25 October 1957* (St 52/128)

Central Committee approves KGB request for one-off grant (20,000 roubles) and awards 3,000 rouble monthly allowance to Wilfred Burchett, Moscow correspondent of the National Guardian (USA) newspaper (5 pp).

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[page one of five]

52/128 of 25 October 1957

Special File

Draft

RESOLUTION
OF THE CPSU CENTRAL COMMITTEE

Request of the Committee for State Security
at the USSR Council of Ministers

To grant the request of the Committee for State Security under the Council of Ministers of the USSR for a single payment to Burchett, the correspondent of the “National Guardian” newspaper, the organ of the American Progressive Party, of 20,000 roubles and a monthly subsidy of 3,000 roubles.

Sent to:  Comrade Serov [Chairman KGB]

Excerpt distributed :
25 October 1957
[signed] Sidorova

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[page two – duplicate text of page one]

52/128

25 October [195]7

Request of the Committee for State Security at the USSR Council of Ministers

Grant the request of the Committee for State Security under the Council of Ministers of the USSR for a single payment to Burchett, the correspondent of the “National Guardian” newspaper, the organ of the American Progressive Party, of 20,000 roubles and a monthly subsidy of 3,000 roubles.

Central Committee Secretary

Sent to:  Comrade Serov [Chairman KGB]

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[page three]

Top secret

Committee of State Security [KGB]
Of the USSR Council of Ministers

17 July 1957
No 1379-S
Moscow

To the CPSU Central Committee

I report that at the end of May this year, an officer of the Committee for State Security established operative contact with W[ilfred]. Burchett, correspondent of the “National Guardian” newspaper, the organ of the US Progressive Party, who is accredited in Moscow.

Earlier Burchett worked for many bourgeois newspapers such as the British Daily Express and The Times, the American Christian Science Monitor and others.

From the materials available to the Committee for State Security about the personality of Burchett and his activities, the following is known:

Burchett (b. 1911) is an Australian of English origin, who was born in the family of a farmer. In 1934 to 1935, Burchett joined the “Friends of the Soviet Union” and began to maintain contacts with progressive elements and members of the Australian Communist Party. In 1936, he joined the Communist Party [1] and, not having distinguished himself in any way as a member of the Party, he left for London. Since that time, he has not had any organisational links with the Party.

Burchett is a prominent journalist and publicist on international questions, the author of many progressive books, two of which were published in the Soviet Union. A correspondent for bourgeois newspapers of a right-wing inclination, he simultaneously collaborated confidentially with progressive and communist newspapers and journals.

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[page four]

2.

Burchett has travelled a great deal. He was in the USA. During a long period of time he lived in Europe and in the countries of the Far East, where he established major connections in political and journalistic circles. Before his arrival in the Soviet Union, he lived in Hanoi and Peking.

Working in Berlin as a correspondent of the Daily Express, he repeatedly travelled to the People’s Democracies – Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria. At the same time, he cooperated with the international Telepress agency.

In 1948, when this agency became Czechoslovakian and was headed by the Czech Jakš, the latter accused Burchett of collaborating with the English intelligence service. As a consequence, his second wife in Bulgaria, who lived in Sofia, was expelled from the Communist Party. It was subsequently revealed that Jakš was a provocateur and he was arrested by the Czechoslovak organs. After this, Burchett’s wife was rehabilitated and reinstated in the Bulgarian Communist Party.[2]

[Illegible, but seems to read: “Burchett visited Moscow twice, in 1954 and 1956”.] During these visits, an agent of the Committee for State Security was placed close to Burchett, who was informed in a cautious way that he could gain accreditation from a newspaper for permanent work in Moscow. After Burchett received an appointment in Moscow from the newspaper National Guardian, the relevant authorities took a decision on his accreditation and the provision of an apartment for him.

Because the editors of this newspaper cannot fully provide for Burchett in the role of its correspondent, he came to Moscow on the condition that he would be awarded a monetary subsidy, and have the opportunity of unpublicised collaboration in the Soviet press.

During the period of contact with Burchett we have succeeded in sufficient measure in studying his personal qualities and potential, the character of his

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[page five]

3.

links to the political world abroad, and among the diplomatic corps and foreign journalists in Moscow, and we have also received an array of interesting materials from him in written form.

Considering that Burchett, by his personal qualities and extensive links in political and journalistic circles represents unquestionable interest for our operations, we have taken a decision to engage Burchett in collaboration with the organs of the KGB.

