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Creation of the secret-service office of secret defense of St. Petersburg and St. Petersburg military district (1911-1913)

sozdaniye of the secret-service office of secret defense of St. Petersburg and St. Petersburg military district (1911-1913)

V.O. Zverev *

Rare data in mass media on secret agents of the intelligence agencies promoting interests of national security of the Russian Federation rivet attention of society. They, "people without the past and the present", bring and brought to the state the benefit often commensurable with large victories of troops on battlefields. It concerns not only the staff of FSB-KGB-MGB-OGPU-VChK, but also royal counterintelligence whose knowledge and experience demanded and were the basis for activity of the subsequent generations of the Soviet and Russian counterspies 1

This circumstance became one of the reasons for which the majority of archivings about vnutren-

it to an agency 2 counterintelligence of the Russian Empire still long time will carry a signature stamp "confidentially". And that the few from them, become property of historians, will only allow to slightly open a secret curtain over a problem of the state counteraction to military espionage.

The materials of the Ministry of Defence about work of the Russian counterintelligence declassified in recent years at the beginning of the 20th century contain rare mentions of creation and functioning of its secret-service device that promotes drawing up only general idea about the secret instrument of fight against spies as countrywide, and in its certain cities, a narimer in St. Petersburg.

In our magazine it is published for the first time.

In article we will try to characterize secret contacts, number, financing and legal status of agencies of capital offices (city and military and district) secret defense.

So, with formation of special divisions on fight against foreign military espionage in St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg military district (1911) laborious work on acquisition of the special instrument of their activity — an internal agency — the most effective means which was reliably promoting interests of external safety of state 3 began.

The search engine of potential agents was simple. Counterspies noted people, concerning whom they were available compromising (including exposing in illegal activity), data and also needy, trampling on the moral standards leading a loose life. As a rule, small shopkeepers, factory workers, prostitutes, staff officers, technical personnel were them. Quite often counterintelligence came into the view also more important persons who had access to the classified information or contacting to its carriers — serving (servants) of foreign diplomatic missions, large officials, women of fashion, etc. "The best way of a tie of the intercourses with the persons able to render services — it was said in the Provision on counterprospecting offices of 1911 — to put the planned face into any given dependence on itself, having taken negative qualities of the planned face into account..." 4.

The recruitment following that, with rare exception, came down to two ways approved still by political police. The first and the most used consisted in the offer to cooperate in exchange for the termination of criminal prosecution (release from custody) and cancellation of the brought charges. The positive outcome was possible only in the presence of the incontestable proofs of criminal activity received in the secret-service way or by results of preliminary investigation here. The second — in ability to financially interest the necessary person.

In case of successful recruitment all further meetings with the agent were held secretly, on safe houses. For these purposes in offices of counterintelligence the fund of office apartments was provided. During the period from 1911 to 1913 in St. Petersburg them was three, two of which (Vilensky Lane, 3, apartment 16 and Vvedenskaya St., 12, apartment 52) belonged to counterintelligence of the district 5. They were in the northeast of the city (Foundry part) that was explained by concentration of a significant amount (over 15) foreign there

embassies. The third safe house (Baskov Lane, 32) was registered for city office and had a binding to ten representations, including the countries of the Entente and Tripartite alliance (France, the USA, Italy). This arrangement was caused not so much by the aspiration of military to establish secret-service observation of the real and future allies of Russia that it was important and quite admissible, how many chaotic placement of missions and also desire to have at least one apartment in extremely short distance from their greatest number. It, in turn, did not indicate incompetence of the counterspies endangering the reserved nature of the contacts at all, and more likely their desire to reduce time of movement of agents to the secret addresses scattered on different districts of the city.

The proximity to the embassies which were in development gave a number of advantages to curators of agents 6, namely: urgent obtaining information, its generalization and analysis; planning of a combination, maneuvering by an agency; fixed control of the observed diplomats and persons contacting them. Therefore, success of counterprospecting actions in many respects depended on the number of the safe houses involved in them and their nearness to subject to observation. Certainly, it was possible only in the presence of regular monetary receipts for acquisition of special housing.

What article of the budget of counterintelligence called "hiring and the maintenance of safe houses" was? Whether the credits allocated in its framework with actual price level in the market of rent of capital housing were commensurable? Whether the cost of the rented apartments in St. Petersburg differed from the prices of rent in other cities of the country?

Answering these questions, we will pay attention that the allocations put on these purposes in estimates of the Defense Ministry were identical to 12 divisions on fight against espionage in Russia — on 1200 rubles a year to everyone 7. Means, the monthly credit on the capital and its district made only 200 rubles. The actual sum allocated for renting of the room to each of offices was even less and equaled to 87 rubles (the remained money — 13 rubles — was spent monthly for payment of utilities). The military authorities did not consider specifics of the big city, high level of prices, including for hiring of housing. So, to the center of the capital the room cost (separate entrance, furniture, phone) increased from 25 to 40 rubles, and, let us assume, the 2-roomed apartment — from 25 to 45 rubles a month 8. At the same time to find suitable option from the point of view of its office



applications with the 1-, 2-roomed apartment in the districts of the city interesting counterintelligence (for example, in the Admiralty part where shipyards of naval shipbuilding were concentrated) it was problematic. As a rule, city newspapers contained announcements with the wide offer only of rooms and multiroom apartments.

