By Vladimir Popov (Former Soviet State Security Lieutenant Colonel)
Sept. 16, 2020 Anno Domini
Translated from the Russian
One of the authors of the book “The KGB Plays Chess” and a former employee of the USSR State Security Committee, Vladimir Popov, recently completed work on his memoirs. In the book “The Conspiracy of Scoundrels. Notes of the Former KGB Lieutenant Colonel,” he talks about the formation of the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin, his associates, about his work in the committee and key events related to the Soviet special services. The book has not been published before. With the consent of the author, the GORDON edition exclusively publishes chapters from it. In this part, Popov writes about the participants in the “Tournament” operation, which the special services conducted in Canada, as well as how the KGB brought its agents “to a long settling” in Western countries to influence the Russian emigration:
In 1965, two years before the start of Expo 67, a young politician, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, appeared in the Canadian political arena, who would later be called the most prominent political figure in Canada in the past twentieth century. Becoming the head of the government of the country and leading it for 15 years, Trudeau in every way contributed to the rapprochement of Canada and the Soviet Union.
Trudeau received excellent education at the universities of Montreal, Harvard, Paris and the School of Economics in London. Education consisted in the study of law, economics and political science. Trudeau began his career as a lawyer and trade unionist for the province of Quebec. In 1951, he visited the Soviet Union, after which he came to the attention of the American FBI. In the press, he was called a “Canadian Castro”, a “radical socialist” and a supporter of the establishment of diplomatic relations with China.
In 1968, Trudeau took over the government of Canada. With his active support in 1969, a law was passed on the equality of the English and French languages. This law did not satisfy either the supporters of the sovereignty of Quebec, or the inhabitants of the English-speaking provinces of the country, split over the question of the independence of Quebec. In 1980, a referendum was organized by Quebec separatists to secede Quebec from Canada. The majority voted against. In 1995, another referendum was held in Canada on the recognition of the independence of Quebec, initiated by French-speaking separatists. Voting results: 50.5% against, 49.5% for.
Political instability in Quebec created favorable conditions for the work in Canada of the PGU of the KGB of the USSR, then the SVR of Russia. Trudeau was constantly in the field of vision of Soviet intelligence and was skillfully used by it.
Former member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, Alexander Yakovlev, who worked for several years in Canada as an ambassador, said in an interview that Trudeau was “the first Western politician who sympathized with Gorbachev”: “Mikhail Sergeevich came to Canada when I was an ambassador there. He amazed Canadian leaders with his free demeanor. Instead of one scheduled meeting with Trudeau, there were three.” It was Trudeau, after meetings with Gorbachev, who advised the leaders of other countries to pay attention to him.
In addition to Pitovranov and Bobkov, Anatoly Maksimov, an employee of the 1st Main Directorate, also arrived as part of the KGB operational group to the Expo-67 international trade and industrial exhibition. The cover for him was the Soviet foreign trade association Tekhimimport, in which a Soviet intelligence officer allegedly worked. In fact, Maksimov was an employee of the “T” (scientific and technical intelligence) department of the KGB PGU. It was he who was destined to become the main protagonist of the operational game with the Canadian special services, sanctioned at Expo 67 by the head of the KGB operational group Bobkov: Maximov was supposed to present himself to the American and Canadian special services as a potential defector. This game was codenamed “Tournament”.
The sports term for the operation was not chosen by chance. Traditionally, it is sport that opens the way to political dialogue between countries, and in the future cultural and economic ties are established and developed. Naturally, all international contacts do not pass without attention to them on the part of the special services. Sometimes, special services, in their own interests, initiate the establishment of contacts between states.
After the end of the international trade and industrial exhibition “Expo-67” in October 1967, the KGB decided to continue the operational game “Tournament” on the territory of the USSR.
In November of the same year, an international hockey tournament for the prize of the USSR Ice Hockey Federation was held in Moscow for the first time. The tournament was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. In addition to the USSR hockey team, it was attended by the hockey teams of Poland, Czechoslovakia and Canada.
