SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10632]
RUSSIAN THREAT PERCEPTIONS AND PLANS FOR SABOTAGE AGAINST THE UNITED STATES
MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
OCTOBER 26, 1999
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MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania, Chairman
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
STEVEN KUYKENDALL, California
DONALD SHERWOOD, Pennsylvania
JOHN R. KASICH, Ohio
HERBERT H. BATEMAN, Virginia
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
HOWARD ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
VAN HILLEARY, Tennessee
JOE SCARBOROUGH, Florida
WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carolina
BOB RILEY, Alabama
OWEN PICKETT, Virginia
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCPATRICK J. KENNEDY, Rhode Island
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
TOM ALLEN, Maine
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
JIM TURNER, Texas
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
Stephen Ansley, Professional Staff Member
Robert Lautrup, Professional Staff Member
Jean Reed, Professional Staff Member
Peter Pry, Professional Staff Member
William Natter, Professional Staff Member
Erica Striebel, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
Tuesday, October 26, 1999, Russian Threat Perceptions and Plans for Sabotage Against the United States
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Tuesday, October 26, 1999
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 1999
RUSSIAN THREAT PERCEPTIONS AND PLANS FOR SABOTAGE AGAINST THE UNITED STATES
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Pickett, Hon. Owen, a Representative from Virginia, Ranking Member, Military Research and Development Subcommittee
Weldon, Hon. Curt, a Representative from Pennsylvania, Chairman, Military Research and Development Subcommittee
Andrew, Professor Christopher M., Cambridge University
Gordievsky, Col. Oleg, Former KGB London Chief of Station
[The Prepared Statements submitted can be viewed in the hard copy.]
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Andrew, Dr. Christopher M.
Weldon, Hon. Curt
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents submitted can be viewed in the hard copy.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Questions and Answers for the Record.]
RUSSIAN THREAT PERCEPTIONS AND PLANS FOR SABOTAGE AGAINST THE UNITED STATES
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Military Research and Development Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Tuesday, October 26, 1999.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2:00 p.m. in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Curt Weldon (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CURT WELDON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM PENNSYLVANIA, CHAIRMAN, MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
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Mr. WELDON. The subcommittee will come to order. Before we begin the proceedings today I want to welcome not only our witnesses and the Members that are here but a group of students who have traveled from Pennsylvania from Rider University who are taking a class in international security issues. Dr. Martin Goldstein is with them. And I have the pleasure of teaching them once a week. So welcome, students. We are pleased to have you with us. The Military Research and Development Subcommittee meets in open session to receive testimony on KGB operations and on Soviet air and contemporary Russian threat perceptions.
What we are about to hear today will prove, I expect, to be some of the most startling testimony ever to be received by the United States Congress. Their testimony is not just about history, but I believe has profound implications for understanding contemporary Russia and for understanding the real magnitude of the threats we may face from that part of the world.
We are honored to have with us today professor Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky. Professor Andrew together with KGB defective Vasili Mitrokhin has written an important book, The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB. For decades, Vasili Mitrokhin labored in the archives of the KGB secretly taking notes on KGB operations.
When he defected to the West, Mitrokhin had several trunks full of material cribbed from the KGB archives. It is the largest haul of classified KGB records ever obtained by the west. The Mitrokhin archives document Moscow's tendency to see the world in the darkest, most pessimistic terms, to suspect everyone and everything and to assume that global nuclear war was not merely a remote theoretical possibility but a clear, present, and immediate danger.
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The Sword and the Shield also documents Moscow's tendency to pursue extremely aggressive and often bizarre intelligence operations to gain the upper hand in what was perceived as an impending global conflict. Andrew and Mitrokhin reveal particularly dramatic evidence of Moscow's alarmist attitudes and behavior in the KGB's prepositioning on North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) territory and possibly United States territory, caches of high explosives and arms intended for sabotage operations in the event of war.
After the Cold War, Russian political and military leaders never disclosed the existence of these caches to the West. Andrew and Mitrokhin's information has led to the discovery of arms and explosives hidden in Switzerland and Belgium so far. The FBI is conducting an ongoing investigation for KGB arms caches in the U.S., and I will have comments on the meeting I had with the FBI, just last week on this issue during the hearing.
Unfortunately, Vasili Mitrokhin could not appear before us today because of serious illness in his family. However, we are fortunate to have with us Oleg Gordievsky who served as the KGB's chief of station in London during the 1980's. Gordievsky also collaborated with Christopher Andrew in the book, KGB: The Inside Story, which describes how Soviet political military leaders became convinced that nuclear war was imminent.
The protracted war scare in Moscow made East-West relations potentially far more explosive than was appreciated in Washington at the time. In fact, our Professional Staff Member here at this hearing, Peter Pry, during his capacity as a CIA agent compiled extensive documentation, just recently published the book called War Scare, where he goes into great detail about five incidents that almost caused war between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union.
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For example, unknown to the West the NATO theater nuclear exercise Able Archer conducted in November, 1983, was misconstrued by the Soviets as possible preparations for a surprise nuclear attack and nearly triggered a Soviet preemptive nuclear strike.
How is all of this relevant today? Well, for one thing, the discovery of Russian explosives and arms caches on NATO territory appears to confirm or make more credible the claims of Stanislav Lunev, a former colonel in Russian military intelligence, who testified before this committee on August 4, 1998 and who published the book Through the Eyes of the Enemy. You remember we had Lunev testify behind a barrier and undercover during that hearing. Lunev defected to the United States in 1992 after working for more than a decade in the U.S. as a GRU operative. Lunev participated in a GRU program collecting information on the President and senior U.S. political and military leaders so they could be targeted for assassination in the event of war.
According to Lunev, small man-portable nuclear weapons that could be disguised to look like a suitcase would be employed in a decapitating Russian attack against U.S. leaders and key communications and military facilities. Colonel Lunev claimed that the Russian military and intelligence services still regard the United States as the enemy and consider war with the U.S. as inevitable. Colonel Lunev stated that man-portable nuclear weapons may already be located in the United States.
Lunev's claim is based on his understanding of GRU doctrine for employing these weapons or call for prepositioning nuclear weapons in the United States during peace time before crisis or war makes penetration of the U.S. more difficult.
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Lunev testified that he actively supported the GRU program to preposition man-portable nuclear weapons in the United States by identifying in the U.S. potential hiding places where such weapons could be stored and concealed until needed. Lunev was specially trained to disguise and camouflage such weapons.
Another reason Lunev suspected small atomic weapons might already be prepositioned in the United States was because Aleksandr Lebed, former secretary of the Russian Security Council, told a U.S. Congressional delegation including several members of this committee in May, 1997 that dozens of such weapons were unaccounted for. Lebed told the U.S. delegation, and later testified before this committee on October 1st, 1997, that the missing nuclear devices were the perfect terrorist weapon as the small A bombs were made to look like suitcases and could be detonated by one person with less than 30 minutes' preparation.
In a hearing before this committee on October 2nd, 1997, Dr. Alexei Yablokov, a former member of the Russian Security Council and respected scientist, supported Lebed's claim that Russia had in fact manufactured suitcase nuclear weapons. Although the Russian Government initially denied the existence of these weapons, Moscow eventually acknowledged that such weapons had been produced.
Colonel Lunev suggested that the nuclear suitcases unaccounted for by General Lebed's audit of the Russian nuclear stock pile may in fact be prepositioned in NATO countries and the United States. Now we know from the Mitrokhin archive that Russia did in fact preposition conventional weapons and explosives. Are nuclear suitcases also somewhere out there? No one in the west knows what a Russian nuclear suitcase bomb actually looks like. However, we have with us today a notional model of what such a device might look like. The model is inert with no chemical or nuclear explosives or working parts that could cause an explosion. Nor does the model have wires to satisfy the bomb squad's legitimate security concerns, so that the model may be brought into congressional spaces.
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The model is based on unclassified data on the components in an atomic artillery shell to see if such a system could be reassembled in a suitcase. Indeed, as it turns out, the physics package, the neutron generators, the batteries, the arming mechanism and other essentials of the small atomic weapon can fit just barely in an attache case. The result is a plutonium-fueled gun-type atomic weapon having a yield of one to ten kilotons, the same yield range attributed by General Lebed to the Russian nuclear suitcase weapon.
Would you show it to the other Members down here, Peter.
But my remarks have perhaps dwelled excessively on nuclear suitcases. For the implications of what Christopher Andrew, Oleg Gordievsky, and the Mitrokin archives have to tell us is more important. The implications go to deeper, more profound issues about Russia's over all world view that may explain much in contemporary Russian behavior that we find at once frightening and puzzling.
Is it possible that Moscow's alarmist threat perceptions in the recent Cold War continue today in the Russian military and intelligence services? Do Russian military and intelligence elites still harbor war scare attitudes fueled by Moscow's fear of the growing disparity between East and West and military, economic and political power? Does this explain why Russia continues building nuclear bunkers such as the vast underground shelter at Yamantau Mountain when they cannot even provide housing for officers and ordinary people? Does this explain why Russia is invested so heavily in new generations of strategic nuclear missiles, spent scarce resources on nuclear war games that send bombers flying toward Alaska and Europe and has put such effort in developing a new nuclear war fighting doctrine. Is Russian nuclear sabre rattling over NATO expansion and U.S.-led military operations in the Balkans and the Middle East more than merely propaganda or perhaps real warnings that should be taken more seriously?
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The testimony received today may help illuminate these questions. Professor Andrew and Mr. Gordievsky, we welcome you and we thank you for being here. However, before I turn the floor over to you, I want to call upon Mr. Owen Pickett, the ranking democrat, for any comments he might want to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Weldon can be found in the Appendix.]
STATEMENT OF HON. OWEN PICKETT, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM VIRGINIA, RANKING MEMBER, MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me also join in welcoming our witnesses as we begin what I am sure will prove to be a very interesting hearing here today. Colonel Gordievsky, Dr. Andrews, please know that this subcommittee is united in its interest to learn as much as possible about potential threats to security from anywhere in the world as it attempts to conduct its designated oversight responsibilities.
This interest also includes an exploration of past threats as is perhaps the case today, for it presents the opportunity to examine political motivations and mindsets of possible adversaries which are important for any future planning. I look forward to hearing your testimony today and extend a warm welcome to both of you. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Picket. Unless there are objections, any other Member that has a written statement I will put in the record, if that is agreeable to everyone on the committee. We will try to allow you as much time as we can for questions.
So with that I would like to turn over to our witnesses. Any formal statement you have will be put in the record. We welcome you. We thank you for traveling from Great Britain. We appreciate your leadership. I have had the pleasure of spending an evening with Dr. Andrew and have read through the book and am impressed with the work.
Colonel Gordievsky, your reputation in this country is very well known and documented. We appreciate the heroic actions you have taken, and we thank you for also traveling to be with us today. We will first turn to Dr. Andrew for whatever statement you would like to make, then we will go to Colonel Gordievsky, then we will open to the floor for questions.
STATEMENT OF DR. CHRISTOPHER ANDREW, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY
Dr. ANDREW. Mr. Chairman and Members of the committee, first of all I do want to express my sincere appreciation to you all for the opportunity to testify today on an issue which is in my judgment of great importance to both our countries.
To begin with what is already known. It has been known for some time that during the Cold War the KGB and the GRU made detailed preparations for sabotage operations in the United States and other Western states which were to be implemented not merely in time of war, but in certain ill-defined crises short of war. For that we have the evidence of, amongst others, Oleg Kalugin, now a resident in the United States, who 30 years ago was head of political intelligence in the KGB residency in Washington.
