Deals between Mafia Boss Marat Balagula, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus Exposed

Marat Balagula | Mafia Wiki | Fandom

Marat Balagula

Documents released through Par:AnoIA, allegedly containing details about deals with Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The documents are partly in English, Russian and Chinese. One document, obtained from the Chinese foreign office in Minsk indicates relations between the notorious Russian mob boss Marat Balagula and high ranking Ukrainian politicians.

Download the documents here:

Marat Balagula (born September 8, 1943, Orenburg, USSR) was a Russian immigrant who was a Former Soviet Union leader and  Russian mafia boss, and close associate of the Lucchese crime family. His nickname was “Tony Soprano of the Russian Mafia”.


Balagula was born in 1943 in Orenburg, Russia, at the height of World War II. His mother, Zinaida, fled with the children from their home in Odessa after the German Wehrmacht swept across the Russian steppes. Marat’s father, Jakov, was a lieutenant in the Red Army; Balagula claims that he was one of the armored corps that stormed Berlin during the last desperate hours of the war. In the harshness of the Joseph Stalin era, the Balagulas led a comfortable, middle class life. Jakov worked in a factory manufacturing locks, as did his wife. Young Marat, an average high school student, was drafted into the Soviet Army at the age of nineteen and served as a bursar for three years, after which the Party assigned him to manage a food co-op in Odessa. Determined to get ahead, Marat attended night school, receiving diploma as a teacher of mathematics and then a business degree in economics and mathematics. Like many ambitious Russians with capitalist predilections, he promptly plunged into the country’s flourishing black market. He quickly learned to attend to the demanding appetites of the apparatchiks, making certain that the choicest meats and produce was delivered to them.

Arrival to the U.S.

In 1977, Balagula decided to move his family to the United States under the Jackson-Vanik Amendment. At first he worked as a textile cutter in Washington Heights, Manhattan for $3.50 per hour. His wife Alexandra later reminisced, “It was hard for us, with no language, no money.”

Balagula’s fortunes improved markedly when he relocated his family to Brighton Beach and began to work for the infamous vor Evsei Agron… Agron, it turned out, was no match for the ambitious Balagula. While Agron’s technical expertise didn’t go beyond seeking sadistic new uses for his electric cattle prod, Balagula wanted to lead the Organizatsiya into the upscale world of white collar crime, and with the experience he had gained in the Soviet Union, he developed a business acumen that put him in a class by himself. surrounded by a cadre of Russian economists and math prodigies at the Odessa restaurant, he acquired a knowledge of global markets that enabled him to make millions in the arcane world of commodities trading. He also energetically cultivated the Italian mobsters he met as Agron’s consigliere. After Agron was executed, Balagula organized his followers into a hierarchy, much like the Italian Mafia and before long, succeeded in transforming the Organizatsiya into a multi-billion dollar criminal empire that stretched across from the tatters of Communist Eastern Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Ultimately, however, it was Balagula’s spectacular success in the gasoline bootlegging business — a scheme that would reportedly earn him hundreds of millions of dollars and an honored position with the Italian Mafia — that would usher in the first Golden Age of Russian organized crime in America.”

Russian mob

According to a former associate “Marat was the king of Brighton Beach. He had a Robin Hood complex. People would come over from Russia and he’d give them jobs. He liked professional men. Guys came over and couldn’t practice medicine or use their engineering degrees. He sought them out. He was fascinated with intellectuals. He co-opted them. He put them into the gasoline business, he put them into car washes or taxi companies. He’d reinvest his own money in their business if they were having trouble. He had a heart.”

According to a former Suffolk County, New York prosecutor, however, there was another side to Balagula.

“Everybody in Brighton Beach talked about Balagula in hushed tones. These were people who knew him from the Old Country. They were really, genuinely scared of this guy.”

Lucchese Crime family associate

After the Colombo crime family began shaking down his gasoline business, Balagula asked for a sitdown with Lucchese crime family consigliere Christopher Furnari at Brooklyn’s 19th Hole social club. According to Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso, who was a Lucchese family soldier present at the meeting, Furnari declared,

“Here there’s enough for everybody to be happy… to leave the table satisfied. What we must avoid is trouble between us and the other families. I propose to make a deal with the others so there’s no bad blood…. Meanwhile, we will send word out that from now on you and your people are with the Lucchese family. No one will bother you. If anyone does bother you, come to us and Anthony will take care of it.”

New York’s Five Families imposed a two cent per gallon “Family tax” on Balagula’s bootlegging operation, which became their greatest moneymaker after drug trafficking. According to one former associate,

“La Cosa Nostra reminded Marat of the apparatchiks, power structure and hierarchy in the Soviet Union. He thought as long as he gave them something they would be powerful allies who would protect him from enemies and law enforcement. Then all of a sudden he was at risk of being killed if he couldn’t pay to the penny.”

Because Anthony Casso and Balagula hit it off so well, Casso was soon partners with Balagula in a diamond mine located in Sierra Leone, Africa. They opened a business office in Freetown. Casso also arranged for an Orthodox Jewish friend of his named Simon Stein, a diamond expert and member of the DeBeers Club, to travel from the Forty-seventh Street diamond district to Africa to smuggle diamonds back into the country in the linings and collars of overcoats and in secret compartments of very expensive leather luggage.


It didn’t take long for word on the street to reach the Russian underworld: Marat Balagula was paying off the Italians; Balagula was a punk; Balagula had no balls. Balagula’s days were numbered. This, of course, was the beginning of serious trouble. Balagula did in fact have balls — he was a ruthless killer when necessary — but he also was a smart diplomatic administrator and he knew that the combined, concerted force of the Italian crime families would quickly wipe the newly arrived Russian competition off the proverbial map.

Shortly afterward, Balagula’s rival, a high-ranking Russian mafia member named Vladimir Reznikov, drove up to Balagula’s offices in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. Sitting in his car, Reznikov opened fire on the office building with an AK-47 assault rifle. One of Balagula’s close associates was killed and several secretaries were wounded.

Then, on June 12, 1986, Reznikov entered the Odessa nightclub in Brighton Beach. Reznikov pushed a 9mm Beretta into Balagula’s skull and demanded $600,000 as the price of not pulling the trigger. He also demanded a percentage of everything Balagula was involved in. After Balagula promised to get the money, Reznikov snarled, “Fuck with me and you’re dead – you and your whole fucking family; I swear I’ll fuck and kill your wife as you watch – you understand?”.

Shortly after Reznikov left, Balagula suffered a massive heart attack. He insisted, however on being treated at his home in Brighton Beach, where he felt it would be harder for Reznikov to kill him. When Anthony Casso arrived, he listened to Balagula’s story and seethed with fury. Casso later told his biographer Philip Carlo that, to his mind, Reznikov had just spat in the face of the entire Cosa Nostra. Casso responded, “Send word to Vladimir that you have his money, that he should come to the club tomorrow. We’ll take care of the rest.” Balagula responded, “You’re sure? This is an animal. It was him that used a machine gun in the office.” Casso responded, “Don’t concern yourself. I promise we’ll take care of him… Okay?” Casso then requested a photograph of Reznikov and a description of his car.

The following day, Reznikov returned to the Rasputin nightclub to pick up his money. Upon realizing that Balagula wasn’t there, Reznikov launched into a barrage of profanity and stormed back to the parking lot. There, Reznikov and two of his underlings was shot dead by Gambino crime family veteran hitman Joseph Testa with a machine gun. Testa then jumped into a car driven by Anthony Senter and left Brighton Beach. According to Casso, “After that, Marat didn’t have any problems with the Russians ever again.”


In 1986, Balagula masterminded a $750,000 credit card scam when a business associate, Robert Fasano, began wearing a wire on him for the U.S. Secret Service. After being convicted on Federal charges, Balagula fled to Antwerp with his longtime mistress Natalia Shevchenko. After three years as a fugitive, Balagula was arrested in Frankfurt am Main, West Germany on February 27, 1989. In December 1989, Balagula was extradited to the United States and sentenced to eight years in prison for credit card fraud.

In November 1992, Balagula was convicted at a separate trial for gasoline bootlegging and sentenced to an additional ten years in Federal prison. While passing sentence, Judge Leonard Wexler declared, “This was supposed to be a haven for you. It turned out to be a hell for us.”

Balagula served his sentence and was released from Federal prison in 2004. Balagula was quoted as saying; “They claim I made $25 million per day bootlegging. It’s crazy! I got nothing. What have I got? The government took my apartment in Manhattan, my house in Long Island, $300,000 in cash. They said, ‘If you don’t cooperate with us you’ll go to jail for twenty years.’ … They want me to tell them about the Mafia, about gasoline, about hits. Forget it. All these charges are bullshit! All my life I like to help people. Just because a lot of people come to me for advice, everybody thinks I’m a boss. I came to America to find work, support myself, and create a future for my children.”

In 1977, Balagula decided to move his family to the United States under the Jackson-Vanik Amendment. At first he worked as a textile cutter in Washington Heights, Manhattan for $3.50 per hour. His wife Alexandra later reminisced, “It was hard for us, with no language, no money.”

In the aftermath of Evsei Agron’s murder, Balagula took over as the most powerful Russian gangster in Brooklyn. According to a former Suffolk County, New York, prosecutor, however, there was another side to Balagula. “Everybody in Brighton Beach talked about Balagula in hushed tones. These were people who knew him from the Old Country. They were really, genuinely scared of this guy.”

After the Colombo crime family began shaking down his gasoline business, Balagula asked for a sitdown with Lucchese crime family consigliere Christopher Furnari at Brooklyn’s 19th Hole social club. According to Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso, who was a Lucchese soldier present at the meeting, Furnari declared,

In the aftermath, New York’s Five Families imposed a two cent per gallon “Family tax” on Balagula’s bootlegging operation, which became their greatest moneymaker after drug trafficking. According to one former associate,

According to author Philip Carlo, “Because Gaspipe and Russian mobster Marat Balagula hit it off so well, Casso was soon partners with Balagula on a diamond mine located in Sierra LeoneAfrica. They opened a business office in Freetown.

Balagula’s rival, a fellow Russian immigrant named Vladimir Reznikov, drove up to Balagula’s offices in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. Sitting in his car, Reznikov opened fire on the office building with an AK-47 assault rifle. One of Balagula’s close associates was killed and several secretaries were wounded.

Then, on June 12, 1986, Reznikov entered the Odessa nightclub in Brighton Beach. Reznikov pushed a 9mm Beretta into Balagula’s skull and demanded $600,000 as the price of not pulling the trigger. He also demanded a percentage of everything Balagula was involved in. Shortly after Reznikov left, Balagula suffered a massive heart attack. He insisted, however on being treated at his home in Brighton Beach, where he felt it would be harder for Reznikov to kill him. When Anthony Casso arrived, he listened to Balagula’s story and seethed with fury. Casso later told his biographer Philip Carlo that, to his mind, Reznikov had just spat in the face of the entire Cosa Nostra. Casso responded, “Send word to Vladimir that you have his money, that he should come to the club tomorrow. We’ll take care of the rest.”[10] Balagula responded, “You’re sure? This is an animal. It was him that used a machine gun in the office.” Casso responded, “Don’t concern yourself. I promise we’ll take care of him … Okay?” Casso then requested a photograph of Reznikov and a description of his car.