The assumptions that a Canadian intelligence officer would arrive as part of the Canada team to develop contacts with Maximov did not come true. No such person has been identified on the Canadian national ice hockey team. Because of this, we had to make hockey tournaments permanent.
In 1969, the USSR Ice Hockey Federation, signed by its chairman, the well-known test pilot Georgy Masolov, applied to the Izvestia newspaper with a request to organize an annual hockey tournament under the auspices of the editorial board. This is how the international hockey tournament for the prize of the Izvestia newspaper was born.
Izvestia was published by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. This status distinguished her from the strictly party-based Pravda and other party publications. That is why Izvestia was chosen by Soviet intelligence as a “roof” for the activities of intelligence agents accredited as journalists in various countries. However, in such government structures as TASS and APN, the percentage of intelligence officers working under journalistic cover was much higher.
Soviet intelligence officers Vadim Kassis and Leonid Kolosov worked in the editorial office of the Izvestia newspaper under the cover of journalists for a long time. To resolve urgent issues with the state security units in their offices, in violation of the secrecy regime and conspiracy rules, the devices of the KGB’s internal secret telephone line were installed. This communication line was called “OS” – operational communication. In addition to the KGB Central Office, this connection could be used to contact any state security unit on the territory of the Soviet Union.
During the struggle for the title of world chess champion between “renegade” and “defector” Viktor Korchnoi and Anatoly Karpov, the author of these lines, at the direction of the leadership of the 5th Directorate of the KGB of the USSR, together with the above authors, prepared a propaganda article aimed at discrediting Korchnoi. However, the article was declared unsuitable, and I had to write a new version together with my agent Semyon Grigorievich Bliznyuk, head of the international department of the Soviet Sport newspaper. It was published under the title “The Challenger’s Fake Move” and signed by Bliznyuk.
In addition to intelligence officers, the Izvestia editorial staff employed journalists who were attracted to cooperation with the USSR state security agencies as agents and proxies. The latter included an experienced journalist Boris Fedosov, who was a confidant of the 7th department of the VSU KGB of the USSR, which developed foreign journalists accredited in the USSR. It was he who became the main organizer of the popular hockey tournament for the prize of the Izvestia newspaper, which sports journalists began to call the small world championship.
After the next tournament Fedosov, who wrote about him under the pseudonym “Snowman” (his graphic image was chosen as the symbol of the tournament), wrote in the final article about the expediency of bringing novelty to international hockey competitions.
The publication was noticed at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow, and on the initiative of the second secretary of the embassy, Gary Smis, consultation meetings were held with Fedosov and the head of the USSR Ice Hockey Federation Andrei Starovoitov.
The question of the possibility of friendly matches between hockey players of the Soviet Union and Canadian professional players was discussed. All spoke in favor: Chairman of the USSR State Sports Committee Sergei Pavlov, the department of agitation and propaganda of the Central Committee of the CPSU, the KGB under the Council of Ministers of the USSR, the secretariat of the Central Committee of the party. Leonid Brezhnev, a big fan of hockey, reacted positively to the idea of holding the competition.
On August 30, 1972, the USSR national team arrived in Canada to participate in the first competitions, which, with the light hand of sports journalists, were called “super series”. Among the organizers of the competition from the Canadian side were the head of the NHL (national hockey league) hockey union, Alan Eagleson, and his assistant Aggi Kukolovich, a Ukrainian by birth who spoke Russian. This gave the KGB reason to suspect them of involvement in the Canadian and American special services, and a little later, in the late 1970s, in relation to them, the 3rd department of the 11th department of the 5th department of the KGB of the USSR opened cases of operational collections, in which materials of their operational study were filed.
In each visit of Eglson and Kukolovich to the USSR, they were put under the control of the relevant state security services: in the rooms of the hotels they occupied, auditory control of the premises and telephone conversations was carried out. Their movements around the city were monitored by the surveillance service. In addition, the KGB agents of the USSR from among the employees of the protocol department of the USSR State Committee for Sports, headed by the long-term resident of the state security Mikhail Mzareulov, were focused on the study of Eglson and Kukolovich. Mzareulov was close with the chairman of this department, Sergei Pavlovich Pavlov. After the dismissal of the latter from office, which followed shortly after the end of the Moscow Olympics-80, followed by the dismissal of Mzareulov, who was replaced by Yuri Sharandin.
