Monthly Archives: March 2012

Karaganov Doctrine

This site has already discussed the influence of Russia on Latvia and its integration policy.  The Russian language referendum, the success of the Harmony Center party and growing power of Russian media is clearly visible in Latvia. This site has stated that this the part of Russian long-standing policy to use Russian minorities in the Baltic states for its geopolitical goals. Russian minority in Latvia has been used as  tool to affect Latvian politics and EU politics as whole. And this strategy has been successful. The roots of this strategy comes from 1992. when Russian foreign policy expert and Vladimir Putin’s adviser Sergey Karaganov published an article in journal “Diplomacy Herald”. The article published  on 15, and 30, November  Nr. 21-22, was latter nicknamed “Karaganov Doctrine”. Although it’s not an official document its is guideline for Russian foreign policy written by Vladimir Putin’s adviser and top 100 worlds most influential men named by journal Foreign Policy and The Prospect. Here is the translation of the famous publication in English. More about Mr. Karaganov on Karaganov.Ru.

The doctrine came out 20 years ago, when Russia was looking for new foreign policy. Many things were stated there were according to the strategical outlook of those times. However the general foreign policy of Russia has been very close to conception made by Karaganov. It’s recommended to read the whole text completely to understand how Russia has been trying to restore former glory of the Soviet Union by using Russian minorities as the “strings of influence”.

                              On Russia focused people interest defending issues in “close borderlands”

Sergey Karaganov, Europe institute deputy director. Diplomatičeskij Vestņik (Diplomacy Herald) Nr. 21-22. 15.-30. November, 1992.

This issue has not been fully worked out. Therefore I present you some thesis.

  For start few a  notes about, what A. V. Kortunov stated in his speech. First. We have entered a new age when new states forms or reintegrates. Historical this period in individual regions went for hundreds of years. We are in the beginning of this period. And when they say that we have pulled trough with fairly few conflicts, I remember famous British strategist Lawrence Fridman. He said when Tito was gone, all talked that Yugoslavia will collapse.  After that we thought we were wrong. But it came out that it’s simply happened 10 years later.

  It’s clearly seen that we have entered in such period of history, that our country and other countries gone trough in XVII Century, some in Middle ages. And in present moment the best instrument of  social and political analysis  are not the books of our writers but the research of history. Many interesting things can be found there. This argument needs to be considered the background for our analysis of the present.

With Russian speaking population connected policy problems (later I will linger for social and political arguments of this question) cannot be addressed without whole political context of Russia. Separate policy is not possible and thinking without united policy is useless. We must at once start to address important and not so favorable questions, that has been asked by speakers before me.

  On what should Russia focus in relations with other members of the Commonwealth of the Independent States? In Caucasus there is unrest  and will be unrest in future as long as general Yermolov will not get there. Soon the unrest will appear in Central Asia where all the borders has been drawn artificially, and where states as such may not survive. The question will Russia itself can survive, and will in the grounds of Russia a violence will occur (this also a historical regularity, although many say no, I think yes). And many other common questions.

What should we do? There is three versions of policy. First – radical democratic policy – the strengthening of the independent states and our full abandonment from them. That is not a bad solution, but it’s not real. The strengthening of such structure is not possible, for as the A. V. Kortunov rightfully indicated the majority of these states will not survive.   Also the situation will constantly change and we have to work to hold them together. Our present policy that was focused on strengthening the statehood of our neighbors ( I treat all states as equal, Russia is in common situation), brought to situation that we started to give away our armed forces to anyone. From international legal and present day philosophy aspect we did it completely legally. I have no right and I cannot say any objection against our steps, except one morally political. We have entered a historical period where arms cannot be given to unstable countries or countries with inside conflicts. Thanks to arms gave away principle in Moldova,  Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan there is thousands of unwanted victims, and we await of burning of all their tanks. In some points not all them will be burned as they will shoot for long time ahead.

The second way – reintegration. It will be normal neo – imperial way. It’s a tough course, although in long perspective it will be at least less bloody and more effective. But, its not real. For this we lack resources and political will. We are tired. Also the world will not let us to do it. I am not talking the moral side of the use of force in reintegration.

