Orthodox America

  The Cry of the New Martyrs -  KGB - "Get Out!"

In the West we are fascinated by Soviet truth telling about historical figures like Bukharin and Trotsky, or revelations about Stalin's crimes in the 1930s and 1940s. But the truly devastating revelations are about contemporary reality. Robert Kaiser, "The USSR in Decline in Foreign Affairs, Winter 1988/89

       Among the many incriminating revelations which have appeared in the wake of glasnost' has come an official admission that the KGB has been actively interfering in Church affairs. At a meeting m July, when questions were raised over the suitability of KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov as a prospective government minister, maverick politician Yeltsin suggested that "...serious changes were needed in the attitude of the KGB towards the Church. A very democratic process is underway in our country, and attitudes towards the Church are changing among the political leadership and in society in general State security services must seriously restructure their attitude, and perhaps cease completely busying themselves with the Church as an independent organization....In short, find another way to deal with it."

      As Keston comments: 'Though the last sentence carries a certain ambiguity, this is the first time in Soviet history that a senior Soviet politician has defended religious bodies against (and simultaneously acknowledged the existence of) interference by the secret police." (KNS #331; 8/3/89)

      Even more revealing is the personal testimony of an ex-KGB agent, Yaroslav Karpovich, as it appeared in a recent issue of Ogonyok. The KGB, said Karpovieh, was always looking for enemies and is still silent and does its business in silence. Major dissidents of the Brezhnev era--Sakharov, Fr. Gleb Yakunin, General Grigorenko -all were innocent 'There were no enemies, only unhappy people who shouted or wrote something without thinking of the consequences and were then sent to insane asylums or sentenced to prison for anti-Soviet agitation? Karpovich, a World War Il veteran, began working in KGB's ideological unit in 1958 and established his career by helping to put pressure on writers like Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn, Daniel and Sinyavsky. He writes how a dissident priest, Dimitri Dudko, was forced by the KGB to confess his 'crimes" on TV' Karpovich berates himself for his passivity: "How could I have been quiet? How could I have worked with such a load on my soul for so many years?'