Mitrokhin Archive: Wikis


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The KGB sword and shield emblem appears on the covers of the six published books by Mitrokhin and Christopher Andrew.

The Mitrokhin Archive is collection of notes made secretly by KGB Major Vasili Mitrokhin during his thirty years as a KGB archivist in the foreign intelligence service and the First Chief Directorate. When he defected to Great Britain, he brought the Archive with him. Two books, Sword and the Shield and The KGB and the Battle for the Third World, based on the Archive and hundreds other sources were published in 1992 and 2005, which gives details about much of the Soviet Union's clandestine intelligence operations around the world. The books were written by British intelligence historian Christopher Andrew. Their publication provoked parliamentary inquiries in the U.K., India, and Italy.[1][2]


Content of the notes

Information in the Mitrokhin Archive claims, among other things, that more than half of the Soviet Union's weapons are based on U.S. designs, that the KGB tapped Henry Kissinger's telephone, and had spies in place in almost all US defense contractor facilities. In France, some 35 senior politicians were alleged to have worked for the KGB in the Cold War. In Germany, the KGB infiltrated the major political parties, the judiciary, and the police. Moreover, large-scale sabotage preparations were supposedly made against the U.S., Canada and elsewhere, including hidden weapons caches; several have been removed by police per Mitrokhin's information.[3]


Prominent KGB spies in the files

National leaders who cooperated with the KGB

KGB operations revealed in the files

Accused but unconfirmed

Disinformation campaign against the United States

Christopher Andrew described the following active measures against the United States:[23]

Installation and support of Communist governments

According to notes in the Archives, Soviet security organizations played key roles in establishing puppet Communist governments in Eastern Europe and Afghanistan. Their strategy included mass political repressions and establishing subordinate secret police services at the occupied territories.

KGB director Yuri Andropov took suppression of liberation movements very personally. In 1954, he became the Soviet Ambassador to Hungary during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. After these events, Andropov had a "Hungarian complex":

...he had watched in horror from the windows of his embassy as officers of the hated Hungarian security service were strung up from lampposts. Andropov remained haunted for the rest of his life by the speed with which an apparently all-powerful Communist one-party state had begun to topple. When other Communist regimes later seemed at risk - in Prague in 1968, in Kabul in 1979, in Warsaw in 1981, he was convinced that, as in Budapest in 1956, only armed force could ensure their survival.[32]

Andropov played a key role in crushing the Hungarian Revolution. He convinced a reluctant Nikita Khrushchev that military intervention was necessary.[33] He convinced Imre Nagy and other Hungarian leaders that the Soviet government had not ordered an attack on Hungary while the attack was beginning. The Hungarian leaders were arrested and Nagy was executed.

During the Prague Spring events in Czechoslovakia, Andropov was a vigorous proponent of "extreme measures".[33] He ordered the fabrication of false intelligence not only for public consumption, but also for the Soviet Politburo. "The KGB whipped up the fear that Czechoslovakia could fall victim to NATO aggression or to a coup". At that moment, Soviet intelligence officer Oleg Kalugin reported from Washington he gained access to "absolutely reliable documents proving that neither CIA nor any other agency was manipulating the Czechoslovak reform movement". However, his messages were destroyed because they contradicted the conspiracy theory fabricated by Andropov.[34] Andropov ordered many active measures, collectively known as operation PROGRESS, against Czechoslovak reformers.[35]

Assassinations attempts and plots

Penetration of Churches

The book describes establishing the "Moscow Patriarchate" on order from Stalin in 1943 as a front organization for the NKVD, and later, for the KGB.[44] All key positions in the Church, including bishops, were approved by the Ideological Department of CPSU and by the KGB. The priests were used as agents of influence in the World Council of Churches and in front organizations such as World Peace Council, Christian Peace Conference, and the Rodina ("Motherland") Society founded by the KGB in 1975. The future Russian Patriarch Alexius II said that Rodina has been created to "maintain spiritual ties with our compatriots" and to help organize them. According to the Archive, Alexius worked for the KGB as agent DROZDOV, and received an honorary citation from the agency for a variety of services.[45]

Support of international terrorism

The Andrew and Mitrokhin publications briefly describe the history of the PLO leader, Yasser Arafat, who established close collaboration with the Romanian Securitate service and the Soviet KGB in early 1970s.[46] Secret training for PLO guerrillas was provided by the KGB.[47] However, the main KGB activities and arms shipments were channeled through Wadie Haddad of the DFLP organization, who usually stayed in a KGB dacha BARVIKHA-1 during his visits to the Soviet Union. Led by Carlos the Jackal, a group of PFLP fighters carried out a spectacular raid on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries office in Vienna in 1975. Advance notice of this operation "was almost certainly" given to the KGB.[46]