On our instructions, Burchett is seeking opportunities to penetrate the American and West European press.

Considering our interest in the journalistic activities of Burchett for the bourgeois press, in a way that is desirable to us, and in his covert collaboration with the Soviet press, the Committee for State Security requests a one-time payment to Burchett of 20,000 roubles and a monthly subsidy of 4,000 roubles.

A draft resolution of the CPSU Central Committee is attached.

Chairman of the Committee for State Security
of the Council of Ministers

[Signature]

(I. SEROV)

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NOTES

[1] This text seems to imply that BURCHETT (1911-1983) remained a covert member of the Communist Party after he left Australia. That he had “not distinguished himself” as a Party member can also be read as not having drawn attention to himself in that capacity. His contacts thereafter were not through the Australian or any other Communist Party but directly with the KGB, then headed (1954-1958) by Ivan Serov.
[2] Two articles by Robert Manne in THE MONTHLY (Australia) discuss Burchett’s role and reputation. The first article, “Agent of Influence: Reassessing Wilfred Burchett”, No. 35 (June 2008) was published before the KGB application to the Central Committee became widely known. Manne’s second article “Wilfred Burchett and the KGB”,  No. 92 (August 2013) considers the evidence provided by the above document, and compares its contents to previously published sources.
General
  1. Notes and additions by translator and editor are bracketed, thus [ ];
    2. Text added by hand is indicated in italic script;
    3. when a handwritten phrase, figure or word has been added
    to a previously typed document it is indicated by underlined italic script.

Translation by Robert Horvath, July 2013

Posted in 7.1 in the West, 9.1 Foreign policy and USA | Tagged , ,

8 January 1969*, Pb 111/162

Politburo decision. Set up an “International Fund to aid Left-wing, Workers’ Organizations”. Fund total, $16.5 million; Soviet contribution, $14 million (4 pp). [R 8 January 1969, Pb 111-162]

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[page one of four]

Workers of all Lands, Unite!

[Text in top left hand corner of page]
Must be returned within 24 hours
to CPSU Central Committee (General Department, sector 1)

COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION. CENTRAL COMMITTEE

No. Pb 111 / 162

To Comrade Ponomarev (all paragraphs)
Comrade Poskonov (paragraph 2)

STRICTLY SECRET
SPECIAL FILE

Excerpt from Minute No. 111
of the Central Committee Politburo meeting on 8 January 1969

A request from the International Department of the CPSU Central Committee

  1. Adopt the proposal of the CPSU Central Committee International Department to set up an International Fund to Aid Left-wing Workers’ Organisations for 1969 to the value of 16,550,000 dollars and establish the contribution of the CPSU to the Fund as 14,000,000 dollars.
  2. Instruct the board of the USSR State Bank (Comrade Poskonov) to provide Ponomarev, B.N., with 14,000,000 dollars for special purposes.
  3. Instruct the CPSU Central Committee International Department to inform the leaders of the Communist Parties participating in the International Fund as to the expenditure of the Fund in 1968, and reach agreement with them that the Fund should amount to 16,550,000 dollars for 1969 with a contribution from each party of the following levels:
  • from the Czechoslovak Communist Party500,000 dollars
  • from the Rumanian Communist Party  – 500,000 dollars

[page 2]

  • from the Polish United Workers Party500,000 dollars
  • from the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party500,000 dollars
  • from the Bulgarian Communist Party350,000 dollars
  • from the Socialist Unity Party of [East] Germany200,000 dollars

SECRETARY OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE


[page three]

Workers of all Lands, Unite!

[Text in top left hand corner of page]
Must be returned within 24 hours
to CPSU Central Committee (General Department, sector 1)

COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION. CENTRAL COMMITTEE

No. Pb 111 / 163

To Comrade Ponomarev (all paragraphs)
Comrade Poskonov (paragraph 2)

STRICTLY SECRET
SPECIAL FILE

Excerpt from Minute No. 111
of the Central Committee Politburo meeting, on 8 January 1969