At the same time the prices for rent of the same housing in other areas of the empire were a bit differents. The cost of the 2-roomed apartment in Moscow (Arbat) already varied within 20-40 rubles a month 9; and in such cities as Saratov, Riga and Kharkiv, it was lower than 10 more.

Thus, before World War I the number of the employed and used safe houses in each of 11 military districts of Russia was unequal. In process of approach from the province to St. Petersburg the price for rent of housing increased, and the corresponding item of expenditure of counterprospecting offices, in particular capital, remained invariable.

Therefore on the allocated monetary credit and city, and military and district offices might contain on average no more than three apartments. The lack of room fund caused by that brought certain failures in the organization of the emergency meetings any of agents with curators, observance of elementary conspiracy at the same time that did not exclude simultaneous use of safe houses and, certainly, immediately affected quality of secret-service work in general.

Having designated problems of financing of office fund of apartments, we will be set by others, not less important, questions: "Who, actually, contained this housing?" and "What duties of the tenant were?"

Acquisition and service of safe houses were included into the list of direct duties of specially allocated staff member of counterintelligence — the manager of an agency who subscribed the holder of the safe house ("Subscription"). Feature of one of such documents signed by the manager of the 11th table of secret-service service of city counterintelligence D.E. Ivashchenko was that not only the direct tenant, but also his spouse was transferred to illegal status. And "in hours of confidential office dates", in the absence of the husband the reception of "visitors" was assigned to the wife that indicated her status and degree of awareness in affairs of counterintelligence. At the same time for interaction with agents the safe house could be used also by some other officials of office, let us assume, his chief. In this case the manager of an agency, as a rule, was not present at the room where there took place the business meeting.

This fact is confirmed by the item 7 "Subscriptions" in which the holder of the secret room undertook not to undertake "any feeble efforts to opening of the identity of the visitor" if from it it 11 are hidden.

In this part of operational work the counterspies departed from three fundamental principles of activity of Department of police underlain in the Instruction on the organization and maintaining the internal agency of 1909 which became a universal practical grant on exposure (identification) not only revolutionary but also, a bit later, the espionage environment. First, hiring and service of the secret addresses of counterintelligence were included into a circle of fundamental obligations of the head of an agency. In political search this function was charged to one of the ordinary staff of security office 12. Secondly, the owner of the apartment used by counterintelligence personally held some secret-service events (selection, recruitment, introduction, development). Meanwhile the employee of security office (he is a tenant) did not contact to agents, and executed only minor functions, somehow: hindrance to meetings between agents, ensuring their anonymity and safety at the time of an exit from the apartment, etc. And, at last, thirdly, the wife of the holder of the apartment (belonging to counterintelligence) rendered him assistance on duty (and it is possible, was also a staff member of counterintelligence) that was strictly forbidden in political police.

Now from the questions concerning safe houses — their acquisitions, financings and uses, we will pass to acquaintance to the secret-service office of the St. Petersburg counterintelligence of peace time and we will talk about its number, financing and legal status.

In the years of formation of city office the total number of his agents was small and, for example, by 1912 reached only 60 people 13. Payment of their work was in direct dependence on three factors — official capacity of the agent (in terms of his nearness to subject to development), value and timeliness of the information provided to them — and varied in the range from 3 to 200 rubles a month. And large remunerations from 100 to 200 rubles were received by no more than 15% of employees 14. Judging by their pseudonyms ("Kyui", Petya, "Rode", "Khan", "Headquarters", etc.) repeating from month to month in materials of financial statements of office and their rewards, it is possible to make two assumptions: 1) this group rendered systematic and high-quality services to counterintelligence in foreign diplomatic missions of St. Petersburg and institutions of the Ministry of Defence; 2) thanks to the indispensability, each of agents had steadily high monetary pay.

The number of the remained confidential employees who are conditionally subdivided into two groups: with income from 25 to 90 rubles and from 3 to 20 rubles, made about 45.5 and 39.5% respectively 15.

Along with highly - and low-paid agents (including at a time) there were persons working gratuitously. However unlike many informers of gendarme police movable by ideological and patriotic motives, they were single copies. It was explained by lack of accurately expressed motivation at potential applicants for work in officially nonexistent offices of counterintelligence 16. From here attempts of expansion of the secret-service office of capital counterintelligence at the expense of high-principled candidates carried, behind an exceptional case, unilateral character and proceeded from counterspies.

Particular importance was attached to highly paid agents, requirement for whom was confirmed once again in the same 1912 when the German General Staff, forcing preparation for war with Russia, began to draw up armed forces, armored vehicles and artillery by the east boundaries. In view of activization of the potential opponent in border areas and his reconnaissance bodies in St. Petersburg only from January to March the number of the specified agency increased in Russia almost twice, having reached 15 people, or 29% of the general structure of an agency. It became possible, on the one hand, thanks to increase in the March credit for "special" expenses of the 17th city counterintelligence up to the maximum size — nearly 5200 rubles 18, with another — because of simultaneous reduction of payments to other groups of agents, and in particular that from them who earned 25-90 rubles a month.

