were in action at the rear of German forces. Between
these two groups the traditional enmity fostered by the Party continued.
x x x

After the war, military intelligence was once again fused into one
organisation, GRU General Staff, which independently carried out strategic
intelligence and directed operational and tactical intelligence. At this
time the Party and Stalin took care to weaken the Army and the Ministry of
State Security, both of which had strengthened their positions during the
war to such an extent that they had stopped acknowledging the civil
leadership, i.e. the party. The leading commanders, headed by Zhukov, were
dismissed from the Army and Beria was also deprived of the leadership of the
Tchekists. It would obviously not be a simple matter to expel him, so Stalin
technically promoted him, appointing his deputy to succeed him, but in fact
this deprived him of direct leadership of the Organs of State because his
title of minister was taken away. Within the framework of the programme for
weakening the Army and the Ministry of State Security, Stalin decided to
remove intelligence from both the Army and State Security. This plan was put
into effect in 1947. The GRU and the organs of political intelligence of the
Ministry of State Security were joined together in one organisation called
the KI: the Committee of Information. The man closest to Stalin was
appointed to lead this organisation, and this was the activist of the
Politburo, Molotov. Thus the Army and Ministry of State Security were
deprived of intelligence. All intelligence work would henceforth be
subordinate to the Party. Such a situation did not suit the Army or the
Ministry of State Security, and they for the first time united against the
>From its inception the Committee of Information was an utterly
ineffective organisation. The intelligence officers of the Ministry of State
Security and the GRU, who formed the nucleus of the Committee of
Information, strove by all means to return from under the control of the
Party back to their own former organisations. Both sets of officers strove
to sabotage the activities of the Committee of Information. The Ministry of
State Security and the Army, acting in collusion, informed the Central
Committee that they could no longer work effectively since they were
receiving their information at second hand. Then they exerted pressure on
their former officers in order to try to make the Committee of Information
collapse from inside. The Central Committee of the Party made efforts to
improve the effectiveness of the Committee of Information. In less than a
year four chiefs were appointed and dismissed, for the reason that not one
of them was able to counter the unified strength of the Ministry of State
Security and the Army. After long struggles behind the scenes Abakumov, a
pupil and favourite of Beria, became Chief of the Committee of Information.
At a stroke, all the intelligence services passed to the control of the
Ministry of State Security. Stalin immediately saw that a mistake had been
made. In his opinion, the creation of one intelligence service, even if it
was under the leadership of the Party, must sooner or later lead to the
Tchekists seizing power over this organisation, and this would mortally
endanger the Party. There was only one way out of such a situation:
immediately to liquidate the Committee of Information and divide the
intelligence service into two hostile camps - military intelligence to the
Army, and political intelligence to State Security. But the coup was not an
easy one. To get round the problem, the Party naturally found support from
the Army which had not been at all happy with State Security's monopoly of
the intelligence service. On the instructions of Stalin, the first deputy of
the chief of the general staff, General Shtemyenko, made a report to the
Politburo on the subject of the 'blind general staff, after which the GRU
was removed from the control of Abakumov and given to the Army. For his
distinguished services, Stalin immediately appointed General Shtemyenko as
chief of the general staff—the senior curator of the GRU. After two years
Shtemyenko and the GRU, seeking to please Stalin, presented documents about
the existence of an agreement among subordinates of Abakumov. Abakumov was
immediately shot, the Committee of Information finally abolished, and the
usual purge carried out in the ranks of State Security.
But the Ministry of State Security did not forgive the general staff
and the GRU for having taken such liberties. 1952 was a year of struggle
between the Politburo and Stalin. The Ministry of State Security presented
documents which they claimed proved the existence of a plot in the ranks of
the GRU. This time it was the turn of the GRU and all the general staff to
be purged. Stalin was opposed to the move, but the Politburo insisted.
Shtemyenko was demoted to Lt-General and expelled from the general staff.
The action continued against the general staff and the GRU, and even against
Stalin himself who was removed as general secretary of the Communist Party
later that year.
At the beginning of 1953, immediately after the death of Stalin, there
ensued a fierce squabble among his disciples and comrades at arms for the
distribution of the inheritance. The most dangerous pretender to the throne
was, of course, Beria. The united strength of Army and Party was
automatically against him. Beria was arrested at a joint session of Party
and Army leaders and immediately done away with. After this there began the
usual persecution of the Organs of State. During secret trials,
incriminating documents were produced from the GRU concerning the leaders of
the Ministry of State Security and many of its leaders were shot after
frightful torture. The torture was carried out in the GRU cellars on Gogol
Boulevard. At the beginning of 1954 the Ministry of State Security lost its
status as a ministry and was transformed into a committee.
Simultaneously with the fall of the Ministry of State Security, the
Army acquired more and more weight within the framework of the State. The
'Russian Bonaparte', Marshal Zhukov, became Minister of Defence, having
returned from his exile under Stalin. After a short time Zhukov also became
a member of the Politburo. He quickly effected the return of all the exiled
generals and marshals and appointed them to key positions. The Ministry of
State Security could not exercise any restraint on Zhukov and he was
therefore able to appoint Shtemyenko to the post of Chief of the GRU,
reinstating him as a full general after his demotion. The GRU became an
organisation solely dependent on the Army. Zhukov's next step was a blow
against Party influence in the Army. On his orders all political workers and
Party commissars were expelled from the Army. He also ordered the Chief
Political Directorate of the Soviet Army to stop interfering any more in
Army affairs, and at the same time liquidated all the special departments of
State Security present in the Army. The crocodile was clearly throwing off
its bonds. In Politburo sessions Zhukov openly contradicted Khruschev and
publicly abused him.
The party understood how rashly it had behaved in depriving the KGB of
power, since the Party alone was clearly defenceless against the Army. There
was absolutely no doubt that very soon the Army would become the only master
of the situation. But in October 1957 Zhukov committed a grave error. He
went on a visit to Yugoslavia and in his absence, a plenum of the Central
Committee of the Party was hurriedly convened. Zhukov was secretly removed
from the Politburo and also from his duties as Minister of Defence because
of 'bonapartism'. The chief of the GRU, General Shtemyenko, learned about
what had happened and immediately sent a telegram of warning to Zhukov in
Yugoslavia, but it was intercepted by the KGB. Zhukov returned from
Yugoslavia straight into renewed exile. Shtemyenko followed him, again
reduced to the rank of lieutenant- general. (Some survive vicissitudes
better than others: under Brezhnev, Shtemyenko was again reinstated.)
x x x