A request from the International Department of the CPSU Central Committee

  1. Provide financial aid in 1969 to:
  • The Italian Communist Party (for first six months of 1969) – 3,700,000 dollars
  • The French Communist Party – 2,000,000 dollars
  • The US Communist Party – 1,000,000 dollars
  • The Italian Socialist Party of Proletarian Unity – 700,000 dollars
  • The Chilean Communist Party – 350,000 dollars
  • The Venezuelan Communist Party – 300,000 dollars
  • The Indian Communist Party – 300,000 dollars
  • The Brazilian Communist Party – 200,000 dollars
  • The Greek Communist Party – 100,000 dollars
  • The People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola – 100,000 dollars
  • The Canadian Communist Party – 100,000 dollars
  • The Syrian Communist Party – 100,000 dollars
  • The Danish Communist Party – 100,000 dollars
  • The Guatemalan Labour Party – 100,000 dollars
  • The Dominican Communist Party – 100,000 dollars

[page four]

  • The Ecuador Communist Party – 100,000 dollars
  • The Swiss Labour Party – 80,000 dollars
  • The People’s Avantgarde of Costa Rica – 70,000 dollars
  • The Somalian Democratic Union – 70,000 dollars
  • The Salvador Communist Party – 70,000 dollars
  • The Zimbabwe African People’s Union (S. Rhodesia) – 60,000 dollars
  • The Portuguese Communist Party – 50,000 dollars
  • The Venezuelan Party of National Union – 50,000 dollars
  • The Uruguayan Communist Party – 50,000 dollars
  • The Haiti Party of Nation Union – 40,000 dollars
  • The Nicaraguan Socialist Party – 40,000 dollars
  • The Bolivian Communist Party – 30,000 dollars
  • The Finnish Communist Party – 30,000 dollars
  • The Honduras Communist Party – 30,000 dollars
  • The Lesotho Communist Party – 20,000 dollars
  • The Iranian Communist Party “ 20,000 dollars
  • The Martinique Communist Party – 20,000 dollars
  • The Front for the Liberation of Mozambique – 10,000 dollars
  • The chairman of the Sri Lanka Communist Party, Comrade Vikremasithke – 6,000 dollars

Transfer of these funds is entrusted to the KGB (Comrade Andropov)

SECRETARY OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE

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NOTES
The British Communist Party (CPGB), which is absent from this and subsequent lists of the Fund’s disbursements, reportedly received £100,000 a year from Moscow between 1957 and the mid-1970s (see Anderson & Davey, Moscow Gold? The Soviet Union and the British Left, Woodbridge, UK, 2013, p. 102 fn).
General
1. Notes by translator and editor are bracketed, thus [ ];
2. text written by hand is indicated in italic script;
3. when a handwritten phrase, figure or word has been added
to a previously typed document this is indicated by underlined italic script.
Translation, John Crowfoot
Posted in 5. CPSU & Communist world, 7. Communist subversion, 7.1 in the West, 7.2 in the Middle East, 7.3 in Africa, 7.4 in Latin America

23 January 1991*, Pb 223

Moscow Party Committee to CPSU Central Committee. Report on a vast anti-Gorbachev demonstration in the centre of the Soviet capital following the January events in Lithuania. [R 20 January 1991, Pb 223]

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20 January 1991, Moskva

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[page one of two]

Return to the Protocol sector of the CPSU Central Committee General Department
[vertical text on left margin – “Return within 15 days”]

Pb-223, 23 January 1991

Sent to Politburo members and Secretaries of the CPSU Central Committee
To Comrades V.S. Pavlov, V.A. Kryuchkov, B.K. Pugo, D.T. Yazov,
A.A. Bessmertnykh, A.N. Ilyn

To the CPSU Central Committee

MEMORANDUM
About the 20 January 1991 demonstration

On 20 January a demonstration with permission from Mossoviet was held from 11 am to 2.30 pm. It was organised on the initiative of a number of USSR People’s Deputies and the coordinating council of the Democratic Russia movement. The column of demonstrators marched from Mayakovsky Square along the Garden Ring and Kalinin Avenue to the 50th Anniversary of October Square [Manege Square], where a 90-minute rally was held.

Up to 150,000 people took part in the demonstration. The composition of the organisations and politicised movements involved was traditional. Expert evaluation indicates that representatives of the scientific and creative intelligentsia were predominant among those taking part, as were persons from ethnic groups not to be found in Moscow, and also people from outside the capital.

Twenty six people spoke at the rally, over which USSR People’s Deputy Yu. Afanasyev presided: 11 USSR People’s Deputies, 9 RSFSR People’s Deputies, and also representatives and deputies of the Supreme Soviets of Lithuania, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. G. Burbulis read an appeal by B.N. Yeltsin to the nations of Russia.

