The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB

By Christopher Andrew; Vasili Mitrokhin | Go to book overview

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Chapter One The Mitrokhin Archive
1.
Nezavisimaya Gazeta, December 10, 1996; Reuter reports, December 10, 1996.
2.
Unless otherwise indicated, the account of Mitrokhin's career is based on his own recollections. Because of concern for his relatives in Russia, he is reluctant to reveal details of his family background. The SVR is still ferociously hostile to KGB defectors, whatever their motives. Most, even if--like Oleg Gordievsky-- they betrayed not Russia but the now discredited Soviet one-party state through ideological conviction, remain under sentence of death. Though their relatives no longer face the overt persecution of the Soviet era, many understandably prefer not to have them identified.
3.
For personal reasons, Mitrokhin does not wish to make public the location of this foreign posting, where he operated under an alias.
4.
On the fall of Beria, see Moskalenko, "Berias Arrest"; Volkogonov, The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire, pp. 185-93; Knight, Beria, ch. 9.
5.
The FCD Archives, known in 1956 as the Operational Records Department (Otdel Operativnogo Ucheta), were subsequently renamed the Twelfth (later the Fifteenth) Department.
6.
Volkogonov, The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire, p. 194.
7.
Fleishman, Boris Pasternak, chs. 11, 12; Levi, Boris Pasternak, chs. 8,9.
8.
Knight, The KGB, pp. 64-5.
9.
k-9,183.
10.
Medvedev, Andropov, p. 56.
11.
Andrew and Gordievsky, KGB, pp. 434-5, 483-4; Arbatov, The System, p. 266; Dobbs, Down With Big Brother, p. 13.
12.
k-25,1.
13.
k-1,191. Because of the dissidents'contacts (both real and imagined) with the West and the expulsion of some of their leaders, FCD archives included material on them from both the Second (internal security) Chief Directorate and the Fifth Directorate, founded by Andropov to specialize in operations by domestic ideological subversion.
14.
Mitrokhin later found evidence of similar plans to end the dancing career of another defector from the Kirov Ballet, Natalia Makarova.
15.
The approximate size of the FCD archive c. 1970 is given in vol. 6, ch. 2, part 1.
16.
When FCD Directorate S at the Lubyanka asked to consult one of the files transferred to Yasenevo, Mitrokhin was also responsible for supervising its return.
17.
k-16,506.
18.
Blake, No Other Choice, p. 265.
19.
While working on the notes at the dacha, Mitrokhin kept them hidden at the bottom of a laundry basket, then buried them in the milk-churn before he left. He was not the first to bury a secret archive in a milk-churn. In the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942-3 Emanuel Ringelblum buried three churns, rediscovered after the Second World War, which contained a priceless collection of underground newspapers, reports on resistance networks, and the testimony of Jews who had escaped from the death camps. One of the milk-churns is among the exhibits at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
20.
Mitrokhin's archive is in four sections:
I. i-series: handwritten material filed in large envelopes
II. t-series: handwritten notebooks
III. volumes: typed material, mostly arranged by country, sometimes with commentary by Mitrokhin
IV. frag.-series: miscellaneous handwritten notes

Endnote references to Mitrokhin's archive follow this classification.

21.
Solzhenitsyn's letter of complaint to Andropov and Andropov's mendacious report on it to the Council of Ministers are published in Scammell (ed.), The Solzhenitsyn Files, pp. 158-60. See also Solzhenitsyn, The Oak and the Calf, pp. 322-3, 497-8; Scammell, Solzhenitsyn, pp. 739-43.
22.
Pipes (ed.), The Unknown Lenin, pp. 48-50.
23.
Solzhenitsyn, The Oak and the Calf, p. 1.
24.
Shentalinsky, The KGB's Literary Archive, pp. 80-1. In 1926 the OGPU had confiscated Bulgakov's allegedly subversive diary. Though Bulgakov succeeded in getting it back a few years later, he himself sub-

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