Now once more the post of chief of the GRU was held by a member of the
KGB, Ivan Serov. Henceforth everything would go according to Lenin's
teachings. Serov, on his appointment, automatically turned into an arch-
rival and enemy of the KGB, and was not in the least interested in the
fusion of these two organisations. But since he had been a general of the
KGB, the Army could not exploit him against the Party and the KGB. That was
not all. In order to control the Army in the interests of the Party, General
Golikov, the former chief of the GRU, was appointed chief of the Political
Directorate of the Soviet Army. Golikov was a former Tchekist and political
worker and he was ready to serve anybody who desired his services and to
report only the data which would please the leadership. Such a person was
eminently suitable as far as the Party was concerned.
Serov's successor as chief of the GRU was Colonel-General of the KGB,
Petr Ivashutin. General Yepishev, who had been from 1951 to 1953 Deputy
Minister of State Security, succeeded Golikov as chief of the Political
Directorate of the Soviet Army. In a word, the crocodile was again firmly on
the leash.

Chapter Three
The Pyramid
If we approach the term GRU in a formal way in order to explain
everything that is covered by those three letters, we shall get a very
impressive picture but one that is far from complete. To look at the GRU in
isolation from its subordinate organisations is to look at Gengis Khan
without his innumerable hordes.
The GRU may formally be described as an immensely powerful intelligence
organisation forming part of the general staff and acting in the interests
of the higher military command of the Soviet Union. On its strength there
are more than five thousand senior officers and generals who have specialist
academic qualifications in intelligence matters. The GRU has its illegal
representatives in every country of the world. In addition, officers of the
GRU operate under cover in every country of the world as diplomats, military
attaches, trade representatives and so on. Both the illegals and the
undercover officers independently from each other carry out the recruitment
of agents, who then, under the direction of the GRU steal top-secret
documents, axe governments and kill statesmen. The central apparatus of the
GRU processes espionage information coming from a thousand secret agents and
it also carries out cosmic, electronic, air and sea intelligence on a global
But we have not mentioned the most important point yet. Up to now we
are talking about Gengis Khan but not his hordes. What is more important is
that, in addition to all this, in addition to carrying out intelligence work
in the interests of the general staff, the GRU is also the superior
directing organ of the gigantic formation called Soviet military
Organisationally, the Soviet Army consists of sixteen military
districts, four 'groups of forces' - in Germany, Poland, Hungary and
Czechoslovakia - and four fleets - the Northern, Pacific, Black Sea and
Baltic fleets. On the staff strengths of each district, group and fleet
there are intelligence directorates. In all, these directorates number
twenty-four. They are all subject to the GRU and are, in effect, a GRU in
miniature. Each of these mini-GRU's utilises its own facilities. With all
the forces at their disposal, they gather information on the enemy, both in
peace-time and wartime.
When we speak of an intelligence directorate of a district, group or
fleet as a mini-GRU, this does not in the least mean that the intelligence
directorate is small or weak. We only mean that the intelligence
directorates (RU) of staffs are smaller than the chief directorate of the
general staff. But each of these twenty-four intelligence directorates is
sufficiently strong to be able to recruit agents independently in the
territories of countries or groups of countries which are in the sphere of
interest of the given district, group or fleet. Each intelligence
directorate possesses sufficient power to be able, without assistance, to
disrupt life in any contiguous country or group of countries. There is only
one form of intelligence possessed by the GRU which the intelligence
directorates do not possess, and this is cosmic or space intelligence. At
the same time, instead of this, they have a perhaps no less important means,
which are the diversionary Spetsnaz units. In addition to ordinary agents
providing secret information, the intelligence directorates recruit special
agent- terrorists destined to murder statesmen or senior military officers
and to carry out general terror in the country or group of countries. Thus
each district, group of forces or fleet has its own two independent secret
agent networks, the first being the ordinary espionage network, and the
second the espionage-terrorist network called Spetsnaz. To visualize the
strength of one intelligence directorate, it is sufficient to remember that
each one controls an entire Spetsnaz brigade: 1,300 professional cut-throats
continually in readiness to penetrate the territory of a contiguous state
and go to the assistance of the agent-terrorists.
One can best imagine Soviet military intelligence in the form of a
powerful, feudal state - the GRU - with a first-class army. There are
twenty-four lesser satellite states, the intelligence directorates (RU),
subordinated to the head of this state, and each of these in its turn has
its own army, and a strong one at that. But each satellite also has its
vassals each of whom has his own army and his own vassals, also with armies,
and so forth. The only difference as regards this pyramid form of
subordination is that Soviet military intelligence does not operate on the
principle that 'the vassal of vassal is not my vassal'. The GRU fully and
without delegating authority controls every step of the pyramid. These steps
need to be examined.
Each military district and group of forces consists ot armies. Each
fleet consists of flotillas which are equivalent to the armies of the land
forces. On the staff of each army there is an intelligence department (RO)
which is in effect a full vassal of the superior intelligence directorate
and the still superior chief intelligence directorate. The intelligence
department (RO) of an army or flotilla does run an agent network of its own.
On the strength of each intelligence department, and there are in the Soviet
armed forces at least fifty, there is a Spetsnaz company. This company,
which numbers 115 saboteurs and cut-throats, is capable of penetrating into
the enemy's territory to murder and kidnap people, blow up bridges, electric
power stations, dams, oil pipelines and so on. And these Spetsnaz units are
supplemented by the intelligence department's wide choice of electronic, air
and other types of intelligence.
An army in the Soviet Union consists of from four to six divisions. In
peace-time there are in the Soviet armed forces about 180 tank and motorised
divisions. In the interests of simplification we can omit the eight
divisions of airborne forces (VDV), the brigades of marine infantry
belonging to the fleets and still many more branches of the Soviet Army
which have intelligence units subordinated directly to the GRU of the
general staff. On the strength of the staff of each division there is a
chief reconnaissance officer. He has his own troops, a reconnaissance
battalion, and his vassals, the heads of regimental reconnaissance and their
troops. The reconnaissance battalion of each division, apart from tank and
electronic reconnaissance, has a sabotage company which is also staffed with
cut-throats capable of successful operations in the enemy's rear. In the
interests of accuracy it is necessary to add that not all of the 180 tank
and motorised rifle divisions have a full complement of personnel in
peace-time; many of them have a complete technical staff and full officer
strength, but only a partial complement of soldiers and NCOs. However, this
rule does not apply to reconnaissance units. All the Spetsnaz brigades and
companies of the military districts and armies, all the reconnaissance
battalions (180) of the divisions, all the regimental reconnaissance
companies (more than 700), are always kept at full strength and staffed by
elite officers and NCOs.
Everything that we have listed comes under the indivisible control of
the GRU, although none of it is called by this name. The researcher who
studies the GRU but does not take into consideration the GRU's vassals will
have overlooked twenty-four separate espionage organisations, each of which
is as powerful as the intelligence service of one central European country.
He will have overlooked 100,000 elite troops possessing as many fighting
vehicles as a well-equipped Western European country. But even that is not
all. In addition to its official vassals the GRU also has unofficial vassals
who carry out the orders of the GRU as precisely and with as much jealous
zeal as do the intelligence directorates of military districts, the
intelligence departments of armies and the chief reconnaissance officers of
divisions and regiments. These are the military intelligence services of
Cuba, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Mongolia and
a number of other countries. These countries are satellites and in the full
meaning of the word vassals of the Soviet Union. Their secret police forces
are under the complete control of the Soviet KGB and take the form of a
miniature copy of the KGB. Their armies are in thrall to the Soviet Army and
their military intelligence services are full vassals of the GRU, with all
their agents, illegals, military attaches, sabotage agents, diversionary
troops and so on. But of these later.