The following day, Reznikov returned to the Rasputin nightclub to pick up his money. Upon realizing that Balagula wasn’t there, Reznikov launched into a barrage of profanity and stormed back to the parking lot. There, Reznikov was shot dead by DeMeo crew veteran Joseph Testa. Testa then jumped into a car driven by Anthony Senter and left Brighton Beach. According to Casso, “After that, Marat didn’t have any problems with other Russians.”

In 1986, Balagula was masterminding a $750,000 credit card scam when a business associate, Robert Fasano, began wearing a wire on him for the U.S. Secret Service. After being convicted on Federal charges, Balagula fled to Antwerp with his longtime mistress Natalia Shevchenko. After three years as a fugitive, Balagula was arrested in Frankfurt am MainWest Germany, on February 27, 1989. In December 1989, Balagula was extradited to the United States and sentenced to eight years in prison for credit card fraud.

In November 1992, Balagula was convicted at a separate trial for gasoline bootlegging and sentenced to an additional ten years in Federal prison. While passing sentence, Judge Leonard Wexler declared, “This was supposed to be a heaven for you. It turned out to be a hell for us.”

Balagula served his sentence and was released from Federal prison in 2004.

He died from cancer in 2019.

Murder in Mexico: What’s the Danger to an Foreign Tourist?

Full Coverage: Murder in Mexico

Mexico broke its record for manslaughters a year ago, and the elements that are driving that savagery are probably not going to lessen sooner rather than later.

Simultaneously, record quantities of U.S. residents are either visiting Mexico as voyagers or dwelling in the nation, yet the quantity of Americans killed in Mexico remains strikingly low.

All things considered, vicious wrongdoing stays an issue in Mexico, and guests and inhabitants should take measures to moderate the hazard.

With spring break directly around the bend, our Threat Lens group is by and by popular, as customers — alongside a wide exhibit of loved ones — are for the most part pondering about the security of a Mexican escape for some spring sun. Obviously, the worry is justifiable. As our 2019 Mexico cartel conjecture detailed, kills in the nation hit their most noteworthy rate ever a year ago and, worryingly, there’s nothing to propose that this year will be any extraordinary.

The Big Picture

Topography, financial aspects and history have brought about the United States and Mexico getting firmly interlaced, with Mexico’s fabricated products profiting the U.S. market and U.S. visitors helping Mexico’s economy. Mexico’s nearness to the United States, nonetheless, has likewise brought forth incredible and fatal wrongdoing south of the Rio Grande — some of which can entrap Americans.

See The Importance of Mexico

Mexico’s climbing murder rate still can’t seem to deflect American sightseers from visiting their southern neighbor. A year ago’s U.S. traveler figures are not yet accessible, however it’s sheltered to accept that the count will come in higher than the 35 million that visited the nation in 2017. The U.S. Branch of State has given alerts encouraging against movement to five Mexican states: Colima, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Guerrero — the remainder of which is home to the hotel city of Acapulco. In spite of this, the hotels of Cancun, Cozumel and Cabo San Lucas are as of now brimming with American travelers in 2019, and I expect they will be close to limit over spring break.

Somebody as of late contacted me on Twitter, saying they had quit visiting Mexico subsequent to turning into a Stratfor endorser. Presently, that is surely not our purpose recorded as a hard copy on this theme; all things considered, we want to take a “go, however” way to deal with movement security instead of certainly advise anybody not to go. It’s a similar story for Mexico, which is an extraordinary nation to visit with amazing things to see and do. In any case, as anyplace else, there are dangers, a large number of which can be kept away from or relieved. For the occasion, however, how about we investigate the conjunction of Mexico’s developing homicide rate and the increasing number of American vacationers deciding to visit the nation. Since, at last, the danger may not be as incredible as dreaded.

A graph showing the cause of deaths for Americans in Mexico from June 2017 to June 2018.

American Deaths in Mexico

Between June 2017 and June 2018, 238 Americans passed on in Mexico, adding up to 29 percent of all U.S. residents who died abroad during the period, as indicated by the U.S. Branch of State. Be that as it may, as far as manslaughter, Mexico lingers a lot bigger in the figures: Of the 152 who were killed abroad during the a year being referred to, precisely half passed on in Mexico. Normally, be that as it may, the topic of scale is foremost in deciphering the figures. The 35 million U.S. vacationers who visit Mexico predominate the quantity of their countrymen (1.5 million) who go to close by goals, for example, Jamaica. And keeping in mind that only six Americans succumbed to crime in the last mentioned, the homicide rate for U.S. residents is, per capita, higher on the Caribbean island than it is in Mexico.

To put things further into viewpoint, Chicago has a populace of 2.7 million — about equivalent to the quantity of Americans that live in Mexico (to avoid anything related to the 35 million that visited a year ago). A year ago, in any case, 561 individuals passed on in manslaughters in the Windy City, in excess of multiple times the quantity of Americans who were killed in Mexico.

A diagram indicating the reason for passings for Americans in Mexico from June 2017 to June 2018.

At long last, the 76 American manslaughter casualties are a small detail within a bigger landscape as far as Mexico’s general aggregate: 33,341. In addition, a decent segment of those homicides happened in outskirt urban communities in which there are dynamic cartel wars, for example, Tijuana, Juarez and Reynosa. Interestingly, only four happened in visitor hotspots like Cancun, La Paz in Baja California Sur and Puerto Penasco in Sonora. Besides, a considerable lot of the Americans killed in places like Tijuana and Juarez were double residents or occupants of Mexico who were engaged with crime — that isn’t planned to limit their demises, however simply demonstrates that such killings make little difference to the American vacationers who visit Mexican retreats. What’s more, even in states with critical hotels in which the homicide rate has expanded, for example, Quintana Roo (which is home to Cancun), the quantity of American sightseers slaughtered there remains very little. Viciousness in Cancun, for instance, is very normal — an assault on a bar there on Feb. 16 murdered five individuals — however the majority of the brutality happens a long way from the vacationer zones along the sea shore. At last, Mexico’s homicide rate may have increased to around 27 for each 100,000, yet its crime rate is still just about a large portion of that of Honduras or El Salvador.

Evading the Danger

That in any case, Mexico obviously has a difficult issue with vicious wrongdoing, as confirm by the numerous cartels that are battling each other for control of the nation’s rewarding medication creation regions, dealing halls and household opiates deals. And afterward there are auxiliary, fierce crimes, for example, fuel burglary, payload robbery, capturing and human dealing. Cartel individuals additionally will in general use military-grade weapons, which they don’t spare a moment to use on rival groups or security powers, regularly bringing about inadvertent blow-back.

Savagery in Cancun is very normal — an assault on a bar there on Feb. 16 slaughtered five individuals — yet the majority of the brutality happens a long way from the vacationer zones along the sea shore.

Along these lines, the most ideal approach to abstain from falling prey to criminal brutality is to evade puts in which it is well on the way to happen, for example, strip bars and undesirable clubs in which medicate selling happens. In addition, numerous remote survivors of wrongdoing in Mexico were toasting abundance, utilizing drugs or remaining out late around evening time. We suggest that voyagers visiting Mexico remain at their inn or resort grounds after dull and abstain from toasting abundance or utilizing drugs. In a portion of the drinking-related occurrences, aggressors spiked refreshments with incapacitants, for example, GHB, Rohypnol or fentanyl, so we suggest you not acknowledge drinks from obscure individuals or leave your beverage unattended. In addition, it’s a smart thought to abstain from going onto the sea shore after dull.

What’s more, talking about the dim, abstain from driving around evening time, even on the expressways. That implies that in case you’re flying into Mexico, plan your trips to show up during the day and use pre-organized transportation to get to your lodging or resort, as Mexican taxicabs, especially the unlawful ones, can some of the time be utilized for express kidnappings and rapes.

Before you go, limit what you take with you on your outing, so you can diminish your misfortunes on the off chance that you are ransacked and decrease your compulsion to oppose a furnished crook. Furthermore, if, notwithstanding the entirety of your safety measures, furnished burglars do defy you, do as is commonly said, for they won’t stop for a second to utilize unwarranted savagery on the off chance that you neglect to agree. At long last, your watch or your wallet is essentially not worth your life.

As the familiar proverb goes, you’re bound to bite the dust or endure injury in a car crash (or fire or other mishap) than you are to endure hurt because of a lawbreaker. That is the reason it’s basic to pack a stop-the-drain unit and other emergency treatment gear, a decent quality electric lamp and smoke hoods, as these things can truly be lifelines. For the remainder of the time, practice legitimate situational mindfulness and good judgment security and you’re probably not going to experience numerous issues on your outing south.

Tricky Hacker Email To Us Exposed – Probably By GoMoPa and Fancy Bear

Tricky Hacker Email To Us Exposed – Probably By GoMoPa and Fancy Bear

Russel <>
Thu, Apr 30 at 11:53 AM
Name: Russel


Website: http://geomids

Comment: Hi,

My name is Russel Corbat and I work as an IT Security Manager at Tim Hortons Inc.

Around 7 hours ago, has been involved to DDoS attack one of our private servers. As a result, we have been experiencing major disruptions in our network.

I had to take a close look at your web-site and I am almost sure that you have rather become a victim as well, instead of being a part of the attackers team.

So, before taking this matter to court and filing a police report, I am offering you a chance to fix this problem by yourself.

Moreover, I strongly suggest you to take this chance, as our attorneys were previously able to seize the defendant more than $417,000 by court action in similar case, just so you know.

However, the good news is the problem can be solved quite easily and you can even do it by yourself.

Tracking the requests sent by your web-site, our specialists identified the exact names of the malicious files used to DDoS attack our network.

Thus, you just need to delete these files and change the passwords on your web-site and the issue will be automatically resolved.

We would not like to involve most likely innocent people into any litigations, that�s why I prepared the list of files to be deleted, even though that doesn�t come within my duties. This will help us solve the problem once and for all.

I have additionally included detailed instructions on how to delete the files in a secure way. Make sure you study them before you start (pay close attention to item 3 of the attached instructions).

Download the report on malicious files and their uninstall instructions here:

Once again, we are in tune for a peaceful solution.

If you are not able to uninstall the malware on your web-site after reviewing the report, just email me and I will try to help you out with that (please do not forget to mention the case number, it can be found in the report).

In case you decide to ignore this message and the DDoS attack from your web-site to our network will be repeated once more, please note that we will contact our attorneys immediately and will have to involve police for further investigation, without giving you a prior notice on it.

Russel Corbat | IT security manager

Tim Hortons Inc.
130 King Street West
Toronto, ON M5X 2A3

Time: April 30, 2020 at 10:53 am
IP Address:
Contact Form URL:
Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.