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Largely because of the success of his operations in the United States, in 1974 Mr. Kalugin was promoted to become the youngest general in KGB foreign intelligence. And he has since described how during his time in Washington a sabotage expert in the KGB residency, and I quote his words, ''did everything from plotting ways to poison the Capital's water system to drawing up assassination plans for U.S. leaders,'' end of quotation.
Dramatic new evidence of the KGB's Cold War plans for sabotage operations in the United States and other western countries has recently become available. That evidence has, as I shall argue, disturbing current implications for it reveals, as the chairman has noted, the existence of a series of secret KGB arms and radio caches in the West, some of them, perhaps many of them, booby-trapped or in a dangerous condition.
That new evidence comes from KGB files, all of them still highly classified by the current Russian foreign intelligence service, the SVR, which were noted or transcribed by a dissident KGB archivist, Vasili Mitrokhin, who defected to Britain seven years ago. The contents of those files are discussed at length in the book by Mr. Mitrokhin and myself, The Sword and Shield, of which Members of the committee have copies.
Briefly, Mr. Mitrokhin assembled most of his extraordinary archive while overseeing the move of the KGB's foreign intelligence archive from its cramped offices in the Lubyanka in central Moscow to its new headquarters in Yasenevo, just beyond the Moscow Ring Road. During that move, which took a complete decade from 1972 to 1982, Mr. Mitrokhin took daily notes and transcripts from the KGB's most secret intelligence files; and he was able to smuggle those files out of Yasenevo and to conceal them in containers buried beneath his dacha.
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He continued to do so after the move was complete during the two years that preceded his retirement in 1984. In 1992 the British secret intelligence service, which had succeeded in exfiltrating Oleg Gordievsky in 1985, succeeded in exfiltrating Mr. Mitrokhin, his family, and his entire archive to Britain. And as the chairman has mentioned, I have spent much of the last 3-1/2 years working on that archive in collaboration with Mr. Mitrokhin.
There is no doubt about the total authenticity of that archive. I would be happy to answer questions on that afterwards. Though there is no time during my testimony to address that issue in detail, I will be giving some examples in my testimony of how those portions of the archive that deal with the arms of radio caches have already been authenticated. The FBI has described the archive as a whole, and I quote, ''as the most complete and extensive intelligence ever received from any source.''.
The west, I believe, frequently forgets how much it owes to those secret dissidents in the KGB who risked their lives to give us a sometimes crucial insight into the real nature of Soviet policy. And it is a privilege to be testifying today at the same hearing as one of the most courageous of the secret dissidents, Oleg Gordievsky. He who in the early 1980's revealed the paranoid belief of the KGB and Soviet leadership that the first Reagan administration was planning a nuclear first strike against them.
Recent researchand it is worth rendering that at the time this intelligence so wholly correct was so surprising that there was some intelligence analysts in the West and perhaps even in this country who were skeptical of itbut recent perception has underlined both the complete reliability and the crucial importance of Mr. Gordievsky's intelligence of which we will hear more later.
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I want now to review very briefly the new evidence on KGB preparations for sabotage operations in the West. First they commonly included the concealment of arms and radio caches in the region of all the main targets. The standard KGB target file, whose format is given in appendix 1 of my written testimony, contains one section, number 4, on the location and the contents of the arms cache which is associated with that target, and another section, number 5 in appendix 1, which gives the code words to be transmitted by the center, KGB headquarters, authorizing the saboteurs to go ahead with operations against their targets.
Now, the reason for the establishment of these caches is not hard to find. In time of war or serious international crisis, it would necessarily be very difficult suddenly to transport the arms and radio equipment required for the KGB's many sabotage operations to the United States and to other target Western countries. For the operations to be practicable, in other words, much of the equipment had to be in place for when it was needed.
Appendix 2 of my written testimony gives details of the contents of a standard KGB arms cache in the middle years of the Cold War, though there are, of course, many variations. One method, perhaps the main method of bringing arms and radio equipment into Western cultures was via Soviet diplomatic bags. In the case of the United States, however, there are indications in KGB files that some of the equipment was smuggled across the Mexican and Canadian borders.
The earliest reference in Mitrokhin's material to KGB arms caches in the West dates from 1955. Caches continued, however, to be put in place at least until the late 1970's. Many of their locations were inspected about once a decade to check for signs of disturbance. As early as the mid-1960's, some of the caches were discovered to be unsafe or no longer discoverable as a result of the redevelopment of the surrounding area and had, therefore, to be written off.
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By the late 1960's, if not earlier, some, perhaps many, of the radio and arms caches were booby-trapped with so-called Molniya, a lightening device. The secret KGB destructions forinstructions for diffusing the device when the caches were emptied are reproduced as appendix 3 of my written testimony. These instructions clearly acknowledge the possibility that deterioration of the booby-trap, the Molniya device, may result in the caches becoming too dangerous to use. Instruction number 6 forbids removal of the cache if at a certain stage in the process no click is emitted by the explosive device. A franker instruction for number 6 might have been if there is no click at this point simply run like hell. But that wasn't normal KGB jargon.
A word about the way that Mr. Mitrokhin noted these files. His normal practice when noting a dossier from KGB archives was to record the file summary which was always conveniently on the front of the file, then to very frequently to add further details from inside the usually bulky file. Only infrequently for reasons of time did he transcribe the entire file. And of course taking photocopies would have been much too dangerous an undertaking.
Usually when noting files on KGB plans for sabotage in the West, Mr. Mitrokhin only thus gives a general indication of the location of the caches. But on a dozen occasions he transcribes the whole of the detailed finding aids to individual caches by way of example. Now all those caches are in Europe. But Mr. Mitrokhin's notes on them are nonetheless highly relevant to the American situation because they provide indisputable proof of the reality of caches.
Now there have so far been attempts in at least three European countries to uncover some of the caches whose precise location is recorded in the Mitrokhin material. In 1997, the Austrian authorities attempted to excavate an arms cache located concealed near Salzburg, but they failed to find it. Their failure was unsurprising. Road construction since the cache was buried had completely changed the local terrain and had destroyed the markers showing its location.
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The KGB file on it records a Vienna residency had also failed to locate the cache after redevelopment of the area. But the second attempt to locate a cache succeeded because there had been no redevelopment of the surrounding area. In December of last year the Swiss authorities succeeded in secretly uncovering a booby-trap radio cache whose location was precisely described in one of the finding aids transcribed by Mr. Mitrokhin.
The Sword and the Shield contains a complete transcript of the finding aid together with photographs of the contents of the cache in the various stages of its discovery. The finding aid told the Swiss authorities which road to take, where to turn off the road onto a forest track, where to find the chapel, which was the first marker, then to move 55 paces exactly to the left of the chapel. There you see a little forest marker marked FC. When you see FC, you turn a sharp right; you take 36 steps, then you see two trees, and midway between them you start digging. That is where they started digging and that is where they found the booby-trapped cache.
After excavation, the Molniya device was discovered to be in dangerously unstable condition. When fired on by a water cannon, it exploded. A spokesman for the Swiss Federal prosecutors office has issued an official warning that if further caches are to be discovered, they should not be touched. According to the official Federal prosecutor, and I quote, ''Anyone who tried to move the KGB container uncovered in December of 1998 would have been killed.''.
Now this cache was code named Cache Number 3. In other words, there are two other caches which have not been discovered somewhere in Switzerland and which are also in all probability booby-trapped.
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Mr. Mitrokhin also transcribed the finding aids to three radio caches in Belgium. I won't go through the details. That is described in my written evidence. In the Austrian, Swiss, and Belgian examples, the fact that the authorities had learned the location of the caches from the Mitrokhin archive had not been revealed until the publication last month of our book, The Sword and the Shield. There is no doubt that similar caches exist in the United States.
The United States, ''the main adversary,'' to quote KGB jargon, was, of course, an enormously more important target for KGB sabotage operations than Austria, Switzerland, or Belgium. Though Mr. Mitrokhin didn't transcribe the detailed finding aids to any of the KGB arms caches in the United States, his notes make clear that these caches were an integral part of sabotage operations against U.S. targets. KGB files revealed, for example, that in 1966, KGB sabotage and intelligence groups, DRG's, to quote their acronym, largely composed of Sandinista guerrillas, were established on the Mexican-U.S. border with support bases in the area of Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, and Ensenada. The Sandinista leader, Carlos Fonseca Amador, code named Hydrologist, his KGB code name, was a trusted KGB agent. His file was noted by Mitrokhin.
Among the chief sabotage targets across the U.S.-Mexican border were military bases, missile sites, radar installations, and the oil pipeline code named START, which ran from El Paso in Texas to Costa Mesa in California. Three sites on the California coast were selected for DRG landings, together with large capacity caches in which to support mines, explosives, detonators, other sabotage material. A support group code named Saturn was tasked with using the movements of migrant workers to conceal the transfer of agents and the munitions across the borders. And further details of that are given in my written testimony.
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Canada in the north, like Mexico in the south, was intended as a base for cross-border operations by DRGs against the main adversary. In 1967 a number of frontier crossings were reconnoitered, among them areas near the Lake of the Woods and the International Falls in Minnesota and in the regions of the Glacier National Park in Montana.
According to a KGB file, and it may well be right, one of its targets in Montana, the Flathead Dam, I quote, ''generated the largest power supply system in the world,'' end quotes, which is why it was a major KGB target. It identified a point, code named Doris, on the South Fork River about three kilometers below the dam where a DRG could bring down a series of pylons on a steep mountain slope that would take a lengthy period to repair.
The KGB also planned a probably simultaneous operation in which DRG commandos would descend on the Hungry Horse Dam at night, take control of it for a few hours, sabotage its sluices. Two large caches, code named Park and Kemi, were sighted in northwestern Montana, almost certainly for use by the saboteurs.
Other arms caches in the northern United States include two in Minnesota code named Aquarium 1 and Aquarium 2. I want to emphasize in our book Vasili Mitrokhin and I did not seek to sensationalize these caches. On the contrary, we avoided giving even the approximate locations of any of them for reasons of public safety. Any or all of them may now be in dangerous condition. But on the basis of inside information apparently from somebody in the United States with access to Mitrokhin's material, ''Nightline'' has correctly identified the location of one of them as Minnesota sites, as in the Brainerd region.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The total number of caches concealed by the KGB in the United States was, almost certainly, substantially larger than those specifically referred to in Mr. Mitrokhin's notes. To take only one example, the elaborate schemes devised by the KGB to sabotage the power supply to the entire state of New York on which Mr. Mitrokhin noted the file summary must surely have involved the use of explosives concealed in caches. The Mitrokhin archive includes highly classified material on KGB operations in almost every country in the world and covers the entire period from the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution to the eve of the Gorbachev era.
Important though they are, Mr. Mitrokhin's notes contain no more than a sample of the contents of KGB files on plans for operations in the United States. He simply did not have time to note more. Nor did Mr. Mitrokhin have access to GRU sabotage files. So in other words there is still much more to be discovered.
On present evidence, it is impossible to estimate the total number of KGB arms and radio caches in the United States. It is possible that some of the caches selected near U.S. targets may never have been filled. Others may have been emptied. As in Europe, however, some must surely remain. It is now up to the SVR, the Russian foreign intelligence service, to reveal where they are, which of them are booby-trapped, and which others may now be in a dangerous condition.
Thus far, the SVR has been evasive in responding to the revelations of the Mitrokhin archive. In a statement on September 20th after the publication of The Sword and the Shield, Boris Lavrov, head of the SVR press service, cast doubt on whether Vasili Mitrokhin ever worked in the KGB archives despite the fact that a number of former KGB officers, among them Oleg Gordievsky, who is here today, have confirmed that he did.