Chapter Four
The GRU and the Military Industrial Commission (VPK)
When we use the term 'army' with regard to the Soviet Army we must have
in mind not only the Ministry of Defence, but also the twelve other
ministries whose sole function it is to produce weapons and military
technology. Together all these ministries form the high-powered monolith
headed by the military industrial commission (VPK). Included in the
collegium of the military industrial commission are: one of the first
deputies of the chairman of the council of ministers, thirteen ministers,
and the chief of the general staff and the chief of the GRU. The military
industrial commission is the Army and the Army is the military industrial
commission. When we talk of a struggle between the Army and the Party and
the KGB we have in mind the struggle of the whole military industrial
commission, whose fortunes wax and wane in perfect harmony with the Army's
The economic and financial might of the military industrial commission
can only be compared with the might of the Soviet Union itself.
Theoretically the Soviet Union spends, in the interests of defence, the
improbably small sum of nineteen billion roubles a year. This nineteen
billion, however, is the budget of the Ministry of Defence alone. The
budgets of the remaining twelve ministries which produce armaments are kept
secret. The Soviet system is constructed in such a way that the Ministry of
Defence does not buy; it receives the armaments necessary to it. For
example, an aircraft carrier is under construction in the Soviet Union. The
Ministry of Defence does not bear any of the cost of this. The price of the
ship is paid to the Ministry of Shipbuilding by the Council of Ministers
under the debit item shipbuilding industry'. This Ministry, by the way, has
never constructed any non-military vessels. Non-military vessels are,
without exception, bought for the Soviet Union in Poland, East Germany,
Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Italy, France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark - it is
difficult indeed to list all of them. It is probably true that only
Switzerland is an exception to this list. The same thing is true of
aircraft, tanks, rockets, nuclear bombs, military electronics, every item of
hardware. Nobody in the Soviet Union knows exactly how much the military
industrial commission swallows up, but in any case it is an astronomical
At the heart of any Soviet five-year plan for economic development -
not the propaganda plan which appears in all the newspapers, but the
genuine, secret plan - will be found the military industrial commission's
plan. For all the other branches of the Soviet economy, metallurgy, machine
tool construction, energy, transport, agriculture, have no independent
significance but only provide for the activities of the military industrial
commission. Soviet science is another organ providing for the military
industrial commission. Officially it is allocated about sixty billion
roubles a year, three times more than defence. But what sort of science is
it, if the Soviet Union can produce the first automatic satellite destroyer
in the world but cannot produce an ordinary compact, small-engined car? The
Soviet Union has had to buy all its technology for the production of small
cars from Italy. What are Soviet scientists up to if the Soviet Union has
first-class military poisons but has to buy fertiliser technology from the
United States? What are the sixty billion roubles spent on if the USSR
constructs gigantic trans-norizontal radar, ultra-high frequency
transmitters for communications with submarines whose underground aerials
amount to thousands of kilometres in length - but has to buy the technology
for the production of ordinary household television sets from France? Sixty
billion roubles on science is yet another means of camouflaging Soviet
military expenditure and the true might of the military industrial
What has the GRU to do with this? The connection is this: the budget of
the GRU is many times greater than the budget of the KGB. But the KGB is
much bigger than the GRU, it has a vast apparatus within the country and its
political influence is colossal. So why is the financial might of the GRU
many times greater than that of the KGB? (Some specialists consider it to be
several tens of times greater.) The business may be explained as follows.
The KGB has its budget, which is without doubt enormous, and the GRU also
has a moderate budget. Both form a part of State expenses and naturally the
State tries to limit these expenses. But in addition to its 'clean' budget
the GRU has colossal orders from the military industrial commission and from
Soviet science which provides for the military commission. These orders are
incalculably greater than the actual 'clean' budget of the GRU. For example,
on receiving an order from the military industrial commission to steal a
tank engine, the GRU receives money allocated as a debit item to 'science'
or 'industry'. With this money the GRU will recruit an agent without
spending a single cent of its own money, industry and science will receive
the engine they want and save enormous expense, and finally the GRU's 'free'
agent will continue to work on its behalf for the rest of his life. All
twelve ministries of the military industrial commission, plus all of
military science, are ready to place money with the GRU if only they can
obtain the technology which is essential to them. Designers and factory
directors receive medals and prizes for copying foreign samples of armaments
in the same way as they would if they worked out their own examples. The KGB
depends only on its actual budget, but the GRU draws on the budget of all
Soviet armament industries and science. In the course of a major GRU
operation, such as the theft of all the technological documentation for the
American nuclear submarine George Washington (which enabled the Soviet Union
to build a perfect copy -nicknamed 'Small George'), the GRU will not spend a
single dollar of its own budget. Other memorable examples were the copying
of the American missile 'Red Eye' and the Anglo-French Concorde, among many
x x x

Why does the KGB not carry out orders for the armaments industry? This
is very simple. The chairmen of the Council of Ministers and Gosplan [The
State planning committee] are responsible for the Soviet economy. They plan
how much money to allocate, to whom and for what purpose. To the chairman of
the Council of Ministers are subordinated both the armaments industry and
the Minister of Defence with the general staff and the GRU. The KGB, alas,
is not answerable to the chairman of the Council of Ministers. Having given
money to the GRU to obtain something interesting, the chairman of the
Council of Ministers or the chairman of the military industrial commission
may bang on the table and demand that delivery be speeded up. But if they
give money to the KGB then they will have to wait quietly until the KGB is
ready to deliver the goods. The KGB is not usually in much of a hurry, even
when it has been handsomely and generously paid. The KGB is a vain and
arrogant courtier, having the right to speak at the King's council, but
without a sou in his pocket. The GRU is an ugly hunchback: a moneylender,
ready to serve anybody and making millions in the process. The courtier
hates the moneylender. The courtier would kill the moneylender were it not
for the fact that he serves the King himself.

