The Decline And Fall Of The KGB – Part I

Dear Readers:

Today I have another big huge mammoth historical essay by Evgeny Krutikov.  Published yesterday (3 December), the lede paragraph entices us in with the following:

“Exactly 25 years ago, a law was passed called On the reorganization of the organs of state security, by which law whatever remained of the KGB of the USSR was juridically dissolved.  To this day, two main questions remain – How was it even possible to destroy such a supposedly all-powerful structure? and how did it come to pass that the KGB slept through the disintegration of the nation whose security it was its job to protect?

KGB Headquarters in Moscow

These are both excellent questions, which Krutikov then attempts to answer.

Krutikov begins by pointing out that the “Council [Soviet] of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR”, the body which supposedly adopted the law dissolving the Committee on State Security (the KGB), was NOT actually a legitimate body in and of itself; such a Council is not even mentioned in the Soviet Constitution.  According to the Constitution (Article 113),  the KGB could be dissolved only by both Houses of the Supreme Soviet acting in concert.  And this never happened.  In reality, as we sall see, the mighty KGB was destroyed by three men plotting together in a back room.

“Союз нерушимый республик свободных
Сплотила навеки Великая Русь.”

Like the old Soviet anthem says:  “This indestructible Union of Free Republics, Was Put together by Great Russia.”  After which, willy-nilly, the famous quote from Gogol’s Taras Bulba always seems to pop into one’s head:

“Я тебя породил, я тебя и убью!”   (“I created you, and I will kill you!”)

As we know now, the plan to destroy the KGB was in place long before December 1991.  The point of no-return happened on 5 May 1991.  On that day Boris Yeltsin, Mikhail Gorbachev and Vladimir Kriuchkov  got together informally in a back room and plotted to … build a layer of Russian KGB middle management!

Vladimir Kriuchkov: Secessionist

Kriuchkov was a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR; he held the post of Chairman of the all-Union KGB.  Kriuchkov may have been an ethnic Russian, but in his official capacity, he was a Soviet guy, not a Russian guy.

Recall that the Soviet Union was not a single titular nation (e.g., “Russia”), but actually a Union of 15 Constituent and supposedly equal Republics.  Okay, everybody knew that the Russian Republic was the leader, and that some animals are more equal than others, but still… in theory everybody was equal.  That was how the thing was put together by Lenin – to ensure fairness and an even break for everyone.

And in Soviet times every constituent Republic had its own republican-level KGB officials — except for Russia!  For example, in a constituent republic such as Kazakhstan:  Local KGB operatives would report to Kazakh Republican-level KGB officials; who, in turn, would report to the all-Union KGB upper management in Moscow.  The org chart, at the macro level, would show at least 3 layers of management.

The Russian Soviet Socialist Republic was different from the other 14.  In the case of Russia, local KGB organs simply skipped the middleman and reported directly to the Central USSR KGB apparatus, headed by Kriuchkov, and conveniently located in Moscow.  This structure had been in place since 1965, and it probably made a lot of sense at the time.

I had to read the next few sentences of Krutikov’s essay very carefully and several times, to make sure I understood the essence of the “mechanics” of this conspiracy, as plotted by Yeltsin-Gorbachev-Kriuchkov.  It is only in comic books that somebody grabs a gun and seizes power.  In the real world, conspiracies to shift power take a more devious form, often in backroom maneuvering and subtle legalities, which ordinary people don’t even know about, until it is too late to stop.

Taras: “Stand still while I kill you.”

So, the following day, which would have been 6 May 1991, the Three Mousketeer conspirators published their Declaration, according to which the Russian Republic-level KGB now reported to the all-Union level KGB, just like the other Republics.  In essence, this was a demotion for the Russian KGB, but a sneaky kind of demotion, concealing a longer-range plan.  It was the start of the “untangling” of Russian organs of power from Soviet organs.  And, further, the untangling of government organs from Communist Party organs.  The plan, of course, was Secession.  Russia would bail from the Soviet Union, in order to build a new, capitalist society, headed by Boris Yeltsin.  There was a lot at stake, and a lot of money to be made, by the right kind of people.

Skip forward to December 1991 and the last piece of the puzzle was snapped into place:  Simultaneously repealing the law concerning the “Leading Role of the Party” (which de-coupled the KGB from the influence of the Communist Party), the Law on KGB Reorganization affirmed that the Russian KGB now reports to the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Republic. Headed by Boris Yeltsin!  This was the moment was Yeltsin was handed the keys to the castle.  In “Animal Farm” terms, this would be the moment when Napoleon the Pig acquires full ownership over the farmhouse attack dogs.

[to be continued]

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2 Responses to The Decline And Fall Of The KGB – Part I

  1. Lyttenburgh says:

    “And in Soviet times every constituent Republic had its own republican-level KGB officials”

    What still to some degree makes my brows rise is the Western Free and Independent Media ™ penchant to add obligatory “FSB (former KGB)”. Why they are not doing the same rote, I ask myself rhetorically, when writing about the SBU? Was it not a “Former KGB” also?


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