Many notable operations are alleged to have been conducted by the KGB to support international terrorists with weapons on the orders from the Soviet Communist Party, including:

Italian Mitrokhin Commission

In 2002 the Italian Parliament, then led by Silvio Berlusconi's right-wing coalition, the Casa delle Libertà, created a commission, presided over by Senator Paolo Guzzanti (Forza Italia) to investigate alleged KGB ties to opposition figures in Italian politics. The commission was shut down in 2006 without having developed any new concrete evidence beyond the original information in the Mitrokhin Archive.[50] However, former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko said that he had been informed by FSB deputy chief, General Anatoly Trofimov (who was shot dead in Moscow in 2005), that "Romano Prodi is our man [in Italy]".[51] A British Member of the European Parliament for London, Gerard Batten of United Kingdom Independence Party, demanded a new inquiry into the allegations.[52]

Preparations for large-Scale sabotage in the West

Notes in the Archive describe extensive preparations for large-scale sabotage operations against the United States, Canada, and Europe in the event of war, although none were recorded as having been actually carried out beyond creating weapons and explosives caches in assorted foreign countries.[53] This information has been corroborated in general by GRU defectors, Victor Suvorov[54] and Stanislav Lunev.[55] These operations included the following:

  • A plan for sabotage of Hungry Horse Dam in Montana.[56]
  • A detailed plan to destroy the port of New York (target GRANIT). The most vulnerable points of the port were determined and recorded on maps.[56]
  • Large arms caches were hidden in many countries to support these planned terrorism acts. Some were booby-trapped with "Lightning" explosive devices. One such cache, identified by Mitrokhin, exploded when Swiss authorities tried to remove it from the woods near Berne. Several other caches (probably not equipped with "Lightnings") were removed successfully.[57]
  • FSLN leader Carlos Fonseca Amador was described as "a trusted agent" in KGB files. "Sandinista guerrillas formed the basis for a KGB sabotage and intelligence group established in 1966 on the Mexican US border".[58]
  • Disruption of the power supply across New York State by KGB sabotage teams, which were to be based along the Delaware river, in Big Spring Park.[56]
  • An "immensely detailed" plan to destroy "oil refineries and oil and gas pipelines across Canada from British Columbia to Montreal" (operation "Cedar") was prepared; the work took twelve years to complete.[59]


The FBI described Mitrokhin Archive as "the most complete and extensive intelligence ever received from any source".[60] Historian Joseph Persico described the revelations as "far more sensational even than the story dismissed as impossible by the SVR (Sluzhba Vneshnei Razvedki)" when the first dismissed early reports of the existence of the archive and commented that Mitrokhin's archives may be the only references to a large volume of material that has since been destroyed by the KGB.[61]

The Central European Review described Mitrokhin and Andrews work as

"fascinating reading for anyone interested in the craft of espionage, intelligence gathering and its overall role in 20th-century international relations," offering "a window on the Soviet worldview and, as the ongoing Hanssen case in the United States clearly indicates, how little Russia has relented from the terror-driven spy society it was during seven inglorious decades of Communism".[62]

David L. Ruffley, from the Department of International Programs, United States Air Force Academy, said that the material

"provides the clearest picture to date of Soviet intelligence activity, fleshing out many previously obscure details, confirming or contradicting many allegations and raising a few new issues of its own" and "sheds new light on Soviet intelligence activity that, while perhaps not so spectacular as some expected, is nevertheless significantly illuminating."[63]

The Intelligence Forum commented that the text of the book

"is remarkably restrained and reasonable in its handling of Westerners targeted by the KGB as agents or sources. The individuals outed by Mitrokhin appear to be what he says they were, but great care is generally taken to identify those who were unwitting dupes or, in many instances, uncooperative targets."[64]

Jack Straw, (then Home Secretary to the British Parliament (1999) stated,

"In 1992, after Mr. Mitrokhin had approached the UK for help, our Secret Intelligence Service made arrangements to bring Mr. Mitrokhin and his family to this country, together with his archive. As there were no original KGB documents or copies of original documents, the material itself was of no direct evidential value, but it was of huge value for intelligence and investigative purposes. Thousands of leads from Mr. Mitrokhin's material have been followed up world wide. As a result, our intelligence and security agencies, in co-operation with allied Governments, have been able to put a stop to many security threats. Many unsolved investigations have been closed; many earlier suspicions confirmed; and some names and reputations have been cleared. Our intelligence and security agencies have assessed the value of Mr. Mitrokhin's material world wide as immense."[3]