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Mr. Lavrov ignored the fact that we have published both Mr. Mitrokhin's KGB pension certificate and an official KGB testimonial thanking him for his services in the archives signed by the head of the foreign intelligence, who by the way at that time was General Kryuchkov, later the leader of the 1991 abortive coup. Those are reproduced in our book. While not commenting in detail on the sabotage schemes revealed by the Mitrokhin archive, Mr. Lavrov also ridiculed the idea that the KGB ever had any plans to disrupt the U.S. power supply.
Mr. Lavrov's response is part of a broader SVR strategy of concealing inconvenient leftovers from KGB Cold War operations. In the summer of this year, for example, President Yeltsin handed over to President Clinton a previously secret Russian dossier on the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald. A comparison with the material with the Mitrokhin archive reveals that the SVR had withheld from the dossier given to President Clinton the most interesting and important items, also the most embarrassing items. Among them evidence that the KGB forged items of Oswald's correspondence and that it sponsored through one of its agents in New York the publication of the first book on the JFK assassination and it has done the same thing with its operations in Britain, that is to say, concealed the most interesting, the most embarrassing part.
The SVR may well argue that raising the subject of KGB caches in the West is an attempt to revive the Cold War. That is not my intention. In my judgment, revealing the truth about past KGB preparations for sabotage operations in the United States and identifying the caches which now remain on American soil would be the most effective possible way for the SVR to demonstrate the sincerity of its proclaimed commitment to a new era in East-West relations. If they were U.S. arms caches or U.S. booby-traps on Russian soil, the Russian Government would of course demand to know their location. And it would be right to do so.
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Once again, and in conclusion, I wish to thank the committee for giving me this opportunity to present testimony on KGB operations against the United States.
I believe that Representative Curt Weldon is doing a public service by bringing these matters to the attention of Congress and to the attention of the American people. His action in doing so in no way conflicts with his commendable initiatives, which I applaud, to bring closer bilateral relationships between the Russian Duma and the American Congress. I would be pleased to try to answer any questions that the committee may have. Thank you.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you Dr. Andrew for that very provocative and very thorough testimony. We look forward to being able to question you.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Andrew can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. WELDON. With that, we will turn to Colonel Gordievsky and again we are very honored to have you in our presence. You may take such time as you like to give us your statement. Please pull the microphone close to you so we can get your entire statement.
STATEMENT OF COL. OLEG GORDIEVSKY, FORMER KGB LONDON CHIEF OF STATION
Colonel GORDIEVSKY. Mr. Chairman, Members of the committee, a few weeks before mybefore I was arrested with the KGB, I was kept under house arrest for some time. It was in the mid-80's, after which I escaped to the West, spirited out through the help of the British, at one of the last sessions in the building of the KGB at a meeting chaired by the deputy head of the first press chief directorate, General Kryuchkov, who later in 1991 actually was number two man in the KGB and was after he brought the coup of 1991, he was jailed for a couple of years. Now they all are free.
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And at that time in the mid-1980's he said, comrades, I received very commendable information about the fact that many KGB officers stationed in Washington have now acquired quite a lot of good useful helpful contacts among the assistants of the U.S. Congress of the House of Representatives and the Senate. But it is not good enough comrades, he said, it is not good enough. Because we need to recruit those Members of the Senate. We need to recruit as agents, as informants, Members of the House of Representatives. It is very important from many, many other countries, from Europe and America, particularly from America. Yes, assistants can provide quite a lot of good information but where the agents who are Members in the legislature in the United States.
That little point, that little remark reflects the fact that the Soviet espionage against the United States has been on a large scale for a very long time, all the time since the 1940's. By the way, with the help we have now from Professor Andrewand I read in the book by Professor Andrew through the helpmay be the help of the Mitrokhin archive, it all rings very true. All my experience and career in the KGB for 22 years confirms entirely what has been said here. If I didn't know exactly what I found in the book, I have a feeling that it was going this way, that it was developing that way.
For example, speaking about those caches, I personally participated in digging, digging the ground in one of those countries and putting those radio equipment into the ground. And another case, I was digging out a piece of radio equipment because it was regarded as obsolete, and the new pieces of radio equipment was sent by the KGB from Moscow to Copenhagen to the diplomatic couriers. And I remember that at the railway station, the porter said, kicking with the feet against the piece of equipment saying, ''What is it, what is it?'' And the Russian diplomatic courier said, ''the diplomatic pouch of course.'' ''Really,'' he said. ''I think it must be a piano.''
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So they were sending huge pieces of equipment which was radio stations, weapon caches, and radio interceptor equipment to the United States, to Canada, to the three KGB stations in the United States, to all capitals and in some other cities around Western Europe where they installed them. For example, signal intercept stations, in London alone they had four intercept stations, two owned and run by the KGB and two others run by the GRU.
In New York and Washington you can just see, look at the rest of the Russian embassy and the Russian officers in those important cities and you will see exactly how much, how many efforts it put into the intercept of the communications. And, indeed, they in the past they were able to read 60, 70 countries of the world, the communications, the secret radio traffic between the embassies in Moscow and the embassies in North America, Latin America, Western Europe, and so on. Western countries, NATO countries, members of NATO, the KGB was able to intercept and to read just everything.
There is a number of theas it was said in the previous statement, the United States was regarded as a main adversary by the KGB. There was a number of the officers posted in my time, which is the 1980's, and then I am watching the redevelopment into the 1990's and quite many things now in Russia are quite transparent so I can have a very educated opinion, view or assessment of the efforts of the activities of the SVR, which it now is called, former KGB.
They used to have about 100 officers in Washington, about 100 in New York, at a small station in San Francisco. By the way, all the time this department was speakingor most of the time was speaking of the KGB, meanwhile since the 1980's the Russian intelligence services in Soviet Union, Russia, one is the KGB and the other is the GRU. And the GRU is in size about 70 percent of the KGB. But everything which belongs to the area of sabotage, caches, radio communication, weapons, explosives and so on, it is mainly a domain of the GRU. So now speaking today on the basis of the Mitrokhin book, it is a small part because we still don't know the most important thing what is actually happening in the military side.
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In the early 1970's, an officer major of the KGB or captain, I can't remember, defected from the KGB station in London to the British security service. He belonged to the secret sabotage department of the KGB. After thatand of course it is very well described in the bookthe sabotage aspect of the KGB were slowly reduced and reduced, eventually most of the factions of the sabotage were passed on to the GRU.
So if you speak about the last 20, 25 years of development, speaking about the subjects which I discussed today, it is mostly you should look for the GRU. And wait for some Mitrokhin, somebody from the GRU rather than the KGB would defect and bring a lot of material from Moscow. So we will know about that aspect as well.
Now, my testimony, my story is not about the caches. It is about the KGB paranoia and the Soviet paranoia about the nuclear war and the United States in the 1980's, in the difficult, but important, period of the Cold War. As a British secret agent, British agent inside the KGB, I arrived in London in the summer 1982. Meanwhile, if you remember what was happening in 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 it was very dangerous period where the Soviet Union and the United States came close to a nuclear confrontation.
But the people in the West, particularly not in the United States, they didn't realize how close we were to a nuclear confrontation because since the year 1980, 1979, 1980, 1981, there wasn't strong nuclear war hysteria developed in the Soviet Union. Breshnev, Andropov, important people from the Politburo, government newspapers, Pravda, Izvestia published editorials, speeches were made by Kryuchkov, head of thepress chief director, by Mr. Andropov, not least by head of the KGB, member of the Politburo about the fact that the Russia, the Soviet Union, the United States was about to launchto unleash a nuclear war against the Soviet Union.
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Now, the people in the United States I understand didn't take it seriously. They believed it typical Soviet Communist propaganda, nuclear war, nuclear war, in order to diminish the number of American nuclear presence in western Europe and so on in order to win strategic superiority for the Soviet Union.
Meanwhile, what happened in the 1970s, the Soviet Union developed and started installing the medium-range missiles, SS20. Altogether in the 1970s and late in the 1980s, the Soviet Union installed on its territory, maybe in some East European sectors as well, 650 very modern, with 1,000-mile range, medium-range missiles, with three warheads each. Half of them, about 300, maybe 350, were targeting Western European targets, which meant that the number of targets in Western Europe was more than a thousand.
If it came to a nuclear war and the Soviet Union had launched those medium-range missiles, nothing would have been left of Britain, France, Germany, anything at all in Western Europe.
Meanwhile, in front of that important pressure, a kind of expansion and nuclear threat by the Soviet Union, Western leaders Schmidt and Thatcher and then Carter and later Reagan, they took the important decision to install medium-range missiles in Europe as well, American missiles, in order to counterbalance the Soviet threat; and so those Pershings were installed. When the Pershings were installed, the first Pershings were installed in November, 1983, but the fact was that the Soviet Union was expecting that way soon in the first years of the 1980s, they wereWashington put in, dangerous from the Soviet point of view, the Pershing II missiles .
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The propaganda of the Soviet Union was saying that those missiles allegedly can reach Moscow and other important centers in the Soviet Union in six to eight minutes. They are extremely strong, forceful, and they can actually reach very deep, destroying those strategic nuclear bunkers which had been built in the Soviet Union all the time in the 1970s until the 1980s.
For example, when I was put under house arrest in 1985, I was sent to a KGB hotel 60 miles away from Moscow. There was a battalion of construction troops building something. And then speaking to some KGB retired engineer, he said it is a nuclear shelter of the first category; it is 100 yards deep. It can resist any nuclear attack, even a direct hit.
So what the KGB, under the Soviet Government was doing, they were building nuclear shelters in case of a nuclear war. Which they took seriously.
Eventually, under the impression of a number of factors, the Soviet leadership, which was Andropov, the head of the KGB, it was the minister of defense, and it was probably Brezhnev and Chernenko, two main leaders of the Communist Party, they were persuaded that the United States was preparing to launch a sudden nuclear attack on the Soviet Union outside the context of a conflict, which of course was total nonsense. It was not the case at all.
Simply the whole strategic and political thinking, the mentality of the United Statesand the mentality of Britain was not excludedruled out such a possibility altogether, but the Soviet leadership many years self-isolated, self-indoctrinated; and it was under the influence of their own propaganda. They actually came to that conclusion, which was entirely unbelievable from the Western point of view.
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Apart from the Pershings, which they really were afraid of because they believedthey were saying, Our SS20s, they threaten only Western European targets; they can't reach the United States. The United States can be reached only by ballistic missiles which can fly over the Atlantic and so on. And here there was kind of a balance between the United States and the Soviet Union.
The Pershings installedquite a few, not many of them, not as many as the SS20sbut they made the difference from the Soviet point of view because, with targeting Moscowand in Moscow they believed if the war started just in Europe, the Soviet Union is destroyedthe capitol, the important launching sites of the international missiles, all of the strategic targets of the Soviet Union would be destroyed in the first minutes of the war. It was how they imagined the war. But there were a number of other factors.
One factor was, when President Reagan came to power, and President Reagan and his Secretary of State Shultz started making important speeches, which were regarded by the Soviet Union as ideological speeches, speaking about the moral, political and social superiority of the Western system over the Soviet and tyrannical system and so on, the Soviet Unionthe Soviet leaders started to feel that now there is an administration in Washington which was ideologically motivatednot pragmatic like ultraconservative Nixon and Kissinger, entirely pragmatic.