, regardless of belonging to any given category of agents, each of them was absolutely unprotected by

in case of the termination of cooperation with counterintelligence in legal relations. The current legislation of tsarist Russia did not stipulate legal status of agents as they officially were not in public service. It was not regulated and by departmental documentation of the Ministry of Defence under whose supervision the counterintelligence was. The only reservation which had obviously advisory nature contained in the Instruction on the organization and maintaining an internal agency. Her authors suggested managers of an internal agency "to try" to render the feasible help being (opened, fired and so forth) to agents in job search as the last were often forced to conduct "vagabond life according to illegal documents and to be under constant fear to sweep" 19. And especially needed support

those who, having spent the internal potential, got a row professional and, mainly, mental illnesses (post-stressful frustration, nervous breakdowns, a prosecution mania, etc.). It is easy to guess that such employees, having remained without means of support and cares from the state, quite often fell, joining ranks of marginal and criminal elements of society.

Covering the topic of origin and functioning of the secret-service office of counterprospecting offices of St. Petersburg and its district, it is necessary to stop especially on two aspects. First, contrary to the insufficient number of safe houses connected with limitation of the sums allocated for their acquisition, counterspies managed to create the efficient and split-level secret-service device in three pre-war years. Despite the small number and a ma-loopytnost, his employees monitored antistate trends not only in structural units of the Defense Ministry, but also in embassies of foreign powers. Therefore actions of residents of foreign espionage in Russia and its capital on the organization (maintaining) active prospecting, and later and razvedyvatelnodiversionny actions were considerably complicated.

And secondly, the beginning St. Petersburg counterintelligence in secret-service work did not seek for thoughtless copying of receptions of political police. Adopting the best, counterspies refused methods inadmissible, insolvent and simply disturbing the interests of business.

1 Absolutely confidential documentation of Department of police borrowed and altered taking into account specifics of counteraction to foreign espionage — the Instruction for external (filersky) observation (1908), the Instruction on the organization and maintaining an internal agency and also the departmental materials prepared by the counterintelligence (The instruction to chiefs of counterprospecting offices (1911), etc.) — in the added and processed options constantly is used in work of domestic counterprospecting structures.
2 Her non-staff employee introduced (enlisted) in the organization (embassies, consulates, commercial firms, munitions factories, etc.) suspected of espionage for "publicizing" of its efforts or efforts of her certain workers on collecting data on defensive power of Russia and their possible transfer on various communication channels abroad was called as the internal agent of counterintelligence.
3 From the moment of education the domestic counterintelligence laid great hopes on an internal agency. Thanks to it the data supplementing and rechecking information collected by groups of fillers were got. It allowed to form objective and comprehensive idea of the sphere of interest of military spies of the different countries of the world in Russia



(St. Petersburg) and to undertake timely and adequate measures for productive counteraction of

4 The Russian state military and historical archive (further — RGVIA). — T. 2000. — Op. 14. — 10. — L. 14.
5 In the same place. — 43. — L. 9; T. 1343. — Op. 8. — 153. — L. 53, 86.
6 The curator of the agent is an officer (the chief, the deputy chief) or a civil rank (manager of an agency) of counterprospecting office to which functions the acquisition of an agency with the subsequent personal management it of professional activity belonged.
7 See: RGVIA. — T. 2000. — Op. 14. — 10. — L. 10.
8 See: Strip of announcements//Modern times. — 1912. — No. 12863. — Page 8-9; No. 12865. — Page 9; No. 12867. — Page 8-9.
9 See: Strip of announcements//Capital room bulletin (Moscow). — 1911. — No. 1. — Page 1.
10 See: D. Zasosov. And, V.I. Pyzin. From life of St. Petersburg of the 1890-1910th years: Notes of eyewitnesses. — SPb., 1999. — Page 299.
11 See: RGVIA. — T. 2000. — Op. 14. — 43. — L. 9.
12 See: Mysteries of political investigation: the instruction about work with confidential employees / sost. Z.I. Pere-gudova. — SPb., 1992. — Page 11-12.
13 See: Counted by the author on: RGVIA. — T. 2000. — Op. 14. — 24. — L. 150, 219, 339, 435, 511, 588, 660, 738, 813, 910.
14 In the same place.
15 In the same place. — L. 150, 219, 339, 435, 511, 588.
16 From the moment of creation and up to disbandment in 1917 the royal counterintelligence worked under secret cover, calling itself "registration office", "register office", "special office-work".
17 "Confidential" expenses on a vernacular of royal counterintelligence were called the sums which were regularly allocated to it with the Ministry of Defence on acquisition of agents and payment of their services. According to the Provision on counterprospecting offices 4000 rubles, and voyennookruzhny — 1000 rubles monthly were transferred to city office.
18 Counted by the author on: RGVIA. — T. 2000. — Op. 14. — 24. — L. 248.
19 Mysteries of political investigation: the instruction about work with confidential employees / sost. Z.I. Peregudova. — Page 3.
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