Monday, September 28, 2015

The Soviet Bloc's Clandestine War Against Romania: An Overview

We assure the citizens of Romania of our traditional feelings of friendship and good-neighborliness, and confirm our genuine striving for close cooperation in the interest of socialism and peace.[1]
Mikhail Gorbachev, 1989

These facts cast a bright light on the strange, misplaced and utterly monstrous statements made by some…to the effect that ‘good-neighborly relations’ have never ceased to prevail between Romania, Russia and the Ukraine. If we interpret good-neighborly relations as widely as that, the difference between war and peace does indeed disappear.[2]
                                                                                 Leon Trotsky, 1921

[Romanians are] a people without history…destined to perish before long in the revolutionary world storm. …[They are] fanatical standard-bearers of counter-revolution and [will] remain so until their complete extirpation or loss of their national character, just as their whole existence in general is itself a protest against a great historical revolution. …[Their] disappearance from the face of the earth [will be] a step forward.[3]
Fredrich Engels, 1849

At the height of Romania’s December 1989 revolution Soviet authorities announced their willingness and intent to immediately provide massive assistance to their “friendly neighbor” and Warsaw Pact “ally.” Moscow announced that the Soviet Red Cross sent “some 60 mobile teams” of surgeons and medical specialists to the border, many of which had “already crossed” into Romanian territory, and that it was coordinating its efforts with those of other adjacent Pact members.[1] Communist leaders in Budapest likewise announced that a Warsaw Pact “working group” on Romania was “in permanent contact” and would meet in Moscow to discuss the situation.[2]
These declarations of friendship and benevolent concern stood in stark contrast to one of the most successfully-guarded secrets of Warsaw Pact intelligence operations in Eastern Europe, and one of the most stunning discoveries to emerge from the Soviet Bloc archives since the Cold War.  By the time of its revolution Romania had been the target of hostile Soviet and Warsaw Pact disinformation and “active measures” operations for more than two decades.[3] According to the evidence now available, the Kremlin began perceiving Romania as hostile territory by the end of the 1950s.[4] This tendency is partly reflected in Moscow’s decision to cut off all communications between Romanians and their ethnic kin in the Moldavian SSR.[5]
By 1962 Khrushchev ordered the other “closely cooperating” bloc members – the GDR, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Poland – to curtail their intelligence cooperation with Bucharest.[6] East Germany’s Ministry of State Security (Stasi) had independent reasons for its displeasure. Already in 1963 the Stasi was compelled to shut down its Balkan Dossier – a joint East German-Romanian kidnapping and execution operation against errant émigrés and defectors that had been running since the 1950s because of Romanian non-cooperation.[7]  Far worse, Bucharest refused to acknowledge the permanent division of Germany and, at the end of 1963, concluded a secretly negotiated accord with West Germany – then still portrayed as a major threat to Europe.[8]
Soviet intelligence operations against Romania had already become a topic of debate between the leaderships in Bucharest and Moscow during the spring of 1963. That June, in a discussion whose participants included Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej and Nicolae Ceauşescu, the latter openly complained of the Soviet “agent networks” operating in his country:

Is it correct that in Romania, in a socialist country, [your] agent networks operate to gather intelligence and spread disinformation? We believe that it is neither correct nor does it correspond to the nature of our relations. If you would like us to inform you, we know the identity of many of those who undertake these intelligence operations. But what can we say when the personnel of the Soviet Embassy, instead of coming to our party leadership for information, go into the provinces and seek, here and there, this one or that one to collect intelligence. Could anyone permit our personnel to proceed the same way in the Soviet Union or in any of the other socialist countries?[9]

According to Dej, “there was absolutely no justification for organizing intelligence operations on the territory of another socialist country” and the attitude that it reflected was more akin to that of “master and slave” than fraternal ally. As a result, the Romanians recommended that Moscow remove its agent networks from all of the Socialist countries, which, as Dej informed his Politburo that summer, prompted “Khrushchev to call us ‘bastards.’”[10] The level of Soviet animosity towards the Romanian leadership was such that it gave rise to several assassination plots against party leader Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej.[11]
By 1964 the Romanian Department of State Security (DSS or Securitate) shut down its cooperation with other bloc services and was reciprocally excluded from Soviet-assisted intelligence transformations that introduced disinformation departments in the GDR, Hungary and Czechoslovakia (and Bulgaria and Poland shortly thereafter).[12] It was also already being considered a de facto adversary. In 1965 the DSS was again by-passed when KGB Center introduced “regular and direct operational relations” between the disinformation departments. The Romanian service was thus excluded from bloc-wide “active measures” (propaganda, disinformation and provocation) operations, and from joint operations against the US and its principal NATO partners.[13] In mid-1965 Romania was “abruptly” dropped from Warsaw Pact war planning altogether.[14]
After 1964 there were only two partial exceptions to Romania’s intelligence break with the rest of the Soviet bloc (aside from symbolic gestures and enemy action within the Romanian services, i.e. double agents). The first exception concerned intelligence cooperation with Bulgaria. Bucharest sought to preserve this relationship as part of its efforts to draw Bulgaria into a regional Balkan Pact outside of Soviet control while Moscow used the Bulgarian leadership in order to sabotage those efforts. By the end of 1971 fears of Romanian “contamination” overtook any perceived advantages of allowing those contacts and KGB Chairman Andropov ordered Sofia to cut off intelligence ties with Bucharest altogether.[15]
The second exception concerned military intelligence. As part of its Warsaw Pact obligations Romania continued to send its military intelligence officers to attend alliance gatherings and to furnish reports pertaining to defense and regional issues (often funneled through the Bulgarians to justify continuing contacts).[16] Again, however, this cooperation was purely nominal. Romanian military intelligence officers did not participate in Soviet or Pact training nor did they participate in joint operations against the United States or the other NATO members. After the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968, the Romanian leadership ended a twenty-year interdiction forbidding espionage against the USSR and its military intelligence service began collecting intelligence on their “fraternal ally” as well.[17] 
KGB archives confirm that by the mid-1960s Moscow was running “active measures” operations to isolate Romania internationally and divide its leadership (and its leadership from the “popular masses”) internally.[18] Bucharest’s open condemnation of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia and its continuing attempts to aid Prague briefly ended even the pretense of fraternal civility between the official allies. In 1971, Leonid Brezhnev, János Kádár, Edward Gierek, Todor Zhivkov, and Gustáv Husák repeatedly denounced the behavior of the (absent) Romanian leadership as “treason” and “betrayal” and, according to Brezhnev, “the principal obstruction to our line.”[19]
In the aftermath of the Czechoslovak invasion, on Moscow’s order, the other satellite services began establishing permanent “covert residences with legal cover” on Romanian territory and running intelligence operations against it “as though it were a Western country, an enemy.”[20] It was the only member of the Warsaw Pact to benefit from such “fraternal” attention. Elsewhere, joint operational teams were established for common purposes.[21] Romania had gone so far beyond the pale that the other Warsaw Pact member services began categorizing it not only with socialist “deviants” like Yugoslavia, Albania and China but alongside NATO member adversaries as well.[22] As a former Soviet Chief of Staff of the Warsaw Pact acknowledged some thirty years later:

The Romanians were concerned they would share the fate of Czechoslovakia. So they adopted a doctrine of “defense of the entire people.” Gradually and secretly they redeployed their troops. The best-equipped and most combat capable divisions were deployed close to the Soviet border and to the Iron Gates, and close to the border with Bulgaria. Later the Hungarian front was strengthened – the contested territory of Transylvania.
They deployed anti-aircraft batteries with combat charges at all airports, including the capital, for destruction of aircraft and airborne troops. The Commander-in-Chief and Chief of Staff of the Warsaw Pact Armed Forces did not have the right to land at Romanian airports or to fly across its territory to Bulgaria without written permission from the Romanian authorities. When a [Soviet] aircraft approached Romania - it was as if it was about to be put under enemy fire.
All of Romanian became an armed camp. In technical schools and standard schools students in the higher grades intensively studies military affairs. There was no fulfillment of operational plans worked out previously [within the Warsaw Pact] and no fulfillment of plans in case of a NATO attack —although this was plainly necessary.[23]