When he was the head of the protocol department, Mzareulov was also a resident of the KGB. He was recruited by Lieutenant Colonel Ernst Davnis, the deputy chief of the 2nd department of the 11th department of the 5th KGB directorate, already mentioned by us. As a resident of the KGB, Mzareulov, following the instructions of Davnis, supervised agents from among the employees of the protocol department, who worked as translators with representatives and members of foreign sports organizations, and employees of the hockey and football department, which was headed by Vyacheslav Koloskov (an agent of the Yantar KGB).
No operatively significant data was received regarding Eagleson and Kukolovich. They could only be suspected of financial manipulation when receiving payment for advertising placed on the sides of the Ice Sports Palace in Luzhniki during the Izvestia prize tournament. There were also good reasons to suspect a number of senior officials of the USSR Goskomsport of committing illegal financial transactions with Iglson and Kukolovich. However, the information obtained by operational means was not implemented by the 5th Directorate of the KGB of the USSR.
As time has shown, the suspicions about Eagleson were not unfounded. For fraud in the organization of hockey matches for the Canadian Cup, in which the USSR national team also participated, as well as for fraud with funds from the NHL pension fund, he was sentenced in December 1997 by a Toronto court to 18 months in prison and was deprived of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest award …
On September 20, 1972, the national team of Canadian professionals arrived in Moscow on a return visit to continue the “super series”. In addition to Eagleson and Kukolovich, a certain Peter Stefan arrived as part of the team, whom the KGB considered a representative of Canadian intelligence.
The “Tournament” game continued, and the “potential defector” (Soviet intelligence officer) Maksimov was notified in advance of Stefan’s arrival. Stefan called Maksimov several times using local public telephones (for two kopecks). But the leadership of Soviet intelligence at that moment considered it inappropriate to establish contact between Maksimov and Stephen in Moscow.
On October 3, 1972, the indefinite Soviet-American Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense (ABM) Systems entered into force. It was important for the Soviet leadership to preserve the possibility of dialogue with the political leaders of the United States (Canada and the United States were considered as a single whole). The actions of the KGB could complicate relations with the Canadian leadership. Therefore, Operation Tournament was temporarily suspended. Temporarily – because it lasted 11 years.
The longer such games last, the more likely it is to fail, since it is extremely difficult to maintain the initial line-up of the game over a number of years. Life makes its own adjustments. Members move through the service, retire. Changes in the political situation in the world will certainly take place, which may negatively affect the continuation of the operational game and its results.
Operation “Tournament” did not end with anything significant (if you do not mean the Soviet-Canadian hockey matches). But the affairs of the generals who participated in the Expo-67 exhibition took off. Pitovranov became a particularly trusted person of Andropov, Boris Semenovich Ivanov was appointed First Deputy Chief of the 1st Main Directorate of the KGB of the USSR.
Why was Operation Tournament carried out and why were the generals who participated in it promoted?
In 1999, the publishing house “Geya Iterum” published a book by Anatoly Maksimov, a former officer of the Soviet scientific and technical intelligence of the PGU KGB of the USSR, entitled “Operation Tournament. Notes of an Intelligence Laborer.” The title itself contained a fair amount of the author’s slyness. During his service at PSU, Maksimov constantly traveled abroad on long and short-term business trips. And not to Africa, Bangladesh or Kampuchea. He worked in Europe, USA and Canada. In the impoverished Soviet years, living and working there was the cherished dream of many of Maksimov’s colleagues. Who, in reality, could be attributed to the number of unskilled workers of the intelligence, is the various technical personnel, whose work was invisible, but it was impossible to do without it.