Chapter Five
But Why is Nothing Known about it?
In the Soviet Union the registration plates of certain cars from
Georgia end with the letters GRU. This amusing coincidence goes unnoticed by
almost everybody, including the police, for the GRU is unknown in the Soviet
Union except to a small circle of enlightened ones. Even in the general
staff, of which the GRU is a part, thousands of colonels simply consider
that 'military department 44388', whence comes all espionage information, is
a branch of the KGB. Moreover, KGB officers who guard Soviet embassies
overseas but are not members of the KGB intelligence organisation consider,
in many cases, that there is only one residency in the embassy, that of the
Much is known about the GRU by Western specialists, but the ordinary
Western man in the street has practically no idea at all about it. His
attitude is analogous to his attitude to the mythical animal from a Scottish
loch: either it exists, there have been photographs published of it, or then
again perhaps it does not exist. Some believe, others do not, but decidedly
nobody is frightened of the animal. Nevertheless, how can so little be known
about the GRU, given that it certainly exists and certainly possesses
colossal power?
There are quite a few reasons, so let us discuss the most important
ones. Firstly, having established their bloody dictatorship, the communists
had to announce to the people the existence of an 'extraordinary' organ of
the dictatorship of the proletariat which was permitted to deal in whatever
way it pleased with the people - including the mass executions of millions.
They did this through the mouth of Lenin when he informed the people about
the birth of the V. Tcheka. Later Lenin's successors informed people of all
the changes in the names of the Organs, underlining that it was only the
nomenclature that changed. The essence remained as before. Traditions live,
and it is still forbidden to complain about the Organs. The GRU did not need
such publicity and therefore nothing official was given out about its
existence. Secondly, the main function of the Organs is to exert pressure on
the people themselves. Consequently in the people's consciousness everything
that is dark, underground and secret is connected with the KGB but not at
all with the GRU. In practical terms the GRU did not take part in the
struggle against the people. Not because it was full of humanity and love
for its fatherland, but simply because nobody had given it this function.
Naturally people remember the KGB (on any pretext), but never the GRU.
Thirdly, in his struggle for power, Kruschev made known to a stunned world
some of the crimes of his predecessors and honourable Tchekists. The effect
was so shattering that from that moment the whole world unreservedly saw the
leadership of the KGB in all spheres of secret criminal activity. Kruschev
by no means revealed everything, but only that which at a given moment might
bring him undoubted political capital. He pointed to the mass executions in
Stalin's time but forgot to mention the mass executions in Lenin's time. He
mentioned the destruction of the communist leaders in 1937 but omitted the
destruction of the peasants in 1930. He demonstrated the role of the NKVD
but completely forgot the role of the communist party as the main, leading
and directing force. Kruschev was interested in showing up the crimes of the
Organs within the country and he did show up several of them. Revelations of
crimes committed overseas did not enter into Kruschev's plans. They could
not bring him any political advantage. He was therefore silent in this
regard and did not mention the overseas crimes of the KGB and, of course,
those of the GRU. Fourthly, the struggles against dissent, emigration, and
western radio stations broadcasting to the Soviet Union are the sole
responsibility of the KGB but not the GRU. Naturally the most talented
representatives of liberation movements and immigration address their best
efforts to enlightening the KGB itself. It is the same as regards radio
station broadcasting to the Soviet Union and the Western organs of mass
information in general. They certainly devote to the KGB significantly
greater attention. Fifthly, any unpleasant things which happen to foreigners
in the Soviet Union are first and foremost connected with the KGB and this
gives rise to a corresponding flow of information about the KGB. Lastly,
having made rivers of blood from the people, the KGB strove to whitewash
itself at all costs advertising the 'attainments' of the Tchekists. In this
connection all intelligence officers, KGB or GRU, were categorised as
Tchekists, and this at a time when GRU intelligence officers hated the
Tchekists many times more than they did the Gestapo. The GRU did not object
to this. It preferred to maintain silence, not only about its crimes and
mistakes, but also about its successes. The spying breed of animal keeps
itself in the depths; muddy water and darkness are more to its liking than