KGB Center and the subordinated East European services now sought intelligence regarding Romania’s international (primarily U.S, West German and Chinese) support, internal worker and minority dissatisfaction, and opposition within its Communist party, as Moscow began aggressively seeking to recruit influential Romanian elites to overthrow the “nationalist” leadership.[24] This clandestine offensive was not confined to the intelligence front. At their meeting in Crimea in August 1971 Brezhnev and the other Pact leaders deemed it necessary to “now identify those people in Romania on whom we can rely in the future” and recruit them through their “embassies there and other contacts” in order “to exert influence on developments inside the country.”[25] To avoid drawing public attention to Romanian dissidence, the “closely cooperating partners” would quietly “continue to mutually inform ourselves on Romania’s position on all our major issues” and confidentially decide how best to “handle things.” The Soviet leader explained that the respective Central Committee International Department secretaries would meet with their Ideology Department counterparts “to coordinate our common work,” just as they already did “for example, in connection with China and Romania.”[26]
Brezhnev was referring to the Interkit operation – formally launched in 1967 as the “internal deliberations on China.”[27] Interkit coordinated the propaganda, ideological, media, and scientific (academic) resources of all the “closely cooperating” partners plus Mongolia (and later Cuba) through their CC International Departments in order to undermine and discredit Mao’s regime and maintain Beijing’s international isolation.[28] Romania was already a target within Interkit because, as Bulgarian leader Zhivkov phrased it, “the Chinese rely on Romania and the Romanians support Chinese policies.”[29] The “closely cooperating” partners had now decided to launch a similar operation dedicated exclusively to the Romanian target.[30]
The overwhelming scale of such an effort had devastating implications for a country whose dimensions and resources were as limited as those of Romania. In Interkit, for instance, the partners coordinated not only “every reference made” to the targeted leadership but also intelligence gathering on its divisive international activities, and even operational “activities to roll-back this influence.”[31] The “propaganda activities and scientific research of the fraternal parties,” from their “press, radio, TV, press agencies and publishing houses” to their academies of science and state research institutions, were coordinated to reinforce and focus propaganda against the target.[32] This coordination covered a wide array of informational/disinformational activities, ranging from “word of mouth propaganda,” articles, and broadcasts to the organization of well-publicized “scholarly” symposiums and an agreed annual “plan for publications and scientific works” to set down their interpretational lines as established truth.
The printed output of this effort was then translated for the appropriate audiences and disseminated “in third countries” through an equally coordinated effort of the partners’ “press, information agencies, and other organs of foreign propaganda,” particularly their foreign ministries and cultural offices.[33] Such an operation overwhelmed the collection and analysis capabilities of Western intelligence services and academic communities, both of which were poorly equipped to deal with coordinated disinformation in the first place and unaccustomed to it on such a scale. At that time there was substantial resistance within the U.S. intelligence community to the idea that such a coordinated campaign was even possible.[34] The logic of intelligence collection and analysis, indeed, of Western scholarly research methodology generally speaking, meant that scores, even hundreds, of coordinated sources mobilized by such an effort would inevitably drown out Romania’s singular voice.