Author Joseph Trento commented that

"we know the Mitrokhin material is real because it fills in the gaps in Western files on major cases through 1985. Also, the operational material matches western electronic intercepts and agent reports. What MI6 got for a little kindness and a pension was the crown jewels of Russian intelligence."[65]

Historian J. Arch Getty of UCLA, in the American Historical Review (106:2, April 2001): found Mitrokhin's material to be "fascinating," but he also questioned plausibility that Mitrokhin could have smuggled and transcribed thousands of KGB documents, undetected, over 30 years.[66] Former Indian counter-terrorism chief Bahukutumbi Raman pointed out that Mitrokhin did not bring either the original documents or photocopies. Instead, he brought handwritten/typed notes of the contents of the documents. [4]

Scholar Amy Knight described the book as "the latest example of an emerging genre of spy histories based on materials from the KGB archives." She believes that the book does not reveal anything really new and significant:

"While "The Sword and the Shield" contains new information ... none of it has much significance for broader interpretations of the Cold War. The main message the reader comes away with after plowing through almost a thousand pages is the same one gleaned from the earlier books: the Soviets were incredibly successful, albeit evil, spymasters, and none of the Western services could come close to matching their expertise. Bravo the KGB."[67]


  1. ^ Advani seeks white paper on KGB charges. The Hindu, October 3, 2005.
  2. ^ [1] The Mitrokhin Inquiry Report
  3. ^ KGB in Europe, 472-476
  4. ^ UK House of Commons, Hansard Debates 21 Oct 1999, Columns 587-594
  5. ^ Andrew and Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West (London, 1999) p. 559-563.
  6. ^ Andrew, Mitrokhin Archive, p. 526-527.
  7. ^ New York Times, 25 September 1997.
  8. ^ KGB in Europe, page 23-24
  9. ^ Vasili Mitrokhin and Christopher Andrew, The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World, Basic Books (2005) hardcover, ISBN 0-465-00311-7, pages 69-85. According to the book, Allende made a personal request for Soviet money through his personal contact, KGB officer Svyatoslav Kuznetsov, who rushed to Chile from Mexico City to help Allende. The original allocation of money given by the KGB for these elections claimed the amount was $400,000, with an additional personal subsidy of $50,000 directly to Allende. Andrew argued that help from KGB was a decisive factor, because Allende won by a narrow margin of only 39,000 votes of a total of the 3 million cast. After the elections, the KGB director Yuri Andropov obtained permission for additional money and other resources from the Central Committee of the CPSU to ensure Allende's victory in Congress. In his request on 24 October, he stated that KGB "will carry out measures designed to promote the consolidation of Allendes's victory and his election to the post of President of the country" In his KGB file, Allende was reported to have "stated his willingness to co-operate on a confidential basis and provide any necessary assistance, since he considered himself a friend of the Soviet Union. He willingly shared political information...".
  10. ^ "How 'weak' Allende was left out in the cold by the KGB" excerpt from The Mitrokhin Archive II by Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin The Times, September 19, 2005
  11. ^ The KGB and the Battle for the Third World, page 121
  12. ^ Andrew, Mitrokhin Archive, p. 522-526.
  13. ^ Andrew & Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West (London, 1999) p. 310-311.
  14. ^ Andrew, The KGB in Europe, p. 443.
  15. ^ Andrew, The KGB in Europe, p. 451-453.
  16. ^ Andrew, The KGB in Europe, p. 454.
  17. ^ KGB in Europe, pages 503-505
  18. ^ Rufford and Penrose, 'KGB Claims Kinnock Aide Was Agent Dan', The Sunday Times, September 19 1999
  19. ^ Andrew and Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive, pages 529 and 555
  20. ^ 'Richard Clements' (Obituary), The Times, November 28 2006
  21. ^ Gillan, 'Ex-Editor dismisses spy claim', The Guardian, September 20 1999
  22. ^ Hearings of the U.S. House of Representatives, 26 Oct 1999.