Hacker Emails To Us Exposed – Probably By GoMoPa and Fancy Bear

Hacker Emails To Us Exposed – Probably By GoMoPa and Fancy Bear
SMVx <>
Sat, May 23 at 9:12 PM

Name: SMVx


Website: http://CTCF


Time: May 23, 2020 at 8:11 pm
IP Address:
Contact Form URL:
Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.

[BERNDPULCH.ORG – BERND-PULCH.ORG – Stasi Liste, KGB Liste, Stasi List, KGB List] Cryptoleaks – Wie CIA & BND Mit Schweizer Hilfe Global Spionierten

Where Have All The Communist KGB and STASI Spies Gone ?

Fallout 4 - RED SCARE - FULL QUEST Mod Playthrough - COMMUNIST SPY ...

A look back: On Normannenstrasse in East Berlin, in the core of a standard white collar class neighborhood, stands a gigantic office complex: 41 solid structures as inauspiciously utilitarian as the condo towers that encompass them. Nine months prior it was the base camp of East Germany’s Ministry for State Security – the Staatsicherheit – or Stasi, maybe the most modern and sweeping undercover work association at any point made. Be that as it may, among January and March this year, as East Germany’s Communist Government at long last crumbled, the Stasi was officially disbanded. Today, the solid fortress is abandoned, its 10,000 rooms fixed, its operators bolted out.

From these dreary structures, 34,000 officials ran the Stasi’s 39 divisions. The staff included 2,100 operators alloted nonstop to perusing mail passed on from post workplaces and territorial Stasi base camp, 5,000 specialists liable for following suspects, and 6,000 agents whose solitary employment was tuning in to private phone discussions.

Primary Department VIII, otherwise called Observation, kept a nearby watch on residents through a broad system of sources in neighborhoods, schools, libraries and even service stations. Principle Department II – Counterintelligence – did electronic reconnaissance of outside ambassadors, specialists and writers and put spies in their workplaces, homes and lodgings. The Stasi even had a division to keep an eye on other Stasi individuals and sources.

”We are as yet getting stuns from what we discover,” says the movie producer Klaus Wendler, a representative for an East German Government advisory group that is currently filtering through the Stasi’s 5,000,000 documents. ”Performers had to keep an eye on individual artists, understudies were pressured into keeping an eye on companions, and youngsters were tricked into keeping an eye on their folks.”

With the disbanding of the Stasi, 85,000 full-time officials lost their positions essentially for the time being. Close to 10,000 have since discovered productive business, a large portion of them in different Government services, remembering 2,000 for the Ministry of the Interior, which some time ago administered the Stasi. The rest have joined the developing positions of East Germany’s jobless; some make due with standard joblessness benefits, while others get no Government remuneration by any stretch of the imagination. Many are upset at ending up barred, even alienated, by their kindred residents.

Abroad, the greater part of the Stasi’s 2,500 profession officials in consulates and missions no longer have a covert operative central command to answer to, and its untold a large number of independent covert government agents no longer get cash from their previous experts. West German insight officials gauge that there are exactly 5,000 agents in West Germany today, 500 of them ”top operators.” Eighty of those are thought to have entered the most elevated echelons of the military and Government, West German authorities state, including knowledge offices.

In spite of emotional political changes in Europe, West German insight authorities dread that not every one of these covert agents have changed their loyalties. Exceptionally restrained and still covert, some are as yet gathering and transferring data to Soviet knowledge organs, the West Germans accept. Others, they think, are essentially sticking around for their chance, holding back to be enacted.

Communist Spy Illustrations, Royalty-Free Vector Graphics & Clip ...

The Stasi has for some time been perceived as one of the best insight benefits on the planet, in a similar alliance as those of Israel and France. By the by, in the course of the most recent seven months, West German and American knowledge authorities have been astounded to find the size of its outside tasks, arranged until his retirement three years prior by the scandalous Markus Wolf. Until 1979, Western knowledge operators didn’t have a present photo of ”the man without a face.” But as of late he has ventured out from the shadows. Today, a smash hit creator, Wolf talks uninhibitedly of his effective infiltration of the West German insight and military over a time of over 30 years. What he doesn’t talk about is psychological oppression.

Over the most recent two months, frightening disclosures have become visible specifying the Stasi’s connects to an assortment of fear based oppressor gatherings, quite the extreme left Red Army Faction, eight of whose individuals were captured in June. With the assistance of the Stasi, they had been given new personalities and occupations in East Germany in the wake of doing psychological militant activities in the 1970’s and 80’s. The Stasi has additionally been ensnared in the Libyan-coordinated bombarding of the La Belle disco in West Germany in 1986: According to new data from witnesses and held onto documents, Stasi operators helped transport the explosives to West Berlin that brought about the passings of two American fighters.

In East Germany, as well, the Stasi, albeit formally nonexistent, stays a danger. In late June, new divulgences uncovered that in 1986, as the Soviet Union started changing its general public and the East German economy kept on decaying, the Stasi, predicting turmoil – however not the finish of the divider – set in excess of 2,000 individuals from a world class mystery team into the most significant levels of East German Government divisions, organizations and colleges. Another 500 government agents were dispatched to West Germany. East German authorities state that a large portion of them are still set up, their characters obscure, and suspect that they are compelled to hold up out any political disturbance.

Insight authorities are in a race to carry the most exceedingly terrible guilty parties to equity before they go for all time underground or sign up with new bosses. The pursuit is suggestive, says one American ambassador in Berlin, of a period in the no so distant past: ”Ferreting out the government operatives, psychological oppressors and Stasi operators is comparable to the quest for the Nazis and their teammates after they endeavored to vanish into German culture toward the finish of the war.”

On Friday morning, only 48 hours from money related unification on July 1, East Berlin is bursting at the seams with energy. Global camera teams and columnists have attacked the city to catch the beginning of another time. Be that as it may, in his office, just strides from the Volkskammer, or Parliament, Peter-Michael Diestel, East Germany’s 38-year-old Interior Minister, ponders the insult inheritance of the past. ”My crucial,” says just, ”is to destroy the Stasi.”

That assignment has tumbled to an impossible competitor: a previous dairy animals draining victor, weight lifter (he can seat press 420 pounds) and infrequent legal counselor who accepted the position of Interior Minister to a great extent in light of the fact that nobody else needed it.

Diestel, a local of Leipzig, has been occupied since getting to work in April. He has enrolled the collaboration of huge quantities of previous Stasi officials and, utilizing data from witnesses and Stasi records, has attempted to acquire ”independent” agents, either by extending to them employment opportunities or persuading them that the Stasi is done. He has gone along key data on fear mongers and sources to West German knowledge offices, and helped organize the capture in June of the Red Army Faction psychological oppressors. At last, Diestel built up the Stasi’s complicity in the La Belle disco bombarding.

Diestel is exploring a forlorn course, subject to furious assaults from both the left and right in East Germany, extraordinary weight from West German authorities, and week after week requires his acquiescence by the German Social Union, a traditionalist gathering in East Germany’s overseeing alliance. Due to day by day dangers against his life, the police monitor his significant other and three little youngsters nonstop. Says Peter Pragal, East Berlin reporter for the week by week magazine Stern: ”He has the hardest activity in Germany, East or West.”

Other than its full-time officials, selected from the best and most brilliant in East German culture, the Stasi had 150,000 dynamic sources and 500,000 to 2 million low maintenance witnesses in East Germany. Its land property alone – including the huge fortresslike complex in East Berlin and Stasi’s in excess of 2,000 structures, homes, dugouts, havens, medical clinics, and resorts all through East Germany – have been esteemed in the billions of dollars. Up until this point, Government agents attempting to take stock of the Stasi have counted 23,000 vehicles and trucks and 250,000 weapons, including submachine firearms, guns, rifles and explosive launchers.

The productive Stasi machine accumulated broad dossiers on in excess of 5 million East Germans – 33% of the populace – that included data as close as sexual propensities and as everyday as books settled up with the library. A great many calls were recorded; condos were pester and unlawfully looked (the Stasi would orchestrate to have suspects kept late at their employments). One protester as of late found that a small scale listening gadget fit for transmitting three miles had been sewn into his jacket neckline.

Residents were powerless against the Stasi’s Orwellian interruption whenever and anyplace – in their condos, industrial facilities, houses of worship, cafés, libraries, specialists’ workplaces, rooms, even on their excursions abroad. In some East German urban communities, each bit of mail was opened in exceptional steam rooms joined to the post workplaces.

At the point when East German soccer groups ventured out to play coordinates in West Germany, Stasi specialists obliged busloads of fans, checking whether any East German sat close to a West German, showed a West German banner or sang the West German national song of praise.

Igor Gouzenko, The Soviet Defector Who Started the Cold War

Up and down the a large number of miles of East German expressway, Stasi specialists acted like corner store chaperons, servers and travelers, cautiously taking note of whether East Germans left their vehicles close to Western vehicles or conveyed dubiously overwhelming baggage.

The Stasi made it basically incomprehensible for East Germans not to work together. Each field operator needed to convey in any event 25 new sources or start 25 examinations consistently. Residents who declined to help were either set apart as subversives or left to adapt to the administration independent. ”You were unable to go anyplace in East German culture except if you could pull the correct strings,” says Hasso Von Samson, a spokesman for West Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution. ”But I guess that’s what happens when they take away your enemy.”

This article reflects the situation in Germany in 1990.

Since then the top spies are still in touch with each other and form a dangerous network which is similiar to the Cosa Nostra in the USA and/or Sicily, the Yakuza in Japan, the Russian Mafia and the Chinese Triads.

The only distinction: The German STASI has learned the code of Omerta and operates in the dark – within the government, the Gauck administration, the Bundestag, the left party, the legal system as judges, attorney and prosecutors, the police and also in the German security and intelligence services.

And last not but least as undercover agents and informer for former KGB spy Wladimir Putin, now Russia’s ruler like former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, former STASI agent Matthias Warnig and the Gazprom and North Stream – Energy connection.

It is a taboo until now.

STASI/KGB Intelligence Cooperation under Project RYaN Exposed – TOP SECRET

Ehemaliger BND-Chef kann geplante Ablösung Honeckers 1987 nicht ...

Between 1981 and 1989 the foreign intelligence branches of the Soviet KGB and the East German Ministry of State Security launched a combined effort to develop a system for detecting signs of an impending western nuclear first strike. Codenamed “Project RYaN”, this early-warning system constituted one part of the Soviet response to the perceived threat of a surprise “decapitation” strike by NATO nuclear forces.

233 pages of documents from the Stasi’s Hauptverwaltung A and analysis by Bernd Schaefer, Nate Jones, and Benjamin Fischer below give unprecedented insight into the capabilities and fears of the Eastern Bloc intelligence services from the Able Archer ’83 War Scare to the end of the Cold War.