Of False Independence and Strategic Insignificance

The necessity of addressing why Romania was so targeted is itself eloquent testimony to the effectiveness of Soviet-coordinated disinformation. By the end of the Cold War increasing consensus in the West held that the Romanian regime was a Soviet “Trojan horse,” noisily proclaiming a hollow independence, while others – the Polish and Hungarian leaderships in particular – were quietly engaged in more substantial forms of dissidence.[35] Alleging covert agency was one of the two main themes of Soviet disinformation. The other allowed for Romania’s independent defiance but insisted on the country’s strategic insignificance and lack of consequence for Soviet policy and the East-West conflict, except as a factor that unnecessarily perturbed Soviet-American relations. Both of these themes influenced Western perceptions of Romania by the 1980s.
Post-Cold War archival revelations tell a very different story. Romanian opposition to Soviet preferences, in turns out, was greatly underestimated and, with the exception of the Prague Spring, quite singular after 1956, while the ‘dissidence’ of other Pact members was grossly exaggerated when not altogether fabricated.[36] In the Warsaw Pact’s Council of Foreign Ministers all other members “habitually concurred with the Soviet analysis and the Soviet proposals” throughout the Cold War, while staunch opposition was the “Romanian exception” affecting “almost all agenda items”[37] Post Communist archival discoveries reveal that arguments and debates between the loyalist Pact members and Soviet authorities did indeed occur with a frequency and intensity previously unimagined; genuine defiance, however, did not.[38] Romanian officers also stood alone among Pact military leaders in challenging Soviet domination and control within the alliance while their Polish, Hungarian, East German, Czechoslovak and Bulgarian counterparts continued to rally “unreservedly behind the Soviets.”[39]
Non-Romanian opposition to Kremlin policy was not merely absent. The “closely cooperating” partners often acted as Soviet proxy in attacking Romania for its dissidence while vying with each other to establish the most “special relationship” with Moscow.[40] They may have adopted these attitudes in order to advance their own interests and those of their countries, but their support of Soviet control and centralization preferences only underscores how remote their behavior was from actual opposition. In quite a few cases, the reported ‘dissidence’ exhibited by other Pact members, including apparent sympathy one or more occasionally manifested for Bucharest’s position or initiatives, was pre-arranged with Moscow to promote themselves as more worthy partners for the West and to diminish the uniqueness and possible attraction of Romanian opposition. This was also accomplished by misattributing Romanian initiatives to others, again Poland and Hungary especially, for example, as in the 1963 blocking of Warsaw Pact membership for Mongolia and the prevention of various military interventions proposed by Moscow (and others).[41]
Strategic insignificance continued to be cited by Cold War historians as both cause and effect of Romania’s alleged inconsequence to Moscow, even after the “Trojan horse” line was exposed as an inversion of the truth.[42] It is indicative that reports of this insignificance surfaced especially during periods of heightened Soviet-Romanian antagonism. For example, the 1963 concept of a strategically significant “Quartet” in the northern tier of the Pact comprising the GDR, Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia (and thus, Romanian and Bulgarian insignificance) was first circulated at the same time that efforts to forcibly replace the Romanian leadership were reported in the Western media.[43] The concept resurfaced as the “First Strategic Echelon” in mid-1965, when the Romanian Army was suddenly dropped from Warsaw Pact war planning.[44]
Certainly, Romania’s planned military contribution to Pact offensive operations lacked significance. Indeed, already by the mid-1960s it was fast approaching zero. However, the same can hardly be said regarding its significance for Soviet security. Remarkably few post-war analysts in the United States, for example, were aware that for most of the interwar period Romania had been designated a principle military threat (along with Poland) by Soviet military and intelligence leaders, resulting not only in extensive planning but also the creation of entire infrastructures against those targets.[45]
Of course, this changed dramatically at the end of the war as Romania fell under Moscow’s control and Stalin’s gerrymandering removed Romania’s land border with Poland. However, it remained the only land bridge from the USSR to ultra-loyalist Bulgaria and the wider Russophile Balkans after the war. And this geographic reality was driven home on several occasions in the 1960s and 1970s, for instance, when Romania refused Soviet troops permission to transit its territory for military exercises in Bulgaria after 1963; refused transit to Bulgarian forces participating in the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968; and rejected insistent requests for an extraterritorial Soviet-Bulgarian military corridor at the end of the 1970s.[46]
That Moscow could or would disregard any country accounting for some 1,300 km of the western Soviet frontier – the longest border with any European state (and about 200 km of coastline on the Soviet-controlled Black Sea) likewise beggars belief.[47] All the more so when the country in question was led by successive regimes antagonistic to its principal international aims. Nor could Moscow disregard the several million ethnic Romanians in the bordering Moldavian and Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republics, in territory (Bessarabia and Bucovina) formerly belonging to Romania.
Approaching the problem much as he had in the annexed Polish territories, Stalin attempted to change the ethnic composition of the region by executing thousands of community leaders and deporting several hundreds of thousands of ethnic Romanians out of the area to Siberia and Central Asia in 1940-1941 and 1950-1951, with continued ‘voluntary’ relocations thereafter.[48] That effort, along with longer-term “Russification,” forced assimilation policies, and ‘scholarly’ efforts to deny ethnic kinship, proved less than completely successful, leading Moscow to close down Romanian-Moldavian relations in 1958.[49]
By the mid-60s Soviet authorities were intensely preoccupied with Romania’s “pernicious” impact on this region as cultural attraction, independent model, and actively subversive influence through its “anti-Soviet” media and publications flowing across the border.[50] In 1967 the Moldavian SSR party boss demanded a propaganda campaign mobilizing “the most qualified scholars” and the “leading officials of the Party, Soviet, and economic organs” to publish in “newspapers, and journals, radio and television broadcasts, books, brochures, and other publications” so that “our children and future generations” would “know well that their fathers did not conceive of a life for themselves outside of Russia” and had always aspired “for union with Russia and for reunion with the Russian state.”[51] In 1968 the chief of KGB forces in the USSR’s Western Border District placed Romanian policy towards the region in the same category as the “increased subversive activity by the intelligence services of the USA, the FRG, and England against the USSR.”[52]
KGB archives reveal that Bucharest’s intentions and activities were designated a first priority collection requirement by the start of the 1970s.[53] Soviet Central Committee documents clearly describe Romania as a relentless opponent of Soviet policy from the 1970s (and beyond).[54] By the end of the 1970s, the KGB was instructed to transfer Romania out of the 11th Department of its First Chief Directorate responsible for liaison with socialist countries to the 5th Department, which targeted NATO members Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and Spain, as well as the problematic socialist adversaries Yugoslavia and Albania.[55]
The most striking feature of this reassignment was that the 11th Department of the KGB’s foreign intelligence branch did not operate against the states the fell within its purview; it coordinated intelligence operations with their “fraternal organs,” usually against third-party targets. In contrast, the states and services within the 5th Department were all the target of hostile KGB operations. The other Pact member state security organs similarly reclassified Romania. The HVA, for example, transferred Romania from the group of ‘fraternal allies’ into its Group G, alongside socialist enemies China, Albania and Yugoslavia.[56]
According to KGB instructions to its operatives in Romania, intercepted by the DSS in 1982, “Romania was ‘worked’ as an enemy state, an approach that was not only perpetuated but accentuated after Mikhail Gorbachev came to the leadership.”[57] The last director of the Securitate’s powerful anti-KGB Unit (UM 0110) testified to a Senate commission of inquiry that when he took command of the unit in 1983 and up until its disbandment in the immediate aftermath of the December 1989 revolution, the operational posture of the KGB towards his country was “quite clear.” The KGB considered Romania a target as hostile “as any western country.”[58]
Moscow certainly viewed Romania as threatening Soviet security interests at the end of the 1980s. Not, as then widely advertised, because of its opposition to liberal reform but because of its challenge to Soviet control of the other Warsaw Pact member armies. According to a July 1988 circular written by Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze and C.C. Secretary Vadim Medvedev and disseminated to all of the other Pact members, Romania was campaigning for a reform of the alliance aimed at “changing the existing order by providing for collective decisions on military development and the joint use of the armed forces in wartime” and “at weakening the now existing system of the alliance’s military organization.”[59] As the Soviet foreign ministry concluded in February 1989, the Romanians had “obviously taken a course of dismantling the existing organs of political and military cooperation within the Warsaw Pact.”[60]
Records of the KGB and of other Warsaw Pact state security organs that have surfaced to date likewise confirm that the Romanians were regarded as enemies within the bloc and not as anything remotely resembling an ally or friend. Reports of the Bulgarian KDS (Komitet za Drzhavna Sigornost: Committee for State Security) from the late 1970s, for example, conspicuously excluded Romania when describing KDS collaboration “with security organs of fraternal countries.”[61] This absence was all the more noteworthy in that, alongside the KGB and the state security organs of Hungary, Poland, the GDR and Czechoslovakia, the Bulgarian KDS also collaborated on a “fraternal” basis with the services of Vietnam, Mongolia, Libya, Benin and Angola. The much-touted common interest of the hidebound regimes in the GDR and Romania in resisting Gorbachev’s policy of perestroika in 1989 was completely superfluous to the ongoing enmity at the institutional level. Stasi chief Mielke pointedly excluded the Romanian DSS from his July 1989 circular regarding the “friendly socialist services” with whom the Stasi cooperated. “In order to not give rise to misunderstandings,” the circular specifically designated only the Soviet, Hungarian, Polish, Czechoslovak, Bulgarian and Vietnamese intelligence services as being “friendly.”[62]
Even as late as the end of November 1989 the KGB chief in the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic placed the Romanian intelligence services in the same category as those of the United States, Great Britain and Israel.[63] The fact that the KGB employed a code-name to refer to Romania (“Objective 24”), and was running a likewise codenamed covert operation against it at that late date (“ZASLON”), strongly suggests that Soviet intelligence was not nearly so disinterested in Romania in December 1989 as Moscow’s protestations and many subsequent academic works have claimed.[64]

The Entangling Strategy

It was no simple matter to keep this remarkable state of affairs hidden for so long. In fact, it could not be kept hidden. However, news of it could be distorted such that it might be interpreted as falling on a scale ranging from excessive paranoia and hysteria to “conspiracy theorizing” and purposeful misdirection. A concerted effort by Moscow and its loyalist allies in the Warsaw Pact was required to keep Romania formally within the Soviet Bloc alliance and to downplay the degree and significance of its opposition to Soviet actions and aims. This “entangling strategy” mirrored that which Khrushchev adopted towards Belgrade in the 1950s, publicly treating the country as friend and ally “to avoid strengthening Yugoslav ties with the West and alienating neutralist opinion” even while simultaneously pursuing extensive clandestine operations to achieve the “isolation of Tito.”[65]
Drawing Romania back into the fold became a core aim of Pact intelligence operations in the region under Khrushchev and his successors. As the Soviet leader explained to his Czechoslovak counterpart in August 1964, it was “the responsibility of the Party to stop Rumania leaving the Pact” and to re-unite it “with our Socialist family.”[66] A decade later East German state security instructions described “the agreed foreign policy of the Warsaw Treaty states vis-à-vis Romania” as pressing “for closer practical involvement of Romania in the common multilateral political and economic activities” in order to create “elements tying Romania to the socialist community” and “objectively narrow” its “room for maneuver.”[67]
Brezhnev insisted that the “closely cooperating” partners “must keep trying to influence Romania” towards this end.[68] This policy remained constant under Andropov, through the brief tenure of Chernenko, and continued under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev until 1989. As the Stasi noted in the mid-1980s, Moscow’s loyalist allies “sought and continue to seek to draw Romania into” their security policies, and the “political-operational work” of their combined state security organs continued to employ “all the possibilities of the member states of the socialist community to act on the Romanian Socialist Republic with the aim of maintaining and intensifying existing ties between Romania and the Warsaw Treaty and the CMEA [Council for Mutual Economic Assistance], as well as bilateral contacts.”[69]
The entangling strategy was ultimately so successful in fostering public doubts in the West regarding the sincerity of the Romanian regime’s dissidence that, during the 1980s, even head-on Soviet-Romanian clashes went unrecorded by Western observers. Indeed, at a gathering of the top western specialists on Eastern Europe in the mid-1980s, mainstream opinion held that previous assessments had “overemphasized Romania’s independence within the Warsaw Treaty Organization in contrast to the ‘loyal five,’” and that an exaggerated attention to apparent Soviet–Romanian differences had led analysts “to exaggerate the fidelity of the rest of the Warsaw Pact.”[70]
On the down side, the entangling strategy failed completely in its chief aim of modifying Romanian behavior in the desired manner. As the Soviet Central Committee signaled at the end of the Brezhnev regime:

In unofficial discussions with the representatives of some socialist states, the representatives of Romania try to convince them to follow the [Romanian] example and to combat together, through joint action, the actions and measures of the USSR … The Romanian leadership insistently tries to draw to its side, in anti-Soviet actions, the leaderships of Bulgaria, Poland, and the GDR.[71]

According to the other Pact security services, Romanian policy “clearly” persisted in contravening “the fundamental foreign policy interests of the Socialist Community of States,” opposing them “regarding almost all of the important questions of international development (disarmament, process of détente, conflict in the Middle East) as well as collaboration within the framework of the Warsaw Treaty and CMEA.”[72] Moreover, Bucharest engaged in “public confrontations” with Soviet bloc positions ever “more intensely,” and had, “for all practical purposes, aligned itself with western policies.”[73] Assessments by the CPSU Central Committee, that there was “little probability of anticipating any change in the Romanian position” and “no basis for anticipating essential changes in the practical policy of the Romanian leadership,” were confirmed by Stasi conclusions in the mid 1980s that the rest of the alliance could only anticipate “the predictable accentuation of the special positions adopted by Romania.”[74] In other words, Romania opposed Soviet foreign and security policy across a broad array of issues, refused subordination within the Warsaw Pact, pursued and defended policies that were suspiciously similar to those of the West, tried to mobilize the support of other Pact members against Moscow, and gave every sign of continuing to do so in the future.
As part of its effort to reel Romania back into Soviet security arrangements, and especially to obscure the degree of its dissident opposition, Pact members regularly relativized, downplayed and denied Soviet-Romanian differences altogether. Any attendance of representatives from Bucharest in bloc-wide gatherings was falsely advertised as reflecting Romania’s full collaboration and complete support. After 1968 Soviet leaders rarely clashed frontally with Bucharest at meetings of the Warsaw Pact, CMEA, or other international socialist gatherings. Instead they designated proxies – usually Poland, East Germany, Bulgaria or a developing state – for that purpose. Likewise, Hungary – by then the bloc’s most internally liberal member – was used as Moscow’s mouthpiece in media attacks on the Romanian position.
The Pact regularly excised mention of these differences from its reports and meeting transcripts, even when they constituted a direct “confrontation with the foreign policy line of the USSR and other Warsaw Treaty nations.”[75] Official transcripts of Pact meetings, for example, did not record Bucharest’s veto of the use of the CMEA for funneling assistance to Soviet Arab clients during and after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or its refusal to allow the Soviets to use its railways or airspace to supply those clients in 1967 or during the 1973 October War. They also fail to note its repeated criticisms of the “closely cooperating” partners’ invasion of Czechoslovakia during meetings of the socialist community. When the Romanians rejected Polish preparations for the extension of the Warsaw Pact in the spring of 1984, “no mention of the debate was included in the minutes” of their meetings – a rather astonishing omission of an objection to the continuity of the Pact itself.[76]
Soviet leaders from Khrushchev to Gorbachev appealed to the leadership in Bucharest to keep their differences quiet, ‘within the family,’ while characterizing Romanian international policy stances and periodic declarations on intra-Bloc politics as irrational.[77] Indeed, the most powerful element of Soviet and Warsaw Pact strategy against Romania during the 1980s was a campaign of denigration and what amounted to national character assassination, which, in terms of its aims and achievements, might be compared with the persuasive depiction of “Black Spain” by the rest of medieval Europe.[78]
Operations against the Romanian target were treated as extremely sensitive and carried out with an extraordinary degree of secrecy, often requiring approval from the heads of their state security organs.[79] How carefully the Kremlin and its “closely cooperating” partners tread regarding their anti-Romanian operations can be judged by the fact that although they were carried out for more than twenty years involving the services of at least six countries, no “smoking gun” emerged until the archival flood that began with the capture and release of files from the defunct East German service.[80] Even more remarkable was the post-1989 reappearance of the “Trojan horse” legend despite the manifest lack of any Soviet or Russian act or attitude of goodwill towards the country during or after the Cold War. If Romania was acting as Soviet agent then Moscow was one of the worst employers in the world.
The extraordinary emphasis on maintaining this cover is reflected in the order given to the East German state security apparatus to expand operations against Romania in 1983.[81] Significantly, the order was given directly by Stasi boss Ernst Mielke to the head of the ZAIG (Zentrale Aufwertungs und Informationsgruppe: Central Evaluation and Information Group), the 1,000-strong analytical body that provided the “powers of reason” for East German intelligence.[82] The ZAIG chief in turn stipulated to the foreign intelligence branch – the HVA (Hauptverwaltung Aufklarung: Main Reconnaissance Administration) – that only “absolutely trustworthy sources” under “especially severe requirements regarding their conspiratorial character and the preservation of secrecy” be employed.[83] “In no case,” he underscored, “must it be observed that the Ministry of State Security has taken specific measures” against the Romanian target, and “the sources must not undertake any sort of intelligence collection activity which could permit other persons or organs to discover or recognize the goals which we are proposing to them.”[84]
This deception was deemed necessary not only, or even primarily, to avoid tactical countermeasures. Discovery of a coordinated Soviet Bloc intelligence operation against Pact member Romania would risk revealing the far greater importance that Moscow attached to the country than Soviet disinformation campaigns publicly avowed. It would also risk exposing the true degree of intra-Pact hostilities that theretofore had been so effectively masked. Such a revelation would have exploded legends of the Romanian “Trojan horse” and its “covert dependence,” possibly pushing the country further towards the Western camp, and probably encouraging more engagement with it at a time when successful “active measures” were prompting Western capitals to pull away. This had been precisely the sequence of events following the 1948 Tito-Stalin split, resulting in closer U.S.-Yugoslav relations and massive Western military, economic and political assistance to Belgrade. It was therefore imperative to avoid any explicit break that would earn Romania similar Western assistance, reinforce its independence, and possibly encourage behavior even more dysfunctional to Soviet policies and preferences.[85]
Ironically, Moscow had greater success reeling non-Warsaw Pact member Belgrade, the sacred cow of anti-Soviet defiance among British and U.S. intelligence analysts, back under its influence. By the mid-1960s Yugoslavia engaged in much closer military and intelligence cooperation with the USSR than Moscow’s own Romanian ally. In 1962, a year after Bucharest had withdrawn from a similar arrangement; Belgrade began sending its officers to Soviet military academies for training (forbidding its combat pilots from learning “English for fear they would defect with their MiGs.”)[86] In 1967 and 1973, when Romania denied military facilities and closed its airspace to Soviet and Pact aircraft during Arab-Israeli wars in the Middle East, Tito placed Yugoslav facilities at Soviet disposition, even playing host to a regiment of the Soviet 106th Air Assault Division “in anticipation of deployment to Syria.”[87]
This Yugoslav drift, persistently interpreted by the US intelligence community as not indicating a turn towards Moscow, prompted the reorganization of Romania’s anti-KGB unit into four directorates by the early 1980s. Two directorates dealt with KGB and GRU operations exclusively. One was devoted to combating Hungarian and Yugoslav operations, albeit with the bulk of personnel and resources dedicated to countering Hungarian espionage operations. And the remaining directorate was given responsibility for all other socialist services, first and foremost those of East Germany, Bulgaria, Poland and Czechoslovakia, but also those of Soviet client states elsewhere.

