History 28/12/19 “Danish scandal”: the single biggest failure of Soviet spies

the story of the attempt on the life of a double agent Sergei Skripal in 2018 has called into question the quality of the work of the Russian special services, traditionally regarded as highly professional. Critics of the GRU writing about the fall of the level of Russian intelligence in comparison with the Soviet time. However, in the period of Soviet intelligence agencies made mistakes, and catastrophic and scandalous failures. One of these incidents was called “Danish scandal” or “a meeting of residents”, and was worth the post of the head of the GRU at that time, Yan Karlovich Bertino. In 1935 the Danish police uncovered an entire network of Soviet resident in Denmark, resulting in this country for a long time ceased to be used as a communication channel and fell out of the zone of presence of secret agents of the USSR. In February 1935 the Danes in Copenhagen has arrested four Soviet spies who were supposedly in transit, and another 10 their agents.

Discover their Danish professionals was due to the fact that the leaders of the residency context in Denmark, ulanovsky A. P. D. and the American Mink (also a Soviet agent) was recruited for his local Danish Communists (known to the police and put under her control), that was predictable and risky way to expand the network. Because of this, this method was already banned, but in Denmark it continued to practice despite the ban and suppressed it. Foreign Communists were often too chatty, had no skills of conspiracy and ignored the demands of the authorities. So it was in Denmark. The police knew where to look, as he had in the Communist party their informants and easy to figure out Soviet residents. The specified safe house the Danes under surveillance and made the arrest when the residents came “to the meeting” to Ulanovskaya (he was also arrested). While Soviet residents relaxed, considering Denmark herCentral and secure for themselves a country (the Soviet Union has not been charged with serious charges, as the residents did not prepare acts of aggression against Denmark). But this does not mean that you can neglect conspiracy. Berzin, who more than once had to personally make excuses for failure before by Stalin, after the Danish failure, resigned, and his seat was taken by S. P. Uritsky, corps commander with experience of espionage in Czechoslovakia.

Wrong in GRU before. For example, after 1927, when deteriorated sharply the relations between the USSR and England, the British attacked the Soviet intelligence network. For several months, were disclosed Soviet reconnaissance in Poland, Istanbul, Switzerland, Austria and France (there, too, summed up the French Communists and Cream J. P. Provo). Historians intelligence A. I. Kolpakidi and D. P. Prokhorov in the book “essays on the history of Russian military intelligence,” they write that the leaders of the Soviet intelligence at the time was “camospace”, closed and did not control agents in due measure. As a result, the failure followed failure. Several Soviet spies were arrested in Vienna in 1932. a year later, it was repeated in Latvia (there also was attracted to the work of people known local secret service). Then arrested the agent in Hamburg (German Communist). Then several more in Romania and Turkey, and the group of Soviet residents in Poland was recruited by (!) poles. Ended 1933 arrest groups of Soviet agents in Finland and in Paris. The failures continued in 1934. occurred in Denmark in 1935, became especially infamous “icing on the cake” setbacks.

Razvedupr had a lot to reconsider in their work. First, Razvedupr created a small independent group of residents with an independent now channels of communication with the Centre. In addition, a decision was made to create special school scouts for 200 people (up to 1935 in the USSR this was not simple). Become harder to enforce the requirements of the manual, including those relating to non-use of foreign Communists. But the time to establish full-fledged intelligence work in the Soviet Union was no more: a couple of years, another blow for exploration caused the NKVD, turning the flywheel of repression (for “anti-Soviet activities” were shot Ya. K. Berzin and many in force after 1935 the scouts), and then the war began. Stalin still did not trust the professionalism of the intelligence so that ignoring the many reports of planned by Germany on 22 June 1941, the beginning of the war, because they believed them to be unreliable. The story of a successful and glorious operations of the GRU belongs to a later period of the great Patriotic war and the postwar period. Then no one wrote like Voroshilov in the 1930s that intelligence is “lame on all four feet.”

© Russian Seven

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