Introduction to the Collection

by Bernd Schaefer

In November 2012 CWIHP published e-Dossier No. 37 on the cooperation between the Soviet Committee for State Security (KGB) and the East German Ministry for State Security (MfS or Stasi), which highlighted a wide array of German documents dating from the 1960s through 1989. These materials were introduced by Walter Süss and Douglas Selvage, historians in the research division of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records (BStU) in Berlin.[1] While e-Dossier No.37 featured just one document[2] on Soviet/East German preparations to detect a surprise Western “nuclear missile attack” (RYAN or Raketno Yadernoye Napadenie/Ракетно ядерное нападение in Russian) from August 1984, the BStU research division added a substantial number of German Stasi documents on RYAN to its online collection in 2013.[3] These new materials are remarkable and add to our understanding of the intentions, scope, and duration of the Soviet RYAN project; all of them are available in translation today in the CWHIP Digital Archive. The follow e-Dossier includes detailed comments and analysis on their significance by Nate Jones, a nuclear expert at the National Security Archive in Washington D.C., and Benjamin Fischer, a retired CIA officer and veteran researcher of RYAN and the so-called “Able Archer Crisis” of November 1983.

The August 1984 record of bilateral Stasi-KGB conversations, written by East German foreign intelligence spy chief Markus Wolf, includes an apt summarization of RYAN’s purpose by the Soviet representative: “The need for such approaches derives from the fact that a multitude of measures undertaken by the adversary do not allow advance determination which variation to launch a war the adversary will choose. In addition, we need to integrate experiences from analyzing the enemy’s crisis management into a process of further perfecting the definition of indicators to detect the adversary’s main measures for its acute war preparation.”[4]

It is undisputable that after 1979 the Soviet leadership, military, and intelligence service grew increasingly nervous about a “possible” Western “surprise nuclear missile attack” to “decapitate” the USSR’s nuclear potential and win a subsequent war

It is undisputable that after 1979 the Soviet leadership, military, and intelligence service grew increasingly nervous about a “possible” Western “surprise nuclear missile attack” to “decapitate” the USSR’s nuclear potential and win a subsequent war. The KGB operated an intelligence network to monitor worldwide “indicators” to detect to assess the likelihood of a “surprise nuclear missile attacked” launched by NATO. Soviet assessments of the likelihood of such an attack differed over the years, peaking between 1982 and 1984.

KGB/Stasi Cooperation | Wilson Center

Whether such fears were warranted given the actual activities of the United States and NATO is disputed. Historians and analysts have differed in their assessments of partially declassified American sources, archival materials from Eastern European and Soviet archives, post-1990 oral histories from Russia, and memories of former actors, such as prominent KGB defector Oleg Gordievsky. Some consider the so-called “Able Archer Crisis” or “War Scare” of November 1983 to be the most dangerous event of the Cold War next to the Cuban Missile Crisis, while others view it in a much less dramatic fashion.[5]

The bulk of newly available Stasi and KGB documentation on RYAN from the BStU Archives in Berlin does not address Able Archer 83. However, it casts an unprecedented light on Stasi and KGB perspectives since 1984, as well as on the operational details, structure, and scope of the RYAN project. The collection includes a KGB catalogue from 1984/85 that, in excruciating detail, outlines the 292 indicators that might precede a potential “surprise nuclear missile attack.” Many of them refer to activities in and around Washington offices and buildings, including the White House parking lot. The collection also includes summaries of monthly KGB reports up to April 1989, which list possible global indicators of preparations for a “surprise nuclear missile attack.” These records tell us that hundreds of KGB officers were assigned to work on the RYAN program and a special division was created inside the KGB exclusively for this purpose. Combined with earlier published Stasi documents on the Soviet shoot down of KAL 007 in September 1983 (in which Soviet intelligence’s inability to determine whether the airliner was military or civilian before it was shot down was identified as a serious problem[6]), these new RYAN materials provide ample evidence of comprehensive Soviet efforts to avoid and thwart a “surprise attack.”

While hindsight shows that Soviet fears were exaggerated, the level of Soviet and East German anxiety over Western intentions, particularly during the first Reagan administration, is noteworthy. On the other hand, many Stasi documents on RYAN read like overbearing bureaucratic exercises, aimed at comprehensiveness and perfection on paper, but unattainable in practice. Phrasing in some of the Stasi materials implies that there probably was some skepticism in higher Stasi echelons about the program’s effectiveness and the Soviet approach (though it did not deter the Stasi from contributing more substantive efforts than any other fraternal socialist intelligence service towards identifying indicators).

Still, it does not seem far-fetched that Soviet anxieties were enhanced by the ensuing and ever expanding RYAN program and fed into Moscow’s shift towards disarmament policies under Mikhail Gorbachev. Strangely enough, the KGB’s RYAN project had acquired such a life of its own that its operational routines continued all the way through the first half of 1989, regardless of changes in Soviet-American relations and disarmament efforts during the second Reagan and the early Bush I administration.

Was RYaN simply a “ vicious cycle of intelligence collection and assessment” as described by Oleg Gordievsky? While Gordievsky’s word choice is debatable, these new documents put a certain amount of Soviet “circular reasoning” on full display.

The Vicious Circle of Intelligence

by Nate Jones

Oleg Gordievsky, the spy who revealed the existence of Operation RYaN –RYaN (РЯН) is the Russian acronym for Raketno Yadernoye Napadenie (Ракетно ядерное нападение), or “nuclear missile attack”– described it as “a vicious circle of intelligence collection and assessment.” During the last decade of the Cold War, Soviet intelligence operatives abroad were “required to report alarming information” to Moscow about a Western surprise nuclear strike, “even if they themselves were skeptical of it.” After the Moscow Center received these inflated and incorrect –but requested– reports of Western preparations for a surprise nuclear strike, it became “duly alarmed by what they reported and demanded more.” Now, documents newly released by the Cold War International History Project and the Office of the Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the Former German Democratic Republic (BStU), provide unprecedented insight into the “vicious circle of intelligence” of Operation RYaN. And, in a development never envisaged by the documents’ authors, they now present historians with comprehensive, real-time monthly RYaN reports from Soviet intelligence operatives abroad as they witnessed and catalogued the Cold War’s end.[7]

In 1979 the Institute for Intelligence Problems, coordinated by the KGB’s First Chief Directorate, was tasked to work on “the development of new intelligence concepts” that could provide preliminary warning of Western preparations for a first strike. The result of this work was the creation of Operation RYaN, which was secretly announced in May of 1981.[8] At a major KGB conference in Moscow, General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev and Yuri Andropov, then Chairman of the KGB, justified the creation of Operation RYaN because, they claimed, the United States was “actively preparing for nuclear war” against the Soviet Union and its allies. According to a newly released Stasi report, the primary “Chekist work” discussed in the May 1981 meeting was the “demand to allow for ‘no surprise.’”[9]

The establishment of Operation RYaN has also been corroborated by KGB annual reports from 1981 and 1982, previously published by the National Security Archive. The 1981 annual report states that the KGB had “implemented measures to strengthen intelligence work in order to prevent a possible sudden outbreak of war by the enemy.” To do this, the KGB “actively obtained information on military and strategic issues, and the aggressive military and political plans of imperialism [the United States] and its accomplices,” and “enhanced the relevance and effectiveness of its active intelligence abilities.”[10]

The 1982 annual report confirmed Soviet fears of Western encirclement, and noted the challenges of countering the “U.S. and NATO aspirations to change the existing military-strategic balance.” Therefore, “[p]rimary attention was paid to military and strategic issues related to the danger of the enemy’s thermonuclear attack.” This Soviet unease was spurred by the pending November 1983 deployment of Pershing II and Gryphon Cruise missiles, whose short flight times and long range changed the nuclear balance by threatening Soviet nuclear command and control with decapitation.[11]

The first comprehensive account of the details of Operation RYaN remains a Top Secret February 1983 telegram from KGB Headquarters Moscow to the London KGB Residency entitled “Permanent operational assignment to uncover NATO preparations for a nuclear missile attack on the USSR,” with enclosed instructions on how to report on indicators pointing toward a nuclear sneak attack. This document was published in full in 1991 by Soviet double agent Oleg Gordievsky and British intelligence historian Christopher Andrew in Comrade Kryuchkov’s Instructions: Top Secret Files on KGB Foreign Operations, 1975-1985.

Above: M113 armored personnel carriers move through the town of Stockhausen (Herbstein) during REFORGER ’83 in Germany.

“The objective of the assignment is to see that the Residency works systematically to uncover any plans in preparation by the main adversary [USA] for RYaN and to organize continual watch to be kept for indications of a decision being taken to use nuclear weapons against the USSR or immediate preparations being made for a nuclear missile attack.”

Attached to the telegram was a list of seven “immediate” and thirteen “prospective” tasks for the agents to complete and report. These included: the collection of data on potential places of evacuation and shelter, an appraisal of the level of blood held in blood banks, observation of places where nuclear decisions were made and where nuclear weapons were stored, observation of key nuclear decision makers, observation of lines of communication, reconnaissance of the heads of churches and banks, and surveillance of security services and military installations.

Regrettably, however, Comrade Kryuchkov’s Instructions included a facsimile reproduction of only the first page of this document. The additional pages were translated and typeset into English with no Russian corroboration of their authenticity. Nevertheless, the KGB annual reports, as well as documents from other former Eastern Bloc (Czechoslovakian and Bulgarian) archives, and now these Stasi documents, help to substantiate Gordievsky’s accounts.[12]

The newly released Stasi documents on RYaN show that East German Intelligence did not begin conducting RYaN collection activities until years after the Soviets began. A January 1983 “brief note” describes initial Stasi preparations for creation of systematic RYaN intelligence collection and reporting, but acknowledges “[f]urther questions had to be straightened out.” [13] At the February 9th high-level meeting in Moscow, Stasi head Erich Mielke told KGB Chairman Victor Chebrikov that, “consultations have to be continued.” Chebrikov replied, “The work is definitely not finalized.”[14] In August of 1984, the Soviet and East German intelligence agencies were still discussing how, exactly, “to approach conceptual, organizational, and practical aspects when dealing with the RYaN problem.”[15]

In fact, German collection and analysis of RYaN information did not begin in earnest until early 1985, according to the February 15, 1985, Order Number 1/85 which directed that “all options” be utilized to detect Western “military aggression, particularly a surprise nuclear missile attack” by observing non-socialist states and West Berlin in a “systematic and targeted manner.”[16] While systematic Stasi RYaN collection and analysis did not commence until well after the end of what has become known as the “1983 War Scare,” these newly released documents do contain insights about the danger of the era, which will be discussed below.

Above: Order Number 1/85

The documents also provide unprecedented operational details about RYaN, including its size, the importance of East German intelligence to the Soviets, the use of computers for RYaN collection, and the 292 indicators that some Eastern Bloc intelligence experts believed could be used to detect a nuclear attack.