 Finally a third course – regulation, which goal is former USSR reintegration in more or less confederate frames. In every way we must understand one thing – Russia will had to play active post-imperial role. If we gave up it, than history itself will force it on us with crowds of refugees, the explosions of chemical factories and so on. I do not really agree with M. A. Hrustalov,  I personally  would not like meddle in Central Asia , although  I treat the culture of Asian people with deepest respect. But going away from them, as we did a year ago will not succeed. A storm of events will bring us back if the Uzbekistan will start to collapse and disintegrate, also the Kazakhstan and others. If we in this region with help of Kazakhstan will not play active post-imperial role, preventing conflicts and protecting national minorities, than sooner or later it will bring us in and we will not escape from it. After 10 years it will be hell burning in there. The Islamic Fundamentalism is horrifying. But, it will be much worse when there will be zone of unstable states. I think we must understand one point: Russia must go back to its traditional role – buy up local leaders, send troops to rescue someone. This job is not thankful, but this what the history has brought us to and its partly our own fault.

  Now about the strategy regarding Russians. No strategy, no matter how much we speak about it, is not and will not be as long as we will not make a decision taking system in national security. Although I know that A.V. Kozirev (Russian Foreign Minster in those times) does not like to mention Gromyko (famous Soviet foreign minister) I would like that he will become him in not as foreign policy, but in such manner that whole national security strategy needs to put under control. If it will not be done we will achieve nothing. We are weak country, our possibilities are limited and we have no right wasting them.

 And now about the protection of the Russian speakers. From political viewpoint the raising of this question is disputable, but from moral grounds its simply amoral. How can we defend Russian speakers, how can we determine them? Amoral for its smells like racism. But the main thing is not the amorality, but the simple impracticability. If we defend Russian speakers, than willingly or unwillingly we will allow the discrimination of other minorities. I heard that in Central Asia minorities closely watch each other and understands that if one minority gets discriminated, than others will follow. I think that the conception of Russia’s foreign policy on Russian speakers  must be based on defending the human and minority rights in all parts of former USSR.

  But before I start to discus this question I want to point out to something different. Russian speakers – its not only passive, but great active of Russia. First, everything must be done to keep Russian speakers in those regions where they live right now. Not only because we cannot afford to welcome a large crowds of refugees, but also because we must leave there a strings of influence with a further perspective. Dealing with economical advantage, Russia at once must start large expansion of investments, using the large debts that the republics are fed up with. We must by enterprises and take them under our control in such way establishing a powerful political enclave, that will be a foundation for our political influence including the protection of the Russian speakers.

The second task: the protection of the Russian language: support to schools, press, Russian speaking televisions and so on. We must do so in Russia that we will continue to teach the elites of the former republics of USSR, with thought that they will serve our interests. For the present time is otherwise: we close down the schools, limit the number of listeners, not forgetting to ask money, from already poor republics. In such way we risk loosing the whole generation that would accommodate us with good links the channels of influence. It easily understood that we must strengthen our cadres in the army and in higher Russian military schools we must educate the members of the  military elites from the close foreign countries.

  And now about the protection of the Russian speakers. I already said that slogan “the protection of the rights of the Russian speakers” is not determined from the political and moral side. Its needed to protect this contingent, but its must be done under the slogan of the defending the human and national minority rights. We must start with political strings, as it’s already been done in Estonia and Latvia. Its our mistake that missed those processes that already begun there (with that I mean the abuse of human rights). The precedent is made there, that if we bear with it and not suppress it at its seed will move to Russia. If we do not achieve any variant of compromise, then sooner or later, similar question will raise in other republics. I explain: if we allow everyone to break the “zero citizenship” giving law, then we will open the Pandoras Box that will revenge on us even after 20 years.

By the times regions and countries will change and every one of them basing on the precedent could not give citizen rights to the minorities.

The economical sanctions, that are accepted by international society are pretty effective, but its implication must be considered separately in every occurrence.

  And lastly about the use of force. There is a thesis that use of force can’t achieve nothing. I as historian and the expert of international relations can say that you cannot achieve anything by force, but in this situation that we enter sadly many things will be decided by the use of force. I am not saying that we must fully support the use of force. I think that there is no greater nonsense than shouting about using bombs. Its makes no sense. But we must understand that if we want to keep stability we must relive the factor of disincentive use of force against the  enemy. I have no doubts in that. Only the proper instruments must be found for it.

Really horrific episode occurred in Benderi, Ukraine. Not only because a thousand people were killed there, but also because the first time in the territory of the former USSR a crime against human rights was made. It will bite on us, that this crime went unpunished.

