Soviet Intelligence and Security Services

Title:                      Soviet Intelligence and Security Services

Author:                 Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service (1972-75). Soviet Intelligence And Security Services; A Selected Bibliography of Soviet Publications, With Some Additional Titles From Other Sources. Washington, DC: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.

LCCN:    72601550

Z6724.I7 U54 1972

Date Updated:  September 8, 2015


Date Updated:  September 8, 2015

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

These volumes contain some thirty-five hundred items, listed alphabetically. There is a descriptive synopsis of each but except for an occasional adjective, there is no evaluation of individual pieces. There is an overall evaluation of these works and a caveat to be found in Volume l’s introduction and Volume 2’s preface. The compilers call attention to the “dramatic reversal” of the Soviet position regarding Soviet espionage abroad beginning in 1964. Other general comments are that discrepancies can be found among the data, that information on some matters available in the West is frequently at variance with the Soviet version, and that the material is really useful to the student and specialist who know how to use it. Other caveats concern Soviet propaganda and disinformation motives in allowing such works as these to appear. Though this compilation is described as a cross section of such writing, there is a noticeable preponderance of works in Baltic languages or published in these areas. The explanation seems to be the availability of such material in contrast to other material.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[2]

A comprehensive, briefly annotated bibliography of 2,507 listings “prepared by the Foreign Affairs Divisions.” The first three parts present annotated sources under the headings Soviet State Security (items 1-714), Soviet Military Intelligence (items 715-927), and Partisans and Underground Activity {items 928-1657). Part 4, also annotated, contains listings under the title, “Articles on the 50th Anniversary of the State Security Service”, (items 1658-851). Part 5 lists, without annotations, articles described as “Warnings Against Western Intelligence” (items 1852-2443). Part 6, “Soviet Intelligence Activities: A View From Other Sources” (items 2444-507) is an annotated, substandard potpourri of primarily English books and articles apparently put together as an afterthought for political warfare purposes.

According to the introduction, beginning in September 1964 “there has been a spate of articles and books extolling the Soviet intelligence and security services and creating a new pantheon of heroes…. The more than 2400 items in this bibliography from Soviet sources reflect the new trend. . . .

“No attempt has been made in this compilation to comment on the accuracy of the Soviet materials, although frequently the claims made in them are at variance with other information available in various sources published outside the Soviet Bloc. . . . Despite the problems of credibility … the publications of the Soviet regime about its intelligence services, taken as a whole, are a valuable tool for students and specialists in the Western world who know how to use it. . . . “

A curious omission in part 5 of this bibliography is the two-part article by F. Sergeyev, “The Secrets of Secret Services” published in Nedelya, the Izvestla Sunday Supplement, no. 46, 9-15 November 1970, and no. 47, 16-22 November 1970. The article stresses the importance attached by the U.S. intelligence community to the research and analysis of a wide range of open source materials. In addition to the “warning against Western Intelligence function,” the essay makes a convincing case that “it is no longer possible to solve such a complex riddle as the military-economic- potential of another state by the use of old traditional espionage methods alone and this is one of the chief goals of the intelligence services.” The omission is interesting since the article was translated and circulated with in the U.S. intelligence community.

A more important omission is the anonymous article (written by Soviet intelligence) entitled “Soviet State Security Organs in the Years of the Great Patriotic War,” which was also translated into English and circulated in the U.S. intelligence community. This is an authoritative essay on the role of Soviet intelligence and counterintelligence during World War II, and was published in the leading Soviet historical journal, Voprosy Istoril [Historical Questions], May 1965. (For an evaluation of this article see the bibliography section of Barton Whaley’s Codeword BARBAROSSA[3].

About thirty-five of the books and articles listed in this bibliography have been translated into English by the Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) of the Department of Commerce. Such items are denoted by an asterisk and may be purchased from the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia 22151. Since most requests for these translations originate with government analysts, the subject categories are themselves of interest. In rough historical sequence, three concern the so-called Lockhart conspiracy and related anti-Bolshevist activities of British intelligence in Russia during the fall of 1918. Five of them concern the “Trust,” a Soviet counterintelligence ruse which lured British agents Sidney Reilly and Boris Savinkov back into the USSR in the mid-1920s. (For an authentic, documented account of this operation, see Paul W. Blackstcck’s The Secret Road To World War II[4]). Three concern Artuzev and Pilyar, two rehabilitated Chekists who were involved in the Trust. One concerns a group of eighteen women who worked for Soviet intelligence during the Spanish Civil War. Eight concern Soviet intelligence during World War II, including one article each on the Red Orchestra and on the German intelligence operation ZEPPELIN. Two concern the work of the Soviet “master spy,” Colonel Rudolf Abel and two concern his assistant Gordon Lonsdale. Five concern Richard Sorge, the outstanding Soviet military intelligence agent caught and executed by the Japanese during World War II. Four concern the activities of miscellaneous Soviet intelligence agents, some of them “old Chekists.” Two concern the “machinations” of U.S. intelligence and sociological research, and finally, one is a translation of a typical counterespionage spy thriller.

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp. 292-294

[2] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., pp. 21-22

[3] Whaley, Barton (1973). Codeword BARBAROSSA. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, chapter 5, section A.

[4] Blackstock, Paul W. (1969). The Secret Road to World War II: Soviet Versus Western Intelligence 1921-1939. Chicago: Quadrangle Books


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One Response to Soviet Intelligence and Security Services

  1. Pingback: Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources, Chapter 9 | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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