Today everyone knows the name of Vasily Mitrokhin, until recently – an obscure archivist, whom various print media call the head of the KGB archive, some the head of the Soviet foreign intelligence archive. In fact, he was one of the many employees of the 15th department of the PGU of the KGB of the USSR, which was the archival intelligence unit. The labor of its employees, as well as representatives of other technical services of the intelligence unit, can be conditionally called the labor of unskilled intelligence workers. The scouts themselves, of course, and by right, considered themselves to be the elite of their department – the KGB.
In the book written by Maximov, the text of which, of course, was passed on by the hand of an editor unknown to us from the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) of Russia, the author deliberately confusedly told about the operational game “Tournament”. He did not clarify the situation in his extensive interview, which was published on June 30, 2000, on the pages of Nezavisimaya Gazeta. Again, some torn apart facts and a lack of logic in the presentation.
Maksimov proudly writes about the infiltration into the intelligence network of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the US CIA, but traces of this infiltration are completely invisible from his confused narrative. Yes, a number of high-ranking Canadian intelligence officers were fired. But this was the result of a provocation by Soviet intelligence, which exposed his officer Maksimov to the opposing secret service as a potential defector. However, this is not at all a “penetration” into the agents’ apparatus of hostile intelligence.
As an example, we can cite the now known fact of cooperation of the head of the Soviet counterintelligence department of the CIA, Aldrich Ames, with the help of which 10 so-called moles were calculated – Soviet intelligence officers recruited by the US CIA.
Speaking at one of the meetings of the leadership of the Central Office of the KGB of the USSR, in the summer of 1985, the head of the PGU of the KGB of the USSR, Vladimir Kryuchkov, spoke with pride about the outstanding result achieved by Soviet intelligence. Naturally, no details were given, but in the sense of what was said it was clear that there was an acquisition of a most valuable agent in one of the leading intelligence services in the world.
Or take, for example, the case of Robert Hansen, the former head of the Soviet department of the US FBI, thanks to whose information the Soviet foreign intelligence officers recruited by the CIA were also identified. This is precisely the main purpose of the undercover penetration into the intelligence apparatus of the counteracting intelligence – to obtain information about the “moles” and information about the enemy’s plans. None of this was received during Operation Tournament. And most importantly, beyond the confusing narrative, the question remained whether the Canadian and American special services developed Maksimov as an intelligence officer or as a businessman. Maksimov avoided answering this reasonable question, hiding behind a description of his endless demands on the Canadian intelligence officers who worked with him.
The purpose of this strange operation was to divert the attention of Canada’s counterintelligence from the acting in the leadership of the RCMP and not a calculated agent of the “K” (external counterintelligence) command and control unit of the KGB of the USSR. In the mid-1990s, a very authoritative person, former head of the “K” department, who was directly related to Operation Tournament, General Oleg Kalugin, spoke about this agent in an interview with the Canadian and American press.
In all likelihood, Maksimov in this operational game was used by the native Soviet intelligence “in the dark”: he, of course, did not know about the presence of a Soviet agent in the RCMP. And the development of Maksimov by the Canadians, which ended with his recruitment (which did not happen) could have contributed to the occupation of an even higher post by the Soviet agent who was part of the leadership of the RCMP.
Since Maksimov was not an employee of the “K” department, he was not privy to all the details of this case.
In March 1978, Literaturnaya Gazeta published documents and the text of a letter from the Canadian authorities with guarantees for Maksimov in case of his escape. “Literaturnaya Gazeta” was supervised by the 2nd department of the 1st department of the 5th KGB directorate, led by General Bobkov, who, with the authorization of whom, was the authorization of Maximov’s “setup” to the Canadian special services. The article was written by longtime KGB agent Arkady Sakhnin. The article was placed in the newspaper by the first deputy editor-in-chief Vitaly Syrokomsky, another KGB agent and confidant of the deputy head of the 5th KGB department, General Ivan Abramov.
