1987: results of counter-intelligence work at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant
1987: results of counter-intelligence work at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant

“The Chernobyl Department of the KGB systematically carries out counter-intelligence work at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, at the Combine Production Association and other organizations — a total of 124 out of 14 Ministries and committees involved in the aftermath of the accident, the construction and operation of the new city of Slavutich power engineers, the shift camp Zeleniy Mys totaling about 47 thousand people.

The operational situation in the 30-km zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is characterized by the identified aspirations of the special services of the enemy, who are trying to obtain data using the agent’s capabilities and the channel for legal entry of foreigners:

  • about the situation in the accident zone;
  • on measures to eliminate its consequences;
  • on the applied methods and means of decontamination;
  • on the results of research work in conditions of elevated levels of radiation.

For reference: secret information of interest to the enemy is concentrated on a number of units of the Combine Production Association, in the majority of operational groups staffed with seconded specialists from 76 scientific research institutes of the country.

The 1st and 2nd power units operate at the particularly important national economic facility of increased sabotage vulnerability of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the 3rd unit was launched in December.

Shortcomings in the operation and maintenance of the Shelter facility do not guarantee its nuclear safety. A decision was made to create a robotics workshop in the production area for emergency recovery work. The possibility of building other enterprises is being studied. The instability of the operational situation is explained by the dynamic process of the progress of work in the accident zone, the frequent turnover of personnel of the main facilities, a significant number of temporarily seconded specialists from various regions of the country. Up to 100 representatives of the operational contingent were identified among them.

During the reporting period, the efforts of the operational staff were focused on the opening and suppression of reconnaissance, sabotage, wrecking and other subversive activities of the enemy and hostile elements. Work was carried out to assist the party, Soviet and economic bodies in liquidating the consequences of the accident, identifying and localizing possible negative processes in labor collectives, and creating, in a short time, a high-quality intelligence staff and working conditions with it.

To solve these problems, the department is currently using 103 agents, 3 residents and 125 trustees; 8 outlets have been purchased. The annual plan of organizational, intelligence and operational and security measures by the counterintelligence department has been largely implemented.

Opening and suppression of enemy intelligence

During the counterintelligence search, 159 foreign specialists and correspondents from 30 countries, mainly from the USA, England, Japan, France and the Federal Republic of Germany, were registered with respect to persons who visited the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the cities of Pripyat and Chernobyl. 32 attempts to collect intelligence information on the situation in the accident zone, intelligence data transmitted by the Soviet government to the IAEA were identified and suppressed.

Our agents brought promptly beneficial information on the course of the liquidation of the consequences of the accident to 127 foreigners, which partly contributed to the objective coverage of the events in Chernobyl by the majority of Western agencies, starting in April 1987.

In three cases, attempts to take soil samples from the correspondents of France and Japan were thwarted (once by operational means by secretly replacing samples). Unauthorized contacts of foreigners with persons who have information on the situation in the zone are not allowed. They were diverted to the operational sources of the department, including during the trial against those responsible for the Chernobyl accident.

Scientific and technical materials for ensuring safety at nuclear facilities in England were obtained, which were transferred for the implementation to the First Directorate of the KGB of the Ukrainian SSR.

Counterparties in action

8 signals were received for Soviet citizens, mainly about attempts to collect information about the situation in the accident zone, 4 of them had previously had contacts with French and West German experts in suspicious circumstances. 2 persons are being checked due to non-confirmation of biographical data.

24 scribes with foreign correspondents and 56 persons of German nationality were allocated in the process of reinstalling the operational contingents, operational forces were identified for their study. The work to identify and verify the operational contingents is difficult due to the constant turnover and limited time spent in the area of personnel involved in the aftermath of the accident, and no positive results have been achieved in this area.

The department uses 12 agents and 37 proxies in counterintelligence search activities. Agents “Vladimir”, “Eugene”, “Sergeev”, a candidate for recruitment “KGV”, trusted “KAP”, “KVI” were prepared for work on foreigners from official positions.

Based on a preliminary analysis of the questions of foreigners who visited the accident zone, the most probable objects of the enemy’s aspirations are identified. Trusted “K” and “A” were selected, through which, together with the First Directorate of the KGB, preparations are being made to bring misinformation. At the same time, work was actively carried out to prepare agents for use in active events and on the channel for Soviet citizens to travel abroad.

Measures for the protection of scientific, technical and economic secrets

14 main places of concentration of secrets and possible channels for their leak were analyzed and identified in collaboration with the Chernobyl administration, the Combine Production Association, and other organizations, using agents, proxies from among highly qualified specialists.

5 official inspections of regime-secret bodies were carried out in order to identify and eliminate deficiencies in the secrecy regime. The appropriate instructions and orders were developed and brought to the attention of the Combine Production Association in order to strengthen the object regime, to prevent cases of loss of documents, unauthorized use of duplicating equipment, to prevent leakage of information about the closed zone and ongoing work to eliminate the consequences of the accident.

To limit the possible leakage of secret information in the process of conducting telephone conversations, the administration of the association decided to significantly reduce the number of subscribers with access to the long-distance PBX channel from December.

8 agents, 2 residents and 18 proxies are used in events aimed at solving counterintelligence tasks in this sector. 17 signals were received and realized from them about gross violations of the secrecy regime in matters of production, reproduction, and storage of documents on the radiation situation at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and in its environment. They also related to technical measures at the Shelter facility, in particular, the organization of removal of unaccounted materials of a closed nature outside the zone.

