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Stalin- Transcripts from Soviet Archives
A Brief Record of Comrade Stalinʹs Instructions on Intelligence Data from May 21, 1937
A source: Petrov N., Jansen M. ʺStalinʹs petʺ ‐ Nikolai Yezhov. M.,
Archive: CA FSB. F. 6. He. 5.D. 25.L. 208‐210. Copy.
1. It is necessary to have in reconnaissance the correct goal and setting, to determine who our enemies are. The Germans know who their enemies are, so they rushed to us to plant their net.
We have forgotten the basic rules of reconnaissance: there are direct enemies and there are possible enemies. All allies are possible enemies ‐ and allies must also be checked. From the point of view of intelligence, we cannot have friends, we have direct enemies, there are possible enemies.
Therefore, do not give any secrets to anyone.
Cooperation with the Czechs: to provide materials that do not reveal our secrets. Otherwise, we will be captured by them. Czechs are the enemies of our enemies, nothing more.
The lesson of cooperation with the Germans must be fully taken into account. Rapallo, close relationship ‐ created the illusion of friendship. The Germans, while remaining our enemies, climbed up to us and planted their net. The reconnaissance department overlooked with its apparatus, fell into the hands of the Germans.
The bourgeois states betray each other, and our ʺalliesʺ even more so.
2. It is necessary to stage intelligence and counterintelligence propaganda.
Publish counterintelligence literature, not hide it from readers. In the west, the bourgeoisie creates a halo around its spies.
In our country, intelligence officers are little known, they are ashamed of their work and their rank, so we do not have an influx of new forces. We need to popularize the work of intelligence and counterintelligence. Promoting intelligence means attracting young people, talented people, girls, scientists ...
The scout is a true patriot, hero, leader of his country. It is necessary to explain the importance of intelligence and the role of the intelligence officer. Write a number of good articles, brochures. Rework and publish some good intelligence books. It is necessary to study foreign intelligence experience and the rich technique of this business.
Make up proposals for the promotion of intelligence work.
3. It is necessary to draw a line at socialist and bourgeois intelligence, between socialist and bourgeois intelligence.
We need ideological intelligence, we need to define morality: intelligence, for example, duality does not suit us.
Bourgeois spies are dishonest, unprincipled, corrupt, they are recruited out of fear, on their vices, and prostitution is widely used.
Most of our failures are due to a lack of ideology. When we select our people, we must thoroughly test their ideological and loyalty.
The scout is principled, ideological, honest and loyal to his homeland.
It is necessary to conduct propaganda about the morality of our intelligence.
4. It is necessary to intensively train scouts. We need more schools; we need to increase the number of schools. The school does not provide a ready scout. It is necessary to have two types of scouts: one type ‐ a closed scout organization consisting of experienced proven active scouts; another kind of people who are in the field of intelligence, are gradually preparing for work in intelligence, make up a large environment around intelligence, these people are sent abroad to study the country, master, improve their language skills, acquire the necessary skills, they observe, perform exclusively tasks on which cannot fail. After one or two years, these people are called back, checked, given additional training, the most capable can be sent to active intelligence work.
5. The reconnaissance network must be disbanded; it is better to disband the whole. Call people to look at them and, after careful checking, some of them can be used in a different direction, sent to other places. Better less, but proven and healthy. The central apparatus should consist only of its own people.
6. It is necessary to increase the salaries of agents in accordance with their value.
7. It is necessary to make wider use of legal opportunities, to put military intelligence officers in the corps of diplomatic couriers, all our diplomatic institutions need to be saturated with commanders. Intelligence should provide the main staff to all our diplomatic countries.
Those traveling abroad are invited to instruct and, if not suitable for use, to protect against recruiting the enemy.
8. It is necessary to conduct a significant part of our commanders through reconnaissance. It is necessary to staff the intelligence school with military‐literate commanders.
9. It is necessary to have intelligence and counterintelligence in the military department. It is imperative that military men keep watch over the army. The NKVD must provide people with intelligence.
This does not exclude completely separate work in this direction by the NKVD organs, but it is necessary to have organs to coordinate all intelligence work.
10. We have major victories, we are the strongest politically, we are stronger economically, but in intelligence we were defeated. Understand, we were defeated in intelligence.
We must create our own intelligence. Good intelligence can delay wars. Strong intelligence of the enemy and our weakness is a provocation of war.
You cannot be blind; you must have eyes. So, you need to have strong intelligence and counterintelligence.
Within ten days, under the leadership of Comrade Voroshilov and Comrade Yezhov to develop a draft resolution on the organization of intelligence and counterintelligence and coordination of all intelligence work.
Develop proposals for the promotion of intelligence work.
After the approval of these proposals, develop a regulation on intelligence and counterintelligence.
* Litter on the first sheet: The material was received on December 26,
1982 from the apparatus of Comrade Tsviguna S.K.