The desire to protect the Soviet agent – an employee of the KKKP from exposure, even after many years, was the real reason for the appearance of Maksimov’s book, which is strange in content. Thus, Kalugin’s statements about the agent in the leadership of the KKKP were disavowed, about whom, by the way, Maksimov did not say a word, although at the time his book appeared it was no longer a secret.
As for Bobkov, he performed another operation at the Expo-67 exhibition. One of the married officers of the task force, which he led, during his stay in Montreal, struck up an affair with a Soviet citizen who was temporarily at the exhibition. In such cases, an immediate secondment of a state security officer to the USSR followed and subsequent punishment, up to and including dismissal from service.
In this case, the chosen one of the KGB officer was the daughter of the deputy chairman of the KGB, Colonel-General Georgy Tsinev, Brezhnev’s confidant. Neither the dispatch of the officer to his homeland, nor his punishment followed. The case ended in a divorce and a new marriage of the offender, and the appointment to a general’s post in the KGB representation in the GDR. And Philip Bobkov was appointed head of the new 5th Directorate of the KGB of the USSR.
The return of the prodigal son: the People’s Labor Union and Mikhail Nazarov
Carrying out work to counteract foreign Russian emigre centers and organizations, the KGB made extensive use of undercover penetration into them in order to neutralize their activities as much as possible. A typical example in this regard is the activities of Mikhail Nazarov, a long-term agent of the KGB of the USSR, who for many years tried to promote the unification of the ROC and ROCOR and at the same time was used in the development of the People’s Labor Union (NTS), carried out by officers of the 10th department of the 5th directorate KGB of the USSR.
Mikhail Nazarov (Pakhomov) was born in 1948 in the city of Makeevka. In 1967 he graduated from the technical school, in 1975 – from the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages named after Maurice Torez. During the training period, he was recruited by the 5th department of the USSR KGB for the city of Moscow and the Moscow region for counterintelligence studies of foreign and Soviet students of this university, since the Maurice Torez Moscow State Pedagogical Institute was used by the Soviet special services as a recruiting base for the acquisition of agents from among foreigners and Soviet citizens from their subsequent withdrawal to the West in order to be used in the interests of the USSR special services.
For many years in this university, a very remarkable woman worked as a teacher, and then as the head of the department, whose family history is the history of the Soviet special services: Zoya Vasilyevna Zarubina, whom we have already mentioned. In addition to the official positions that she held at the Zarubin Institute, she was a long-term resident of the KGB of the USSR and, in this capacity, supervised agents from among the teaching staff of the university.
By the way, her daughter, Tatyana Kozlova, in the 1970s collaborated with the Department of International Sports Relations of the State Committee for Sports of the USSR as an interpreter, was recruited by the operative officer of the 1st Department of the 1st Department of the 5th Directorate of the USSR KGB Captain Vladimir Lavrov, after which she traveled many times abroad to international competitions as part of the USSR national teams as an interpreter.
Nazarov also went abroad as an interpreter. In 1975 he was sent to Algeria to build a metallurgical plant. About the history of his appointment, he himself wrote that after graduating from the institute, he refused the proposed assignment to the KGB system and went to work in Algeria, and from Algeria, “due to the conflict with the KGB (refused to cooperate), he illegally moved to Germany to receive a philosophical education “.
He writes vaguely and falsely about how Nazarov and his wife and child “moved to Germany”:
The reason for my departure to the West (with my wife and son) was not so much the conflict with the” guards “(because of my acquaintances with foreigners and because of the escape of a colleague); and not only the pressure of the KGB, which insistently demanded cooperation, which I I could not go (having taken from me the required subscription on “assistance to the authorities” before leaving, they actually predetermined the break that occurred in the future).
Thus, he seems to admit the fact of recruitment by the Soviet state security organs, and at the same time denies cooperation with them.