The rally was clearly anti-presidential and anti-communist in tendency. Among the characteristic slogans were “Mikhail Bloody-hand, Nobel laureate”, “Put Gorbachev and his gang on trial”, “Put the Soviet President in the dock”, “The bloodshed in Lithuania is the latest crime of the CPSU”, “Red Fascists of the CPSU – hands off Russia and the Baltic”.

Of the 33 main themes raised in the slogans and speeches, the anti-presidential theme came first, the anti-communist theme, second; support for the present leadership in Lithuania, third; support for Yeltsin, fourth.

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[page two]

The great attention paid to “restrictions” on glasnost, calls for the sacking of Kravchenko and sharp condemnation of Nevzorov was notable.[1]

There were a great many demands to put the Committees for National Salvation on trial and to reject “the reactionary course of Gorbachev and the CPSU”, even to the point of a political strike throughout Russia (from the resolution adopted at the rally) and armed resistance “if force was used” (T. Gdlyan).

During the rally the names of Yakovlev, Sheverdnadze and Bakatin were repeatedly mentioned as victims of the change in the USSR President’s political course. Appeals were made to “honest communists” to leave the Party.

The resolution adopted contained a demand for “the withdrawal of punitive forces from the Baltic republics ”, the dismissal of Gorbachev M.S. and Yanaev, G.I., the dissolution of the USSR Congress of People’s Deputies and USSR Supreme Soviet, the creation of a Russian army, and calls for the formation of a political organisation based on the Democratic Russia movement with party cells in the workplace and at home.

In our opinion, this demonstration should be seen as a confirmation of the course taken by opposition forces to change the State and social system and to remove the present leadership of the country from the political arena.

The tactics of the forces opposing the centre and the CPSU have changed qualitatively. The RSFSR Supreme Soviet under the leadership of B.N. Yeltsin has become the core for the consolidation of democratic and national-democratic movement s in the republics.

For your information

Secretary of the Moscow City Committee of the CPSU, Yu. Prokovyev

No 8

22 January 1991

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NOTES
[1] Leonid Kravchenko was head of the USSR State Committee for Radio and Television (Gosteleradio). Appointed by Gorbachev in November 1990, he was removed by Boris Yeltsin in August 1991 after the failed putsch in Moscow.
In January 1991 TV journalist Alexander Nevzorov made a film (“Nashi”), praising the role of the Vilnius riot police during the events in Lithuania.
General
1. Notes by translator and editor are bracketed, thus [ ];
2. text written by hand is indicated in italic script;
3. when a handwritten phrase, figure or word has been added
to a previously typed document this is indicated by underlined italic script.
Translation, John Crowfoot
Posted in 4. Perestroika | Tagged | 1 Comment

11 January 1991* (No 00766)

Central Committee. Report from Committee officials in Lithuania about the attempted takeover by the “Committee for National Salvation” (4 pp). [R 11 Jan 91]

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[page one of four]

To the CPSU Central Committee

About the events in Lithuania

Senior staff of the [CPSU] Central Committee (Comrades Kazyulin and Udovichenko) who are in Lithuania, report that the House of the Press and DOSAAF (where the regional defence department is located) in Vilnius and the officers’ mess in Kaunas have been brought under control of the paratroopers. This operation was carried out, overall, without major clashes. At the same time it must be noted that the information issued on the Mayak radio station about these events was not objective. In particular, it was reported that the military had committed outrages and, supposedly, that there are victims and casualties.

At 5 pm local time there was a press conference at the Central Committee of the Lithuanian Communist Party at which the head of the Ideological Department, Comrade Yermolavicius, reported that a Committee for the National Salvation of Lithuania had been set up in the republic. This committee declares that it is taking full control. It is based at the radio-measuring instruments factory (director, O. Burdenko). The committee has adopted an appeal to the people of Lithuania, and also sent an ultimatum to the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR, in which it demands an immediate reaction to the appeal by the USSR President [Gorbachev].

The Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR has rejected this ultimatum, calling the Committee “impostors” without the legal right to speak on behalf of the people of Lithuania.

For your information

Head of the CPSU Central Committee Department
for national [inter-ethnic] relations

[signed] V. Mikhailov

11 January 1991

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[pages two to four –
indicate that nine Secretaries of the Central Committee read this report.]

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NOTES
General
1. Notes by translator and editor are bracketed, thus [ ];
2. text written by hand is indicated in italic script;
3. when a handwritten phrase, figure or word has been added
to a previously typed document this is indicated by underlined italic script.
Translation, John Crowfoot
Posted in 2.2 post-1975, 4. Perestroika