Chapter Six
The GRU and the 'Younger Brothers'
The state structure of any communist country strikingly resembles the
structure of the Soviet Union. Even if it finds itself in conflict with the
Soviet Union or has been able to escape from its influence, it is much the
same in character. The cult of personality is a general rule for all
communist countries, and any 'big brother' needs an all-powerful secret
police force to preserve that cult. Then there must be another secret
organisation to counter-balance the power of the first one.
It is usually military intelligence which fulfils this counterbalancing
role, the more so since all communist countries, regardless of the kind of
communism they adopt, are warlike and aggressive. In a number of communist
countries there would appear to be only one secret police organisation, but
in these cases closer inspection will clearly show a minimum of two mutually
hostile groupings. Sooner or later the dictator will be forced to split his
secret service into two parts. In the countries within the orbit of the
Soviet Union that separation has already been carried out, for all of them
have been created in the image of the elder brother.
The military intelligence services of the satellite countries show
great activity in the collection of espionage material, and all such
material obtained is sent directly to the GRU. The fact is that the
intelligence services of the satellite countries are even legally answerable
to the Ministry of Defence of the Soviet Union. The military intelligence
service of each Warsaw Pact country is subordinate to its chief of the
general staff, but the chief of staff is in his turn subordinate to the
chief of staff of the Warsaw Pact. Theoretically a general from any country
of the Warsaw Pact may be appointed to this position. In practice of course
there have only ever been Soviet generals appointed. One of them is already
well known to us: the former chief of the GRU, General Shtemyenko. After the
fall of Kruschev, Brezhnev, trying to please the Army, recalled the
disgraced general from exile and reinstated him as a full general. As chief
of staff of the Warsaw Pact, his direct superior was (and is) the High
Commander of the United Armed Forces of the member-countries. To this post
it has always been a Soviet marshal who has been appointed. First it was
Konyev, then Grechko, after him Yakubovski and finally Kulikov. But the
official title of all these marshals during the time they commanded the
united forces was 'First Deputy of the Minister of Defence of the USSR -
Commander-in-Chief of the United Armed Forces of the member countries of the
Warsaw Pact'. In other words, the armies are the armies of several states
subordinated to a deputy minister of defence in one of those states. There
is sovereignty for you. The USSR Minister of Defence, through his deputy,
directs all the forces of staffs of the 'fraternal countries', including, of
course, the military intelligence services of those countries, and we are
not talking of close co-operation, but of direct subordination in the legal
This is all very well, some sceptics will object, but after what
happened in 1939, every Pole had a fierce dislike for the Soviet communists,
and their intelligence services would hardly work their best in the
interests of the GRU, would they? After 1953 the East Germans fully shared
the feelings of the Poles. In 1956 Hungary joined them, and in 1968 the
Czechs and Slovaks. Surely the intelligence services of these countries
would not work hard in the interests of Soviet military intelligence?
Unfortunately this is a delusion which has gained too wide an acceptance. In
practice everything contradicts it. It is a fact that the peoples of all
countries in thrall to the Soviet Union hate the Soviet communists; but none
the less their intelligence services work to the full extent of their powers
in the interests of the elder brother. The solution to the riddle is this.
By means of harsh economic treaties the Soviet Union has enchained all its
'younger brothers'. For Soviet oil and coal, electric energy and gas they
all have to pay very heavily. The Soviet Union proposes to its satellites
that 'you may pay by means of your own wares or you may pay by providing the
secrets of other people'. This alternative offer is a very tempting one, to
which the general secretaries have unanimously responded by ordering their
intelligence officers to redouble their efforts. So the intelligence
services of all countries tied economically to the Soviet Union make the
greatest possible efforts. By stealing Western secrets and transmitting them
to Soviet military or political intelligence they reduce their countries'
indebtedness and raise their peoples' standards of living. Western states
have been surprised by the extent of the intelligence interests of communist
states. Why should Mongolian intelligence be interested in atomic reactors,
or Cuban intelligence in high-powered rocket engines? These questions are
easily answered as soon as one realises that they are all part of one
gigantic formation. In the ranks of officials of Soviet state institutions
overseas it is almost impossible to find one 'clean' one. All Soviet
citizens, from ambassadors to cleaning staff, in one way or another
co-operate with the KGB or the GRU. The same thing is true of the official
institutions of the 'fraternal countries'. There it is also difficult to
find a single 'clean' official. All of them are to some extent co-operating
with the Soviet KGB or GRU - even though frequently they themselves do not
realise it.