In order to prevent penetration into the 30-km zone and the Chernobyl nuclear power plant of persons who do not have appropriate permission, practical measures have been taken by the KGB of Ukraine and Moldova to strengthen regime requirements in contact with the KGB of the USSR in the zone. With the participation of operational workers, a new instruction was developed for police officers at the checkpoint for access control.

This year, special commandant for the protection of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was taken into operational support. The ways of a possible uncontrolled penetration into the zone by motor vehicles were closed twice and revealed through the operative group of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Ukrainian SSR.

Sabotage intelligence causes personnel shortage

In three cases, undercover information was provided about the places of possible penetration of the existing units from the 2nd phase of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant through the diversionary reconnaissance department at the station. Perimeter fencing and equipment by technical means of the protected area is completed.

The main disadvantages of working at the site for protecting secrets are that it has not been possible to ensure the proper secrecy regime in a number of units of the Combine Production Association yet, among operational groups and headquarters of research institutions.

It is not possible to reliably exclude the loss of documents containing classified data and the possible leakage of information to the enemy. Few signals are received at this site of work due to poor-quality briefing of operational sources.

This greatly complicates the search for enemy agents. The revealed shortcomings and unresolved problems of protecting the 30 km zone do not guarantee reliable prevention of unauthorized persons from entering the sensitive territory. There are not enough professional agents. High-quality sabotage and reconnaissance work are hindered by tangible personnel shortages.

In order to ensure anti-sabotage protection of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant with the participation of operational sources, 36 places were selected from among highly qualified specialists vulnerable to sabotage and explosive and fire hazardous relations. Possible emergency situations and their consequences are modeled, operational control over the situation in unsafe places and the possibility of equipping them with engineering security equipment are organized.

Operational positions were strengthened directly at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant due to 19 agent recruits, of which 14 are leading experts in reactor management and equipment operation, 47 new proxies were acquired; 45 agents, 3 residents and 68 proxies were used on the site.

During the reporting period, 45 signals were received about the looming of the prerequisites for accidents, six of which were caused by nuclear-dangerous consequences. Thanks to the prompt intervention, they are all localized. During the proceedings on 4 cases of emergency stops of units and 2 emergency power reductions, versions were worked out about possible intentional actions on the part of 22 persons involved in the equipment failure. Measures of administrative and party influence were taken with respect to the perpetrators.

At the same time, improving the training of agents on the signs of sabotage and wrecking activity and developing ways of two-way communication, guaranteeing the receipt of proactive information at any time of the day, are required. It is necessary to coordinate activities with interested representatives of the KGB to verify specific individuals and the facts of the supply of defective equipment.

Activities to combat the ideological sabotage protests

In close cooperation with the linear departments of the KGB, a set of agent-operational and anticipatory measures were taken to prevent mass negative manifestations inspired by foreign anti-Soviet organizations on the day of the Chernobyl accident.

The development of an unfavorable situation was prevented during the preparation and conduct of the trial in Chernobyl of the persons guilty of the accident at the station 04/26/1986. The work done was praised by the party organs and the KGB of the republic.

Conflict situations were localized in contact with the police, and attempts to mass penetration of former residents of the Chernobyl region into the accident zone during traditional memorial holidays were stopped.

12 signals were received about negative processes in labor collectives, among the personnel of military construction units, as well as about politically harmful manifestations of individuals at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the verification of which is being completed. Among the main drawbacks of the work, there is a small amount of information about specific facts of hostile activity on the part of anti-Soviet elements and the lack of prospects for establishing operational accounting cases.

The reasons and conditions that contribute to the emergence of prerequisites for negative manifestations are not always revealed deeply, and inspectors of such actions are identified. The issue of organizing verification of persons from the operational categories in the period between shifts in Kiev and other cities has not been resolved.

Improving agent-operational forces and resources

42 agents and 4 residents were contacted in the process of reinstalling the agents of the former Pripyat KGB Directorate, 29 agents were received from other bodies, 20 agents were recruited again. In relation to 32 agents who left after the accident in various cities of the USSR, their establishment continues in new places of residence.

97 agents and 9 outlets were acquired at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in the cities of Pripyat, Chernobyl and the settlement of Zeleny Mys. The specifics of the shift method of work in the 30-km zone, the high staff turnover at the counterintelligence facilities, the tight deadlines for creating the undercover apparatus and the difficulties in securing secret work with it did not allow us to properly organize the high-quality use of sources and achieve proper performance.

The decision to second six additional operatives to the intelligence department increased the effectiveness of counterintelligence work.

For the purpose of professional and technical training of permanent employees, seminars were held on KGB subjects, a series of lectures by Chernobyl and Combine specialists on the specifics of operating nuclear power plant equipment and radiation safety were organized. One employee underwent an internship at the Sixth Directorate of the KGB of the Ukrainian SSR, two were trained at the Higher Courses of the KGB of the USSR in Kiev.

Together with the party organization, adjustments were made to the style and methods of managing the department, which made it possible to somewhat expand democratic principles in the work. Issues were partially resolved on the creation of working conditions for the operational staff in the cities of Chernobyl and Slavutich, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the acquisition of official vehicles for use in contaminated areas, and work clothes. Basically, dosimetric monitoring and medical care for personnel were organized”.