For the first time, historians have access to hard numbers about the size of Operation RYaN, revealing that within the KGB, 300 positions were created so that RYaN operatives could implement the real-time “transmission and evaluation” of reported indicators showing the likelihood of a Western first strike. In July of 1984, KGB chairman Victor Chebrikov created a new division within the First Department (Information) of the KGB’s First Main Directorate (responsible for foreign intelligence and operations) to implement Operation RYaN throughout the KGB and world. This coordinating division was composed of 50 KGB officers.[17]

The documents further acknowledge that the Stasi was the KGB’s primary source of foreign intelligence. In July 1981, Andropov thanked Stasi head Erich Mielke for providing information on “West German tank production, defense technology, and the NATO manual [as of now the contents of this manual is unknown].” Andropov then complemented the Stasi, lauding, “We rate your information very highly,” and forebodingly requested Stasi sources procure “an assessment of the NATO manual and NATO’s preparations for war.”[18] In September 1983, Deputy Chairman of the KGB Vladimir Kryuchkov told Stasi head Erich Mielke that although Andropov was officially on vacation in the Southern USSR, it was “no actual vacation… For half the day he is reading information, including ours [KGB] and what we received from you.” In December 1986, KGB Chairman Victor Chebrikov wrote Stasi head Erich Mielke to thank him for the “tangible results in this extremely important area [Operation RYaN].” He emphasized that the KGB “highly value[d] the contribution of the MfS of the GDR to the joint efforts on timely recognition of the danger of a sudden attack.”[19]

There are also references to the primitive computer system that the Soviet Union was attempting to use to track and calculate the coalition of world forces, including the risk of nuclear war. The KGB reported to the Stasi that it had “revised its planning for scientific-technological research and industrial procurement” of new “reliably working technology.” Gordievsky had earlier reported of “a large computer model in the Min[istry] of Defense to calculate and monitor the correlation of forces, including mili[tary], economy, [and] psychological factors, to assign numbers and relative weights.”[20] On November 23, 1983, US Defense and Intelligence officials circulated an article entitled, “In pursuit of the Essence of War” that described a Soviet method which “cataloged and computerized” the world’s “correlation of forces.” The results, it claimed, were “highly objective, empirically provable and readily adaptable to modern data processing.”[21] The newly released documents show that the East Germans were skeptical of Soviet computing prowess, however: past “Soviet experiences show us that a danger exists of computer application concepts not getting implemented,” snidely wrote Marcus Wolf.[22]

Computer analysis was desired because the amount of information captured during Operation RYaN was massive. The newly released Stasi documents provide far more detail than Gordievsky’s account of the precise indicators that human intelligence collectors were compiling and analyzing (such as: activity at Defense instillations, the location of prominent political officials, and even the treatment of “the most important government documents at the US National Archives”). In October 1983, Deputy KGB Chairman Kryuchkov revealed that the First Directorate’s Institute for Intelligence Problems[23] had compiled seven binders full of possible RYaN indicators.[24] By May of 1986, these binders had evolved into a catalogue of 292 indicators of “signs of tension.”[25] The Stasi reported that 226 indicators (77 percent) were able to be “covered, though to varying degree.” The indicators were organized into five main categories: Political, Military, Intelligence Services, Civil Defense Agencies, and the Economic sector. A read through the newly released full catalogue of RYaN indicators (as opposed to the truncated list published by Gordievsky) makes the program appear more rational and effective than has previously been portrayed.[26] Just one telling example is the fact that RYaN watchers had sniffed out the US Continuity of Government program, discovering and surveilling “two presidential planes… equipped with accelerated speed [and] electronic apparatuses which work under conditions of nuclear weapons use.”[27] These planes were where the president and his emergency cabinet would command during a nuclear war.

RYaN watchers were also instructed to watch for the “preparation and conduct of large-scale exercises,” because they increased “the level of combat-readiness of US strategic forces,” and hence, could indicate intentions for a “surprise nuclear missile attack.” When Gordievsky disclosed Operation RYaN he also revealed Able Archer 83, a November 1983 NATO command post nuclear release exercise that he claims Soviet intelligence may have miscalculated as an actual nuclear strike.[28]

The RYaN catalogue noted several indicators that would have occurred during Able Archer 83 (and other NATO exercises), including: the “large scale transfer of US armed forces” by C-5A and C-141 aircraft (16,000 troops were transferred from the US to Europe on radio silent flights during Autumn Forge 83, which included Able Archer 83); “preparation of anti-ABC [atomic-biological-chemical] protective gear” and mobilization (during Able Archer 83 the war gamers donned ABC equipment and transferred to an Alternate War Headquarters in response to simulated chemical attacks); and, perhaps most importantly, “significant changes in communications” including “transmittal of orders to deploy nuclear weapons” (on October 17-21 1983, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe school in Oberammergau, West Germany trained more than 50 NATO officers on new nuclear weapons release procedures which utilized a new format that was practiced for the first time during Able Archer 83).[29]

Another eyebrow-raising, though certainly not dispositive, reference to Able Archer 83 can be found in these documents. On November 7, the day Able Archer 83 began, an East German Major General (whose name is illegible) sent a summary of discussions between Stasi foreign intelligence chief Marcus Wolf and Deputy KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov to Major General Damm. Gordievsky has written that on November 8 or 9, he “was not sure which,” flash telegrams were sent to both KGB and GRU residencies in Western Europe reporting “an alert on US bases.” The flash telegrams “clearly implied that one of several possible explanations for the (non-existent) alert was that the countdown to a nuclear first strike had actually begun.”[30]

Perhaps relatedly, the East German documents also reveal a persistent undercurrent of skepticism and concern about the effectiveness of Operation RYaN. In August of 1984, Lev Shapkin, deputy director of the KGB for foreign intelligence, told Marcus Wolf that reforms to Operation RYaN were underway. Though no faulty reporting by Operation RYaN during Able Archer 83 was mentioned in the meeting, the two intelligence officials clearly were worried that false warnings of a Western nuclear first strike could lead to preemptive actions by Soviet nuclear forces. Shapkin told Wolf that the indicators agents were observing and reporting “must be complemented, revised, and made more precise,” and bemoaned “the problem of not getting deceived” by faulty indicators. He reiterated that “clear-headedness about the entire RYAN complex” was a “mandatory requirement.” Marcus Wolf included his concerns in an addendum to the summary of the meetings, stressing the need to know the “actual situation” rather than the picture presented by Operation RYaN’s indicators. “Constant and ongoing assessments,” he sensibly wrote, “have to be made whether certain developments actually constitute a crisis or not.”[31]

The documents contained in this release include one final invaluable resource for historians: monthly Soviet intelligence summaries (translated from Russian to German, and now, to English) spanning August 1986 to April 1989. The monthly summaries, serving a purpose likely never imagined by their drafters, allow us to see how Soviet intelligence witnessed and reported the peaceful ending of the Cold War. The reports, which mirror the above RYaN format, are thorough and include much reporting on the West still officially classified in the United States. This includes reports on the operational readiness of Pershing II, MX, and Trident missiles at specific bases, and US military activities in Nicaragua, Panama, and Iran/Iraq. They also include comprehensive reporting of NATO drills and maneuvers. The Soviet observers reported of Able Archer 87, for example, that NATO “simulated” the switch from peace to war time; nuclear consultations were practiced “in the context of the exercise.” Regrettably, no November 1983 RYaN report is yet available for historians to observe if the reporting on Able Archer 83 was as couched and nuanced as it was four years later.

The task of following CWIHP and the BStU’s lead and finding these earlier RYaN reports now falls to archivists and archival burrowers in other former Soviet states now liberalized.[32]

Finally, these monthly RYaN reports about the Cold War’s peaceful resolution reflect the strangeness of the nuclear superpower rivalry itself. The absurd logic of the Cold War becomes evident when one reads about the NATO “elimination of intermediate and tactical nuclear missiles” in a September 1987 report incongruently entitled, “On the Results of Intelligence Activities to Report Indicators for a Sudden Nuclear Missile Attack.”

Comments on the Soviet-East German Intelligence Alert

by Benjamin Fischer

A real contribution

The BStU documents contain important information about both the Soviet intelligence alert RYAN and its East German counterpart KWA (Kernwaffenangriff or nuclear-weapons attack) during the 1980s. On several accounts, we owe Douglas Selvege a debt of gratitude for locating and disseminating the new tranche. First, no Soviet records have become available since former KGB officer (and British agent) Oleg Gordievsky published a selection of RYAN cables almost a quarter of a century ago, and it is unlikely that Russia will declassify new sources. Most commentators, I myself the most culpable, were mesmerized by both the stark tone of both the cables and Gordievsky’s various accounts of the “war scare.” A more balanced interpretation is now possible. Second, the East German Ministry for State Security (MfS) and especially its foreign intelligence service, the Hauptverwaltung A (Main Directorate A, hereafter HV A), played a major role in the alert system documented here for the first time. For many years, the only information on the East German side was Markus Wolf’s memoir (1997), which some researchers considered a reliable and original source while others did not. Wolf, however, couched his brief account, referring only to RYAN, not KWA. He apparently expected that HV A records would never see the light of day. There was good reason to do so, since most files were destroyed on the eve of German unification.[33] Though skeptical about the purpose and priority of the Soviet intelligence alert, Wolf nevertheless saluted and obeyed KGB orders. The MfS/HV A organized an elaborate early-warning system (Früherkennung/Frühwarnsystem) that replicated and, to some degree, exceeded its Soviet counterpart.

How scary was the war scare?

Wolf occupied a much higher position than Gordievsky in the Warsaw Pact intelligence community. The spymaster was closer to the real center of power in Moscow, was a keen observer of both superpowers, and his agents in the West— especially inside NATO provided insights that countered the ideological stereotype of the “inherent aggressiveness” of the Western alliance. Moreover, his view may have been in line with the actual perceptions of his Soviet masters.

Yuri Andropov was the leading proponent of RYAN. He inaugurated the alert in 1981 as chairman of the KGB and presided over its expansion after succeeding Leonid Brezhnev as General Secretary the next year. In May 1981, during a private conversation with Wolf’s boss, State Security Minister Erich Mielke, Andropov assessed the Reagan administration’s plans for accelerated modernization of strategic and theater-nuclear forces:

The US is preparing for war, but it is not willing to start a war. They are not building factories and palaces in order to destroy them. They are striving for military superiority in order to “check” us and then declare “checkmate” against us without starting a war. Maybe I am wrong.[34]

Andropov added that Washington had abandoned détente because it benefited the USSR at the expense of the US—in words that echoed Ronald Reagan’s condemnation of détente as a “one-way” street! Now the US was trying to recover its losses by reverting to the earlier policy of containment, in other words, to the old Cold War.

