The State Museum of Political History of Russia hosted the All-Russian scientific-practical conference “The activities of Russian foreign intelligence agencies in the XIX-XXI centuries” to the 100th anniversary of the illegal intelligence in Russia.
The conference lasted for two days - April 21 and 22. Historians and researchers discussed the role of intelligence in Russia’s security.
- Soviet foreign intelligence operations and Russian emigration.
- Russia’s secret service fight against espionage in the 19th and 20th centuries.
- Historical portraits of intelligence agents-illegals.
- Current problems of Foreign Intelligence Historiography.
The conference brought together 38 participants from seven Russian cities and research centers from Petrozavodsk to Khabarovsk. Scientists and researchers from academic, archival, and educational institutions participated in the conference, including the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Lomonosov Moscow State University; Academy of Military and Historical Sciences of the Russian Federation; St. Petersburg University of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs; St. Petersburg State University; East Siberian Institute of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs; Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Kuban State University and others.
Opening the conference, the director of the State Museum of Political History of Russia Evgeny Artemov noted that this topic is especially relevant today: “Under the conditions of geopolitical and civilizational confrontation, the role and place of the state security agencies of foreign intelligence in Russia increases manifold, and their historical experience has practical significance. For two decades, historians, researchers and security service workers, united by historical readings at “Gorokhovaya, 2” have been critically examining the role and place of state security agencies of Russian Empire, Soviet Union and Russian Federation, in a professional and objective way based on historical sources. Appeal to unexplored topics allows us to take a comprehensive look at the activity of foreign intelligence service in XIX - XXI centuries and analyze it on a modern scientific level”.
This year the museum is implementing a complex project, which includes, in addition to the conference, the publication of an illustrated collection of scientific articles “The Political History of Russia. 19th - 21st centuries. To the 100th anniversary of illegal intelligence service”. Also in December in the branch of the museum “Gorokhovaya, 2” will be opened the exhibition “Without the right to glory, for the glory of the state”. “The history of domestic illegal intelligence will be presented by examples of the fates of such illegal spies as Yakov Serebryansky, Dmitry Bystroletov, Rudolf Abel, Ashot Hakobyan and others”, - said the head of the branch “Gorokhovaya, 2” Sergey Spiridonov.
The creation of illegal intelligence in Russia dates back to 1922. On June 28, 1922 the Collegium of the Main Political Directorate approved the regulation on the so-called Zakordon Department of the Foreign Department which dealt with foreign intelligence. It was justified by political isolation of the Soviet state: no diplomatic relations established with the majority of foreign countries and therefore there were no diplomats and trade representatives there. It was only possible to obtain information about the plans and intentions of foreign states by means of illegal intelligence.