The Soviet Secret Service in the 1920s — 1940s Against the Church: the Principles of Secret Work, the Source Base for Current Research
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The Soviet Secret Service in the 1920s — 1940s Against the Church: the Principles of Secret Work, the Source Base for Current Research
Annotation
PII
S207987840021878-4-1
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Alexey Teplyakov 
Affiliation: Institute of History of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Novosibirsk
Abstract

This work is a continuation of the author's research on the principles of intelligence and operational activities of state security agencies. In a number of our books and articles, on the basis of party-state and departmental archives, the peculiarities of the Chekist work in relation to the church and believers were actively studied. This article, based mainly on the archives of the Center, Siberia and Ukraine, summarizes the author's experience in studying the methods of anti-religious chekist work and the response activities of the church. The article shows the undulation of the CHEKA-MGB policy, which fluctuated between terrorist campaigns that periodically put confessions on the brink of survival, and attempts to control the main processes of their organisms through embedded informants and agents, including provocateurs. The author's analysis allows us to identify the main trends in the intelligence work of the Soviet state security agencies that persisted during the Leninist-Stalinist period: first of all, the emphasis on mass recruitment, designed to enable not only comprehensive coverage of the activities of believers, but also to cause internal conflicts in order to disintegrate communities. In general, the agency activity, especially in the first two decades of the Cheka-NKVD, was subordinated to investigative and was based on superficial information about the disloyalty of active believers. Being recruited, believers, clergymen and church hierarchs often consciously assumed responsibility for unspoken service to the atheist state, hoping to preserve the main thing — faith and the church. Despite the artificial restrictions on the documents of the special services that exist both in Russia and in most of the post-Soviet countries, the available information allows us to confidently speak about the main trends of the secret service agents' work in relation to churches, among which Islam attracted relatively less attention, and various sects attracted the maximum.

Keywords
USSR, state security agencies, intelligence activities, secret employees, recruitment, provocations
Received
15.05.2022
Publication date
31.08.2022
Number of characters
61177
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90
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