In Germany, Nazarov joined the NTS, worked as executive secretary of the NTS Posev magazine, actively collaborated with the ROCOR, was a delegate from its German diocese at the All-Diaspora Congresses of Russian Youth in 1979 in Toronto, in 1981 in San Francisco, in 1990 in Montreal, where he made a presentation. In 1994 he returned to Russia. Soon he was elected secretary of the nationalist Union of Russian Writers (not to be confused with the liberal Union of Russian Writers), was a member of the leadership of the Russian Christian sovereign movement (headed by Viktor Aksyuchits), the “Derzhava” movement (led by Alexander Rutskoi), was a board member of the Union of the Russian People (headed by Vyacheslav Klykov), then the chairman of the Moscow department of the Union of the Russian people, vice-chairman of the Supreme Monarchist Council of the Russian emigration, and so on … In 1996 he founded the publishing house “Russian Idea”.
According to Nazarov, his grandfather, a white officer, and great-grandfather, a priest, were shot by the Bolsheviks in 1920. But it is surprising that with such personal data, immediately after graduating from the institute, he managed to go on a business trip abroad. The so-called special check, carried out by the Soviet state security bodies in relation to citizens of the USSR, who were registered for going on business trips or for frequent business abroad, was divided into two types. For those traveling to the countries of the socialist community, with the exception of Yugoslavia, China and Vietnam, the questionnaires were required to indicate the closest relatives – parents, spouses and children. When registering for all other countries, it was necessary to indicate the personal data of the parents of the fathers and mothers of those being registered.
At all times of the existence of the Soviet state security bodies, there were registration units in their composition. In the period preceding the creation of the KGB, they were called accounting and archival. In the KGB of the USSR, these units received the serial number 10 – 10th department. On the ground, respectively, there were 10th divisions. In these divisions there was a card file for agents of the state security agencies, both active and archival, and a record of all current and archival affairs that were conducted by the state security agencies from the moment of their inception. In addition, during the special check, a check was carried out on a mandatory basis by the GNITSUI (Main Research Center for Management and Information) of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs, which also kept records of all cases in the production of internal affairs units, as well as archival cases, in the entire history of the USSR.
With such a thorough check-up procedure, it was almost impossible to hide information about the repressed relatives. And since the archives contained files on the repressed, in which there was always a mandatory questionnaire of the arrested person with an indication of all his close and distant relatives, those who tried to hide information about the repressed relatives were always easily distinguished. Accordingly, they were refused to travel abroad. Refusal was also received by those who honestly indicated data on repressions against their relatives, since it was believed that due to resentment against the Soviet regime they were unreliable.
Going on a business trip abroad was the cherished dream of all Soviet citizens without exception, if only because the person posted abroad received double wages – in the host country and in the USSR. This made it possible for a good amount of money during a business trip. Therefore, potential business travelers stood in a kind of queue.
A young specialist or a newly recruited person, as a rule, had to work for at least two years before his candidacy was considered for registration in a foreign business trip. There was also a clear procedure for obtaining a party or Komsomol characteristics for a person being drawn up, which could be approved according to the established rule if the status was on the party or Komsomol account for at least a year.
Nazarov did not fall under any of the listed criteria. More precisely, he fell under everything in the sense that he could not be sent on a business trip to Algeria as an interpreter at the end of the institute, and from there, without stopping to flee to Germany with his wife and child, allegedly because of a conflict with the KGB.
In this regard, it is necessary to give some more explanations. The recruitment of state security agents is not an instant act – “saw and recruited.” This process is lengthy, including many months of studying and obtaining characterizing data from other agents in relation to the person of interest. From among those who were in the conditional queue for traveling abroad, persons were selected who could be used abroad in the interests of the Soviet state security organs. Those of them who agreed to tacit cooperation with the KGB, naturally, received preferences – they were among the first to leave.
In the conditions abroad, the recruitment of Soviet citizens was carried out extremely rarely, only in exceptional cases. This was difficult for a number of reasons, ranging from the need to request the Center to obtain the necessary information, which could take months, to the risk of leakage of information about the KGB’s recruiting activities in foreign conditions. So, they would not have carried out a recruiting approach to Nazarov in Algeria. Everything was different.
