Military Intelligence

Berman, Robert P., and John C. Baker. Soviet Strategic Forces: Requirements and Responses. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1982.

Birstein, Vadim J.

1 SMERSH: Stalin's Secret Weapon, Soviet Military Counterintelligence in WWII. London: Biteback Publishing, 2012.

Goulden, Washington Times, 28 Feb. 2012, and Intelligencer 19.1 (Winter-Spring 2012), notes that "SMERSH ... existed as a military counterintelligence organization only from April 1943 to May 1946.... [T]his book can be tedious reading at times. Mr. Birstein has long riffs on the Soviet security services both before and after the brief life of SMERSH. While the unconventional sexual activities of such spy bosses as Lavrenti Beria and Genrich Yagoda make for salacious reading, they seem rather remote from the subject at hand. Nonetheless, it's a worthwhile read."

For King, NIPQ 28.2 (Jul. 2012), the 10 years the author spent researching this book shows. "While the detail is sometimes tedious, the story he unfolds is fascinating." Peake, Studies 56.2 (Jun. 2012) notes that "with a few exceptions," this book is "based on secondary sources."

2. "Soviet Military Counterintelligence from 1918 to 1939." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 25, no. 1 (Spring 2012): 44-110.

Soviet "military counterintelligence was, with the exception of a few months in 1941 and from 1943-1946, part of the security services and not of the military." This was because "the Bolshevik leaders did not trust military professionals and was afraid of them."

Burgess, William H., III, ed. Inside Spetsnaz: Soviet Special Operations: A Critical Analysis. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1990.

Carnes, Calland F. "Inside Soviet Naval Intelligence." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 6, no. 2 (Apr. 1990): 7-11.

Collins, John M. [COL/USA (Ret.)] Green Berets, Seals, and Spetsnaz: U.S. and Soviet Special Military Operations. Washington, DC: Pergamon-Brassey's, 1987.

De Villemarest, Pierre. GRU -- Le plus secret des services sovietiques, 1918-1988. Paris: Stock, 1988.

Rurarz-Huygens, IJI&C 3:1: "[F]rom its beginning the GRU was solely an intelligence gathering organization and not like the KGB, an instrument of internal repression.... While ... admirable in bringing to light many interesting facts about the GRU's history, [this book] does not place the GRU within the Soviet power structure."

Dziak, John J. "Soviet Intelligence and Security Services in the 1980s: The Para-Military Dimension." Orbis (Winter 1981): 771-786.

Rocca and Dziak: "Analysis of the 'Spetsnaz' (Special Purpose Forces)."

Fedoroff, George E. "The Bear Comes to Call: or, Would you have ever thought that...." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 11, no. 2 (Apr. 1995): 5-6.

On visit of RADM Vladimir Mikhailovich Fedorov, Deputy Director of the Intelligence Directorate of the Russian Navy, to Norfolk, VA, in November 1994, for the annual SACLANT Maritime Intelligence Conference. The article includes a brief biographic (career) profile and some minor details about Russian naval intelligence. These include the comment that: "RADM Fedorov said that the Naval Intelligence Directorate is an autonomous entity, separate from (but obviously interacting with) the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) of the General Staff."

This article is accompanied by a companion piece: Phil McKnight [CAPT/USN (Ret.)], compiler, "The Bear Speaks," Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 11, no. 2 (Apr. 1995), pp. 6-7, which "attempts to capture the essence of [Fedorov's] talk, along with some informal chitchat." Included here are remarks on Russian military doctrine and naval strategy. Beyond the speech, McKnight notes that Fedorov uses a laptop computer with DOS and Windows.

Galeotti, Mark. "Special and Intervention Forces of the Former Soviet Union." Jane's Intelligence Review 4 (Oct. 1992): 438-440.

Galeotti, Mark. "Spooks Under Fire." Moscow News, 20 Oct. 2011. []

"[W]hen most of Russia's security community ... have seen their budgets and powers grow, the GRU has just been through a savage round of cuts. In the past two years, it has lost over 1,000 officers." Of 100 or so generals who used to serve, "only about 20 are left." The GRU "has also lost the Spetsnaz special forces" to the regular army. "Most of the GRU’s 'residencies' ... have been closed down, or reduced to a single officer working as a military attaché." There is also "talk of the GRU -- technically the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff -- being downgraded next year to an ordinary directorate."