Covert Relationships and Missing Archives

Another reason why knowledge of the hostile relationship between the rest of the Warsaw Pact and Romania remained so limited was tied to the semi-covert nature of the “special relationships” that Bucharest had forged with Washington, Beijing and Bonn. In fighting its battle “along interior lines” against superior and encircling forces, from the 1950s into the 1980s the Romanians generally sought to avoid the public spotlight and the increased Soviet pressure that inevitably accompanied its notoriety. Exceptions to this general rule occurred when Romania came under apparently imminent military threat, as in 1968, and when Moscow was on the verge of forcing through measures that would compromise the fundamental principles of Romanian policy and severely undermine its security, as in 1978.[88]
Bucharest had set the ground rules with its U.S. counterparts in 1964, cautioning Washington “not to make ‘too much noise’ for that could affect certain people’”:

It is desirable not to exaggerate events in Rumania. In particular, the less publicity about Rumanian independence at this juncture, the better. Over attention to this in foreign press could harm rather than help our future relations. For the moment, Rumania would like to be placed after Yugoslavia and Poland among the Eastern European countries, in the public eye. "Our aspirations for independence can best be achieved not by noisy and insistent publicity but by a quiet and constructive development in Rumania's relations with the US and the West.”[89]

Thus, knowledge of Romania’s work in the world – the actual achievements of its foreign policy – was extremely limited. Except for the press ‘leaks’ designed to scuttle Romanian efforts, little on its mediation efforts during the US-Vietnam war, and virtually nothing its mediation of Chinese relations with Italy, Austria, West German and other countries of northern Europe during the second half of the 1960s, ever came to public attention during the Cold War.[90] At the end of the 1970s changes within the Romanian leadership led to a catastrophic loss of strategic direction in its campaign to obstruct and even rollback Soviet control and influence in the region. As a result, Bucharest’s special relationships in the West progressively succumbed to the active measures campaign that Moscow had prosecuted for almost two decades at that point, greatly enabled by the Ceauşescu regime’s increasingly dysfunctional domestic policies. The performance of Romanian policy internationally was eclipsed by the lack thereof domestically.
The agents of the active measures campaign included all of the other de jure Bloc members as well as de facto members such as, at various times, Mongolia, Cuba and North Korea. They were aided by a host of other Soviet and Pact agents ranging from Finnish President Urho Kekkonen to the senior Soviet and East European analysts for West German intelligence, Gabrielle Gast.[91] The combination of self-induced secrecy and external active measures joined with the increasing irrationality of the domestic regime to obscure actual Romanian foreign and security policy behavior and lend plausibility to even the most extravagant of accusations.
A third reason why this veil proved so resistant was Moscow’s ability to winnow the security archives of its loyalist regimes. The transition governments of East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria concluded formal agreements with Moscow permitting the KGB access to their foreign intelligence files during 1989-1991. This granted them a preemptory “right to remove any material relating to Soviet security.”[92] KGB personnel even worked in parallel with citizens’ groups during 1990 sorting through the Czechoslovak and East German foreign intelligence archives. Meanwhile, the services themselves were engaged in wholesale destruction of their records (operational files especially).
This effort ultimately failed in the case of East Germany because of the speed with which the Party-state edifice crumbled. In the midst of this collapse, U.S. intelligence launched operations to recover the rapidly vanishing Stasi foreign intelligence (managing, for example, to acquire the Rozenholz (Rosewood) files) before they could be destroyed, carted off to Moscow or otherwise dispersed by mobs storming Stasi facilities. During the 1990s these records outlined most clearly the hostile Warsaw Pact-Romanian intelligence relationship.[93] Along with the surviving East German records of the Interkit operation, they provided a road-map that made sense of other incidental information on Romania-related KGB operations supplied by former Soviet intelligence officers, and further confirmed in the (heavily-censored) reports of other Pact intelligence services.[94] At the start of the millennium the USSR’s “anti-Romanian” operations were further confirmed and detailed in the Soviet Central Committee and KGB documents unearthed in the Moldovan archives.[95]
Paradoxically, despite unabated opposition to Soviet dominance even after Romania had lost its strategic moorings, Moscow’s agents within the country were able to capitalize on the unpopularity of Ceauşescu’s repressive domestic regime to discredit all independent Romanian foreign and security policies and gain temporary control over its security (and military) institutions and affairs during and immediately after the 1989 revolution. Ironically, even as those Brezhnev-era agents briefly achieved power in Romania, Gorbachev’s Kremlin was pursuing a very different agenda.
Illustrative of the problems facing interpretation of Romania’s role in the Cold War was the successful advocacy of self-admitted Soviet agent Silviu Brucan in having previously exposed double agents appointed to key national security posts during and after the revolution.[96] These Soviet agents – identified as such by the Romanian services in the late 1970s – included Defense Minister Nicolae Militaru (26 December 1989-14 February 1990) and Foreign Intelligence Director Mihai Caraman (13 January 1990-23 April 1992), as well as the new director of military intelligence, the new interior minister, etc.[97] Truthfulness and objectivity were hardly to be expected from someone like Brucan who, in September 1990, stated to the former chief of the Soviet Central Committee’s International Department that the struggle against American imperialism was “more important than the principles of international law, then respecting UN resolutions.”[98]

Negotiating Revolution, Ensuring Continuities

Finally, unlike Romania’s revolution, which entailed the disintegration of political institutions, the nullification of the constitution, and an abrupt and unmediated change of power, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria negotiated their regime changes and maintained their existing institutions. The resulting continuity of their state administrative institutions and the virtual continuity of the personnel staffing them stifled the possibility of surprising truths arising from those quarters, particularly under conditions of post-Communist peer competition. This continuity was most noteworthy in their intelligence and security services.
Ironically, although Romania was the only country to immediately dissolve its intelligence apparatus, cutting loose entire departments and more than 60% of its personnel, while the other countries ensured a remarkable stability of institutional arrangements and cadres, it was singled out as a laggard in intelligence reform.[99] Even Czechoslovakia opted for downsized continuity until the end of 1990 when, with exceptional British, U.S. and German assistance, it instituted a reform that still left the personnel and structures of its military intelligence services virtually untouched and many of its foreign intelligence personnel in place.[100] Continuity was far greater in Poland and Hungary, where roundtable discussions that so brilliantly accomplished their goal of peaceful transition from single- to multi-party rule, and ensured the continued stable administration of their countries, also “grandfathered-in” all but a very small part of the GRU and KGB-trained intelligence and military leadership.[101]
The consequences of this continuity soon became manifest. An international scandal erupted in August 1994 when the Polish government appointed Marian Zacharski head of Polish security intelligence. Only after Washington pointed out with some insistence that Zacharski was still under a life sentence in the United States for his theft of sophisticated military technology on behalf of Moscow, and that he was therefore an unacceptable interlocutor for NATO, did Warsaw reconsider.[102]
 The Polish government’s Macierewicz Report, released in February 2007, detailed how its military intelligence officers continued to be trained in GRU and KGB facilities not only during 1989-1991 – the final years of the Soviet Union – but also during 1992-1993, by their little-reformed Russian successor services. Appointments and promotions continued to be made from the “perspective cadre” approved and trained by Moscow, including three military intelligence chiefs and four deputy chiefs, well into the new millennium.[103] Over three hundred Soviet/Russian trainees served in Polish military intelligence (WSI) during 1991-2006, with several dozen graduates serving in the “upper echelon” of WSI structures as late as 2006.[104]
 The stability of GRU and KGB-trained cadres in Hungary was at least as strong. An international scandal ensued when Hungary assumed chairmanship of NATO’s counterespionage committee in 2008 because the head of the Hungarian counter-intelligence service – the National Security Office (NBH) – spent six and half years at the KGB’s Dzerzhinsky Academy in the Soviet Union.[105] Concurrently, the director general of Hungary’s military counterintelligence (Military Security Office: KBH), and the officers in charge of classification in both the KBH and the foreign intelligence service (Information Office: IH) were also KGB alumni.[106]
Some observers saw these connections as an asset. After all, such training presumably conferred greater knowledge of the Russian services, their methods and their operations. However, as the Macierwicz Report noted, the principal goal of KGB and GRU trainers was to identify the personal foibles, addictions and weaknesses of the students and the institutional vulnerabilities of their home services, suggesting quite the opposite instrumentality. In the case of Bulgaria at least, the network of clandestine cooperation operating for “over forty-five years” meant that senior “military, security and diplomatic” personnel “kept the habit and practice of coordinating their attitudes and actions” with the Kremlin.[107] It also stands to reason that the negative attitudes of these “grandfathered” personnel towards Romania, formed over two decades of treating it as an enemy, were likewise resistant to change. And it is even more probable that Moscow continued to exert influence over the secrecy of past operations and the conduct of current intelligence policy in these cases, making it unlikely that the leaderships of their services would rush to expose something Moscow preferred to keep hidden.[108]