  23. ^ Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin (2000). The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West. Gardners Books. ISBN 0-14-028487-7.
  24. ^ KGB in Europe, page 296-297
  25. ^ "Neither the KGB nor any person or organization associated with it ever made any contribution to my work." Letter to The Nation from Lane
  26. ^ KGB in Europe and the West, Pp. 298
  27. ^ KGB in Europe, pages 300-305
  28. ^ KGB in Europe, pages 305-308
  29. ^ KGB in Europe,pages 308-309
  30. ^ a b KGB in Europe,page 310
  31. ^ KGB in Europe, 318-319
  32. ^ The KGB in Europe, page 7.
  33. ^ a b The KGB in Europe, page 327.
  34. ^ The KGB in Europe, page 334-335.
  35. ^ The KGB in Europe, page 328.
  36. ^ The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World, pages 400-402
  37. ^ The World Was Going Our Way, pages 400-402
  38. ^ a b KGB in Europe, pages 464-466
  39. ^ Vadim J. Birstein. The Perversion Of Knowledge: The True Story of Soviet Science. Westview Press (2004) ISBN 0-813-34280-5.
  40. ^ Ken Alibek and S. Handelman. Biohazard: The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World - Told from Inside by the Man Who Ran it. 1999. Delta (2000) ISBN 0-385-33496-6
  41. ^ KGB in Europe, pages 114-115
  42. ^ KGB in Europe, pages 477-478
  43. ^ KGB in Europe, pages 466-467
  44. ^ KGB in Europe, pages 634-661
  45. ^ The vice-president of Rodina was P.I. Vasilyev, a senior officer of Nineteenth (Soviet emigre) department of the First Chief Directorate of the KGB. (KGB in Europe, page 650.)
  46. ^ a b The KGB and the Battle for the Third World, pages 250-253
  47. ^ The KGB and the Battle for the Third World, page 145
  48. ^ KGB in Europe, page 502
  49. ^ The operation was personally approved by Leonid Brezhnev in 1970. The weapons were delivered by the KGB vessel Kursograf - KGB in Europe, pages 495-498
  50. ^ The Guardian, December 2, 2006, Spy expert at centre of storm (English)
  51. ^ The Litvinenko murder: Scaramella - The Italian Connection, by Lauren Veevers, The Independent
  52. ^ Batten, Gerard (26 April 2006). "2006: Speech in the European Parliament: Romano Prodi". Gerard Batten MEP. Retrieved 2006-11-21.  
  53. ^ The KGB in Europe, page 472-476
  54. ^ Victor Suvorov, Spetsnaz, 1987, Hamish Hamilton Ltd, ISBN 0-241-11961-8
  55. ^ Stanislav Lunev. Through the Eyes of the Enemy: The Autobiography of Stanislav Lunev, Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1998. ISBN 0-89526-390-4
  56. ^ a b c The KGB in Europe, page 473
  57. ^ The KGB in Europe, page 475-476
  58. ^ The KGB in Europe, page 472-473
  59. ^ The KGB in Europe, page 473-474
  60. ^ Stromberg, Stephen W. "Documenting the KGB". Oxonian Review of Books. Winter 2005
  61. ^ New York Times Book review for The Sword and the Shield.
  62. ^ Stout, Robert. Central European Review. Vol 3, No 18. 21 May 2001.
  63. ^ Review of Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, David L. Ruffley , Department of International Programs, United States Air Force Academy. April, 2002
  64. ^ Intel Forum Book Review : 0003
  65. ^ Joseph John Trento, The Secret History Of The CIA, pg 474-475
  66. ^ Book Review by Getty, American Historical Review.
  67. ^ Amy Knight, "The selling of the KGB" The Wilson Quarterly. Washington: Winter 2000.Vol.24, Iss. 1; pg. 16, 8 pgs. Reproduced in [2].


  • Andrew, Christopher; Vasili Mitrokhin (1999). The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-00310-9.  
  • Andrew, Christopher, Vasili Mitrokhin (1999) The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West. Allen Lane. ISBN 0-713-99358-8.
  • Andrew, Christopher; Vasili Mitrokhin (2000). The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West. Gardners Books. ISBN 0-14-028487-7.  
  • Andrew, Christopher, Vasili Mitrokhin (2000). The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB. Basic Books. ISBN 0-4650-0312-5.
  • Vasiliy Mitrokhin (2002), KGB Lexicon: The Soviet Intelligence Officer's Handbook, Frank Cass & Co. Ltd, 451 pages, ISBN 0-7146-5257-1
  • Andrew, Christopher; Vasili Mitrokhin (2005). The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-00311-7.  
  • Andrew, Christopher, Vasili Mitrokhin (2005). The Mitrokin Archive II: The KGB and the World. Allen Lane. ISBN 0-713-99359-6.

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