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The organization of the Soviet counterintelligence in the north of Russia (1918-1920)



ORGANIZATION of the SOVIET COUNTERINTELLIGENCE in the north of RUSSIA (1918-1920)

The civil war on the Russian North was aggravated by the intervention of powers of the Entente which began on March 6, 1918 when from a board of the British cruiser "Glory" in Murmansk the small landing of the British marines was landed. Disembarkation was in advance prepared by agents of intelligence agencies of the allies who were actively working at the territory of the Murmansk region and the Olonets province. The leading role among them belonged to the Arkhangelsk organization of the military intelligence consisting of 4 officers of the General Staff, 5 intelligence agents in ranks of junior officers and also 20 translators under supervision of the lieutenant colonel K. D. of Tornkhilla1. Besides it, the staff of embassies and consulates in Petrozavodsk and Kemi actively was engaged in collecting prospecting information and establishment of contracts with anti-Bolshevist forces. Communication between intelligence agencies and diplomats was provided by agents of the British intelligence agent captain of J. Hilla2.

Possibilities of the Soviet authorities on counteraction to foreign intelligence agents were extremely limited as the only body of counterintelligence in the Olonets province - Kemsky sea counterprospecting point - according to the decision of soviet leadership of Arkhangelsk was disbanded in February, 1918 3 That to the local Extraordinary commissions, tasks of identification of the facts of espionage initially were not set for them. Besides, employees of ChK at that time had neither experience, nor means for detection of professional intelligence agents. But after capture by interventionists of Arkhangelsk in August, 1918 the security officers concluded that the province "is crowded with spies English-free in" 4. And M.S. Kedrov, the organizer of defense of the Soviet North, began to urge the population "to catch and destroy spies". This appeal was turned even to local peasants. This measure gave nothing: for 1918 in Olonets revolutionary tribunal from 158 arrived affairs any did not concern shpionazha5.

The reason of so low efficiency of counterprospecting actions was that the agency in this sphere was used incidentally, and training of employees was weak. Such situation developed not only in the Olonets province, but also others therefore heads of Cheka and RV of SR at the end of 1918 decided to reform counterintelligence. As a result in the Soviet Russia appeared new to it the establishment combining functions of fight against espionage and a counterrevolution in armed forces - Special department of Cheka. The order on formation of its local bodies was distributed in January, 1919

Osobotdela were created at Revolutionary Military Councils of fronts and armies, and for safety of military units and connections were formed

Special offices. Special departments and in provincial ChK were created. In the Olonets province, counterprospecting work was concentrated in Special office of the Murmansk direction (in documents was also called as Special office of the 1st rifle division). The Bolshevik M. Shafransky under supervision of whom unexperienced employees generally served became its head: secretary Zhuravlev, chief of an active part Sergeyev, ordinary agents Rink, Menshikov, Krasavin, Shishakov and others. The office in Petrozavodsk, on Sadovaya Street, in house No. 96 was located.

As envisioned by creators, Special departments had to combine efforts of army and KGB bodies for protection of troops against White Guard and foreign agents. Their employees were given wide powers up to the right of removal of the extrajudicial sentences in areas pronounced on martial law. In practice, however, everything left differently. The reasons for that a little, but main among them - lack of the competent personnel policy when completing counterintelligence. First, on M.I. Latsis's memoirs, to regions quite often directed security officers to service, "whom threw out from central office of Cheka as having insufficient abilities and undependable" 7. Secondly, many security officers differed in messianic consciousness: "We have a new morals. Our humanity is absolute because in its basis nice ideals of destruction of any violence and oppression. Everything is permitted to us because we first-ever lifted a sword not for the sake of enslaving and suppression, but for general freedom and release from slavery" 8. The ego generated feeling of impunity at security officers, opened the low parties of nature.

All this was peculiar also to Special office of the Murmansk direction. Shafransky a long time behaved in relation to other heads very provocatively, talked to them "in dictatorial the increased tone" 9. Complaints to his arbitrariness, non-recognition of the power of Revtribunal and Executive committee, unmotivated arrests and even threats of rendering armed resistance of militia and to judicial authorities were numerous. Employees of the Petrozavodsk Special department often fabricated "espionage" and "counterrevolutionary" cases against objectionable Soviet workers. So, it happened to the chairman of local Revtribunal I. V. Balashovym whose belonging to party of Social Revolutionaries allowed to bring against him charges of illegal supply of one Party members with weapon and counterrevolutionary propaganda. According to testimonies of the Bolshevik I.A. Deriglazov who also underwent arrest by Shafransky's subordinates, Balashov suffered for the fact that "stuck the nose nose in affairs osobistov10.