Now about the technique of using force. If we use the force with rights of the strongest it will be horrific. We need legitimacy. Not only because the whole world step against us, but also because we, if there will be no external control,  will easily step over the verge of impunity. Right now the public opinion and the order of the international organization, must be focused on that so Russia and other subjects of CIS  could have legal rights to use power in limited ways. Certainly we must consider about dividing the ESO in two zones. It would gave us chance of legitimacy. The West no longer will help us. They are moving away from us in fast temps and we can longer reckon with their peace protecting attempts. We must think about for ourselves. In one EDSO side there will be West, Central and Eastern Europe including Yugoslavia. There peace can be preserved by NATO and EU. NATO will take this offer with great pleasure! For we also could be involved there as observers. In other zone (Russia and the CIS) it must be achieved that such role would be given to Russia, but under international control, the international observers must be there, so that the use of army would be discussed if the armed force would exceed its powers, this fact would be internationally condemned. Unilateral actions that we are invited to, threatens to empower isolation.

There is not much solutions, but they must be used. In the end we are not such a tired nation.

Original source here.

Translation was made from Latvian translation from original language by Bruno Javoišs. From


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Latvian intelligence services 1919-1940

Latvia is placed in crossroads between the West and the East. In the times of the independence various foreign secret services and antigovermnental organizations has operated in Latvia. And it was up to Latvian intelligence service to fight them. Today because of the two language referendum that recently took place in Latvia many say that Latvian intelligence agencies have not done their job. But the job of protecting the country has always been tough in every time. This article will tell a short story about the Latvian intelligence services before the World War II when Latvia was one of the main hot points in the war between the secret services.

The main goal of the Latvian intelligence agencies was the counterintelligence. Naturally Latvia had no expansionist interests to spy on other countries. But, there were countries especially Soviet Union that wanted to spy on Latvia. And there were many national minority organizations that fought secret campaigns.

The task of counterintelligence was given to the Defense ministry and the Ministry of the Interior.  The main agency was the Political Police Agency. Agency worked both on exterior and interior security. From 1919 to 1922 the Army Staff interior intelligence Riga Department and the Political Guard was directed by Voldemārs Alps. On January 1922 his assistant Pēteris Mārtinsons took charge over the Political Guard. Later Political Guard was renamed as the Political Police Agency. In 1922 162 people worked in the Agency with central apparatus 6 regional departments. Voldemārs Ozoliņš became the chief of the agency.

The reports by the agency conclude that from 1920 to 1939, 21 802 people were taken under custody for actions against the state. 8616 persons were taken to court and 6205 were actually sentenced.   With out the court by administrative orders 1610 people were sent to prison. The total number of the political convicts was 16931 persons. The number includes persons who were convicted more than once.

 The agency made constant monitoring on political events in the state.  Intelligence reports were made constantly and covered the entire monthly political situation in the state. The agency also used the new methods of the Radio intelligence. The task was to intercept coded radio messages and locate the transmitters.

In summer of the 1940, when Latvia was occupied by the Soviet Union the Political Police Agency became subjected to the new regime. Not only it gave important documents to Soviet intelligence, but arrested people considered nationalists. The last chief of the Agency Jānis Frīdrihsons Skrauja helped to make list for deportations to Siberia. After his arrest he continued to help Soviets and reported his co-workers. However, according to granddaughter of J. F. Skrauja Anita McKenzie, Skrauja managed to sort out his papers in such a way that he divided the names of his spies who had left Latvia in to one bag and the spies who were still there in another.  His colleague Roberts Stiglitz knew about this. He supposedly had given the bag with the names of the people that Skrauja wanted to protect to the Russians Its not known know if he had been threatened by the Russians or whether he did it to protect himself. Skrauja died in 1940 in Astrakhan after months of questioning and torture. Roberts Stiglitz survived and had collaborated with Nazi Germany and took part in Holocaust. After the war he escaped to Brazil and was on the Nazi criminal list by CIA.  There is however, other version that Stiglitz resisted the occupants and managed to hide one half of the papers and escape imprisonment. He was on the search by the Soviets, who arrested his relatives Līzbete and Krišjānis Puteņi for hiding his location. It’s a known fact that Stiglitz was involved in Nazi war crimes. However the majority of Latvian historians defend Stiglitz and blames Skrauja for betrayal. The accusations against Stiglitz are based on memoirs by Skrauj’as wife and his granddaughter.   To sort out these claims a proper research is needed and possible the documents proving or disapproving them lays in Russian archives that still are not open to public. From all 664 Latvian counterintelligence operatives 603 was repressed by the Soviets. They were either shot or died in Stalin’s prison camps. Such was the tragic end of the Latvian security service filled with cowardice and betrayal. Many of the operatives however stood strong and did not betray the state and fought the Soviet repressions till the end. As Latvia was annexed by the Soviet Union the Political Police Agency and the Latvian Army was disbanded. The Soviet intelligence service NKVD and GRU started to operate in Latvia and became the main repressive force.