On April 28, 2006, Rossiyskaya Gazeta published an article “Soviet intelligence officers served even in the land of polar bears” about Colonel Boris Grigoriev, who specialized in the Scandinavian countries for more than 30 years: “He served in illegal intelligence … In 1959 … Moscow Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages named after Maurice Torez. The newly minted student did not even suspect that he was in a real forge of personnel for the KGB at, one might say, the preparatory department. ”
There are two inaccuracies in the above quote. The institute was named after the French communist in 1964. It is wrong to define an institution as a source of personnel for the KGB. In fact, the institute selected candidates from among the graduates for service in the Soviet, then in the Russian, special services: the KGB-FSB and the GRU.
Since the establishment of the institute in 1930, the department of military training was formed in it. From 1946 to 1998, the department trained specialists in English, German and French military translation. Graduates of this department were also trained to conduct psychological warfare against a political and military enemy, in order to weaken his moral and military potential. Over 100 graduates of the military department were awarded orders and medals of the USSR and the Russian Federation. It is clear that government awards are not awarded for translations from foreign languages … And Zarubina was not only teaching foreign languages at the foreign language. Her main occupation was the selection of people suitable for work in the Soviet special services.
In Nazarov’s case, there was a typical withdrawal of an agent abroad for a “long settling” (in the terminology of the Soviet and Russian special services) or as a “sleeping agent” (in the terminology of Western intelligence services). The Western definition seems to me to be less precise. The agent does not “sleep” at all. He is actively being introduced into a new life and seeks to take a place in it, which can be most effectively used in his activity as an agent.
In Germany, Nazarov becomes a member of the NTS – this is how this political organization began to be called since 1943. Its predecessor was the Union of Russian National Youth, which by 1929 united anti-Soviet youth organizations in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Holland and France. Soon, at the second congress of the Union, its name was changed to the National Union of a New Generation (NSNP). Since the inception of the Union, its goal has been the struggle to overthrow Soviet power in Russia and create a “corporate state” on its territory (later this term was replaced by “solidarism”).
Throughout its history, the Soviet state security authorities waged an irreconcilable war with the “Union”. Dozens of members of the NSNP died while trying to penetrate the territory of the USSR. The Soviet special services, in turn, actively sent agents to the NSNP and NTS.
In the 1950s, the Soviet state security organized the assassination of Alexander Trushnovich, a representative of the NTS in Berlin, kidnapped active members of the NTS Valery Tremmel in Linz and Sergei Popov in Thuringia, attempted to assassinate the leaders of the NTS Georgy Okolovich and Vladimir Poremsky, which ended in failure, thanks to the transition to the side of the NTS the captain of the USSR Ministry of State Security Nikolai Khokhlov, who was sent to commit these murders, and the voluntary surrender to the German authorities of his partner, the agent of the USSR Ministry of State Security, German Wolfgang Wildprett. All these operations were carried out under the leadership of General Yevgeny Pitovranov, who from 1953 to 1957 headed the apparatus of the KGB commissioner under the Ministry of State Security of the GDR.
Since the creation in 1967 of the 5th KGB Directorate under the USSR Council of Ministers, the 10th Department was formed within it, which was entrusted with the development of foreign anti-Soviet centers. Subdivisions of the Soviet foreign intelligence (PGU KGB of the USSR) were also involved in this activity. Among the main projects under development were NTS and its printed organs – the magazines Posev and Grani and the newspaper Za Rossii.
It was important for the officers of the 10th department to know the names of emissaries sent to the USSR, to identify channels for the illegal delivery of anti-Soviet literature, to detect the NTS cells operating on the territory of the Soviet Union, as well as to obtain proactive information about the NTS propaganda plans and the names of Soviet authors who had intentions to cooperate with this anti-Soviet center. To this end, as well as to introduce a split in the leadership of the organization and complicate its activities, active steps were taken to introduce Soviet agents into the NTS.
At the end of 1956, the Grani magazine issued an appeal to the representatives of the creative intelligentsia of the USSR to publish abroad works rejected by the Soviet authorities. In the Soviet years, the works of many well-known authors living in the USSR and emigrants were published in the publications of the NTS and the publishing house NTS “Posev”.
