MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. More than 22 thousand security personnel also came under repressions of the 1930-ies. This was announced by the Director of the FSB of Russia Alexander Bortnikov asked on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the security agencies, pointed questions about the history of intelligence services in an interview to “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”.
“Just in the years 1933-1939 repression suffered 22 thousand 618 security officers, including the first Soviet counterintelligence A. Artuzov, K. Zvonarev and other”, – said the Director of the FSB, Recalling that only in the period of “Yezhov terror” three times, the update of the management team of counter-intelligence Department of the Main Directorate of state security (gugb) of the NKVD, and in March 1938 it was abolished.
“Of course, of the KGB, which, again, was the flesh of the existing companies were all sorts of people. This, unfortunately, opportunists, keeping to the principle “the end justifies the means”, but at the same time, and those who were moved by the selfless ideological motives,” said Alexander Bortnikov. He recalled that the authorities began “cleansing”, which is even more intensified after the murder of Sergei Kirov in December 1934. “At the slightest suspicion of unreliability qualified employees were transferred to the periphery, were dismissed or arrested. Their place was taken by people with no experience of operational and investigative work, but is ready for a career in the execution of any instructions,” said Director of special services.
Information about the persecution
Answering the question, what are the exact data on the number of the repressed, Alexander Bortnikov said that “in the late 1980-ies was declassified by the help of the Ministry of internal Affairs of the USSR from 1954 about the number of convicted for counter-revolutionary and other especially dangerous state crimes, including banditry and military espionage in 1921-1953 gg – 4 060 306 people. Of them to capital punishment sentenced 642 980, to exile and expulsion – 765 180”.
“This is archival material. All other figures are debatable”, he added.
During the great Patriotic war of 1941-1945 the first blow took over the personnel of the border guards on the Western borders of the country. “Some gates already once in the environment, heroically resisted the enemy from several days to a month,” reminded Bortnikov, stressing that “one only the garrison of the Brest fortress held out, the same as army major military powers of the period – France and Poland”. From the beginning of the war were mobilized all the security personnel. Only in the battle for Moscow, fought four divisions, two brigades and a fighter wing of the NKVD.
Aviation of NKVD participated in the defense of the sky of Moscow of bombing, and transport aviation regiment of the NKVD performed the flights in besieged Leningrad and the relationship of the Supreme command with the staffs of fronts and armies. The agents were accompanied by the evacuation of industrial enterprises. And in 1943, the 70-strong army of NKVD troops joined the red army, becoming the 70th army, was the military way from the Kursk bulge to Berlin.
Speaking about the work of the counterintelligence “SMERSH”, the head of the FSB reminded that after its creation in November 1942, German intelligence activities in deep Soviet rear was completely paralyzed. “At the same time German intelligence had failed to acquire any one agent from among the employees of “SMERSH”, as well as in headquarters and other military authorities, – said Bortnikov. – Thanks to a brilliant counter-intelligence operations “smershevtsev” no strategic plan of the Soviet command does not become the property of the enemy.” On the eve of the battle of Kursk, the Wehrmacht was “blind and deaf” as before the operations to break the blockade of Leningrad, and other operations. In 1943, the “SMERSH” has prevented the assassination of Colonel Govorov, and in 1944 on Stalin.
The collapse of the Soviet Union
Alexander Bortnikov recalled that at the beginning of the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980-ies “has already begun the dismantling of the KGB.”
“Came to power a team of reformers led by Mikhail Gorbachev, despite the proclamation of Perestroika, openness and transparency, maintained the ban on the rapid development of the representatives of the party elite. Of the CPSU Central Committee did not react even to counter-intelligence information on the acquisition of foreign intelligence services “agents of influence” in the Federal authorities”, – said the Director of the FSB.
In the struggle for power of party elites of the Union republics, crushing the local security authorities hoped to strengthen their own positions and to weaken the influence of the centre, he recalled. In may 1991 a decision was made about the creation of the KGB of the RSFSR, under the pretext that Russia, unlike other Union republics, did not have their security agencies.
“Sent to the Central Committee operational and analytical materials on a range of issues were ignored. And the problem steadily grew: in the background deepens the economic crisis intensified social and political discontent among the population, exacerbated ethnic and religious contradictions, were gaining strength separatist tendencies. In different regions of the country have sparked mass riots and pogroms” – said Bortnikov.
But traveling to hot spots division of the KGB and other security agencies were trapped – the Central government did not want to take responsibility, gave contradictory orders, and the result has left employees in the lurch. “This has led to the undermining of confidence in the security forces to the country’s leadership. We can say that the last Bastion of protection of the United States collapsed,” – said Bortnikov.
The word “chekist”
Alexander Bortnikov admitted that he is “absolutely not embarrassed” the word “chekist”. “Well, we need to understand that the activities of the current security organs has nothing to do with the “state of emergency” the first years of Soviet power,” he explained. Bortnikov recalled that of the Cheka in combating counterrevolution and sabotage, was established under the Council of people’s Commissars as a provisional body with special powers in terms of critical situation in the country, the beginning of the Civil war and intervention, paralysis of the economy, banditry and terrorism, the increasing number of diversions, strengthening of separatism. Was conducted simultaneously and struggle with the relic of the Civil war – “red banditry” – the tyranny of leftist customized party activists and law enforcement officers, who, under the guise of “revolutionary expediency” was fixing unlawful killings, arrests and requisition. “Adopted tough measures to 1923, managed to nip this criminal phenomenon,” – said Bortnikov.
The role of intelligence agencies and the myths about them
Answering the question about the role of his predecessors, the head of the FSB reminded that “the enemy tried to defeat us either in open battle or with the support of the traitors within the country, using them to sow discord, to divide the people, to paralyze the state’s ability to promptly and effectively react to emerging threats,” and “the destruction of Russia for some is still an obsession”.
“We, as security organs, shall promptly reveal the plans of the enemy, anticipate his actions and respond to any attacks. In this sense, the most important criterion of our work is its efficiency,” he recalled.
“About the security agencies created a set of myths, often very tenacious,” admitted the head of the FSB, explaining that the covert nature of intelligence “objectively does not allow real-time and in full to inform the public about certain aspects of their ongoing work.” “Some in pursuit of sensation exaggerate the role of intelligence services in the events, and someone is openly lying, solving advocacy problems,” – said Bortnikov.