The force that destroyed Political Police Agency was the Soviet Union intelligence services its main enemy. The goal of the Soviet secret service was to spread the power of the Soviet Union within the Baltic States. The tactical objective was to research Latvia as the theater of war for possible wars with third-party countries. Also Latvia was used as the territory to spy on other countries. The longtime goal of the Soviet Union was to initiate Worldwide Socialist revolution and gain supremacy of the USSR. The task was given to so-called Cheka (NKVD) and the Red Army intelligence agency (GRU). Latvia got its own illegal Communist party that was member of the Comintern that supervised the party from Moscow.

The Soviet secret service sent agents to Latvia and recruited local Latvians. Not only Latvian Communist party members worked with Moscow, but also some Latvian Social democratic Workers party members became agents. The most visible action by the Soviet secret service was the communist coup attempt in Estonia in 1924 that failed. The Red Army was ready to enter Estonia once the communists would take full control over the Tallinn. In Latvia communists managed to form Leftist Workers and Peasants party that got elected in Saeima (parliament). The attempt was discovered and the elected communists were arrested and excluded from Saeima.

 One of the notable Soviet agents was Bruno Kalniņš. He was a son of social democratic leader Pauls Kalniņš. He along with other social democrats joined the occupation regime and became a general. He however was arrested by the Gestapo but was released because Germans hoped to use him as double agent. He then played the role as the member of the Latvian Central Council that opposed German occupation. He was thrown into German death camp, but survived.  After the war he moved to Sweden and became the leader of the Social democracy in exile and was known as hard-line anticommunist. The Soviet attempts to bring him back failed and they suspected him as the foreign agent.

The most mysterious possible Soviet Agent was the last Latvian Foreign Minister Vilhelms Munters. While there is no sustainable proof that he was a Soviet agent, his mysterious life after the occupation raises many questions. He was a German, but did not work with Baltic Germans. Germans considered him Latvian. The Soviets first intended to choose him as the new government leader after the occupation. However they changed their mind and instead local communists and Soviet agents like Vilis Lācis and   Aleksanders Kirhensteins became the party leaders. Munters was arrested but he was placed in special prisons while the president of Latvia Karlis Ulmanis died somewhere in Turkmenistan from bad illness. He returned to Latvia in late fifties and wrote small brochures and books condemning the Latvian independence. He was under constant supervision by the KBG that forced him to write these publications. He died in 1967 and was buried in the main cemetery. This made many believe he was a Soviet agent that helped to occupy Latvia however this cannot be proven.

The other enemy of the Latvian secret service was Nazi Germany intelligence service. It grasped its hopes on Baltic German Nazi organization “Movement” (De Bewegung). It was led by Erhard Kroeger who united Baltic Germans under the swastika banner and pursued anti-Latvian activities. The Baltic German Nazis were severe problem in Latvia and it was only fixed after Baltic Germans were repatriated to Germany in 1939. Kroeger then became full-time SS operative, Einzatzcommando  member and close associate of General Vlasov the head of the Russian Liberation army.

Latvian Political Police Agency did its best to protect Latvian independence. However it could not stop the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany from destroying Latvia. In the end the Agency became its own enemy for its administration was forced to destroy itself and betray their own co-workers. There may be double agents within the agency.

Today Latvia got three intelligence agencies. The Satversmes (Constitution) Protection Bureau provides external and internal intelligence, Security Police supervises the interior political situation and the State Military Police handles the military matters.  Also the Corruption Prevention Service is a powerful organization to affect the political matters.

It is really complicated to comment on actions of the actions made by present day Latvian intelligence agencies. Their work covered in secrecy. The same can be said at the time of the Political Police Agency for it too did not make any comments on their actions. We can only hope that our intelligence agencies are working on behalf of the Latvian people.

Selected Sources:

Kaņepe, Vija (Ed.) (2001). Latvijas izlūkdienesti, 1919-1940 : 664 likteņi. Riga : LU žurn. “Latvijas Vēsture” fonds.

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