Libmonster ID: BY-2344
Author(s) of the publication: K. A. KOKAREV

In January 2014, a monograph by a researcher at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS)was published in Germany P. V. Gustert 's "Soviet Intelligence in the Near and Middle East in the 1920s-30s" (Saarbrücken, LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, 2014, 200 pages, in Russian, English).

The book consists of three chapters - "Political Intelligence", "Military Intelligence" and "Eastern Intelligence"./Special Faculty of the Military Academy of the Red Army named after M. V. Frunze", - examines the organization of work and operations of Soviet intelligence services in the Near and Middle East in countries that depended on Great Britain, and countering the activities of German special services in this region.

It is mainly about the events that took place in Afghanistan, Persia (Iran) and Turkey, as well as in some Arab countries (Egypt, the states of the Arabian Peninsula). The author notes some features of the work of Soviet intelligence officers.

The author paid considerable attention to the role of the Foreign Department of the OGPU in the fight against Basmachism in Central Asia.

The greatest achievements of the Soviet special services in these countries during the period under review, P. Gusterin considers the return of General Ya. A. Slashchev* from Turkey to Russia, the recruitment of the Persian minister Teymurtash** and interaction with the Afghan authorities in the fight against Basmachism.

Much attention in the monograph is paid, on the one hand, to the interaction, and on the other - to the complex relationships of Soviet intelligence agencies, which sometimes caused the failures of Soviet intelligence officers. The author is not silent about the repressions that swept the special services, as a result of which the personnel of Soviet intelligence officers was thoroughly thinned out in the pre-war years. The victims of the persecution were, in particular, the heads of the intelligence services-A. Kh. Artuzov, Ya. K. Berzin and others.

Striving for objectivity, P. Gusterin also used the memoirs of traitors to the Motherland - Agabekov, Bazhanov, Dumbadze and Ibragimov, paying attention to their fates.

For the first time in the scientific literature, the activity of the Eastern Partnership is considered in detail/Special Faculty of the Military Academy of the Red Army named after M. V. Frunze for all the time of its functioning (1920-1940). The author deals with such aspects as the criteria for selecting candidates for training, the reasons for dropping out of students during the educational process, curricula and training programs for future intelligence officers, features of their language training, etc. in different periods of the faculty's activity, tells about its teaching staff, including Academician V. A. Gordlevsky, General N. V. Gordikov, and others. G. Korsune et al., traces the fate of outstanding graduates of Vostfak, including Generals V. I. Chuikov, M. A. Kochetkov and others.

The complex, heterogeneous, multi-level material is presented logically: especially the author managed to combine the principle of historicism with a consistent presentation of various aspects of the topic on a geographical basis.

The monograph is provided with a" List of abbreviations", which makes it much easier to work with such specific material, and a "List of References", which includes not only the list of used monographs and articles, but also additional literature on the topic.

A characteristic feature of the monograph is the extensive use of archival materials, including the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History and, especially, the Russian State Military Archive.

Some archival materials for this monograph were declassified: the author expressed his gratitude to the Director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Lieutenant General of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service L. P. Reshetnikov for his assistance in this work.

Unfortunately, the publication does not contain any illustrations that could plunge the reader deeper into the era under consideration. Nevertheless, the book will certainly be interesting and useful for orientalists, as well as anyone who is related to the domestic special services or is interested in the history of intelligence and international relations.

* Yakov Alexandrovich Slashchev (Slashchov-Krymsky, 1885-1929) - military commander, military teacher. He graduated from the Pavlovsk Military School (1905) and the Nikolaev Academy of the General Staff (1911). Participant of the First World War and the Civil War. In November 1920, he emigrated from the Crimea. After returning to Russia in June 1922, he taught the "Shot" course. Author of works on tactics and memoirs (author's note).

* Abd-ol-Hossein Teymourtash (1883-1933) was a Persian statesman. Graduated from the Nikolaev Academy of the General Staff. In 1919-1920-Governor of Gilan, in 1922 - Minister of Justice, in 1923-1924-Governor of Kerman, in 1924-1925-Minister of Public Works, in 1925-1932 - Minister of the Court (author's note).


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K. A. KOKAREV, SOVIET SPECIAL SERVICES AND THE EAST // Minsk: Belarusian Electronic Library (BIBLIOTEKA.BY). Updated: 04.11.2023. URL: (date of access: 14.07.2024).

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