Soviet State Security Forces in the Processes of 1980’s
06 October, 2011

The KGB, at this stage, behaved more or less reservedly because it was contemplating to enter newly-created businesses, the national-liberation movement and criminal groupings in the country, waiting for the right moment to strike. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.

GJ – Are you trying to say that the leaders of local national-liberation movements anywhere on the vast soviet territory were the KGB agents? This might sound like a daring, I would even say, a very scandalous statement . . .

SM – Except the widely recognized leaders! Most of the leaders of local national-liberation movements were the soviet state security staff, or were in close cooperation with KGB. The clout of KGB was so big that anything else is hardly imaginable.
GJ – One moment please! I need to be more specific here. Would it be accurate to say that the realistically patriotic person fighting for his or her countries national freedom and independence were surrounded by the KGB agents with a very definite and concrete aim? This question is very important to answer carefully for the analysis of further developed processes . . .
SM – They certainly could not have invented and molded Zviad Gamsakhurdia and Merab Kostava of Georgia, but it is also sure that the state security servicemen were swarming around them.
GJ – Then why be so surprised at Zviad Gamsakhurdia that he had seemed to smell and see the KGB agents all over the place? 
SM – Nothing different was happening in Azerbaijan, Moldova and in Russia proper. Boris Eltsin who appeared as a big Russian patriot by certain vicissitudes of life was utterly surrounded by KGB agents, eagerly waiting for their own red-letter day on the calendar. It must be more interesting to talk about Gorbachev’s weak points now. KGB, at this stage, behaved more or less reservedly because it was contemplating to enter newly-created businesses, the national-liberation movement and criminal groupings in the country, waiting for the right moment to strike. But the problem was the Soviet Army which they had to neutralize by any available means.
GJ – Why? Why was the Army an obstacle for KGB?
SM – We have already mentioned one of the reasons – no country (no matter how rich it is) can endure keeping a five-million-strong army. The second reason was that the top brass (the generals of the army) felt very negative about the Perestroika doings. The soviet ideology, notwithstanding its bankruptcy and its universal corruption of the soviet communist party elite, was still firmly instilled in their hearts and minds. In addition to that, the Soviet Army still enjoyed the positive image of the world’s liberator from fascism, and that was the case not only in the USSR but in the Entire Europe too. As it was then trendy to say, 20 million soviet troops were killed in the Second World War in fighting against the fascist violence. If there had been anything well-done and qualitative in the Soviet Union were the war movies, nursing the sense of military patriotism in the people. I remember just one single movie about a communist party functionary – ‘The District Party Boss’ by the famous Georgian film director Rezo Chkheidze. This happened in Gorbachev’s time and was dedicated to a rebel party leader. In all other cases, the films were made in a humorous tone, be it about a party secretary or a Kolkhoz chairman. On the other hand, there were sporadic soviet movies about communist party workers, but those were mostly unpopular because the soviet viewer knew very well that the production was false interpretation of the soviet life-style.
GJ – How about the KGB workers and the law enforcement people? Did they ever feature as the movie characters?
SM – You know, the Soviet policeman (militiaman) was associated with the KGB personnel anyway by the viewers. Their hands were still tainted with the blood of the martyrs of the cruel Soviet regime. So the soviet people treated all those movies and images with doubt and contempt even if the main character was a good KGB guy. There were certain exceptions of course. For example, ‘Seventeen Glimpses of Spring’ – the series about the soviet military KGB agent’s wartime adventures; or ‘The Place of Meeting may not be Changed’. But those ones were about the foreign reconnaissance and the policeman’s image in those films was beyond regular standards.

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