Abkhazian separatism was born in labyrinths of KGB. Part II
24/11/2009 11:53
Expert's Club

(See part I)

It should be noted that transfer of ethnic Russian security service personnel to work in the Security Committee of Georgia - both in structures of the central divisions and those of autonomies – under the pretext of exchange of personnel became customary from the 70s of the XX century. Even such person as General Alexi Inauri distinguished for his loyalty to the Communist regime at various times had Fedor Pilyugin, Vladimir Kazmin, Vladimir Arkhipov and Eduard Voitsitsky as first deputies. Even that was not enough for Moscow and they transferred Colonel Vitaly Novodnichy from Nalchiki and appointed him as Inauri's deputy in the matters of personnel.

There was a term – Moscow nomenklatura (bureaucratic establishment) – that meant appointment of a high rank functionary only after consulting with KGB authorities. A head of the republican KGB and his deputies used to be appointed with the consent of the organizational department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party.

Apart from the above mentioned the Security Committee of the Soviet Union used to have curators in all directions of the operational activities who along with representatives of the central inspection were coming from time to time to regional organizations and under the pretence of assistance were giving recommendations that did not always correspond to existing reality.

Information coming from central and regional operational divisions used to be gathered in Information and Analytic Centre that was under subordination of the first deputy head. Also there were gathered data about cases of operational record-keeping and primary signals.

First deputy head used to carry out verification of all important signal information through representatives of local security services who were subordinated to central KGB and the Ministry of Defense.

To understand overall situation please see the following:

1. "Special department" ("Osobii Otdel") of the Security committee of the Soviet Union at the Transcaucasian Military District ("Zakvo") was under direct subordination of Moscow and was not in any way connected to the security services of Georgia.
"Special department" had its own agents with its own strict record-keeping sector. The abovementioned department was conducting agent and operational activities in military bases situated in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia and among personnel of large military facilities that amounted to several thousands and were subordinated directly to the General Staff of USSR and various armed forces. Not the smallest part of the personnel were local residents. Operational workers of "Special department" studied both personnel and their close circle (family members, personal and business contacts) and selection of right persons with a purpose of establishing secret relations with them.

"Special department" was noted for its strict regime of secrecy. Its relation with central and regional bodies of the security committee of the Republic was limited with so-called principle of coordination. The department in question used to send parallel and independent reports to Central Security Committee about operational situation and especially important events in the republic.

2. Transcaucasian Border Forces of the USSR Security Committee not only had huge number of military personnel and military equipment but they had separate intelligence and counter-intelligence bodies as well as a large agent network along the entire border perimeter of the country, and among others in Georgia as well. Intelligence divisions were working in the rear of the bordering countries. The main function of the counter-intelligence along with the provision of the border defense with counter-intelligence information (revealing of agents/agent networks of foreign countries) was getting information about important processes happening inside the country. Its special divisions in central and border regions of the country were carrying out agent and operational work inside personnel of the border forces, as well as their friends and relatives in places of their work and residence and in the 100 km section of the border along the entire country perimeter.

The Border Forces structurally and operationally were under subordination of the central leadership of KGB and were connected through formal coordination with regional security services that were obliged to systematically supply them with information about operational situation in the region.

3. Main intelligence department of the general headquarters of the Ministry of Defense of the Soviet Union (GRU) was represented in Georgia with a separate body in "ZAKVO" and had its positions in armies subordinated to the Transcaucasian Military District as well as in large military facilities that were under subordination of the General Headquarters of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR and different armed forces. According to our information, in case of necessity, the main intelligence department used to independently plan and realize various acts on the territory of the republic such as provoking confrontation, compromising undesirable high rank officials and so on.

4. Unofficial intelligence is the most secret and dangerous category of intelligence work. Such resident agents did not exist in Georgia up until the eighties of the XX century and there were no necessity of their existence. But after the eighties with connection to aggravation of the situation in the region KGB started to implant such agents in various bodies of interest (public organizations, political parties, different government bodies).

There were people sent from Russia not only in the Central Apparatus of the Security Committee of Georgia but also in the Security Committee of Abkhazia. G. Lichutin, M. Chulkov and F. Vasev served as deputy chairmen in various periods. In addition to the fact that it was in their job description to get to know operational materials and ask information on any operational source they also directly control and manage ideological direction of agent and operational activity. It should be noted that in order to strengthen its position even further Moscow appointed M. Chulkov as the Interior minister of Abkhazia and sent F. Vasev from Russia to replace him in the Abkhazian security committee. After aggravation of the situation in Abkhazia V. Chulkov had been urgently brought back to Moscow. He was directing provision of separatists with military ammunition from there.

In addition to the above there were at least two or three operational workers from Russia in the operational divisions. Information and analytical department was headed by Vladimir Lisovik, ethnic Russian and experienced operational worker. And, Oleg Smirnov who had also been sent from Russia was in charge of the archive where along with archive materials files of agents were stored.

Posts of various rank officials in the operational divisions were occupied by Popov, Kabanov, Skrilnikov, Stepanov, Tkachuk, Smirnov, Bondarev and others who by the beginning of the war had already been relocated back to Russia.

Holiday homes of the Soviet Politburo situated on the coastline of Bichvinta, Gagra, Miusera and New Athos, territory of which amounted in total to several hundreds of hectares and were serviced (and they never went away) by several thousand personnel of the so-called 9th department of Central KGB. The latters together with their families lived on adjacent territories. It is notable that because of the special importance of the facilities the entire personnel was brought from Russia. The 9th operational division that was stationed in Sochi was carrying out agent and operational activities in local population of the territories adjacent to the holiday residences.

Taking into account all the above today we can hardly imagine pressures and influences of what scale on the local population we had been dealing with over the years. As we mentioned in the previous article, public and political situation that existed in Georgia after the tragic events of April 9th, 1989 clearly showed the Kremlin that the very existence of the Soviet Union was becoming questioned. Therefore entire capacity of abovementioned security services as well as that of officers who were sent from Russia and were implanted into Georgian security services for "special period" was put in motion. With this regard the gravest situation was in Abkhazia as Abkhazian workers were in close contact with the above mentioned contingent.

Estrangement and reserve between Georgians and Abkhazians were obvious. Workers of other ethnic origins were also avoiding close relationships with Georgians. Georgian heads of the operational divisions had certain problems with Abkhazian operational workers. It was difficult to properly evaluate processes that were taking place among Abkhazian population as information supplied by Abkhazian workers did not objectively reflect operational reality. Majority of Abkhazian workers headed by Abkhazian deputy head G. Berulava were actively cooperating with the well-known anti-Georgian organization "Aidgilara".

The events that were taking place in Georgia made the Communist regime understand that its dismantlement was unavoidable. Governing elite both in the capital and in the regions had been losing its position step-by-step and without any pressure. Now their main worry was not preservation of their posts but self-preservation. So they did not shy away from laying all the blame on KGB and that made negative attitude of the National Movement towards this body even more aggressive. Another confirmation of fomentation of distrust towards Georgian KGB was that after resignation of Georgian KGB head and professional chekist Alexi Ianuri the head of the security committee of Georgia became party functionaries. First it was Givi Gumbaridze, and later, after the events of April 9 - Tariel Lortkipanidze. It should be noted that even workers themselves did not take appointment of party functionaries as heads of the security services well. The more so because it was the time of management of Tariel Lortkipanidze when national movement activists stormed into security committee building. And that gave Moscow an excuse to take away cases of agents and materials of operational records as well as archive materials and send them to Smolensk. It must be noted that absence of the mentioned materials is one of the reasons why the law about disclosure of personal files is not yet approved.

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