Two years later, facing the prospect of deployment of new US Pershing II missiles in Western Europe, Andropov addressed a meeting of the Warsaw Pact’s Political Consultative Committee. The missiles were the “most serious challenge,” he said, and the military situation was “especially dangerous.” In the past, the US had counted on its nuclear weapons “to deter” and “to contain” the Soviet Union; now there was talk of actually fighting and prevailing in a nuclear war.[35] “It is difficult to say where the line between extortion and actual preparation to take a fateful step lies.”[36]

Andropov stopped short of declaring that war was imminent or unavoidable. In his public statements, however, he spoke as if the world was on the brink of a nuclear holocaust. Soviet propagandists compared Reagan to Hitler and the US to Nazi Germany on the eve of 1941. Less than a month after Andropov’s speech, the KGB dispatched a cable that sounded the alarm, asserting that RYAN “now lies at the core of [Soviet] military strategy;” the intelligence alert had become a military alert.[37]

Another “cut” at the question of leadership thinking on the prospect of war comes from a Politburo meeting in May 1983. Acknowledging that the US cruise and ballistic missiles would arrive on schedule, Andropov turned to Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko for an assessment of US intentions. Gromyko replied: “The United States, as is known, is talking about the fact that they can only strike in response to aggression. I think that without enough reason they wouldn’t dare to use nuclear missiles.” He added that, in any event, NATO’s pluralist structure would act as brake on the US: “Against the first strike are also Canada, England, France, and West Germany.”

The Alert Ramps Up

The Soviets were nervous but not to the point of shaking in their boots. RYAN did not, as Gordievsky claimed, begin to wind down in mid-1984, on the eve of his departure from London and after he had lost access to KGB cable traffic. It ramped up. KGB officer Lev Shapkin briefed the East Germans on a series of decisions made to expand RYAN and to create an infrastructure to support it.[38] The KGB formed a new division within the First (information/analysis) Department of the First Chief (foreign intelligence) Directorate (FCD). It was a situation center or watch office designed to collect and assess warning indicators and levy requirements on the FCD’s operations divisions and signals intelligence (Sigint) department.

The new division was a high priority and was almost certainly initiated by Andropov. The formation of a special RYAN commission chaired by KGB chairman Viktor Chebrikov underscored the alert’s top-level political backing and its bureaucratic clout. Chebrikov earmarked 300 slots for the new RYAN division, 50 of which had been filled to monitor warning indications around the clock. However, the KGB had trouble finding qualified personnel and training officers to perform “warning-and-indications of war intelligence,” as it is referred to by US intelligence services. This is one of several signs that the Soviets, even in this late stage of the Cold War, had little or no experience with early-warning intelligence.

Warning and Surprise

RYAN was launched in May 1981 during an All-Union Conference of senior KGB managers from the length and breadth of the USSR. Andropov chaired it, but the presence of Leonid Brezhnev signified that the session was no routine gabfest. Gordievsky’s accounts give the impression that RYAN was the sole item on the agenda. It was not.

The East German documents show that the conference discussed a range of threats, referred to as “surprises,” emanating from within the USSR and the Eastern bloc, as well as from the international arena. The KGB chieftains were instructed to reorient their collection priorities toward early detection and advance warning of potential or impending crises that threatened the internal security and stability, as well as external security, of the Soviet empire. As KGB officer [full name unknown] Zinyov told the East Germans, the new operational directive was to “allow no surprises.” The mission of “Chekist work,” he added, now encompassed “the struggle against espionage and terror, questions of the economy, morale, the construction industry, etc.”[39]

Subsequently, FCD chief Vladimir Kryuchkov confided to Wolf that even foreign intelligence had been drawn into novel operations aimed at detecting threats to internal security originating from outside the USSR.[40] The MfS and HV A followed suit. “The bunker mentality of the GDR [German Democratic Republic] leadership revealed itself in the mantra-like repetition ‘impede every surprise from the enemy in every area.’”[41] This originally meant external military threats, i.e., the war scare, but then it expanded to include a range of dangers posed by domestic dissidence—religious, pacifist, and environmental groups, e.g.—allegedly supported by the West. The “most urgent” mission of the MfS, as well as the HV A, was to detect this conflation of internal and external “surprises” and to “prophylactically” deal with them before they grew to threaten the GDR regime.

Wolf’s repeated assertion that his service had nothing to do with the Stasi police-state was false. Like his counterpart Kryuchkov, Wolf followed orders. HV A case officers and their agents were tasked with collecting intelligence on internal threats emanating from abroad, even at the expense of conventional foreign intelligence inside the GDR and in the “Operations Area” (Stasi-deutsch for West Germany, West Berlin, and other NATO countries). The HV A began filing counterintelligence reports (Abwerberichte)—normally the provenance of the MfS internal security and surveillance departments—which contributed to increased repression in the GDR.[42]

KWA and the Frühwarnsystem

The MfS/HV A was the largest and most efficient Eastern bloc security/foreign intelligence service outside the Soviet Union. Its operational assets were considerable and in several respects exceeded those of the KGB, especially the massive MfS signals intelligence (Sigint) main directorate and the HV A’s extensive agent (Humint) networks that targeted West Germany/West Berlin and the US and NATO presence there.[43] Following the expansion of RYAN in mid-July, the KGB used the MfS/HV A to replicate its own organizational and operational model for early-warning intelligence.

This new collection includes one of the two key documents on KWA, Mielke’s Order Nr. 1/85, which mandated it as “the absolute priority” [emphasis in original] for the entire MfS.[44] The Order authorized Wolf, in his capacity as deputy MfS head, to formulate and implement an organizational plan and operational directives for the entire MfS. The second document[45] is not included in the collection, but several years ago I translated and commented on both documents.[46] The main components of the HV A’s early-warning system included:[47]

  • A “catalog” of warning indicators that was based on the RYAN template of five “political/societal areas” (US/NATO political and military leaderships, intelligence services, civil defense organizations, and economic institutions); it also included targets covered by MfS Sigint and HV A agent networks in West Germany/West Berlin, as well as US/NATO diplomatic, military, and intelligence sites in West Germany;[48]
  • A centralized situation center (Lagezentrum) to constantly monitor KWA indicators on a global basis;
  • A dedicated communications link to the KGB’s situation center;
  • Annual alert drills and military exercises for HV A officers that simulated conditions of a surprise attack;[49]
  • Emergency communications plans and safe houses in West Germany for agents selected to report on KWA;[50]
  • Coordination of operations and intelligence sharing with East German military intelligence on the Soviet model of KGB-GRU cooperation under RYAN guidelines.

A Catalog of Warning Indicators

The focal point of Soviet and East German collaboration was the compilation of a list or “catalog” of warning-of-war indicators designed to detect signs of an impending crisis or war “in real time.” The KGB demanded that the HV A catalog should be based on “strict conformity” with the RYAN template, i.e., on the five “political/societal areas” noted above.

Above: Cover page from the HA III copy of the Project RYaN catalog of indicators.

MfS/HV A records reveal that both services devoted considerable effort to conceptualizing, defining, and operationalizing warning indicators, yet they also seemed to have encountered problems that were never fully resolved. The main objective was agent penetration of “the enemy’s decision-making centers” and acquisition of “documents” on a political decision for war. The Soviet-East German intelligence reach, however, exceeded its grasp. The overriding goal was to obtain advance warning of a US decision to launch strategic nuclear forces, an urgent requirement since one-third of those forces remained on permanent alert, and the rest could be readied on short notice. A 1986 HV A report noted that “at the moment” this had not been accomplished.[51]

The second string to the RYAN/KWA bow was an extensive list of indirect indicators that, it was assumed, would reveal the implementation of alert procedures and mobilization plans that could not be concealed from intelligence surveillance and monitoring. The KGB and HV A were forced to resort to “observable intelligence,” i.e., things that can be seen and counted, in lieu of “message-like” intelligence, which relies on well-placed agents with access to plans, decisions, and intentions.[52] RYAN/KWA signified that the neither the KGB nor the HV A had such agents in place. The questionable methodological assumption was that overt or visible deviations from peacetime norms in the five political/societal areas could reveal a decision to attack the USSR and Warsaw Pact countries.

The one place where both services had well-placed agents was NATO headquarters. The KGB cables Gordievsky published, as well as the East German documents[EMP1] , reveal detailed knowledge of the alliance’s alert procedures and early-warning capabilities, especially NATO’s “crisis management” system. The KGB and HV A did not, however, find it reassuring that NATO arrangements were designed to warn of a Warsaw Pact attack in time to mount a defense. They simply declared that “crisis management” was dual-purpose concept that could be used to attack as well as warn.

The whole RYAN/KWA framework was anachronistic, seemingly more appropriate for the pre-nuclear age when states required lead times to mobilize armed forces and prepare populations for war. The template came from the KGB’s Institute for Research on Operational Problems. One explanation is that with little knowledge or experience to draw on, the Institute was dusting off old lessons learned from a previous surprise attack, namely Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa.

Some of the indicators were based on a mirror-image of how the Warsaw Pact would prepare for war, such as the stockpiling of mineral oil and mass slaughter of cattle. HV A case officers, for example, were instructed to look for:

“Confirmation of deviations in the behavior of prominent personalities and other persons in possession of classified information as well as their family members and persons close to them, which can be viewed as measures for protecting their own security (among other things, sudden moving into specially equipped secure accommodations, unexpected departure from normal residential areas and from border zones at home and abroad).”

The GDR, meanwhile, was building bunkers and fall-out shelters for the political, military, and intelligence elite and practicing “evacuation exercises” in case of a putative nuclear assault.[53]

The KGB and the HV A both had difficulties defining “key” indicators and do not appear to have arranged them in rank order or have assigned numerical weights or some form of an “accounting” method. There is a fleeting reference to the possibility of reaching false conclusions about hostile intentions, but the inherent problem of arriving at a false positive as watch officers worked through their checklists was apparently never fully addressed. Was there a tipping point or designated critical mass of accumulated indicators that would predict an attack? We don’t know, and the documents don’t tell us.

In 1986, the HV A reported that it had covered 226 of the 292 (!) indicators (“77%”), “albeit in varying degrees,” from its catalog, but what that meant is not clear. Were the results negative—no war on the horizon—or positive? The documents refer to efforts to employ computer-based data processing, but they also allude to problems with software and algorithms that, apparently, were never resolved.

All intelligence bureaucracies write memos and send cables when they want to give the impression that they are making decisions and taking action while, actually, “slow rolling the process.” The KGB-HV A dialogue on the indicators may have been no different. Despite repeated references to the urgency and priority of the alert, the HV A took several years to compile its own list of indicators. Meetings of working-level experts in Moscow and East Berlin were arranged at a leisurely pace. It took more than a year after Order Nr. 1/85 to organize an HV A situation center to monitor KWA indicators. By the time it was up and running, the entire effort was about to be overtaken by events in Moscow with the advent of Mikhail Gorbachev and “new thinking.”

Mielke’s Variant

RYAN single-mindedly focused on the putative threat of a US surprise attack on the USSR. KGB cables declared that timely warning was required for Soviet strategic forces to take “retaliatory measures,” but the logic of the alert suggests that a preemptive first-strike, not a second-strike after US missiles had been launched, was the actual purpose.