A young member of the NTS, Mikhail Nazarov, rather quickly took the place of the executive secretary of the Posev magazine. The executive secretary of the editorial office is the main coordinator of all departments and services in any publishing house, who selects materials for publications. Having your own person in such a place, of course, was a success for the developers of the NTS.
By definition, Nazarov could not have been an agent of the GRU, the military intelligence of the Soviet General Staff. Military intelligence officers and their agents are finding out the military secrets of a potential enemy. Unlike the KGB, which was interested in the political potential of the enemy countries and anti-Soviet organizations fighting the Soviet regime. The occupation of Mikhail Nazarov during the period of his life abroad clearly indicates that he could not but be in the field of view of the officers-developers of the 10th department of the 5th department of the KGB of the USSR, who directed his activities.
Since 1989, Nazarov began to publish in the Soviet Union. His first publications were in Literary Russia, Russky Vestnik, Moscow, Our Contemporary … The Soviet Union has not yet collapsed, the KGB is still in power, and Nazarov, a member of the NTS and executive secretary of its main political body published in “Literaturnaya Rossiya”, the organ of the Writers’ Union of the Russian Federation.
In 1989, the 5th department of the KGB of the USSR was reorganized into the department for the protection of the constitutional order – department “Z”. However, only the signboard has changed. Operational tasks and means of their solution remained the same. In accordance with them, the editorial office of the Literaturnaya Rossiya newspaper and the Writers’ Union of the RSFSR continued to be supervised by the 8th department of the Z administration, and the Union of Russian Writers was headed by a longtime agent of the Soviet state security bodies, Sergei Mikhalkov.
Without the knowledge and approval of the KGB, the publication of Nazarov’s materials in 1989 in the Soviet Union was impossible. The Deputy Chairman of the KGB of the USSR and the curator of the department “Z” was Bobkov’s promoted young Major General Valery Lebedev, the deputy head of the department “Z” and the curator of the 8th department was Colonel Igor Perfiliev, the head of the 8th department of the 5th department of the KGB was Colonel Andrey Blagovidov (distinguished himself during the development of the writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn). With the help of their invisible support, Nazarov began his return to Russia in another troubled period of its history.
Brother Nazarov (Pakhomov) – Sergei Viktorovich Pakhomov – in the book “The Secret of Mikhail Nazarov” could not get around the issue of Nazarov’s cooperation with the KGB:
“There were vague rumors about Nazarov that he was a KGB agent … Nazarov told me personally about his relations with this organization … Misha accepted the KGB’s offer of cooperation in order to be guaranteed to leave, worked a little as an informer among the institute’s unreliable youth and ended up with others Soviet specialists to Algeria … The reason for his escape is simply ridiculous. He violated the regime by going without permission on an excursion outside the village of Soviet specialists, which was categorically forbidden. For such indiscipline, according to the rules for Soviet specialists, he was supposed to he was not returned, he fled to Western Europe. “
Nazarov never told how he managed to get from North Africa to the center of Europe, to Germany. From his very brief descriptions of his escape, he ran spontaneously. But you need entry visas to travel through a number of countries, even transit ones. We need money. Without the help of the KGB, Nazarov could not have reached Germany.
Directed by curators from the 10th department of the 5th department of the KGB of the USSR, Nazarov was actively introduced into the ROCOR. Traditionally, the operational units of the special services cooperate in their activities. If one of the agents has the ability to work, for example, in the interests not only of his (10th) department, which developed foreign anti-Soviet centers, but can join the work on the ROCA, which was developed by the 4th department of the 5th KGB department, then the agent connected to the work of the 4th department. This is how Nazarov worked, and rather quickly managed to become a noticeable figure abroad, and then in Russia, where his specialty was the intersection of Orthodoxy and nationalism.
The previous part was published on September 9th. The next one will be released on September 23rd.
All published parts of Vladimir Popov’s book “The Conspiracy of Scoundrels. Notes of the Former KGB Lieutenant Colonel” can be read here.