Investigative affairs of the persons detained on suspicion of espionage demonstrate inability of security officers to elicit the real facts of prospecting and diversionary activity. So, Pavel and Matvei Germanovy, Fedor Bochkov, Maxim and Nikifor Vakhromeevy convicted of communications with White Guard arrested on a tip from confidential employee No. 3/13

by spies and damage of wire entanglements, were released as categorically denied the fault, and osobist simply could not collect the proofs necessary for removal accusatory prigovora11. Even after opening of the facts of intelligence activities and anti-Soviet propaganda among Red Army men "osobist" could not detain quickly suspects who often managed to leave through the front line to protivniku12.

Actions of counterspies sometimes threatened failure work of army bodies. For example, the Commissions on fight against desertion which members were arrested by agents of Special office. The aspiration to stop some criminal acts how many to show the power of "osobist" in relation to Soviet sluzhashchim13 acted as motives of arrests not so much. As a result, fight against deserters on the Northern front went with variable success: in their June, 1919 was more than 2,600, and in September - already more than 5 Ltd companies. Besides, in November, 1919. Schafran-sky the personal order released from custody two suppliers of the 2nd crew of the 1st rifle division detained by the Petrozavodsk militiamen for an uproar in a state of intoxication. To the employees of militia who demanded explanations it was stated that they are obliged "to execute any legal requirements of Osobotdeleniya of a division" and arrest of military workers in their powers not vkhodit14.

These abuse of power became possible because among counterspies there was an opinion as if "The special office can search and arrest all party ranking officers, at least comrade Zinovyev, without informing anybody, but in turn, members of Special office, at least they also were wrong in the actions, nobody has the right neither to search, nor to arrest, without having instructions from the center as persons, employees of Special office, - the tested and filtered communists one and all, and militia more counterrevolutionary as it consists of the working people, and Special office with the Soviet, civil and military local institutions is not considered, having the unlimited rights in actions" 15.

Of subjects in Special department of Olonets provincial ChK nothing similar was observed by Meyaedu at least because its financing went not from the center, and from means local chekistov16.

So high level of autonomy of army Special departments led to the fact that their workers began to consider themselves by the higher authority on places, before anybody not responsible.

The collected discontent of Olonets workers with Shafransky eventually led to promotion against it, in November, 1919, charges of "the incorrect relation" to service. The case was submitted the direct guide of the counterspy - the chief of Special department of the 6th army I.A. Vorontsov. After short trial, in December, Shaf-ransky was returned on former dolzhnost17. Any complaints in

its address did not follow in spite of the fact that fight against enemy investigation within the Olonets province was conducted worse than ever. In particular, in the spring and summer of 1919 of data on number, a state and dislocation of parts of the Red Army freely came to the headquarters interventov18. Country revolts became the frequent phenomenon also: ripening because of discontent with Bolsheviks, they began with assistance of agents of the countries of the Entente. One of them flashed in May, 1919 in Tolvuysky and Shungsky volosts after British and supplied with the French peasants oruzhiyem19.

The low overall performance of counterintelligence was caused by the fact that application of secret-service methods was a rarity, and "careful round-ups" 20 during which enemy intelligence agents came across extremely seldom were the main form of detection of agents of the opponent. Among the few success achieved at the expense of "careful round-ups" there was an arrest of holders of secret addresses for spies K.S. Shurov and D.F. of Fedorova21. The possibility of use of such source of information as statements of individuals was also limited as applicants seldom provided the concrete information, being limited to opinion that in some Soviet institutions is "dirty" 22. Verification of such information seldom gave noteworthy material - most often it was conjectures. On the other hand, serious difficulties were caused by misunderstanding of importance of fight against espionage by command structure of a division and ordinary Red Army men. Sometimes, commanders of parts arrested employees of ChK and released the white intelligence agents detained by them. The security officers left in army areas for capture of enemy spies sometimes were used for conducting combat operations, and because of carelessness of kras-noarmeytsev-escorts the caught agents quite often ran from under strazhi23.

In this situation growth of a shpionomaniya among local community became quite natural. Peasants of the Olonets province began to detain independently suspects, including them the Finnish or White Guard spies. It brought additional chaos in a difficult situation in the north of Russia as in most cases such arrests had no reasons. So, the 69-year-old fisherman of F. Gurria was detained by the fellows villager after five weeks stayed in the territory of Finland, being detained local pogranichnikami24. The Red Army man K.E. Morozov lagged behind the receding part and several days stayed behind the front line, was upon return arrested as the spy though the Legal department of the Petrozavodsk ChK concluded, "that espionage could not be here". The driver E.O. Zavitsky was considered the agent of interventionists and arrested for the fact that during driving through the Murmansk railroad had at itself the Revolver revolver and the business card of the British vice consul in Odessa D.A. of Righta25. All these persons were released subsequently.

Bad work of "osobist" could not but worsen situation of the parts of the Red Army operating on the Murmansk direction. So far sotrud-

nicknames of Special department of the 1st rifle division within almost all August, 1919 altercated with members of the Mixed audit commission concerning separation of powers of secret defense and the civil authorities, anti-Bolshevist forces occupied the Tolvuy port forming base for the Soviet steamships, Kivach is occupied, troops of the opponent appeared in 50 km from Petrozavodska26.