Now it was ideologically motivated, and it was an attack on the Soviet Union. And since the Soviet Union started recently practically two invasions as a result of ideological considerationsinvasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979they felt that actually this administration was one who will get rid of the Soviet Union for good. And now they startedstarted with a philosophical and propaganda preparation for it.
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The short reason was that in 19811982 the Soviet leadership, through the KGB sources, through the open sources, through the GAU sources, started to receive information about the Star Wars, Strategic Defense Initiative, about the ideas of the American capital in the United States, about the creation of strategic defense in space.
And the Soviet leadership, which was kind of a mirror image, they believed if they gave all of the missiles, strategic nuclear weapons, as we can get them, we can destroy them with bare hands. If they don't have the proper defense, of course we will do it.
Now, the United States, having built the strategic defense, they realized thatthe Soviet Union realized that their strategic defense, their missile nuclear forces are obsolete, so the United States will come to the help of the rest of the NATO and take them with their bare hands. It was a nightmare of the Soviet leadership.
So the people in the medium levels of the Soviet department, people like me and the medium-ranking officers of the KGBand I don't know about the GRU, the military intelligence; they are very paranoid, but the party analysts, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs analysts, normal-thinking people who knew Europe and the United States well enough, they understood that this was nonsense that the United States was preparing in 198119821983 to start a nuclear war against the Soviet Union.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Defense and the KGB, Andropov, they worked together and they told their officers to work out a concept of watching for the science of the preparation by the rest of thefor a sudden nuclear attack on the Soviet Union; and that program, the concept which was worked out in 19811982. In 1983 it was completed entirely, and they started watching for signs of the preparation.
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Each station of the KGB had to report each second week about the signs from all countries of the world, particularly Western countries or pro-Western countries, countries which were sympathetic to the United States. So those stations, KGB and the GRU, in each capital, two independently working intelligence stations which were reporting each second week about the signs of the preparation for a sudden nuclear attack by the United States.
Meanwhile, in the Soviet system it was impossible to report signs. No, we don't see any signs. You have got to report something, to send a telegram, a cable to Moscow to the headquarters of the KGB, without substance, without saying anything; it was just impossible. It was not how the KGB and the whole Soviet system didn't work. It was never possible to say, no, we don't know, or we haven't found, or we haven't discovered anything. It was just always the telegram had to be on one page at least of some substance which meant that in each cityin New York, in Washington, in San Francisco, in London, in Copenhagen, in Bonn, in Berlin, in Munich and Paris and Romestations were every second week sending cables.
Meanwhile, in the headquarters of the KGB and the GRU, and they hadthe two services don't cooperate a lot, but on this subject, they were told to be in touch, to consult each other, and to help each other working out the concepts and the accumulation of signs of the sudden nuclear attack.
So there was a big square, big field, kind of a big piece of paper with squares on it, and the squares were supposed to be filled with information of the more and more signs of the preparation to sudden nuclear attack, and when it was three-quarters roughly, because they had their own ideas how many squares should be filled with information, when three-quarters of the field are covered with the signs, that the Soviet Union should do something.
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But what the Soviet Unionnobody spelled it out. But it was absolutely clear that we won't start a sudden nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union had to strike first, preventing the American's sudden nuclear attack.
The military scientists came to the conclusion that if all of the signs, all of the knowledge and feeling, assurance that indeed the United States, Washington, is preparing for a sudden nuclear attack, there still would be six to eight days left before that attack itself; and it was very important to identify those remaining six to eight days, the last six days before the Armageddon. And in those six days, Moscow would first strike.
So in that self-feeding exercise, the KGB and the GRU lived in 1982, in 1983, until the beginning of 1984maybe even longer.
Meanwhile, when I arrived as a British agent after a couple of years of break in my contact with the British, I arrived as a senior officer in the KGB station in London, and immediately I told the British about this most important current operation. The British officers nearly fell from their chairs. I don't believe it. It can't be true. I said it is true. It's true.
Meanwhile, eight months prior to my posting, I was actually seconded to the staff, joint staff of the KGB and the GRU, to work out the concept, so I knew about it in detail. They could not believe it. So in order to make them believe, and I was telling the British from the start, please tell the Americans, the Americans are the main enginethey are the engine of the train; they are in the fronttell them immediately about this because this can be dangerous. They said, all right, we will, we will.
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Meanwhile, risking my security, my life, in the next about eight months I was able to spirit out of the KGB station in London in August 1982 and beginning of 1983 real documents, KGB instructions, in detail explaining everything about what they were planning and demanding from the stations. And plus I was able to provide what the station was answering and how the station responded to the requirement of the center.
Also, I knew who was the main officer, for example, of the KGB in the Washington station, who was the main organizer watching for signs. And apparently, at least what the British officer told me, they sent somebody reporting to the National Security Council in Washington. And they told me, I don't know what was the truth really, but they told me in 19831984, but particularly in the second half of 1983, the knowledge, the appreciation of the Soviet paranoia and Soviet misunderstanding, it has how penetrated the American mind; and they started to make changes and bring in more transparency in their military exercises to speak more to the Russians.
Meanwhile, Brezhnev died, Andropov died, Chernenko died. All of the three leaders, which were very, very old-fashioned and easily influenced by people who did believe in the Communist dogmas, to my great surprise. So they all died and Gorbachev came to power. Gorbachev at least in the beginning was a very loyal Communist, but he wanted to reform. He realized that the Soviet Union was not able to carryit was suicidal to carry all of the expenses and to compete with the United States, creating a strategic defense in space was absolutely disastrous; so he started to recount a new political thinking, which was a new concept of the Soviet foreign policy, so it became easier.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But the last straw was, of course, the Able Archer exercise in the beginning of November of 1983, because it was more or less a normal military exercise, but the Soviet Union already wary at that time, very, very nervous and very, very tense and extremely shaky after the KLM incident, when they shot down the peaceful Korean airliner, which is also part of the paranoia and the hysteria about the nuclear war. They shot down a peaceful airliner with nearly 300 passengers aboard the plane.
They saw the reaction on Able Archer was nervous and close to overreaction. So it was a moment when the Soviet Union could have started some real responses, and they realized that the people in the West and the United States and other major countries, they realized that something was not right in the Soviet leadership. And the people who had access to my secret reporting, because they protected me as a source very well, the British, and yet the information needed to be put to the political and military leadership of the United States. After the Able Archer exercise, things started to look better.
Meanwhile, the whole nuclear story turned out to be a disaster for me personally, just to finish my story. The effect was, after 1983, in 1984, the National Security Council was telling the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Who is the source? Who is the British source? Who is telling all of the stories about the Ryan operation, about them watching and recording and monitoring and the signs of the preparation for a sudden nuclear attack? Who is the man? They were saying, we don't knowthey were not telling themfind out.
As the CIA started to work out who was the source, and they did; the CIA at the end of 1984, beginning of 1985, learned or somehow deduced that Mr. Oleg Gordievsky, counsel of the embassy and colonel of the KGB, was actually a British agent.
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A member of the CIA, medium-ranking officer Aldrich Ames was also one who had access to that information. He, speaking about the espionage, just to finish up this note, the espionage can be serious business and you should take it seriously. He went to the Soviet Embassy, and during the first three meetings in April, May and June 1985, he passed on to the KGB the information about the sourcesBritish sources and American sources in the KGB, in the GRU, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and some other departments. And practicallyapart from a few who happened to be KGB double-agents, they all died. They all were shot. They nearly all died because of helping the West.
So we should remain vigilant, and whatever changes are made to the better, there are still many threats in this world for the United States.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you very much, Colonel Gordievsky, for that statement. Again, words cannot convey our thanks to you for the work that you have done on behalf of stability in the world and for the unbelievable chances that you took as a KGB leader and the work that you have done since you have come over to the West, and your cooperation with Dr. Andrew as well, on two previous publicationsor actually three previous publications.
For the record, I want to let my colleagues know that I met with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) last week for about an hour, and I talked to Louis Freeh directly and asked him to tell me whether or not the U.S. was aware of the information in the Mitrokhin files and Dr. Andrew's book. The FBI Russian desk told me in my office that they were aware of the book, had access to Mitrokhin and, working with British intelligence, had gone through the data.
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I asked them specifically as to whether we have specific sites in the U.S. that we could identify, as the Swiss and the Belgians did, and they said that there were no specific sites listed. They confirmed the same information that Dr. Andrew stated, which is the possibility of sites in Brainerd, Minnesota; Texas pipeline; New York and California harbors, and other sites in Montana and other border areas.
I then asked a question, whether or not our government had officially requested of the Russian Government the details of the sites in the U.S., because obviously if those details were on sites in Europe, the KGB would have had to document very similar site locations in the U.S.
And the answer from the FBI was, we haven't asked the question yet. To me, that is very troubling, and it is very disturbing. And that was also confirmed in a press conference that was held with the Pentagon briefing staff after Dr. Andrew's book was coming out a little over a month ago. And a response by a military officer from our government was, to his knowledge, we had not asked the question of the Russians about the location of these sites.
I happen to think that this is unacceptable. On October 22, Jim Oberstar and I wrote a letter, which I will make available on the record, to Madeleine Albright. And basically the summation of that two-page letter is, if you asked the question, what was the response; and if you haven't asked the question, why not, about these sites in America, so we can deal with them for the security of the American people?
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
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The reason I went to Jim Oberstar, Jim Oberstar represents Brainerd, Minnesota. He has a very sincere personal interest in this issue. It has been reported in the press in Brainerd, Minnesota, and there has been no information forthcoming, so Jim wrote this letter with me.
And I would just urge my colleagues to use our influence to impress upon this administration the fact that we owe it to the American people to find out the status of these sites, the caches. American people could be subject to possible harm if they are booby-trapped, and our government has a responsibility to at least ask the question of the Russians about where these specific sites are.
Dr. Andrew, do you have any doubt that somebody within the KGB knows exactly where the sites are, that there are other records in Moscow that you did not see, that Mitrokhin did not copy, that would give the exact locations of, if not all of, some of these sites?
Dr. ANDREW. Mr. Chairman, I have absolutely no doubt. As I explained, all that Mr. Mitrokhin had time to do, because he was given a certain amount of time each day to note the entire archives of the KGB, the foreign intelligence archives of the KGB.
Now, what I think he did sensibly was, at the level of detail, was simply to note examples; and it happened that the examples that he noted were European rather than United States examples. But I have not the slightest doubt, and neither does he, that the kind of examples which I have quoted for European countries also exist for the United States.
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Mr. WELDON. Colonel Gordievsky, do you share that sentiment that has been expressed by Dr. Andrew?
Colonel GORDIEVSKY. Yes, absolutely. The archives of the KGB is very well organized. There is a lot of mess and disorder in Russia, but the archives of the KGB was perfect temperature, perfect lighting, perfect system of storing, all of the files, a card index which gives clue where to look and so on. All of the information is there in the files, and the files are kept there; and I am sure that they would not destroy files with specific information about something which is kept in the ground on Western European or North American countries.
Mr. WELDON. Dr. Andrew, how long has American intelligence and the FBI had access to the Mitrokhin files?
Dr. ANDREW. I don't know. All Mr. Mitrokhin did was get out the files from the KGB. He failed to get any out from the FBI and the CIA. But under the normal liaison arrangements which exist between the British and American intelligence communities, to my profound belief, to the mutual advantage of each, the sharing of information would have been very quick.
I have to say, because the archives was so huge, simply processing it would have taken a number of years. And my assumption has beenand it is no more than an assumptionthat by the time that I began work on it early in 1996, everything that related to the United States had already been shared with the FBI and the CIA.