Issues Preceding Communism, Succeeded Communism

Aside from continuity of structures, personnel, and attitudes among the “closely cooperating” partners, there were also more specific common interests that endured after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In stark contrast to the Polish-Russian relationship, where issues of borders, national identity and political options were largely resolved by the end of the Cold War, the issues that had fed Soviet and Hungarian hostility towards Romania during the 1950s-1980s were still outstanding well into the new millennium. Consequently, even though the Bessarabian/Moldovan and Transylvanian problems had been priority targets of Soviet and Hungarian intelligence ever since the First World War, very little information regarding those operations came to light from the Russian and Hungarian archives after 1989.[109]
Hungary’s post-1989 national security law stipulating classification terms for intelligence operations up to 90 years further diminished the probability of revelations regarding its relations with Romania during the Communist period in the near or medium-term, barring legislative changes.[110] Indeed, such legislative changes that have been proposed have gone in quite the opposite direction. In 2011, the Hungarian government announced plans to introduce legislation permitting the removal and destruction of interior ministry, state security and secret police files archives provoked an international protest.[111] The Russian archival clampdown after 1993 is likewise discouraging, although the access to Soviet records in the Moldovan archives offset this to some degree (and drew a concerted but so far unsuccessful effort from Moscow to convince Moldovan authorities to reclassify its holdings).[112]
Traditional cooperation patterns between Moscow and Budapest were broadly reinforced by similarities between the perspectives of Hungarian and Soviet/Russian authorities during and after the collapse of the Soviet empire regarding their diaspora in neighboring states (the “near abroad”). Budapest had apparently won the most “special relationship” sweepstakes when it became the first state with which Russia concluded a bilateral state treaty in December 1991.[113] Moscow and Budapest then re-established the formal linkage of their ethnic-territorial disputes with Romania by signing a joint declaration of cooperation for Assuring the Rights of National, Ethnic, Religious, and Linguistic Minorities in November 1992, an agreement publicly touted at the time by both sides as a “watershed” in Russo-Hungarian relations, later viewed with embarrassment by authorities in Budapest, and more recently recovered as a model of cooperation under the government of Viktor Orban in the wake of Russian moves and Hungarian demands on Ukraine.[114]
The Post-Communist leaders in Hungary championed territorial autonomy for ethnic Hungarian Romanians in Transylvania with an insistence reminiscent of the decades-long revisionist campaign launched by Budapest at the end of the First World War.[115] Indeed, the two men who in 1987 introduced the Hungarian Democratic Forum, which became Hungary’s first post-Communist ruling party, Sándor Csoori and István Czurka, were both known for their chauvinist and right-radical agenda.[116] After 1989 Csoori became Chairman of the Hungarian World Federation, an organization first established in 1927 to press territorial claims against Romania (and against Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia). Fortunately, spurious allegations of gross minority rights abuses, forced assimilation and “genocide” that seemed plausible in the context of Romania’s isolation during the Cold War quickly gave way to first hand observation by European institutions.[117]
 Transparency regarding these aspects of their relationship with Romania was equally absent in the Soviet/Russian case. At the beginning of 1990 the Kremlin was intensely concerned with the attraction that a stable, western-oriented Romania might exert on the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, just as it had been for decades prior. In an effort to counter that pull during the Cold War the USSR had propagated an image of Romania “as a negative and primitive influence alien to Moldovan identity,” and the majority population of the Moldavian SSR as requiring Soviet protection “against ‘Romanian assimilationism.’”[118]
The leadership of the Russian Federation continued this policy of fostering animosity in Chişinău and Kyiv against Bucharest by portraying the latter as pursuing territorial “ambitions toward Moldova and parts of the Ukraine that it lost to the USSR after World War II,” while depicting Moscow as “the defender of the territorial integrity of Romania’s northern neighbors”[119] Moscow resuscitated the formula it developed by which Romanian expressions of concern over the identity and well-being of its co-ethnics in the Soviet Union were interpreted only as aggressive territorial claims while Russian (and Hungarian) assertions of an “obligation” to protect their co-ethnics in neighboring states was purely the expression of a legitimate humanitarian concern.
The Kremlin had cause to fear the “Romanian threat” to its control over the Moldavian SSR. Not, of course, because Bucharest could force the issue, but rather because of the powerful draw that a consolidated and prosperous Romania would have on its ethnic kin across the border. At the beginning of 1990 the CIA judged that “separatist pressures” in the Moldavian SSR would “continue to grow.” Moreover, it noted that:

Nationalist sentiment in Moldavia has been strengthened by recent events in Romania. It is likely to grow if Romania’s new regime can stabilize that country and begin to forge a viable democratic political system.[120]

The CIA came to the same conclusion seven months later, after the still dependent republic signed its first European treaty of mutual cooperation with Romania:

As ethnic Romanians, the Moldavians are looking to Bucharest for assistance in resurrecting their long-suppressed national identity. They also hope to lay a foundation for eventual reunification with Romania.[121]

Soon after that the US intelligence community agreed that while Moldova would continue to seek independence, “a shift in Romania toward greater authoritarianism would probably make the Moldovans more willing to stay in the [Soviet] union.”[122] Hypothetically then, Soviet Moldova might be retained by the USSR, and a Moldovan-Romanian rapprochement blocked, by preventing the consolidation of administrative authority and reform progress in Romania, and instead encouraging turmoil, divisiveness and authoritarian reaction. There is a significant probability (on the order of 75% and higher) that the KGB reached conclusions akin to those of the CIA, thus identifying a Soviet security interest in Romania’s continued instability.[123] It is suggestive that thousands of the 37,000 “extra” Soviet tourists that deemed Romania a desirable place to visit or transit in the two weeks prior to its revolution in December 1989 chose not to leave until almost a year later, in October 1990, after the Romanian government formally insisted on their departure.[124]
Russian focus on the Romanian-Moldovan relationship became much more intense in 1993 when NATO officially opened its doors to new members and the United States initiated its first military assistance programs for Romania. A stable, prosperous and secure Romania within the Western alliance would exert an enormous draw for the Republic of Moldova, and possibly for Ukraine as well. Yevgheny Primakov, appointed KGB deputy chairman and head of the First Directorate at the beginning of October 1991– quickly recast by him as the SVR (Sluzba Vneshney Razvedki: Foreign Intelligence Service) – led the campaign against NATO enlargement, insisting that Romania would make a “grab” for Moldova if admitted into the North Atlantic alliance.[125]
The SVR chief employed a variety of disinformation techniques against Romania to discredit its past and present worthiness as Western partner that he continued to propagate throughout his tenure as Russian foreign minister (1996-1998), as prime minister (1998-1999) and as advisor to Vladimir Putin. For example, Primakov claimed that “Ceauşescu demanded that Soviet troops be sent to Romania” to support his regime and to put down the 1989 revolution as if Moscow were viewed as a source of salvation rather than threat, and as if Romanian-Soviet differences had been greatly exaggerated and were essentially unimportant.[126]
In fact, the Romanian leader stridently protested the influx of Soviet bloc agents crossing the border masquerading as “tourists,” threatened countermeasures if Soviet or Pact military forces should breach his country’s frontiers, and directly accused Soviet authorities of orchestrating the revolution in the first place.[127] As Ceauşescu declared to his Political Executive Committee on the December 17:

I have also given the order to interrupt all tourist activity. Not a single foreign tourist should be allowed in, because all have become espionage agents. Likewise, the small cross-border traffic should be shut down immediately. ... No one should be allowed in from the socialist countries, aside from Korea, China and Cuba. Because none of the neighboring socialist countries can be trusted. Those from neighboring socialist countries are sent here as agents. We are shutting down all tourist activity. A state of emergency is declared for all counties. The units of the Military, of the Ministry of Interior, of the State Security are in a state of emergency.[128]

By the following morning there were “hundreds of automobiles” denied entry idling along the USSR-Romanian frontier and Soviet broadcast and print media were condemning the “unilateral closing of the border” and reporting “tensions on the borders of Romania.”[129]  When the Soviet Foreign Ministry demanded explanations it was informed that the measure was of the same nature as Moscow’s recent interdictions of Romanian travel to areas of unrest in the USSR (e.g. Georgia and Armenia) and that Romania would “repulse any attempt to interfere in its domestic affairs and to take decisive measures against any provocative or subversive actions initiated by reactionary, anti-Romanian circles, secret services or foreign espionage agencies.”[130]
Former Soviet intelligence assets continue to offer creative justification for the presence of the idiosyncratic Soviet “tourists,” who had to be formally invited to leave the country ten months after they began their ‘transit.’[131] Twenty years after the event, for example, a former Novovsti (APN) correspondent in Romania at the time of the revolution claimed that the “tourists” were the manifestation of an economic agreement whereby Ceauşescu had requested a guaranteed 35,000 Soviet tourists a year “to buy Romanian goods,” and their visits just happened to be “concentrated at the end of the year.”[132]
The post-Communist Kremlin also attempted to capitalize on Bucharest’s “failure” to conclude treaties with all of its former neighbors as leverage against Romania’s North Atlantic alliance bid – the existence of good relations with neighboring states being a prerequisite for NATO membership. In order to keep Chişinău and Bucharest apart, Moscow labeled even the most disinterested Romanian assistance as pernicious interference in Moldovan domestic affairs while it conspicuously aided the breakaway region of Transnistria and exerted an unconstructive monopoly over the adjudication of the Moldovan–Transnistria conflict. In this respect, the fact that Primakov was given responsibility for managing the Moldovan–Transnistrian “frozen” conflict after his tenures at the SVR and the Russian foreign ministry was suggestive.
Emblematic of legacy Soviet strategy, Moscow conditioned any treaty with Bucharest on the inclusion of a clause precluding NATO membership, a condition that it did not insist upon (for very long) in its treaties with Poland, Hungary or Czechoslovakia.[133] Consequently, Romania was the only former member of the Warsaw Pact with which Russia refused to conclude such a treaty throughout the 1990s.[134] Moscow finally agreed to a treaty only in July 2003, some eight months after NATO had already formally offered admission to Romania and more than a decade since Russia had concluded similar treaties with Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Bulgaria.
Russian insistence in 2008-2009 that the United States had reneged on alleged understandings by placing military bases in Romania, and its continued involvement in the Moldovan issues in a manner that consistently discouraged closer relations with Romania, indicated the persistence of strategic obsessions very similar to those that motivated prior Soviet hostility towards Romania. Consequently, there appears to be little possibility of Russian institutional interests driving greater clarity on Moscow’s Cold War relations with and operations against Romania in the near future.
This study examines the genesis of Romania’s transformation from ally to enemy within the Soviet bloc, its efforts to disencumber itself of Soviet control, and Soviet and Warsaw Pact countermeasures to both ensnare and discredit the regime and its independent policies during the Cold War. After addressing the competing strategic interests and embedded antagonisms with its Hungarian and Russian neighbors before Communism, the study follows the generation of Soviet and Warsaw Pact hostility and the efforts of the USSR and its loyalist partners within the alliance to curb and roll-back Romania’s independent foreign and security policies. It delves beyond the propaganda and disinformation regarding intra-Pact relations by examining internal Warsaw Pact proceedings, intelligence service reports and national Party documents that have become available since the collapse of the USSR. In so doing, it examines the impact of Soviet-coordinated disinformation and active measures on Western and especially U.S. perceptions by correlating events, debates and clashes within the Warsaw Pact with the concurrent assessments generated by the intelligence and academic communities in the United States.

[This bulk of this study originally appeared as “Introduction” in Larry L. Watts, With Friends Like These: The Soviet Bloc’s Clandestine War Against Romania, Bucharest, Military Publishing House, 2010, pp. 1-27]