Chapter Seven
The GRU and the KGB
The working methods of the GRU and the KGB are absolutely identical. It
is impossible to tell their signatures apart. But their functions differ
essentially one from the other. The basic function of the KGB may be
expressed in one guiding phrase, not to allow the collapse of the Soviet
Union from inside. Every specific function stems from this. To enumerate
some of those functions: the protection of communist VIPs; the suppression
of any clashes or dissent among the population; the carrying out of
censorship and disinformation; the prohibition of any contact between the
people and the outside world - including the isolation of foreign visitors -
and the cutting off of any contacts already established with them; and the
guarding of frontiers (there are ten districts of KGB frontier forces). The
KGB also acts overseas but its activities rotate around the same main axis -
to prevent the collapse of the USSR from within. This task can be divided in
the same way into its parts: the struggle with emigration and efforts to
diminish its influence on the internal life of the Soviet Union; the
struggle with Western radio stations broadcasting to the Soviet Union and
other means of mass information which give a correct picture of the
situation 'within the state of workers and peasants'; the struggle with
religious organisations which might exert influence on the Soviet
population; observing the 'fraternal' communist parties with the aim of
nipping in the bud any heresy which might emerge from them; the surveillance
of all Soviet citizens abroad, including KGB officers themselves; the
seeking out and destruction of the most active opponents of the communist
regime. The KGB also has other functions, but these are all either a part of
the main function or not of prime importance.
The function of the GRU may also be stated in one parallel, but quite
different phrase: to prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union from an
external blow. In the opinion of the general staff such a blow may be struck
at the Soviet Union in peace-time, even in the course of routine Soviet
military adventures in Asia, Africa or Europe. This, the most important
function of the GRU, is undertaken on four fronts. On the military front,
literally everything is of interest to the GRU. Of prime importance, of
course, are the composition, quantity and deployment of the armed forces of
all countries of the world; the plans and thinking of the military
leadership and staffs; mobilisation plans in case of war; the type and
direction of military training of forces; the organisation of forces; the
means of supply; morale and so on. Of prime importance on the military-
political front are the relations between the different countries of the
world: overt and covert disagreements; possible changes in political and
military leadership of military and economic blocs; new alliances; any, even
the slightest, change in the political and military orientation of armies,
governments, countries and whole blocs and alliances. On the military-
technologica front the GRU handles intelligence related to the development
of new kinds of armaments and military technique in the countries of a
probable enemy; the carrying out of trials and tests; new technological
processes which might be utilised for military ends. And the
military-economic front presents exceptional interest for the GRU. First and
foremost it is fascinated by the capacity of such and such a state or group
of states to produce modern types of weapons, but it is also extremely keen
to learn about industrial potential, energy, transport, agriculture, the
presence of strategic reserves, vulnerable areas of economy, and energy. The
general staff considers that if the GRU can give accurate information in
good time from every country in the world on these four fronts, then it can
count it impossible to destroy the Soviet Union by means of a blow from
In many instances the interests of the KGB and the GRU are
diametrically different. For example, a demonstration of White Russian
emigres is of absolutely no interest to the GRU, but an object of the
greatest possible interest to the KGB. And vice-versa: no military exercises
are of any interest to the KGB residents, but they are of great interest to
GRU residents. Even in those fields where the GRU and the KGB have what
would seem to be interests in common, for example in politics, their
approach to a particular problem would differ in essence. For example, the
personality of President Carter from the very beginning provoked almost no
interest from the side of the GRU, for on the most superficial possible
examination of the President's personality the GRU infallibly decided that
he would never be the first to carry out a pre-emptive strike against the
Soviet Union. But that same man, from the point of view of the KGB, appears
to be the most dangerous opponent possible, because his human rights
policies are a weapon which could destroy the Soviet Union from within. In
another case, the GRU displayed exceptional interest in the changes of
personnel in the Chinese political and military leadership. For the KGB this
question posed practically no interest at all. The KGB very well knows that
after sixty years of communist power the Soviet population will not be in
the least interested in any communist ideology from China or Korea or
Yugoslavia; it is also quite convinced that not one defector from the Soviet
Union will ever seek refuge in China. China is, for the KGB, almost an empty
In examining mutual relations between the GRU and the KGB we have to
return to the question of the GRU's dependence on the KGB. In the chapter on
history we endeavoured to show the character of these mutual relations in
the past. The same mutual relations have been preserved up to the present
day. The GRU and the KGB are ready at any moment to destroy each other.
Between them exist exactly those mutual relations which perfectly suit the
Party. The jealousy and mutual hatred between the GRU and KGB are familiar
to the police of every country where the Soviet Union has an embassy, and it
is precisely this enmity, noticeable even to 'unarmed eyes', which provides
proof of the independence of the GRU.
If the fate or career of a GRU resident were to depend even slightly on
his colleague from the KGB, he would never in his life dare to differ with,
still less quarrel or brawl with, the Tchekists: he would be like a cowed
lap-dog with his tail between his legs, not even daring to bark for the lady
of the house, like the 'clean' diplomats in all Soviet embassies. But
officers of the GRU do not do this. They have guarantees of their
independence and invulnerability from the KGB. Some specialists are inclined
to consider the GRU as a branch of the KGB, usually adducing in defence of
this opinion two arguments. Firstly, they say that the chief of the GRU is
always a former KGB general, but this has always been the case, beginning
with Aralov, and has never prevented the GRU from actively opposing the
efforts of the KGB to swallow it, and even sometimes on the order of the
Party striking the Tchekists sudden and heavy blows. The second argument is
that everybody joining the GRU has to be vetted by the KGB. This argument
appears convincing only at a first glance. The fact is that ea«jh new
official of the Central Committee of the Party also undergoes the same
vetting by the KGB, but it certainly does not follow this that the Central
Committee is under the control of the KGB or is a branch of the KGB. Both
the Central Committee and the GRU select for themselves the people necessary
to them, and in this connection consult the KGB, for any person until he
becomes a Central Committee official or joins the GRU is under the control
of the KGB and possibly the KGB may have some unfavourable information on a
given person. The KGB in this case plays the part of a filter. But once
having passed this person through its filter the KGB no longer has the right
to interfere with him, either inside the Central Committee or inside the
GRU. The KGB is like a guard at the gate of a secret installation. The guard
may refuse entry to an engineer who has forgotten his pass at home, but he
has no right to examine the contents of that engineer's safe. If it so
desires, the KGB may, of course, discredit any unwanted official of the GRU
or the Central Committee. However, this is fraught with potential reciprocal
There exists still another irrefutable indicator of the independence of
the GRU from the KGB. In the GRU there is no 'special department'. The
security of the GRU is assured by its own forces, and always has been. The
Party is very keen that this should continue, because it knows that if the
KGB were to organise its own 'special department' in the GRU, a similar
department would swiftly be introduced into the Politburo.
To illustrate the uneasy peace and the paradox of the independence that
exists within the triangle of Party - KGB - GRU, let us consider a real
confrontation. The working day of the GRU chief usually begins at seven
o'clock in the morning, sometimes earlier. At that time he personally reads
all telegrams which have come during the night from illegals, from
undercover residencies, and from the intelligence directorates of military
districts, groups of forces and of the fleet intelligence. In the next-door
office, the first deputy to the GRU chief and the chief of information of
the GRU are doing the same thing. If any questions have been raised by any
of the higher commanders, from the chief of the general staff upwards, their
opinions will be heard separately, independent from the opinions of the GRU
This day began for the GRU leadership at the unusually early hour of
3.30 in the morning, when it was informed by the command point that the
aircraft from Paris had landed at the central airport and taxied up to the
GRU building. The day before, at Le Bourget airport, the Soviet supersonic
passenger aircraft Tupolev TU144 had crashed. The whole of the Paris
residency had been at the show and the majority had had cine cameras. The
moment of catastrophe had been photographed from different points by
different officers, and the GRU had at its disposal no fewer then twenty
films showing the same moment. The films had not been developed in Paris but
brought straight to Moscow. Now the operational technological institute of
the GRU would develop them immediately. At nine o'clock in the morning the
Politburo session was to begin, at which they would hear evidence from
Tupolev, his deputies, the minister of aviation production, the director of
the Voronesh aviation factory, directors of subsidiary concerns, test pilots
and of course the GRU and the KGB. But at seven, the telephone rang and it
was Andropov, at the time head of the KGB. 'Peter Ivanovitch, how are you?'
Peter Ivanovitch Ivashutin (present chief of the GRU) did not hasten to
match the friendly tone. 'Well. How are you, comrade Andropov?'
'Peter Ivanovitch, don't be so official. Have you forgotten my name?
Peter Ivanovitch, there is something I want to talk to you about. I hear you
have got some films showing the catastrophe.' Peter Ivanovitch said nothing.
'Peter Ivanovitch, would you be very kind and give me just one little film?
You know yourself that I have to make a report to the Politburo but I have
no material. These shows are not of great interest to my chaps and
unfortunately not one of them was there with a cine camera. Help me to get
out of this mess. I need that film about the catastrophe.'
All service telephone calls to the GRU chief are relayed through the
GRU command point. The duty shift of operators is always in readiness to
prompt their chief with a necessary figure or fact, or to help him over a
mistake in conversation. At this point the entire duty shift was frozen to
the spot. Their help was not called for at all. The GRU chief remained
silent for some time. The duty operators were quite certain that in a
similar situation, the KGB would undoubtedly refuse if the GRU asked for its
help. But what would be the decision of the GRU chief, an ex-colonel-general
of the KGB and ex-deputy chairman of the KGB? Finally, in friendly, even
tones he answered Andropov.
'Yuri Vladimirovich, I won't give you one film, I'll give you all
twenty. Only I will show them at nine o'clock in the Politburo, and at ten
o'clock I'll send my chaps over to the Central Committee to give you all the
Andropov angrily slammed down the receiver. A concerted roar of
laughter shook the walls of the underground command point. The senior
operator, choking with laughter, entered the conversation in the log book.
(After Andropov became General Secretary of the Communist Party and
Soviet Leader, Ivashutin still survived as GRU chief, because any attack
from Andropov could easily have upset the fragile Party-Army balance with
unpredictable consequences for Andropov himself.)