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Mr. WELDON. Now, that is approximately three years ago. Is it also safe to assumeis that about the time when the Swiss and the Belgians uncovered the caches to show that there was hard evidence to reinforce the Mitrokhin files?
Dr. ANDREW. No. The period that it wasthe first attempt that was recordedI only know the attempts that the European governments have admitted, that they looked for KGB arms and radio caches. As I said in my evidence, it wasn't until our book was published that the source which had led them to these excavations became clear. But actually the first European excavation of which I know is actually the Austrian one in 1997, followed by the Swiss and the Belgian ones in the winter of 1998 and 1999.
Mr. WELDON. So for at least two years we knew that another country had found credible evidence that what was in the Mitrokhin files was true, even though we had probably known this information for perhaps as long as three years?
Dr. ANDREW. Since December, 1998. The Austrian attempt was unsuccessful. The Swiss and Belgian attempts in December 1998 were successful; and yes, that must have been known.
Mr. WELDON. Colonel Gordievsky, given the paranoia among the Soviet leadership that you describe, do you think that it was possible or plausiblein your professional opinion, do you think it was possible, as a GRU defector, what Lunev said when he testified here, that they may have prepositioned nuclear suitcases in the territory of the U.S.?
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Do you think that has any degree of possibility at all?
Colonel GORDIEVSKY. Mr. Chairman, it is a difficult question. The KGB and the GRU what they would have planned to do was quite a lot. They planned to use poisons and biological weapons. They planned to use biological, very fine substances to kill people without leaving traces or making it deniable. So they got numerous plans.
For example, I am under sentence of death, theoretical speaking.
Mr. WELDON. Now?
Colonel GORDIEVSKY. For 14 years. They could have killed me because of a sentence of death expressed by the military tribunal of the Soviet Union in 1985. It is still valid, but they are not killing me, I am still alive. What they have planned, what they have in their files is one thing; what they have practically, it is not the same.
For example, I can tell you the first time that I produced the plan of work of the KGB station in London and it was copied and passed on to the British security service, when they read it they said our hair went up in terror, what the KGB was planning to do in London. Meanwhile, the specific action was much more modest. Still damaging, of course, still unnecessary and so on, but much less than what they planned.
So I don't doubt that there must have been plans about nuclear small devices to put around in Washington and New York and so on. But whether they haveit has come to bringing any here is a big, big step. And to even transport them through the countries on the planes, hidden in diplomatic bags, it is extremely complicated.
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Mr. WELDON. I appreciate that.
Dr. ANDREW. Mr. Chairman, if I might make one further comment. As Oleg Gordievsky said, all we have seen is the Mitrokhin archive. What we now need to see is a Mitrokhin for the GRU.
My assessment, which is only an approximate assessment, is that I find it entirely credible that the GRU, indeed the Soviet high command, would have drawn up plans to position nuclear weapons on the soil of the United States. I find it entirely credible that Mr. Lunev would have been asked to reconnoiter likely sites.
I think it very improbable that any actually exist on the soil of the United States, but I would add this rider. Every single one of us in this room, Mr. Chairman, insures our house against risks of say 100,000 to 1, the risk of the house being burnt down.
What we have an absolute right to know, surely, is that anyone who even considered doing these monstrous thingseven if the chance that they succeeded in doing so is extremely remote, they have an absolute duty to tell us what it is they planned and how far they got in the process of implementing it.
Mr. WELDON. I agree with you totally, and I am really outraged that the administration would not have asked the question of the Russianswhich, as I said, has been confirmed by both the FBI and the briefing that took place at the Pentagonhave not asked the Russians the question about where these specific sites are in the U.S., so we can deal with them for the safety of our people.
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Last week, before us we had Ken Alibek who for a number of years was in charge of the Soviet biological weapons program, and he testified on his own personal involvement in the biological program of Russia, and he laid the foundation that much of this program may well still be intact.
Colonel Gordievsky, if I heard you correctly, what you said was there is even the possibility that there could have been other types of weapons, perhaps chemical or biological material which could have been prepositioned at a site.
You don't have any evidence of that, but you are saying that could be a possibility; is that correct?
Colonel GORDIEVSKY. Yes. I would have imagined it would have been much easier for the Soviet authorities and the Russian authorities to think about biological and chemical substances, to bring them and to keep them available for further development. For example, they had been playing with the idea over a preconflict situation; and the whole idea of sabotage, which isdescribed in the book very well, in the days before the proper conflict, a number of sabotage groups and the people who are KGB or GRU, they start some sabotage actions in order to undermine the morale and the infrastructure of the countries like the United States or Western Europe. So the biological and chemical weapons are easier than the nuclear to operate with.
Mr. WELDON. Colonel Gordievsky, Ken Alibek also stated last week in the hearing that he was personally aware of assassinations that occurred in Russia where they used chemical and biological agents on people and leaders. Are you aware of any situations like that?
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Colonel GORDIEVSKY. I don't have factual material to support it.
Mr. WELDON. I want to give ample time for my colleagues. I will come back at a second round.
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am sorry to say I have not had an opportunity to read the book, so I am not certain that I can ask any specifics about the contents, but could you maybe give a little more information on the Mitrokhin data?
As I understand it, it covers a period of some 30 years. Could you give us just a rough idea of the volume, how this was condensed, how it was presented? Did it exclude specific areas of activity in the Soviet Union with particular reference to their own nuclear plans and how they planned to deal with the nuclear capability in the United States?
Dr. ANDREW. Well, I will try to make my answer brief because, Congressman, it has taken me over three years to read all of the material and to write up the material which concerns simply EuropeEast, Westand the United States. I will do my best to be brief.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC During the ten years that it took the KGB to move its foreign intelligence archive from the old headquarters to the new headquarters foreign intelligence, which by the way is still the current headquarters of the SVR. It was a very careful move. Therefore, all batches of files had to be signed out at one place and they had to be signed in at another place, and Vasili Mitrokhin was the man who had to sign them out from the old headquarters, Lubyanka, and sign them in at the new headquarters, which is where Oleg Gordievsky used to work.
During that process, he had the chance to note everything that passed through his hand. If there was a bias in what he noticed, it was that he tended to note the most secret files more than the least secret files because the more secret the file was, the closer the attention that he had to pay to it.
Now, I think there were certain kinds of files that he paid more attention to than the others, and those, I think, had to do with the dissidents. He was himself a secret dissident, and so it was natural that he should pay attention to the fate of the dissidents.
If there is one lesson that I have gained from these archives, it is that attempting to understand what the priorities of the KGB were from our understanding of the priorities of Western intelligence services really does not work. One of their greatest priorities was to ensure that every dissidentit doesn't matter whether he was a great cellist like Rostropovich, or whether he was a great ballet dancer, like Nureyev, whether he was a dissident writer like Solzhenitsyn, who had managed to come to the United States; there was no great priority in ensuring that these people failed.
A pretty good test, I think, of the priority of any intelligence of any political system is whether it passes the precedent test. From the moment that one asks that question about the intelligence that came to the KGB, one sees that their priorities are so different, that attempting to understand what they were doing in terms of our understanding of what we were doing really doesn't make sense.
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Just one example: In November, 1978 the great Russian dissident, Yuri Olov, one of the heroes of our time who is now a citizen of the United States, the great KGB operation of that part of 1978, was to ensure that he didn't receive the Nobel Peace Prize. November 1978, the KGB residency in Oslo, Norway, rings up the member of the Politburo who is responsible for ideological purity. He calls at 3:00 in the morning to tell him that Yuri Olov has not been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and instead of complaining about being woken up, he congratulates the residency. So there are two distortions in the archives, not just in terms of what is noted, but in terms of how much is noted.
One is the distortion which, of course, comes from the fact that all of us pay more attention to the information that interests us than information that does not; but second, a distortion which is structured in the system ensuring that Nureyev, that Solzhenitsyn, that Rostropovich failed. Even though it may seem unpleasant, but trivial to us, it was extremely important for them.
Otherwise, he noted that material that came into his hands over the whole period from 1918the KGB was not founded until the 20th of December, 1917right up to the eve of the Gorbachev era. Not every country in the world is there. There is no reference, for example, so far as Europe is concerned to Andorra and to Liechtenstein, but every other country is mentioned. There are some very interesting files for San Marina.
So this is material which is astonishingly comprehensive in its geographical and chronological scope. I would be happy to go into some of the ways in which the material has been corroborated.
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Mr. PICKETT. I want to give the other Members a chance. I think you have answered the basic part of my question.
Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you.
Mr. BARTLETT. Colonel Gordievsky, in your testimony you mentioned that the Soviet Union was very paranoid, that some of what we would consider very irrational behavior stemmed from that paranoia. I would like to ask both you and Dr. Andrew, now, how Russia is perceiving the expansion of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) right up to their borders? Could this induce paranoia in them? And if that is so, what would be the types of irrational behavior that you might now expect if they perceived the expansion of NATO as being threatening to them and acted in a paranoid fashion?
Colonel GORDIEVSKY. Yes. The current leaders of Russia are former Soviet officials. There is no Vaclav Havel in Russia, former dissident/playwright in the Czech Republic. There is no Brazauskas, who is a musicologist and president and now headchairman of the parliament of Lithuania.
In Russia all people in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, KGB, particularly in the military, they are all former Soviet officials who are very, very Soviet indoctrinated in the Soviet way. For years and years, all the time, since 1949, they spoke about aggressive imperialists, hostile Western imperialism. When it became worse than the Goebbels propagandaafter all, even Goebbels for a few years was able to put in the minds of many Germans some ideas. But in those 45 years, people became through and through indoctrinated.
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Even Mr. Gorbachev, who was a bright reformist and so on, I saw him on British television the other day when he said, don't you realize how you let mehow you treat us? He said, ''how you treat us.''.
''what do you mean? What do you mean?'' the British chap said.
''if we were still the big Soviet Union, would you have extended the limits, the borders of the NATO coming so close to our border? You would never have done such a thing, but now you do. You treat us with contempt.''.
It is the attitude of these former Soviet officials, includingGorbachev is like this, ''You treat us with contempt, you ignore us'' and so on.
What you saw, aggressive anti-Western, quite aggressive, unpleasant, bitter anti-Western reaction and propaganda. One of the Soviet officialsnobody took it seriously. So much passion, unfortunately, in Russian politicians. It is now political correctness to be anti-American in terms of NATO. It is political correctness of the day in Moscow, in Russia. It is very sad.
So it is allI am somehow on the negative side from the Western point of view, and then the behavior of the Russian leaders on Yugoslavia, it was a result of the strange way how they see the world.
On the positive side, we should not be too frightened by it because, after all, they are becoming flexible and pragmatic. They need to work and earn money and build up and restore their foreign policy, and eventually after all of the difficulties with the Chinese embassy and with all of the claims and counterclaims and problems with the United Nations Security Council, now the relations are coming back to normal. Despite the few statements by Yeltsin or whoever, the relations are not so bad.
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They want to be among the eight most important developed countries, not to be the seventh, but the eighth, although economically Russia is much poorer. They want to be the representative of NATO. They return their representative to NATO headquarters back, whom they recalled; they restore their cooperation with NATO. But some difficulties will be there, for example, particularly if, say, the Ukraine will start cooperating more with NATO or there are now signs of Georgia coming closer and closer to the United States. They are irritated about it, but they will have to put up with it because it is just life.
Dr. ANDREW. Congressman, I will try to give a brief answer to what is a very long questiona very large question, rather.