Galeotti, Mark. "This Spy Agency Is Putin's Secret Weapon." Foreign Policy, 17 Jul. 2014. []

"Since the Ukraine crisis began, the Kremlin has few doubts about the importance of the GRU.... The agency has not only demonstrated how the Kremlin can employ it as an important foreign-policy tool, by ripping a country apart with just a handful of agents and a lot of guns. The GRU has also shown the rest of the world how Russia expects to fight its future wars: with a mix of stealth, deniability, subversion, and surgical violence."

Gertz, Bill. "Russian Merchant Ships Used in Spying." Washington Times, 6 Nov. 2000. []

According to a classified July 2000 CIA report, "Russian merchant ships are spying on U.S. nuclear submarines in the Pacific Northwest and reporting the information to Moscow's military intelligence service."

Lock, Owen A. "Chiefs of the GRU -- 1918-1947." In In the Name of Intelligence: Essays in Honor of Walter Pforzheimer, eds. Hayden B. Peake and Samuel Halpern, 353-378. Washington, DC: NIBC Press, 1994.

The author usefully includes a discussion of the sources used in putting together his discussion, which is "intended to document, supplement, and extend the useful but undocumented list of GRU chiefs found in Rocca and Dziak's excellent Bibliography on Soviet Intelligence and Security Services."

Lyubimov, Victor. "The Role of Military Intelligence in Settling the [1961] Berlin Crisis." Military Parade, 31 (Jan.-Feb. 1999). [ -- not found 1/8/06]

The author says that the Soviet leadership was kept well informed about Allied plans during the 1961 Berlin Crisis by two GRU sources identified only by their codenames of Murat and Giselle.

Schofield, Carey. The Russian Elite: Inside Spetsnaz and the Airborne Forces. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1993. [Gibish]

Starinov, Ilya Grigo [Col.]. Over the Abyss: My Life in Soviet Special Operations. Tr., Robert Suggs. New York: Ivy, 1995. New York: Ballantine, 1995. [pb]

Suvorov, Viktor [Pseud.]

In a comment on Lunev's Through the Eyes of the Enemy, J. Michael Waller,, notes that Suvorov is the pseudonym of "a former GRU officer named Rezun who defected to the United Kingdom." His books "are excellent works but many scholars suspect that they rest heavily on material provided by British intelligence.... Suvorov's books remain valuable, because the GRU has changed little if at all, and its mission remains the same. But being written in the Soviet period, they lack the context of the collapse of the USSR and the end of the Cold War as we knew it."

1. Aquarium: The Career and Defection of a Soviet Military Spy. London, Hamish Hamilton, 1985. Inside the Aquarium: The Making of a Top Soviet Spy. New York: Stein & Day, 1986.

Milivojevi, I&NS 1.2, says that Aquarium is "a vivid, perceptive ... account of Suvorov's career in the GRU.... [T]he three chapters ... he devotes to his time as a Spetsnaz officer are likely to remain the definitive account of the subject for a long time." The author's personal experiences in Vienna "have enabled him to produce a definitive account of how a GRU residency functions."

2. Inside Soviet Military Intelligence. New York: Macmillan, 1984. Soviet Military Intelligence. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1984.

Pforzheimer notes that the book "contains many factual errors, misstatements, and extravagant claims.... The author seems more sure of himself when he writes of the GRU Special Purpose Forces (SPETSNAZ)."

According to Rocca and Dziak, this "is one of the rare works ever to appear on Soviet military intelligence (the GRU)." However, "its value is somewhat marred by error and uncompelling assertions." The author's "insider's insights" on GRU Spetsnaz forces and tactical reconnaissance "make this work a useful addition to the literature."

Milivojevi, I&NS 1.2, calls this book "the most detailed, comprehensive and convincing account to date of the GRU's organizational structure, relations with the KGB and the CPSU(b) and espionage modus operandi in the West." However, the reviewer has reservations about the "absence of footnotes" which "makes it difficult to distinguish between what is based on direct and indirect personal experience, what is generally accepted as being the truth in secondary sources..., and what is just intelligent speculation."

3. Spetsnaz: The Inside Story of Soviet Special Forces. New York: Norton, 1988.

Zaloga, Steven J., and James Loop. Soviet Bloc Elite Forces. London: Osprey, 1986.

Wilcox: KGB border guards, Spetznaz, GRU reconnaissance.

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