Chapter Eight
The Centre
Unlike the KGB, the GRU does not try to advertise itself, and its head
office does not rise in the centre of the capital on its most crowded
square. The head office of the GRU, although it is in Moscow, is by no means
easy to find. It is enclosed from three sides by the central airport, the
old Khodinka field. The aerodrome is surrounded on all sides by restricted
buildings, among which are the offices of three leading aviation firms and
one rocket construction firm, and the military aviation academy and the
aviation institute. In the centre of these secret institutes the aerodrome
carries on with its life as if half-asleep. Very, very rarely, in the middle
of the night, a covered-up fuselage of a fighter aircraft is taken out of a
hangar, loaded onto a transport aeroplane and transported somewhere into the
trans-Volga steppe for testing. Sometimes another transport aircraft lands,
goes up to the GRU building and unloads a foreign tank or rocket, after
which everything becomes peaceful again. For two months of the year
preparations are carried out for the grandiose military parades, and the
roar of tank engines can be heard on the airfield. The parades finish, but
the guarded area remains guarded, an empty field in the centre of Moscow
patrolled by watchdogs. Not one civil aircraft or helicopter disturbs the
quiet of Khodinka, only the watchdogs howl at night like wolves. How many of
them are there? One loses count. No, from three sides it is impossible to
get to the GRU. From the fourth side, too. On the fourth side there is the
Institute of Cosmic Biology, with more dogs and electric barbed wire. A
narrow little lane leads through a blind wall ten metres high, behind which
is the 'Aquarium'. In order to penetrate into the inner fortress of the GRU
one must negotiate either the area of the secret aerodrome or the area of
the top secret institute.
The head office of the GRU is a nine-storey extended rectangle. On all
sides the building is surrounded by a two-storey structure, the windows of
which give onto the central courtyard. The external walls have no windows at
all. The fifteen-storey building adjacent to the area also belongs to the
GRU, although it is situated outside its external walls. Many families of
GRU officers live here, and the building has a completely normal appearance
and looks like an ordinary block of flats. Only a certain number of the
flats, however, are used for living purposes; the others are used by the
service for official purposes. The whole of the area, centimetre by
centimetre, is under surveillance from the tele-cameras and patrolled
continuously by gentlemen with big, fat faces. But even if it were not thus,
a stranger there would be apprehended immediately. Any of the little old men
seated on benches (minimum twenty years' service in the GRU) would
immediately inform the necessary people if he saw something untoward. Nobody
is allowed to bring a car into the GRU's inner area, not even the Minister
of Defence or General Secretary. One is only admitted after passing through
a special inspection and sophisticated electronic equipment. Nobody may
bring in so much as a cigarette lighter, still less a briefcase. There must
be no metallic object on your person, not even a belt-buckle - the GRU
recommends braces. All necessities for work and life are to be found inside,
including cigarette lighters and fountain pens. The GRU gives them out -
after they have been checked, of course.
x x x

The chief of the GRU is subordinate to the chief of the general staff
and is his deputy. Directly subordinate to the chief of the GRU are the
GRU's command point, the deputy chief and a group of advisers. The
organisational units constituting the GRU are directorates, directions, and
sections. In units which are not directly concerned with the acquisition and
processing of information there exist the divisions of directorates,
departments and sections. The military rank of the chief of the GRU is Army
General. Under him are a first deputy and deputies. In the case where the
deputy has several directorates under his command, his military rank will be
colonel-general. If he only has one directorate, lieutenant-general. Chiefs
of directorates are lieutenant-generals. The deputies of heads of
directorates, heads of directions and departments are major-generals. The
deputy heads of directions and departments, the heads of sections and their
deputies are colonels. The rank-and-file members of sections are called
senior operational officers and operational officers. The military rank of a
senior operational officer is colonel, of an operational officer
An overwhelming number of GRU officers hold the military rank of
colonel. This, however, does not at all mean that they are equal amongst
each other. Between the colonel who fulfils the duties of a senior
operational officer and the deputy head of a direction who is also a colonel
there is a wide gulf. The high service ranks existing in the GRU do not
preclude the appointment of a very young captain or senior lieutenant to the
post of senior operational officer, either. The system adopted by the Soviet
Army permits this. A captain may be an acting major, or a senior lieutenant
may be an acting colonel. Seniority is judged not by the pips on the
officer's shoulder, but by the position he holds.
In total the GRU has sixteen directorates: most of them have a number
from one to twelve. Certain numbers do not exist and the directorate is
simply called by its name, as for example the personnel directorate.
Directions and departments forming parts of a directorate have numbers, for
example '41 Direction' means the first direction of the fourth directorate.
Directions and departments not forming part of a directorate have a single
number with the letters GRU added, for example, the first department GRU.
The hierarchy in the GRU is as follows. The chief of the GRU has one first
deputy and seven deputies beneath him. He controls:
i The Illegals Section. With the help of this section he personally
directs effective illegals and agents about whom nobody knows. He also
directs his own first deputy.
ii First Deputy Chief of the GRU (colonel-general), beneath whom are
all the procurement organs which provide information.
iii The Chief of Information (colonel-general) in charge of all the
processing organs of the GRU.
iv The Chief of the Political Section (lieutenant-general).
v The Chief of the Electronic Intelligence Directorate (lieutenant-
vi The Chief of Fleet Intelligence (vice-admiral).
vii The Chief of the Cosmic Intelligence Directorate (lieutenant-
viii The Head of the Soviet Army Academy (colonel-general),
ix The Head of the Personnel Directorate (lieutenant-general).