The paranoid strain is, I think, an important element in Russian policy both in its Soviet and post-Soviet phases. We should not assume that it has remained at the same level. I would distinguish three phases. There was the Stalinist period when paranoia reached, by our standards, unimaginable levels.
There was the post-Stalinist era in which the paranoid strain of Soviet foreign policy never reached the Stalinist levels, but nonetheless, on at least two occasions, the early 1960s and the early 1980s, the Soviet leadership was convinced that the United States was preparing for a nuclear strike against it.
Then third, there is the post Soviet period which represents a further ratcheting down of the process.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So it still exists, but we should seek to form some kind of balance. That is to say that it is there, but not as bad as it was.
My second point is this, I have never really understood this: The West continues to be surprised by the influence of intelligence chiefs on President Yeltsin. They should not be because, after all, I cannot think of any other country in the world in the early 1970s where the foreign minister and the head of the foreign intelligence service, that is to say Andre Kozyrev, were engaged in sometimes public dispute with publicly criticizing the positions of the SVR.
Over the last year, again, it has been extraordinary. I mean, Western commentators and Western Kremlinologists have been completely surprised three times in a row, and yet it has been the same surprise.
They were surprised in September last year when Yevgeny Primakov became prime minister. Well, he had to be got rid of earlier this year because he looked too much like somebody who might take over from Yeltsin, which he might still.
Who was he succeeded by? He was succeeded by a former head of the FSB, the successor to the internal directorates of the KGB, the man who got Yeltsin into the dreadful Chechen imbroglio. That again took Western commentators by surprise. Then a few months ago we were taken by surprise yet again when the current head of the FSB, the then-head of the FSB became prime minister.
So there seems to be something in the Western psyche which finds it very difficult to understand the political power of intelligence chiefs, first, in the old Soviet Union and then in the Russian Federation.
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We rarely see in British newspapers, for example, the name Trubnikov, who is the current head of the SVR and yet last year he sat in on the negotiations between Yeltsin and Milosevic in Moscow, of Kosovo, when the last attempt was made in March of this year to try to arrive at some agreement which would stop NATO's attacking. Trubnikov was part of the delegation that went to Belgrade. A couple of months ago he was part of the summit meeting in which China and the Russian Federation discovered they had a good deal in common against NATO.
So finding a balanced judgment is always difficult, but at the moment some of the elements of the balance don't seem to appear in the media very much. One of those elements is the recognition of the influence that intelligence chiefs have on Yeltsin. There is this difference between the President's daily brief which reaches President Clinton every morning and the equivalent of the President's daily brief which reaches Boris Yeltsin every morning. The President's daily brief which reaches President Clinton does not contain policy recommendations. The President's daily brief which reaches President Yeltsin at about the same time contains policy recommendations.
Mr. BARTLETT. May I ask you, in your judgment, what faction in Russia is responsible for continuing what we consider irrational behavior like continuing to pour large amounts of very scarce resources into projects like Yamantau Mountain?
Colonel GORDIEVSKY. I agree with Dr. Andrew that it is the so-called power ministers, the minister of defense, the armed forces, very powerful, very important in the key positions and very well supported by the intelligence services, particularly the SVR led by Mr. Trubnikov. The fact is that Mr. Primakov, who was appointed head of the foreign intelligence service in the autumn of 1991 after the coup, had the purpose to save the intelligence service, part of the KGB, from destruction by the reformed democratic demands, and at that time the democratic forces were inprevailing, at least the people felt that they were prevailing in the autumn of 1991, beginning of 1992.
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So Primakov, as a former academic, he was very much against Mr. Kozyrev, who was a progressive foreign minister. In order to limit his influence in Russia, he started to work out what became a concept of the Russian foreign intelligence service. Meanwhile, what the foreign intelligence service and Mr. Primakov had in mind was to create a new Soviet Union, a post-Communist but similar to the Soviet concept of the Russian foreign policy, and they attacked Mr. Kozyrev until they got rid of him and he was sacked. Theythey harassed him.
There was the statement that there was no concept of the Russian foreign policy, but they, Mr. Primakov as a very clever and quite a large one, much bigger in staff than the minister of foreign affairs in Moscow, the foreign intelligence service, they had the concept of foreign intelligencemeanwhile, relatively soon, later, Mr. Primakov was appointed foreign minister. He brought his concept of foreign intelligence service and created on the basis of it a new concept of the Russian foreign policy; and that concept is very much like the old Soviet policy, only they are not so powerful and not so strong to carry it out.
After all, it was a big state of 300 million, now Russia is 145 million people. So they have very big pretensions and very big demands and great interests, but they are very limited in their resources. But the old-fashioned people, minister of foreign affairs, general staff, armed forces, and the political parties, all of the former Soviet officials dominate. So eventually all factions are about with the same platform.
Mr. WELDON. If the gentleman would yield, Mr. Bartlett wanted to know if you have any specific information: Yamantau Mountain in the Urals, which is known by other names, which is the site of a huge underground complex the size of the Washington Beltway, which has been worked on for 20 years under the Ural Mountains, are you familiar with that project at all?
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Colonel GORDIEVSKY. Yes. In my time when I was in the KGB in the 1970s, I realized that a new directorate of the KGB was established which was Directorate number 15, a hugevery resourceful and rich with a huge budgetdirectorate of the KGB which was responsible for building and maintaining a huge underground shelter which was built for the Soviet leadership in case of a nuclear war.
The secrecy surrounding the 15th Directorate was huge. You were not able to learn anything specific about the 15th Directorate. All you knew was that somewhere in Moscow there was a place which was the main entrance to the shelter. We knew there were big lifts from the Central Committee building, from nearby the KGB and other important departments that would go in case of a nuclear war. In case of a nuclear war, they would go to the underground station and board a train and the train would take them to that main facility aboutaccording to the rumors in the KGB, 25 miles away, 2530 miles away from Moscow.
So if Moscow had been hit directly during a nuclear war, the underground railway and that facility underground which had an autonomous ability to remain without going to the surface for several months is still there.
What is interesting, Yeltsin when he came to power, his so-called democratic regime, they are using those facilities, and the same service is still there running the same facility like it was 10, 15 years ago.
Mr. WELDON. I thank my colleague. We are going to come back for a second round.
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I will now go to Mr. Reyes.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I haven't had a chance to read the whole book, but I was just reading a portion of it on page 475. It references the President of France, Mitterrand briefing President Reagan on an intercept. Apparently the KGB had bugged the teleprinters of the French embassy in Moscow, and this led eventually to the expulsion of 47 Soviet intelligence officers out of France. And I am trying to understand the issue of paranoia and the Soviet Union under a system or a society that is so closed off and so easily controlled, every aspect of it so easily controlled. And why they wouldwhy the KGB, or whoever, would be paranoid about a first strike by the U.S. I don't understandI guess I don't understand that kind of mentality. Can you comment on that, Dr. Andrew.
Dr. ANDREW. Yes. We wouldn't be living in a free society if we understood that kind of mentality. Because it is a mentality that is produced by societies entirely different from our own. I would like to comment on the two points that you made. One, about what they were learning from the French and then second the mentality. But I think that all one-party states are subject, all authoritarian regimes are subject to some degree of paranoia. And the reason for it is this: in democratic societies, even though we may not like the opinions of those who disagree with us, even though we may not like the opinions of those who belong to different parties, we recognize the legitimacy of those opinions.
In one-party states all opposing positions are illegitimate. They are all subversive. In other words, there is no such thing as legitimate opposition. If you do not believe in the legitimacy of opposition, it follows that you must believe in the illegitimacy of all opposition. And that kind of mindset produces a degree of paranoia which is directly proportional to, first of all, two variables: one, the degree of the authoritarianism of the regime; and, second, the degree of threat perception.
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And at moments when one-party states and other authoritarian regimes feel particularly under threat, as they did in the early 1960's, as they did in the early 1980's, then that paranoia, which is truly amazingbut it is, in other words, a structural problem which is associated with all one-party states. I don't know of a single historical example of a one-party state, a really authoritarian regime, which was immune to some degree of paranoia.
Let me turn to the particular example that you mentioned, which is partly related to that but which relates to other issues. We are going to have to rewritehistorians are going to have to rewrite the history of Soviet relations with France. Why? We have had to rewrite since the mid-1970's to some extent the history of the Second World War because now we know that the United States and Britain were able to break the codes of the Germans and the Japanese to an extent which shortened the Second World War.
Well, after the Second World War because there was communist participation in French coalition governments until 1947, there were unparalleled possibilities for the penetration of Soviet agents into the French government. And one of those agents was a cipher clerk in the Quai d'Orsay, the French Foreign Ministry, whose code name was JOUR, day; and he remained active until the early 1980's. He continued to recruit other cipher clerks.
There were major periods during the Cold War we now know when France was conducting open diplomacy so far as the United States was concerned with JOUR and the cipher clerks which he recruited for the Soviet Union. This is the example that you mentioned, but it is only a number of examples from the Cold War. Every single message, 99 percent, so far as we know 100 percent, of messages exchanged between the French foreign ministry and the Quai d'Orsay and the French embassy in Moscow are intercepted and decrypted by the KGB.
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Mr. REYES. And just onecan I follow upone other point here that even with this knowledge apparently the Soviet ambassador came forward to protest, I guess, not admitting that they had gotten caught until he was shown the copy of the number of intercepts and presumably doesn't follow up on it, but presumably then he folded up his briefcase and said okay you got us.
Dr. ANDREW. That is right. The Soviet Union was unaware of how much had been discovered about what they were up to. What they were unaware of is that in the scientific and technological directorate of the KGB, there was an agent whose real name was Vetrov and who, as code named FAREWELL by the Frenchthe reason they code named him FAREWELL was in the hope that if he was discovered to have been an agent since he had an Anglophone name, he was supposed to be a British or American agent rather than French agent. It was, by the way, Oleg Gordievsky who first brought out that story, one of many extraordinary contributions which Oleg Gordievsky has made to Western security.
But as you have said, when the Soviet ambassador came in 1983 to protest to the Quai d'Orsay against the fact that KGB and GRU officers were being, under diplomatic cover, expelled from France, he was silenced by the production of that document.
Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Reyes. Mr. Saxton.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Dr. Andrew and Colonel Gordievsky. You have brought out a very interesting point. As you know, Chairman Weldon has one of a group of friends here that he teaches in college and I will bet they were taken aback as I was to hear you sayand I don't dispute it for a minutethat the psyche in the Soviet Union during the period of time that we are discussing was that all things had to be done to get ready for the attack that the American people through their leaders were planning on the Soviet Union. Because it is pretty obvious to me that that was not our intent.
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And perhaps you can help meI recently read this bookthis happens to be Chairman Weldon's copy, but this is a book by Ken Alibek, formerly Ken Alibekov, I believe, who defected to this country in 1991 or 1992. This book is about the development of biological weapons in the Soviet Union. Where the Soviets apparently had something in the neighborhood of 60 to 70,000 people working in an offensive capacity developing biological weapons to be used against this country. And the KGB apparently convinced that group of 70,000 people and the government officials in the Soviet Union that we had this huge biological offensive program in this country.
Now, these seem to be parallel tracks to me, the KGB carrying out what you have so aptly described on the nuclear front, if you will, and Alibek describing the same thing that happened with regard to biological weapons. We had no biological weapons program in this country by the way, folks. Zero. Can you comment relative to that? Am I right in drawing those conclusions?