Mielke repeatedly, and vainly, pushed for consideration of “other variants” of surprise, in particular conflict in Central Europe arising from a crisis in East-West relations. Mielke’s concern, shared by many in West Germany, was that the superpowers were prepared to fight in Europe, with conventional forces or “limited” nuclear strikes, down to the last German and on the last inch of German soil.[54] The Soviets simply ignored him. As the documents show time and again, Kremlin leaders had far less concern for their ally’s security than for their own.

Tradecraft and the war scare

The documents contain several references to operational tradecraft that underscore the Warsaw Pact’s lack of experience with warning intelligence. With the onset of the RYAN and KWA alerts, the KGB and the HV A, apparently for the first time, decided to issue to selected agents in the West rapid response communications equipment. The German term was Sofortmeldung (immediate reporting), which may have referred either to radios or burst transmitters using satellite relays to transmit encrypted electronic signals to the HV A situation center.

Theretofore, the KGB and HV A had employed personal communications (face-to-face meetings) or impersonal communications (dead drops) to pass requirements to and collect information from agents. Such arrangements required advance planning, conduct of pre-and-post meeting surveillance detection routes, and continuous “casing” for meeting or dead drop sites. Old-fashion tradecraft was secure but time-consuming and not suited for real-time reporting.

So, what was the war scare?

Wolf and his officers found Moscow’s “war games” a burdensome waste of time in pursuit of a non-existent threat. Some said KWA was a bureaucratic boondoggle that Mielke used to expand his power and influence. Vadim Bakatin, the last KGB chairman, called RYAN “an atavism of the Cold War” and a “sort of window dressing, and boiled down to compilation of regular reports stating that any given country was not intending in the next few days to drop nuclear bombs on the USSR.”[55] Soviet and East German leaders, however, were genuinely fearful, even if the threats and conspiracies they saw all around them were often exaggerated or even imaginary. As they were losing their grip on power, they were also losing their grip on reality.

Vadim Bakatin, the last KGB chairman, called RYAN “an atavism of the Cold War”

At the same time, the US was investing billions of dollars to upgrade its command-and-control, communications, intelligence, and early-warning capabilities, all predicated on the potential threat a Soviet surprise attack.[56] During the last decade of the Cold War, the fear of war was reciprocal and real, even if the threat of war was not.

Document Appendix

Document 1: Ministry of State Security (Stasi), Brief Note, ‘Issues to Discuss with the Leadership of the KGB of the USSR’. 14 January 1983

A brief note written by the Ministry of State Security that includes a number of questions for the leadership of the KGB in the USSR, such as whether other elements, like military doctrine or emergency responses, should be examined as possible options for starting a war.

Document 2: Ministry of State Security (Stasi), ‘Note About the Talks of Comrade Minister [Mielke] with the Chairman of the KGB, Comrade Chebrikov, in Moscow’. 9 February 1983

This note on the talks between Minister Wolf and KGB Chairman Chebrikov contains heartfelt congratulations on cooperation thus far, but it also highlights problems with the situation and the importance of utilizing the potential of all fraternal organs to detect and prevent hostile plans and measures.

Document 3: Ministry of State Security (Stasi), ‘Notes on Statements made by Comrade Colonel General Kryuchkov’. 3 October 1983

These notes describe statements made by Colonel General Kryuchkov which outline the current state of Soviet institutions and intelligence networks in various regions, including Western Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the United States.

Document 4: Ministry of State Security (Stasi), ‘About the Talks with Comrade V. A. Kryuchkov’. 7 November 1983

This report describes conversations with Comrade Kryuchkov, coving a multitude of subjects, but delving briefly into the problem of “prevention of a surprise nuclear attack” (RYAN). Kryuchkov responded that this issue is being continually worked on, but no central decisions had been made as of yet.

Document 5: Committee for State Security (KGB), ‘Indicators to Recognize Adversarial Preparations for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack’. 26 November 1984

A catalog of indicators of NATO preparation for nuclear war that were monitored by Warsaw Pact intelligence services under Project RYaN. The activity is divided into the following areas: political and military, activities of intelligence services, civil defense, and economic.

Document 6: Ministry of State Security (Stasi), Order Number 1/85. 15 February 1985

This order from the Ministry of State Security describes the tasks of the MfS units concerning efforts to uncover intentions of aggression and surprise military activities by western states and their allies, especially a surprise nuclear missile attack against the USSR.

Document 7:Speech, East German Minister of State Security Mielke, ‘At the Enlarged Collegium Meeting on 7 June 1985 about Further Preparation of the XI SED Party Congress’. 10 June 1985

This speech by East German Minister of State Security Mielke addresses the technological, intellectual, and ideological preparations for war by the west and how to uncover and organize indicators of a potential attack.

Document 8: Ministry of State Security (Stasi), ‘Report on Development and Achieved State of Work Regarding Early Recognition of Adversarial Attack and Surprise Intentions (Complex RYAN)’. 6 May 1985

This report by Ministry of State Security describes developments and achievements toward early recognition of a surprise nuclear missile attack on the USSR.

Document 9: Letter, East German Minister of State Security Mielke to KGB Chairman Viktor Chebrikov. 10 November 1986

This letter from East German Minister of State Security Mielke to KGB Chairman Chebrikov requests a consultation on the development and continuation of Complex RYAN, especially on furthering collaboration between the MfS and KGB.

Document 10: Letter, KGB Chairman Chebrikov to East German Minister for State Security Mielke. 24 December 1986

Responding to Mielke’s letter from November 1986, Chebrikov agrees to the proposed meeting between the MfS and the KGB on the subject of a sudden nuclear missile attack on the states of the socialist community.

Document 11: Ministry of State Security (Stasi), Plan for Consultations with the Delegation of the KGB. 20 January 1987.

This document is a plan for the consultations to take place in Berlin between the Stasi and the KBG. It includes objectives and proposed theses on the subject of early recognition of a sudden nuclear missile attack by NATO forces.

Documents 12 A–T: Committee for State Security (KGB), ‘About Results of Intelligence Activities to Note Indicators for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack’.

Documents 12A–T are monthly intelligence reports digests generated using intelligence by Project RyaN between August 1986 and April 1989.


[1] Süß, Walter and Douglas Selvage. “CWIHP e-Dossier No. 37: KGB/Stasi Cooperation” Cold War International History Project

[2]  “Deputy Minister Markus Wolf, Stasi Note on Meeting with KGB Experts on the RYAN Problem, 14 to 18 August 1984,” August 24, 1984, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Office of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records (BStU), MfS, ZAIG 5384, pp. 1-16.

[3] „Das MfS und die Zusammenarbeit mit anderen kommunistischen Geheimdiensten: Staatssicherheit und sowjetischer KGB.“ Der Bundesbeauftragte für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen Deutschen Demokratischen Republik.

[4] “Deputy Minister Markus Wolf, Stasi Note on Meeting with KGB Experts on the RYAN Problem, 14 to 18 August 1984,” August 24, 1984, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Office of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records (BStU), MfS, ZAIG 5384, pp. 1-16.

[5] See below respective comments by Nate Jones and Ben Fischer.

[6] “Stasi Note on Meeting Between Minister Mielke and KGB Deputy Chairman Kryuchkov,” September 19, 1983, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Office of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records (BStU), MfS, ZAIG 5306, pp. 1-19.

Deputy KGB Chairman Viktor Chebrikov described Soviet “evidence” that the flight looked like a “reconnaissance mission”: “If we would have known this was a passenger plane, we would not have shot it down.” Put differently, the Soviet side wondered what would have been if the plane would have been a military aircraft and part of a Western surprise attack: In this case the Soviet Union would have been unable to detect such an attack, i.e. Moscow would have become “surprised.”

[7] Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, KGB: The Inside Story of its Foreign Operations from Lenin to Gorbachev, (New York: Harper Collins, 1991), 585.

[8] Other sources vary the spelling of RYaN. Soviet Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Dobrynin spelled it “ryon.” Another spelling includes the word “surprise:” “VRYAN” “vnezapnoe raketno yadernoe napadenie” –surprise nuclear missile attack. Czech Intelligence referred to the operation as NRJAN.  One document shows that the Bulgarians monitored “VRYAN indicators” as late as June 1987.  These East German documents confirm that the operation continued until at least April, 1989.  The 1983 War Scare, Part One; Anatoly Dobrynin, In Confidence: Moscow’s Ambassador to Six Cold War Presidents (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2001), 523; Oleg Kalugin, The First Directorate: My 32 Years in Intelligence and Espionage Against the West, (New York: St. Martins, 1994), 302; 9 March 1984, Bulgarian Ministry of Interior; MVR Information re: Results from the work on the improvement of the System for detection of RYAN indications, AMVR, Fond 1, Record 12, File 553, provided by Jordan Baev; Peter Rendek, ” Operation ALAN – Mutual Cooperation of the Czechoslovak Intelligence Service and the Soviet KGB as Given in One of the Largest Leakage Cases of NATO Security Data in the Years 1982 – 1986 .”

[9] RYaN Translation #2

[10] The 1983 War Scare, Part One

[11] The 1983 War Scare, Part One; Benjamin Fischer, “CANOPY WING: The U.S. War Plan That Gave the East Germans Goose Bumps,” International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 27:3, 431-464. Recently, Benjamin Fischer has introduced an additional potential source of East German fear: CANOPY WING, purportedly a US military research project to exploit a vulnerability of Soviet Warsaw pact command and control communications to launch a “decapitation/surgical” strike.

[12] 9 March 1984, Bulgarian Ministry of Interior; MVR Information re: Results from the work on the improvement of the System for detection of RYAN indications, AMVR, Fond 1, Record 12, File 553, provided by Jordan Baev; Peter Rendek, ” Operation ALAN – Mutual Cooperation of the Czechoslovak Intelligence Service and the Soviet KGB as Given in One of the Largest Leakage Cases of NATO Security Data in the Years 1982 – 1986 .”

[13] “Issues to discuss with the leadership of the KGB of the USSR”

[14] “Note About the Talks of Comrade Minister [Mielke] with the Chairman of the KGB, Comrade Chebrikov, in Moscow.”

[15] “Deputy Minister Markus Wolf, Stasi Note on Meeting with KGB Experts on the RYAN Problem, 14 to 18 August 1984,”

[16] “Order Number 1/85”

[17] “Deputy Minister Markus Wolf, Stasi Note on Meeting with KGB Experts on the RYAN Problem, 14 to 18 August 1984,” It is possible that this new coordinating division was created as a reaction to the false alerts generated by Operation RYaN in November 1983 incorrectly warning that a NATO nuclear release drill, Able Archer 83, could have been an actual nuclear attack.

[18] “Stasi Note on Meeting Between Minister Mielke and KGB Chairman Andropov,” July 11, 1981, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Office of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records (BStU), MfS, ZAIG 5382, p. 1-19.

[19] ”Letter, KGB Chairman Chebrikov to East German Minister for State Security Mielke.”; For more on the East German contributions to Soviet intelligence collection, see Benjamin Fischer, “CANOPY WING: The U.S. War Plan That Gave the East Germans Goose Bumps,” International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 27:3, 431-464.