Chapter Nine
The Procurement Organs
All units of the GRU are divided in their designations into
procurement, processing and support. The great majority of the procurement
organs, the providers of information, are controlled by the first deputy
chief of the GRU. They include the first directorate, which carries out
agent intelligence on European territory, and consists of five directions,
each of which carries out agent intelligence on the territories of several
countries (each direction consists of sections which direct undercover
residencies in one of the countries concerned); the second directorate with
an analogous organisation carrying out agent intelligence in America, both
North and South; the third directorate, which carries out agent intelligence
in Asia; and the fourth directorate, dealing with agent intelligence in
Africa, and the Middle East. Each directorate contains about 300
high-ranking officers in the Moscow centre, and about 300 abroad. Besides
these four directorates, there are also four directions which undertake the
same duties. These directions do not form parts of directorates but are
answerable to the first deputy chief. The first GRU direction carries out
agent intelligence in the Moscow area and it has its influential
representatives in all Soviet official institutions used by the GRU as
cover: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of External Trade,
Aeroflot, the Merchant Navy, the Academy of Sciences and so forth. These
representatives fit their young officers into slots in the institution
serving as cover and guarantee their smooth progress in their future
activities. In addition some GRU officers, on their return from overseas,
continue to work in their covering organisation and not in the head office.
Using these officers, the first direction recruits foreign military
attaches, members of military delegations, businessmen and representatives
of aviation and steamship companies. The second direction carries out agent
intelligence in the area of East and West Berlin, a gigantic organisation
which again does not form part of a directorate. The third direction is
concerned with agent intelligence in national liberation movements and
terrorist organisations. Its favourite child until recently was the
Palestine Liberation Organisation. The fourth department carries out agent
intelligence work from Cuban territory against many countries, including the
United States. In many respects the fourth direction duplicates the activity
of the second directorate. It has unlimited power in the ranks of the Cuban
intelligence service and with its help actively penetrates and endeavours to
direct the activities of unaligned movements.
The GRU adheres to a different principle in running its illegals from
the principle adopted by the KGB. Among its procurement organs there is no
separate unit for directing illegals, and the GRU does not consider such a
unit necessary. Each of the directorate heads and several of the direction
heads have under their command sections of illegals. This permits them to
run illegals and residencies under cover at the same time in the territories
of groups of countries or entire continents. The directorate or direction
head may at any moment use his illegals for carrying out a secret check of
the undercover residencies. The first deputy to the chief of the GRU also
has an analogous section under his command. Naturally, he has very
high-quality illegals. The first deputy may use his own illegals for secret
checks on undercover residencies, and also the illegals under the command of
directorate and direction heads. Finally, the absolute cream of the illegals
are run personally by the chief of the GRU through his own illegals section.
He can use his illegals for the checking of everything and everybody,
including illegals under the command of the first deputy.
There is a fifth GRU directorate, which is also concerned with
procurement and controlled by the first deputy. However, its functions
differ from those on the four directorates and four directions listed above.
The fifth directorate does not carry out independent agent intelligence work
but directs the activities of the intelligence directorates of military
districts, groups of forces and fleets. This directorate is a kind of
controller of vassals. Directly under its control are twenty intelligence
directorates belonging to the military districts, groups of forces and fleet
intelligence, the latter having in its turn four more fleet intelligence
directorates beneath it. The number of secret agents and diversionary agents
ultimately controlled by the fifth directorate exceeds the number of all the
agents controlled by the first four directorates and four directions, and
these agents operate on all the same territories where illegals, undercover
residencies and agents of the above-mentioned directorates and departments
operate. With their help the first deputy, or indeed the chief himself, may
secretly check on the activities of his directorate. This arrangement works
in reverse too: with the help of agents of the first four directorates and
four directions he can check the activities of the secret agents of military
districts, fleets and groups of forces.
In addition to the proliferation of units outlined above, there are two
more GRU directorates which are concerned with the procurement of
information: the sixth directorate and the cosmic intelligence directorate.
These directorates procure and partly process information, but they do not
go in for agent intelligence, so they are not considered as purely
procurement directorates and are not subordinate to the first deputy chief
of the GRU. The chiefs of both these directorates answer to the chief of the
GRU and are his deputies, but not first deputies.
The GRU sixth directorate is concerned with electronic intelligence.
For this purpose its officers are posted to undercover residencies in the
capitals of foreign states and there form groups which intercept and
decipher transmissions on governmental and military networks. There are also
many regiments of electronic intelligence on the territories of the Eastern
bloc and Soviet Union, and these are integral parts of the sixth
directorate. Furthermore, this directorate controls the electronic
intelligence services of the military districts, groups of forces and fleets
which in their turn have their own regiments, special ships, aircraft and
helicopters for electronic espionage. The electronic espionage services of
each military district, group and fleet correspondingly control similar
services in the armies and flotillas, and these in their turn control those
of the divisions. And so it goes on. All the information acquired from the
electronic companies of divisions, electronic battalions of armies,
regiments of military districts and groups of forces and spy ships of the
fleet, is collected in the sixth directorate and analysed there.
The GRU cosmic intelligence directorate is no less powerful. It has its
own cosmodromes, a number of research institutes, a co-ordinating computer
centre and huge resources. It works out the technical details for spy
satellites independently and prepares them in its own works. The Soviet
Union has sent into orbit more than 2,000 cosmic objects for different
purposes, and one in three of them belongs to the GRU. The vast majority of
Soviet cosmonauts, with the exception of those who undertake only
demonstration flights, work for half their time in space in the interests of
the GRU. The KGB lies far behind the GRU in this respect.

Chapter Ten
Fleet Intelligence
The GRU fifth directorate directs twenty intelligence directorates of
military districts and groups of forces directly, and four intelligence
directorates of fleets co-ordinated by an organisation known as fleet
intelligence. Fleet intelligence was introduced because each military
district and group of forces has a very strictly denned sphere of
responsibility in time of war, whereas the ships of the four Soviet fleets
operate in widely scattered areas of the world's oceans and each ship must
continuously have full information on the enemy. The chief of fleet
intelligence comes under the GRU chief as a deputy, and he controls the four
intelligence directorates of naval staff- Northern, Pacific, Black Sea and
Baltic- and the fleet cosmic intelligence directorate and information
service. In his day-to-day activities he is under the orders of the GRU
fifth directorate.
Fleet intelligence directorates have a structure similar to that of the
directorates of military districts. There are small differences caused by
maritime factors, which for our purposes are insignificant, and the fleet
intelligence directorates together with those belonging to military
districts will be examined in detail in Part II under the heading of
'Operational Intelligence'.
The GRU chief has at his disposal two independent cosmic intelligence
services. One is beneath him directly, the GRU cosmic intelligence
directorate, and the other through the chief of fleet intelligence. The
Soviet High Command quite reasonably considers that, bearing in mind the
tasks to be fulfilled, the fleet must have its own cosmic intelligence
service. This of course does not exclude the GRU chief controlling his own
cosmic intelligence service with the help of the other and vice-versa.
Considering that not only the GRU cosmic intelligence service, but also that
of the fleets has its own spy satellites, we may say that out of all the
satellites put into orbit by the Soviet Union, about half are directly or
indirectly subordinated to the GRU.

Inside Soviet military Intelligence (II)

Search for
Get a Free Search Engine for Your Web Site

Web Site Counter
FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from freestats.com
1-Hit Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Submission
Click Here Subscribe with Bloglines Listed in LS Blogs Blog Directory & Search engineWeb Counter Site Meter