Colonel GORDIEVSKY. Yes. There is a similarity. But not quite. The fact was that since 1972 there were no biological weapons in Britain or the United States. Meanwhile in the Soviet Union there was a huge program of production of biological andproduction of biological and chemical weapons and development and new types of development. Remember the most incredible frightening types of ebola and Marburg diseases that were developed deliberately in order to create this powder full of bugs and to put it into the intercontinental missiles even, Alibek writes about them, the intercontinental missiles, several warheads which could be sent to the United States. It was a terrible program.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But what is important to remember, how developed was the paranoia, self-paranoia and self-propaganda in the Soviet Union that both the KGB and the GRU, particularly the GRU, was despite the fact that there was a biological program in the United States and Britain. They were still, if not reporting directly, that yeah, they do have; but they were implying in their reports either theyand it is difficult actually for me to tell exactly what they meant, were they convinced or it were they just doing it in order to run favors for the industry. They were reporting from Britain and through the United States that, indeed, we can't confirm them having the biological and chemical weapons programs, but we have strong suspicions that they have secret departments and secret facilities where they do it. And so one day we will find out and report to you.
Mr. SAXTON. Do you believe that the development of the offensive biological program and the propensity to carry forward on such a massive scale was due in part to the paranoia and in part to the fact that a bureaucracy tends to take on a life of its own and perpetuate itself, both things, or was one or the other dominant?
Dr. ANDREW. I think both of those are true. It is very difficult to weight them. But it is important to remember that you know there was no symmetry during the Cold War. There are things that are call bureaucracies in the East; there are things called bureaucracies in the west, just as there are things that are called economists in the east and economists in the West. In other words, the laws of bureaucracy in the east are not the same as the laws of the bureaucracy in the West. It may sometimes be difficult in the west for a subordinate to challenge the generally held view of his or her superiors. But it is actually impossible in the East.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC What Oleg Gordievsky was saying earlier on, there were plenty of people in the KGB residencies in Washington and London and elsewhereand of course in London part of it was Oleg Gordievsky, who knew that rearm was nonsense. Of course North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the first Reagan administration was not planning a nuclear first strike against Soviet Union. But so far as we know, there wasn't a single KGB report from any residency in the West which even thought of saying, no, this is nonsense; it is not happening.
And I think something similar applies to challenging the view at the center of biological/chemical warfare in the west. There must have been. Many or at least a significant number of KGB officers in Western residencies, Washington, London, and elsewhere didn't believe it. But they were no more likely to take on the political orthodoxy of the center on that subject than they were of any other.
Now, I believe it is the case, Mr. Chairman, that this committee has heard evidence from Vladimir Pasechnik, one of the former leaders of a so-called biotech company which was in fact a front for biological and chemical warfare in the United States and someone to whom I spoke years ago. But initially the intelligence that came in, my understanding is, from the Soviet Union about the scale of the preparations for biological chemical warfare in the mid-1980's met the same degree of skepticism in some quarters as some of Oleg Gordievsky's intelligence did about the paranoia of the Breshnev and the Andropov regime so far as the United States is concerned.
Societies in which high-level paranoia is not endemic, thank God, do not understand tremendously well those regimes in which paranoia is actually a structural part of the system. So one of the problems during the 1980's was that just as it was difficult, nobody disbelieves it now, hardly anybody disbelieves it now, just as it was difficult then to believe the extent of Soviet paranoia about NATO's nuclear plans for nonexistent nuclear first strike against the Soviet Union.
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So it was pretty difficult during the 1980's to actually credit the intelligence that was being received about the level of Soviet preparations for biological and chemical warfare.
Mr. SAXTON. Colonel Gordievsky, let me ask one other question. With regard to the biological weapons program, do you generally agree, generally agree with Ken Alibekov in his description of what happened during those 40 or so years that the program was developing?
Colonel GORDIEVSKY. Yes. I agree with everything he is saying in his book. I would like to tell you that for me the subject was not entirely new. Because when I was working in London, those three important last years of my career, I was asked by the British officers what did I know about the biological and chemical weapons development and production back in the Soviet Union. And you know that in the Soviet departments like in any country, but particularly totalitarian country, you got right to know. If I didn't have right to know, I was not supposed to know. But people did talk.
So I knew very well that indeed there was a chemical weapon production which was against international conventions. I knew for sure that there was biologicalchemical production in the Soviet Union. And not least, not least because the telegrams, the cables asking, coming to the station which were not supposed to tell anything about such secret things, but we were asking about what is going on in Northern Ireland in the laboratories, British laboratories. What do you do about biological and chemical weapons production in Iraq? Do the British people, British officials or British secret services, do they know anything about those weapons? And what exactly is in the Middle East and Israel and so on.
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So indirectly I was able to feel that, indeed, there was illegal against international conventions of production of chemicals. It was huge. I knew it would be huge because everything on the intelligence and the military side, everything in the Soviet Union was huge. And indeed when I met already after my escape with Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister, I realize that she at an early stage, as early as 1986, 1985, 1986, she had known quite a lot about illicit production of those weapons in the Soviet Union. She was very interested to end it and eventually they agreed to end it. But according to this book and other rumors, they are still up to it.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much. I would just like to say thank you for being with us here today. It is certainly very enlightening, even though it doesn't make us feel very comfortable. Thank you.
Mr. BARTLETT. [presiding] Thank you very much. Mr. Rodriguez.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Colonel, let me first of all ask youI want to see if I had heard correctlydid you indicate that you were directly involved in digging up and/or placing of some of those cases? Did I hear that wrong?
Colonel GORDIEVSKY. Because the point I made that the material, the information, here rings true for me because in the KGBin 20 years of the KGB I heard rumors about such things. Meanwhile I personally participated in digging in Scandinavia, digging into the ground radio equipment, not explosives, not weapons, but radio equipment for the people to call illegals, which means KGB officers using foreign identity not Soviet identity.
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Was that just in Scandinavia?
Colonel GORDIEVSKY. It was German, Swiss, British, American identity who would come days prior to the beginning conflict between East and West, dig out the secret equipment and start using it, sending reports to Moscow. Because the KGB station and the GRU station in the capital would be either destroyed as a result of the nuclear war or deported, arrest or sent back to Moscow and so on because the war is there. So there is no so-called legal stations, legal residences, only the illegals are left. The illegals, it is another chapter because the United States has madethere are Russian illegals even now those people who are using foreign identity.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. What you were directly involved in was radio equipment, not anything else in terms ofokay. I want to get that clear.
Second, I just I know there is a lot of discussion in terms of feelings of paranoia and that kind of thing. And the Congressman talked a little bit about sometimes, for example, from our own perspective you know we have passed the Cold War yet we still expendthis year's budget is 260-something billionwell, 280-something billion in our military expenses in this country. How is that perceived or even the fact that we chose not to ratify the ban treaty, missile ban treaty, how is that perceived back home? And I am wondering how that, you knowalso I would ask you if you have any idea about their budget in terms of the KGB and how that reflects despite the fact that we also have, you know.
Colonel GORDIEVSKY. Well, it is not my real role to comment on the American budget, the American expenses. But as to the KGB, I can speak about it because I know something. The old KGB, which was the secret police, huge service including border guard troops and signal intelligence and the radio telegraphists and technicians and engineers and so on, it had more than several hundred thousand officers working for it. But now the KGB is split in five different agencies. But the agency you speak about, and the book is about, it is the former first chief directorate of the KGB, foreign intelligence service, the first chief directorate was actually the smallest because it was an elite force after all working using foreign languages, operating abroad, knowing quite a lot about the United States and Western Europe and so on. That as it turned out the size of the agency was 14,000; 14; 15,000. The budget, alleged budget, not known exactly but it is a large budget, quite a large budget. Meanwhile after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia remained at half the size as to the resources, maybe a bit more than half, but as to the population exactly half of the former Soviet Union.
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Meanwhile, they preserved the Russian foreign intelligence service, and the GRU, the GRU entirely in the same shape, the same organization, the same name, the same secrecy, the same no links to the public and so on. On the KGB side the Russian foreign intelligence service a bit more open, speaking, having public relations department and so on. But the size is practically the same. And the size of the stations and New York and Washington is the same. In some countries even bigger. For example in Germany because in Germany there was the East German service Stasi helping them. Now there were two, Germany and Brussels, the NATO headquarters themselves to increase their presence in the Benelux countries and in Germany.
So in Russia when they ask why do they have such a service do they need it or not, the public interest to the question is now very low, different from what it was in 1991, 1992, because with the crime, with corruption, laundering money, huge billions of dollars coming and disappearing again somewhere abroad, they now know that the budgets of those new Russians, the money lost or taken abroad, that budget or that money is much, much bigger than the budget that was the Russian intelligence service. Compared to those losses, for them the Russian, the KGB is peanuts. And they now don't speak about their budget at all.
Meanwhile, the new theory is now developed in Russia just as well we have the intelligence service. We lost our empire. We lost four Soviet republics; we lost Eastern European countries, but at least we kept our intelligence service which is adding a little bit to our weight, to our knowledge. For a little money, we get a lot of useful knowledge which is a kind of a weapon in now foreign affairs. This is why the Russian spy can sleep well, peacefully, because nobody will disturb their life internally.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. RODRIGUEZ. But you also made some indication that some of them were also in leadership positions, and is that correct?
Colonel GORDIEVSKY. The point I was making that the so-called power ministries, which is ministry of defense, ministry of the interior, ministry of the Russian foreign intelligence service, and the FSB, which is the nucleus of the former KGB, they remain influential. And their thinking and what they work out the theory and future politics and so on, their concepts and so on, they prevail and they are very much influenced by the old Soviet thinking. That is why the Russia of today, how I see it, it is not like the Czech Republic, Estonia or Slovenia becoming very Westernized and very friendly. It's a traumatized post-totalitarian transitional society which is very, verycan be dangerous if you.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Can we presuppose that they have some kind of say-so and some kind of influence in terms of future leadership?
Colonel GORDIEVSKY. Who? The intelligence services, the power ministries?
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Yes.
Colonel GORDIEVSKY. Absolutely. Because look for example Mr. Putin, former member of the first chief directorate of the KGB, of the foreign intelligence service, having served in Germany. He is now prime minister. And not only he is prime minister, he is a successful prime minister. He is prime minister whose popularity is growing. And when Yeltsin said he was his candidate to become next president, everybody laughed. But that was two months ago. Nobody laughs today because they now take it seriously. Mr. Putin is the main candidate on the political scene of Russia to become realistically the next president. So it will be history.
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Mr. RODRIGUEZ. How much of that information is known by the Russian people?
Dr. ANDREW. The Russian people know perfectly well what the background of Vladimir Putin is, just as they know what the background of Yevgeni Primakov is. But there is this extraordinary fact that amongst the peoplea lot may change over the next few months, but at the present time just about the two favorites to succeed Boris Yeltsin, first of all Vladimir Putin, although if things go even worse in Chechnya than they are at the present time that his chances may plummet. But a few months ago the favorite was Yevgeni Primakov, code named MAKSIM, a man who made his operation reputation by operations in the United States for the KGB.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Thank you.
Mr. WELDON. I have on the list in order of coming in, let's see, next, Mr. Kuykendall, Mr. Pitts, Mr. Bateman and Mr. Hill. So we will turn now to Mr. Kuykendall.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. This is all extremely intriguing, and it is fascinating for me now. I agree with your assessment that we will rewrite the history of books for the last two or three decades, for sure, the relationship we have had with Russia, or the former Soviet Union, at that time. And of all the comments that we have talked about so far this morning, or this afternoon, the one that has been the most troubling is this concept that we do have and probably do have caches of weapons and/or communications equipment located within the continental United States.