[20] The 1983 War Scare, Part Three,

[21] The 1983 War Scare, Part Three,

[22] “Deputy Minister Markus Wolf, Stasi Note on Meeting with KGB Experts on the RYAN Problem, 14 to 18 August 1984,”

[23] Translated here as “Institute for Operative Problems.”

[24] “Ministry of State Security (Stasi), ‘About the Talks with Comrade V. A. Kryuchkov”

[25] “Ministry of State Security (Stasi), ‘Report on Development and Achieved State of Work Regarding Early Recognition of Adversarial Attack and Surprise Intentions (Complex RYAN)”

[26] “Ministry of State Security (Stasi), Report, ‘Indicators to Recognize Adversarial Preparations for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack’” 119338. A partially declassified CIA document shows that Operation RYaN had its analogue in U.S. intelligence gathering. The CIA was also working with the DIA, and presumably allied intelligence agencies, to create a list of indicators — including the defense industry — for its chiefs of station to monitor, in an attempt to “emphasize greater early warning cooperation with intelligence services.”  Other parallels to RYaN date back to 1961, when the Soviets also instructed embassies in all “capitalist” countries to collect and report information during the Berlin Crisis. In 1991, one might have deduced the January 16 Desert Storm invasion by monitoring the influx of pizza deliveries to the Pentagon, according to current U.S. Army Operational Security (OPSEC) training materials.  In October 1983, justifying the KGB’s difficulties, Kryuchkov stated, “Even in the United States they have not completed this [a RYaN equivalent] yet.” The 1983 War Scare, Part One

[27]  “Report, Ministry of State Security (Stasi), ‘About Results of Intelligence Activities to Note Indicators for a Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack’” For more on Continuity of Government, see James Mann, “The Armageddon Plan,” The Atlantic, March 2004.

[28] Still-classified reports by the British Joint Intelligence Council and the US President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board have allegedly confirmed Gordievsky’s accounts.  See The 1983 War Scare, Part Three,, and British Documents Confirm UK Alerted US to Danger of Able Archer 83,

[29] The 1983 War Scare, Part Two

[30] Regrettably, no text of the November 8 or 9 flash telegram has been released or reproduced. Gordievsky’s revelation of this warning is the only basis for the current historical record (though the preceding and following telegrams which he reproduced and published do serve as somewhat sturdy bona fides).  Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, Comrade Kryuchkov’s Instructions: Top Secret Files on KGB Foreign Operations, 1975-1985, (Stanford: Stanford University Press 1991), 87.

[31] Marcus Wolf did not write kindly of the Soviets, or Operation RYaN, in his 1997 memoir:  “Our Soviet partners had become obsessed with the danger of a nuclear missile attack,” though he writes that he had not. “Like most intelligent people, I found these war games a burdensome waste of time, but these orders were no more open to discussion than other orders from above.” Marcus Wolf with Anne McElvoy, Man without a Face: The Autobiography of Communism’s Greatest Spymaster (New York: Random House, 1997), 222.

[32] Welcome, Ukraine.

[33] For an account of the file destruction by the HV A officer who supervised it, see Klaus Eichner and Gotthold Schramm, Konterspionage: Die DDR-Aufklärung in den Geheimdienstzentrum (Berlin: edition ost, 2010), pp. 174-177.

[34] “Stasi Note on Meeting Between Minister Mielke and KGB Chairman Andropov,” July 11, 1981, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Office of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records (BStU), MfS, ZAIG 5382, p. 1-19. Translated from German for CWIHP by Bernd Schaefer.

[35] Andropov was referring to the new US war-fighting strategy for “prevailing” in a limited nuclear conflict that was first announced as Presidential Directive 59 by the Carter administration and slightly modified during the Reagan administration in National Security Decision Memorandum 13.

[36] “Speech of General Secretary Comrade Yu. V. Andropov of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.” Available at   <;

[37] Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, Instructions from the Centre (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1991), p. 74.

[38] “Deputy Minister Markus Wolf, Stasi Note on Meeting with KGB Experts on the RYAN Problem, 14 to 18 August 1984,” August 24, 1984, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Office of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records (BStU), MfS, ZAIG 5384, pp. 1-16. Translated from German for CWIHP by Bernd Schaefer.

[39] RYAN Translation #2: “Note about the Talks of Comrade Minister with the Chairman of the KGB, Comrade Chebrikov, on February 9, 1983 in Moscow.”

[40] RYAN Translation #3: “Notes on Statements made by Comrade Colonel General Kryuchkov, V. A. on October 3, 1983.”

[41] Peter Richter and Klaus Rösler, Wolfs West-Spione: Ein Insider Report (Berlin: elefanten press, 1992), p. 85.

[42] Ibid.

[43] On MfS Sigint, see Ben B. Fischer, “‘One of the Biggest Ears in the World’: East German Sigint Operations,’” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 11:2 (Spring 1998), pp.142‑153.  The MfS, the HV A, and the intelligence service of the East German Army were handling some 3,000 agents in West Germany/West Berlin when the Berlin Wall fell.  About half spied for the MfS and military intelligence and the other half for the HV A. Five of every 100,000 West German citizens were “working clandestinely for the GDR.” Georg Herbstritt, Bundesbürger im Dienst der DDR-Spionage: Eine analytische Studie (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht: 2007), p. 84.

[44] “Befehl 1/85 zu den Aufgaben der Dienstheiten des MfS zur frühzeitigen Aufklärung akuter Agressionsabsichten und überraschender militärischer Aktivitäten imperialisticher Staaten und Bundnisse, inbesondere zur Verhinderung eines überraschinden Raketenkernwaffenangriffs gegen Staaten der sozialistischen Gemeinschaft,” BstU [Bündesbeauftragte für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen DDR], ZA [Zentralarchiv], DSt [Dokumentenstelle im Zentalarchiv des BStU]103137. Also RYAN Translation #4.

[45] “1. Durchführungsbestimmung des Stellvertreters des Ministers auf Befehl 1/85 vom 15.2.1985, GVS 0008-1/85: Allzeitige Nutzung der Möglichkeiten der Dienstheiten des MfS zur frühzeitgen und zuverlässigen Beschaffung von Hinweisen auf akute feindliche Aggressionsabsichten, -vorbereitungen und –handlungen,” BstU, ZA, DSt103137.

[46] Benjamin B. Fischer, “The 1980s Soviet War Scare: New Evidence from East German Documents,” Intelligence and National Security, 14:4 (Autumn 1999), pp. 186-197.

[47] Wolf’s tasking of MfS departments is described in Ibid.

[48] “Katalog ausgewählter Indikatoren zur Früherkennung gegnerischer militärischer Aggressionsvorbereitungen und Überraschungsabsichten, inbesondere von Maßssnahmen zur Vorbereitung eines überraschenden Raketenwaffenangriffs (KWA),” BstU, ZA, DSt103137. A different version of this text is available in Document #5 of this collection.

[49] See Richter and Rösler, Wolfs West-Spione, pp. 72, 85 and Günter Bohnsack, Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung: Die Legende Stirbt  (Berlin: edition ost, 1997), p. 64.

[50] Richter and Klaus Rösler, Wolfs West-Spione, p. 85.

[51] RYAN Translation #6: “R E P O R T on development and achieved state of work regarding early recognition of enemy attack and surprise intentions (Complex RYAN).”

[52] Michael Herman, Intelligence Power in Peace and War (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 83-88.

[53] Richter and Rösler, Wolfs West-Spione, p. 72.

[54] Fear of a superpower conflict lead GDR leader Erich Honecker to open a back channel to West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, a decision that irritated Andropov. Markus Wolfe, Man Without a Face (New York: Times Books, 1997), p. 221.

[55] Mikhail A. Alexeev, Without Warning: Threat Assessment, Intelligence, and Global Struggle (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997), p. 203.

[56] See Thomas P. Coakley, Command and Control for War and Peace (Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 1992). Parallels between mutual American and Soviet fears of surprise attack are discussed in Benjamin B. Fischer, “The Soviet-American War Scare of the 1980s,” International Journal of Intelligence andCounterintelligence 19:3, Fall 2006, pp.480-519.


Bernd Schaefer

Bernd Schaefer

Global Fellow, Former Senior Scholar;
Professional Lecturer, The George Washington University
Nate Jones

Nate Jones

Director, Freedom of Information Act Project, National Security Archive

Benjamin B. Fischer

Former Chief Historian of the Central Intelligence Agency


The Nuclear Proliferation International History Project is a global network of individuals and institutions engaged in the study of international nuclear history through archival documents, oral history interviews, and other empirical sources. At the Wilson Center, it is part of the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program.  Read more


The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program.  Read more


Covid Situation Insider Infos Revealed

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Here Are Some Key Events to Look For:

  • An effective drug treatment (probably 3-7 months). That won’t stop the spread and it won’t be a “cure” but it will take some pressure off the health system. (One tip: DON’T take hydroxychloroquine. That’s a really bad idea. The first study showed increased mortality in patients and we have no idea how to use it effectively.)

  • Widespread testing… most likely at home pin prick antibody blood testing. Hard to give an exact time frame and the logistics are huge but the test is cheap, easy and fast. Running two tests 14+ days apart through a whole region would identify most cases and also let you know who is likely to have some immunity.

  • A vaccine (probably 12-18 months…could be longer). That’s when things should return to somewhat normal. Then the main risk is the virus mutating but even that becomes a lower risk because it will no longer be a “novel” virus. Once people are vaccinated their immune systems will not be starting from zero with a different coronavirus.

Caution – The 2nd Wave
In some regions, case numbers will be driven down with strong social distancing and regions may lift restrictions.

But this could be a problem…

Historically it’s the second and third wave of infections that cause the most deaths. With restrictions lifted an area could see returning cases again, possibly after summer, either from existing infections in the region spiking back up or infections being reintroduced from areas of the world that are in winter.

Understanding that most regions are looking at 6-18 months of social distancing can help businesses plan their marketing…

Businesses should take aggressive precautions to stay safe and sanitary and get aggressive in educating clients about what precautions they’re taking. That will give people the confidence to do business with them…

Freedom of Information in the Time of COVID-19 by Steven Aftergood

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In principle, the COVID-19 outbreak could provide a compelling new justification for expediting the processing of certain Freedom of Information Act requests related to the pandemic. But it is more likely to slow down the handling of most requests as agency employees work remotely and other concerns are understandably prioritized.

The impact of COVID-19 was surveyed by the Congressional Research Service in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Processing Changes Due to COVID-19: In Brief, March 27, 2020.

Other noteworthy new and updated reports from CRS include:

U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress, updated March 27, 2020

The Employment-Based Immigration Backlog, March 26, 2020

Demographic and Social Characteristics of Persons in Poverty: 2018, March 26, 2020

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) and COVID-19, March 26, 2020

Arms Control and Nonproliferation: A Catalog of Treaties and Agreements, updated March 26, 2020

Congressional Use of Advisory Commissions Following Crises, CRS In Focus, March 25, 2020