In this situation the center of gravity in the counterintelligence sphere from the middle of 1919 began to be displaced gradually towards ChK. In particular, seeking to secure a front-line strip against unreliable persons (relatives of deserters and White Guards, the former gendarmes, etc.), security officers began to resort to their expulsion out of borders of the combat zone. More than 50 people were sent only from the Vid-litsky volost of the Olonets province. Eviction went whole semyami27. Despite cruelty, in the conditions of Civil war these measures were justified: the relatives of white intelligence agents living in the Soviet territory regularly covered them during raids, and therefore their expulsion complicated work of army reconnaissance belykh28. The Revolutionary-military committee which adopted the resolution saying that "in case of repetition of damage went also was connected to fight against enemy saboteurs. r. of a cloth and wire breakage citizens of volosts and cities in the territory of which any given damage will be made will be brought to severe responsibility and will be punished up to execution" 29.

Of course, these measures insufficiently for suppression of enemy intelligence activities in the Olonets province was obvious. However after the end of foreign intervention in the north in the fall of 1919 the situation was gradually normalized. With evacuation of foreign troops also active anti-Soviet work of foreign intelligence agencies stopped. That before white investigation, it did not represent for 1 - y rifle division of so serious threat. Spies and saboteurs of anti-Bolshevist Northern area without special work were found security officers. During 1919-1920, White Guard intelligence agents of D were exposed. Markov, A.V. Matyunin, P.A. Nefedov, I.V. Rossiyeva, Ya.N. Antonov, M.V. Volkova, P.M. Stepuyuv and drugiye30.

Besides, to the middle of December in order to avoid the further conflicts with subordinates Shafranskosh powers of penal facilities were differentiated: "at private citizens the Special department has to execute in case of need a search and arrests with the representative of city militia" 31. For hindrance to free movement of enemy agents by rail of the admission began to be given by counterspies, but not administration stantsiy32.

Thus, despite limitation of an arsenal of methods of work of secret defense, shortcomings of the personnel policy, the conflict nature of relationship with other links of management personnel and autonomy of Special office, both in structural, and in the operational relation, his employees brought a considerable contribution in a victory Soviet vla-

st in the north. As a result, Special departments of Cheka were considered by optimum bodies of counterintelligence.

1 Plotke A.J. Imperial spies invade Russia: The British Intelligence Interventions, 1918. L., 1993. P. 94, 103.
2 Hill G.A. Go spy the land: Being the adventures of IK8 of the British Secret Service. L., 1936. P. 213.
3 RGVA. T. 40311. On. 1. 10. JI. 33.
4 National Archive of the Republic of Karelia (NARK). F. R-28. On. 1. 17. JI. 84.
5 NARK. F. R-639. It. 1. 15. L. 15.
6 NARK. F. R-639. It. 1. 256. L. 6, 9.
7 HECTARE of the Russian Federation. F. R-130. It. 3. 170. L. 42.
8 Red sword. 1919. On Aug. 18
9 NARK. F. R-798. It. 1. 1. L. 429.
10 NARK. F. R-30. It. 3. 747. L. 5.; F. R-639. It. 1. 255. L. 364.
11 NARK. F. R-639. It. 1. 256. L. 6, 11, 17, 53, 55.
12 NARK. F. R-30. It. 3. 744. L. 13, 135.
13 NARK. F. R-798. It. 1. 1. L. 731-732.
14 In the same place. L. 619.
15 In the same place. L. 732.
16 NARK. F. R-413. It. 1. 13. L. 163.
17 NARK. F. R-798. It. 1. 1. L. 619ob., 666.
18 National archive of the United States (NAUS). Record Group 120. Publication M924. File 20.22-A. P. 5-6, 28-30.
19 RGA Navy. T. P-124. On. 1. 178. L. 347; 179. L. 10, 117.
20 NARK. F. R-798. On. 1. 1. L. 158.
21 NARK. T. P-30. On. 3. 747. L. 117, 136.
22 NARK. F. R-28. On. 1. 11. L. 8.
23 NARK. T. R-798. On. 1. 1. L. 184, 335ob.; T. P-30. On. 3. 744. L. 82.
24 NARK. T. R-639. On. 1. 261. L. 4, 9, Yuob., 15.
25 NARK. T. R-639. On. 1. 227. L. 2, 14.; 177. L. 1, 14, 26.
26 NAUS. Record Group 120. Publication M924. File 20.22-A. P. 50.
27 NARK. F. R-798. On. 1. 1. L. 477o6., 478.
28 NARK. F. R-639. On. 1. 256. L. 11.
29 NARK. F. R-798. On. 1. 1. L. 131.
30 NARK. T. P-30. On. 3. 744. L. 13, 29, 135, 157.; 745. L. 26, 31, 50, 81.
31 NARK. F. R-798. On. 1. 1. L. 772.
32 In the same place. L. 591.
Marvin Robert
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