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And we are not aware of where they are or how to get them or how to get them disarmed or removed. That I view as an immediate threat against this country. And it is a threat whether or not the former Soviet Union or their subsidiary countries now would or surviving entities afterwards would choose to use them or whether someone who knew of their existence decides to use them in a terrorist fashion.
To me that is an immediate threat with need to deal with. I would like you to comment, one, on that. Do you think or do you have any specific guidance to give us on how to go about getting those locations and getting cooperation with the current Russian Government and intelligence service and getting them located and neutralizing their damage to the country?
The second one is more a question of looking forward. You have a great historical perspective on what the government of the Soviet Union was like before it broke up. And it has been, I guess in the case of Colonel Gordievsky, about 14 years since you were there under probably not as great of conditions as you would have liked at that time, what do you perceiveand this is where I am going to ask you just to do some blue sky based on your background that I don't have, and your knowledge, what do you perceive is the threat in the future?
There was extreme paranoia described in a couple of different time periods that could have led us to a nuclear attack which, thank God, did not happen. Do you see a continuation of that kind of mental preparation as a nation or is there another type of threat?
I know militarily right now in a conventional sense we do not view the Soviet or the Russian army right now as strong a threat as it was a few years back. Just like ours has gotten smaller, theirs has gotten smaller and other activities as well. So one question about ideas you may have how to deal with these caches based on your backgrounds. The second, if could you give some kind of blue-sky kind of approach. If you each of you could comment on that. What kind of threats should we be expecting. In your case you are looking at history, so I am trying to interpret that to say what kind of threat do I have to worry about next year. And you probably have three or four minutes to look at it.
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Mr. WELDON. We are okay. That means we have 15 minutes so we can go until we have about five minutes left because we are fast runners. So you got about ten minutes before we have to run over to vote.
Dr. ANDREW. Well, first of all so far as the caches are concerned, I don't know how to get the answers, but I know whose got the answers. The people who have got the answers are the SVR. There is not much prospect of getting the answers from the SVR until they are at least asked. I think they should be asked. If they say we don't know, they can be asked well, what about Switzerland? What about Belgium? What about a number of other places. So step one it seems to me if you are seeking the answer to a question is to ask the person who knows the answer. If they refuse to give it, then one has to move on to something else.
So far as looking forward is concerned, we need, I think, to be aware of what Russia has suffered over the last ten years. This is something which I think makes some sense to a citizen of the United Kingdom. It was a great American who said of Britain as we were losing our empire, Britain has lost an empire and not yet found a role.
The Russian empire, the Soviet Union as it used to be called, lost almost overnight half of its territory. Now it did so, unlike Britain, not at a period of political stability, not at a period of economic recovery, but at a period of political disintegration and economic disintegration.
We were plainly in error, less than ten years ago, the beginning of this decade in assuming that the transition to multi-party democracy and a functioning market economy could be easy or successful. What I failed to grasp, as so many of us did, was those things which we took for granted in the West, were not present in the Soviet Union. And we should have understood the preconditions better than we did.
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We take the rule of law for granted in the West. Without being too senescent and too platitudeness, this is an extraordinary blessing which has taken centuries of democrat development to produce. But how one produces a functioning multi-party democracy, how one produces a functioning market economy without the rule of law is a question I can't answer. I am inclined to think that what is really missing in Russia at the present time are the preconditions of both. And until the preconditions are established, I can't quite see how they are going to get there.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. Then it sounds like you would view future threats going forward almost more economic in nature than military in nature based upon the fact we have a dysfunctional economy and operating system.
Dr. ANDREW. I would say this, that even leaving aside the nature of the system, disintegrating empires with high levels of threat perception are capable of doing pretty appalling things. Now, fortunately, when Britain was as crazy as to invade Suez with France, in 1956, I think the last occasion on which a British foreign secretary put on a false mustache and went to France to sign a treaty to collude with Israel in the invasion of Suez, a treaty which to his dying day he denied that he had ever signed, fortunately we had friends to get us out of the hole. That is to say we had the United States, which pulled the plug on a British military adventure.
Unfortunately, the Russian Federation does not have a friend to pull the plug on what is going on in Chechnya. So there are two problems, two sets of problems: one, those that relate to the hideous regime that used to rule in the Russian Federation; and then, second, those sets of problems which relate to the disintegration of an empire. And putting those two together has given the Russian Federation a tremendously hard ride.
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Colonel GORDIEVSKY. A few words. As to the caches, security of the United States, here, I agree with Mr. Andrew that you need to get in touch with the SVR and FSB. They are very eager to establish good relations with the CIA, FBI, and other law enforcement agencies of the United States and other Western countries. So if they want those good relations, just reveal those elementary things. Because after all it is the legacy of the Cold War, and nobody needs those caches and those weapons and whatever which are hidden somewhere in Western Europe and the United States. But before they agree to do it, you render all possible support to the FBI and to other agencies in inviting expertise in from the friendly countries like Germany, Britain, Scandinavia, Poland, maybe, Baltic republics who can consult and help you look for those things.
As to the future security how to organize now that Russia goes along a democratic path, it is very difficult and it is very long story. I can't speak about it now. But let's speak about the threats to the United States and the Western world. The threats will come obviously from the remaining nuclear warheads and they are all together maybe 30,000, 30,000. Quite many. As many of them are in the intercontinental ballistic missiles. And those can be launched by mistake. The NATO and the Warsaw Pact survived 40 years without a single mistake launch of a nuclear missile against each other. And when they wanted to use them in Cuba and during the Korean War in, say, 1950, 1951, it was never used becausebut now, you need something to do in order to have American fingers somewhere there, that the Russians would besome of the Russians will react with indignation of course if you will demand it. But I think sooner or later American people, American officers should be present and each intercontinental missile controlling they are not targeted against the West, Western Europe or the United States.
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Mr. KUYKENDALL. Thank you.
Mr. WELDON. We have to ask a question here. We have a series of votes here. Dr. Andrew and Colonel Gordievsky, would you be willing to stick around while we go over and vote? Is that okay with you? I know you have a radio interview at six. We will have you out before then. We have five votes in a row. The first one is just about five minutes left, then we will have five minutes votes each. So we should be back by quarter of five.
What Members plan to come back? Joe, do you plan to come back?
Mr. PITTS. I don't know if I can make it back or not.
Mr. WELDON. I will be back. Mr. Bartlett. I will try to round up some other Members. And meanwhile I would ask staff to get you some refreshments or something. And we appreciate you being here, and we will return as soon as this series of votes. So we will temporarily adjourn the hearing.
Mr. WELDON. The subcommittee will reconvene. We apologize to our witnesses for having delayed. As you can see, we have been joined by some additional Members. I want to particularly point out the chairman of our full committee who has now joined us, Chairman Floyd Spence from South Carolina, who is the full committee chairman.
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Did you have any comments you would like to make, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SPENCE. No, except I appreciate you having this hearing and I have heard good things about it, and I appreciate our witnesses being here and their contribution too. Thank you.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. With that, we will turn to Mr. Bateman.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I, too, would like to add my thanks to Colonel Gordievsky and to Dr. Andrews. I found your testimony fascinating, and in many respects alarming, but it doesn't detract from its being very meaningful and significant.
One of the things that I think we who share some responsibility for policy-making in this country have to face is how we deal with Russia and/or other countries in the context of arms control agreements which we sign, and which we abide by and the other parties do not.
Does any of the material which you have access to suggest that there is almost a studied policy of violating or evasion or avoidance of arms control agreements and counter-proliferation agreements?
Dr. ANDREW. Well, two brief replies to a very important and also very complex question.
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The KGB material does not deal with the degree to which you can and can't evade arms control agreements. Otherwise, I think we are just stuck with a two-track policy. As so often in this world, it seems not either. In other words, do we engage in confidence-building measures or do you insist on hard answers to hard questions? I see no contradiction between the two.
I see no reason why, for example, there cannot be Russian interns in Congress, as there are, and American interns in the Duma, as there are, and simultaneously ask reasonable, but hard, questions, and ask for reasonable, but hard, answers. And spinning out a general policy like that in practice is very difficult, but I am an absolutely convinced supporter of a two-track policy.
Colonel GORDIEVSKY. You speak about the Russians who deceive the Americans and deceive other nations of the Western world and how much they abide by the arms control agreements. Obviously in the past they didn't.
We discussed today how much they violated the chemical weapons convention and biological and so on, and probably cheat about in other areas. Even Mr. Gorbachev who is so popular in the West, he even boasted to Margaret Thatcher and other Western leaders about the situation there.
Another point, apart from them having the culture of lying to the people whom they regard as foreigners, there is now another situation that many local commanders, local military leaders and local politicians don't tell the truth to Moscow, to the central authorities, and conceal the truth from their own political leadership.
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What advice to give here, I don't know, because the truthfulness which prevails to the Western world, in Western Europe and North America, it is based on the rule of law and democracy and openness of society. And they don't have the rule of law. They don't havethey don't take the law seriously.
Many Russians, even important politicians, if you speak to them, they will reveal to you that they don't believe that there is a rule of law in Britain or the United States. They don't think that it is achievable. So there is a very long way. I don't know how. The more democracy, the more openness and the more respect you have for law in Russia, the easier it will be to make them stick to the rules.
Another thing, my advice is, don't hesitate to speak. The Americans and the British have the culture of being very, very courteous, and often when you see violations of the international agreements, often Britain and the United States remain silent because they don't want to be rude. Meanwhile, it is entirely misunderstood on the Russian side. In the KGB, it is misunderstood because it is regarded as either signs of weakness by the West or a sign that we have deceived them, it is all right. We go on doing it.
Just speak up and don't hesitate. If they produce, still, biological weapons, which they are not supposed to, just say so. And demand answers from the visiting politicians whenever you meet them again and again and again.
Mr. BATEMAN. Is there an anomaly somewhere that the Russians bothered to ask or to advise us that they were not going to comply with the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, by reasons of overriding national security interest, but they would apparently find totally unacceptable if we were to say to them with respect to the Antiballistic Missile Treaty that we are not going to comply with it as written, and even if it were in effect, because of our overriding superior national security interest?
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Colonel GORDIEVSKY. So there you are. It is a very strange position. They can dictate what you are supposed to do and not supposed to do, and also they demand more money from the financial organizations, basically American money, and they ask for food help as well. No dignity and pride is left there.
I am Russian myself, but I feel humiliated how some of their politicians behave towards the West.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Bateman.
I don't want to take too much more of your time because you both have been very gracious with your time, especially as we have had to break, and you have given us some very startling testimony today, which is already resonating on the floor of the House. Members were talking about it during the votes.
I do want to ask Mr. Bartlett if he has any additional questions that he would like to ask.
Mr. BARTLETT. No.
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Chairman?
Mr. SPENCE. No questions.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WELDON. Just in closing, we deeply appreciate the good work that you have done.
Again, for the public record, the book is entitled ''The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archives'' by Christopher Andrew. We appreciate your traveling all of the way over, Dr. Andrew, from Britain; and the same with you, Colonel Gordievsky. And I would just note again for the record that they have collaborated on three other books, Inside the KGB and two other editions, and we appreciate the fine work that you have done. You have been a tremendous help to us.
We will continue to pursue this issue. I have read the letter that we have already sent to Secretary Albright. We will continue to pursue it.
In closing, I again want to thank you and I want to thank the American Foreign Policy Council who assisted the committee in providing transportation and costs associated with bringing you both here.
Dr. Andrews, I want to thank your publicist for their cooperation as well. You have done a great service for freedom-loving people around the world.
The hearing is now adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 5:20 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
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October 26, 1999
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