[1] TASS in English, Radio Moscow International Service, and Moscow Domestic Service in Russian, 23-25 December 1989.  FBIS-SOV-89-246, 26 December 1989, pp. 1, 13, 17-18, 21. Moscow also claimed to have reserved 6,000 hospital beds in Moldova for Romanian wounded with no impact on the availability of health care facilities for the Moldovan population whatsoever.
[2] “Pact Foreign Ministers Likely to Meet,” Agence France Press in English, 23 December 1989, FBIS-SOV-89-246, 26 December 1989, p. 13.
[3] Georg Herbstritt, “Eine fiendliches Bruderland: Rumänien im Blick der DDR-Staatssicherheit” [An Enemy Fraternal Country: Romania As Perceived By GDR-State Security], Halbjahresschrift für südosteuropäische Geschichte, Literatur und Politik (Berlin), no. 1 (May 2004).
[4] From 1924 through World War II Moscow, through the Comintern, required all communist parties to seek the breaking up of Romania. See Chapter 3: “The Romanian Threat and the Comintern Between the Wars,” pp. 56-79, below. Khrushchev “hit the roof” in 1955 when the Romanians requested the departure of Soviet forces, and Gheorghiu-Dej first challenged the idea of a Soviet “leading center” at the back-to-back May 1958 Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and Warsaw Pact meetings that announced the Soviet troop withdrawal from Romania. See e.g. Strobe Talbot, editor, Khrushchev Remembers, Boston, Little, Brown & Company, 1970, p. 514; and Vojtech Mastny, “Second Meeting of the PCC: 24 May 1958, Moscow: Editorial Note,” Records of the Warsaw Pact Committee: Records of the Political Consultative Council, August 2001, p. 2, PHP.
[5] Fritz Ermarth, “Bodyul Again Attacks Anti-Russian Feeling in Moldavia,” 17 March 1967, Radio Free Europe Research (RFER), Open Society Archives, Box 110, Folder 2, File 163. Thenceforth, Moscow compelled the Moldavian SSR into closer relations with Hungary, Bulgaria and even Mongolia rather than Romania.
[6] Jan Sejna, We Will Bury You, London, Sedgwick and Jackson, 1982, pp. 66-7 and 76; Ladislav Bittman, The Deception Game: Czechoslovak Intelligence in Soviet Political Warfare, Syracuse, Syracuse University Research Corporation, 1972, p. 146
[7] BStU, MfS, AOP 4288/65, vol. I, p. 21; Georg Herbstritt and Stejaru Olaru, Stasi si securitate [Stasi And Securitate], Bucharest, Humanitas, 2005, p. 66. At the time the Balkan File comprised 19 volumes. See also Georg Herbstritt, “Refused Cooperation: The Relation Stasi – Securitate and Romania’s Aspirations to Independence” in The NKVD/KGB Activities and its Cooperation with other Secret Services in Central and Eastern Europe 1945-1989, Bratislava: Nation’s Memory Institute, 2008, pp. 287-291.
[8] Herbstritt and Olaru (2005), pp. 80-1.
[9] Romanian National Archives (ANR), Fond CC al PCR, Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 16U/1963, f. 42-116; Document 7 in Mihai Croitor, In umbra Kremlinului: Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej si geneza declaratiei din aprilie 1964 [In The Shadow Of The Kremlin: Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej And The Genesis Of The April 1964 Declaration], Cluj-Napoca: Editura Mega, 2012, p. 152.
[10] See Documents 1, 2 and 6 in Larry L. Watts, Divided Loyalties Within The Bloc: Romanian Objection To Soviet Informal Controls, 1963-1964, Cold War International History Project e-Dossier No. 42, Woodrow Wilson International Center, October 2013b,
[11] Intelligence Report on Attempt on Life of Georgiu Dej and Soviet-Romanian Relations, 1965, British National Archives, FO 371/182729, Foreign Office, Political Departments: General Correspondence for 1906-1966, Northern, Romania (NR). Some CIA analysts even believed that the 1963 attempt might have provoked Bucharest’s independent course. See e.g., Instability and Change in Soviet-Dominated Eastern Europe: An Intelligence Assessment (EUR 82-10124), 1 December 1982, pp. 8 and 19,
[12] Sejna (1982), p. 66; Bittman (1972), pp. 17, 89-90 and 144. The DSS was periodically reorganized as a Council instead of Department and known as the CSS. DSS is used throughout this study to refer to both.
[13] Bittman (1972), pp. 144 and157-8, Xiaoyuan Liu and Vojtech Mastny, eds., China and Eastern Europe, 1960-1980s, Proceedings of the International Symposium: Reviewing the History of Chinese-East European Relations from the 1960s to the1980s, Beijing, 24-26 March 2004, pp. 108-9, in “Global Cold War,” Parallel History Project on Cooperative Security (formerly: Parallel History Project on NATO and the Warsaw Pact),, by permission of the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich and the National Security Archive at the George Washington University on behalf of the PHP network (hereafter: PHP).
[14] Before 1965 the “Hungarian 5th army was expected to work in close cooperation with the Romanian 3rd army in all military manoeuvers and operational plans.” Imre Okváth, “Hungary in the Warsaw Pact: The Initial Phase of Integration, 1957 – 1971,” in Vojtech Mastny, Christian Nuenlist, and Anna Locher, editors, “European Cities Targeted for Nuclear Destruction: Hungarian Documents on the Soviet Bloc War Plans, 1956-71,” 29 November 2001, “Warsaw Pact War Plans,” PHP.
[15] Jordan Baev and Kostadin Grozev, “Bulgaria” in Krzysztof Persak and Lukasz Kaminski, editors, A Handbook of the Communist Security Apparatus in East Central Europe, 1944–1989, Warsaw, Institute of National Remembrance, 2005, pp. 49, 85.
[16] See, for example, Report of the Minister of Armed Forces signed by General Colonel Ion Gheorghe, First Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Armed Forces and Chief of the General Staff, and forwarded to Nicolae Ceausescu, regarding the results of the participation of the General Staff representatives at the Conference of the Chief of the Intelligence Directorates of the Warsaw Pact member armies, Warsaw, 4-9 September 1967, ANR, Fond CC al PCR, Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 120/1967, September 19, 1967, f. 1-13. See also Jordan Baev, “The Communist Balkans Against NATO In The Eastern Mediterranean Area. 1949-1969,” paper presented at the conference, “The Cold War in the Mediterranean,” Cortona, 5-6 October 2001, pp. 9-10, Journal of History, International Relations and Security,
[17] General Ion Gheorghe, “The Romanian Army within the Context of the Events of August 1968,” paper presented to symposium of the Alexander Ion Cuza National Union of the Military Staff in Reserve and Retirement cited in Mihai Retegan, In the Shadow of the Prague Spring: Romanian Foreign Policy and the Crisis in Czechoslovakia, 1968, Iaşi, Center for Romanian Studies, 2000, p. 191.
[18] Christopher Andrews and Vitalyi Mitrokhin, The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World, New York, Basic Books, 2005, p. 290.
[19] Record of the Meeting Between Leonid Brezhnev and East European Party Leaders in the Crimea, 2 August 1971, pp. 21-24, 27-29, 31-32, 36-37 and 40-43 in “General Documentation,” Christian Nuenlist and Anna Locher, editors, “China and Eastern Europe from the 1960s to the 1980s,” 1 December 2004, PHP.
[20] Herbstritt (2004), pp. 1-2; William Totok, “Romania, o zona operativa a securitatii Stasi. Interviu cu cercetatorul german Georg Herbstritt” [Romania, An Operational Zone of Stasi State Security. Interview with German Researcher Georg Herbstritt], Observator Cultural (Bucharest), no. 227 (29 June – 5 July 2004),
[21] The “closely cooperating partner” services had operated covertly in Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968, and would do so again in Poland during 1980-1981. However, they operated in official liaison with the local services, and their covert residences were shut down after the crises.
[22] Komitet Dzhurna Sigornosti [Committee for State Security] (KDS) Plan for Operational Measures Toward Yugoslav, Romanian and Czechoslovak Military Attachés, 06/12/1969, Archives of the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior (AMVR), Sofia, fond 2, record 3, file 356; and No Title, 10/07/1982, AMVR, Sofia, Fond 1, Record 12, File 434, “Bulgaria in the Cold War,” Cold War International History Project (CWIHP),, by permission of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. (Hereafter: CWIHP)
[23] Anatoly Ivanovich Gribkov, Sud’ba varshavskogo dogovora: Vospominania, Dokumenty, Fakty, [Part of the Warsaw Pact: Recollections, Documents, Facts], Moscow, Russkaia Kniga, 1998, pp. 75-76.
[24] See e.g. Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive And The Secret History Of The KGB, New York, Basic Books, 2001, p. 270.
[26] Op. cit., pp. 40-43.
[27] See e.g. James G. Hershberg, David Wolff, Péter Vámos, and Sergey Radchenko, The Interkit Story: A Window into the Final Decades of the Sino-Soviet Relationship, Cold War International History Project Working (CWIHP) Paper #63, February 2011, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C.,
[28] First Interkit Meeting, Moscow, Soviet Union, 14 December 1967, p. 1, in “Reports on Interkit Meetings on the China Situation and Related Documents,” Nuenlist and Locher (2004) (hereafter: Interkit), PHP.
[29] Record of the Meeting Between Leonid Brezhnev and East European Party Leaders in the Crimea, 2 August 1971, pp. 21, 23-24, “General Documentation,” Interkit, PHP.
[30] Larry L. Watts, A Romanian INTERKIT? Soviet Active Measures and the Warsaw Pact Maverick 1965-1989, CWIHP Working Paper #65, December 2012, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington D.C.,  See also Larry Watts, The Soviet-Romanian Clash Over History, Identity and Dominion, CWIHP e-Dossier No. 29, March 2012,
[31] Second Interkit Meeting, East Berlin, East Germany, 20-31 January 1969, p. 3, Interkit, PHP.
[32] Op. cit., p. 4-7. This included propaganda through “OIRT and Intervision,” which included Finland.
[33] In addition, their foreign correspondents systematically cooperated “with respect to the collection and exchange of information” whether or not they were intelligence officers under journalist cover.
[34] See e.g. Tennent H. Bagely, “Bane of Counterintelligence: Our Penchant for Self-Deception,” in Loch K. Johnson and James J. Wirtz, editors, Strategic Intelligence: Windows Into A Secret World: An Anthology, Los Angeles, Roxbury, 2004, pp. 304-314.
[35] The “Trojan horse” theory had first been sold to the U.S. legation in Romania in 1956. KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn revived it 1963 and then again with the publication of his book New Lies for Old: An Ex-KGB Officer Warns How Communist Deception Threatens survival of the West, New York, Dodd, Mead & Co, 1984. It was resuscitated in the mid-1970s by Radio Free Europe analyst Vlad Socor, “The Limits of National Independence in the Soviet Bloc: Rumania’s Foreign Policy Reconsidered,” Orbis, vol. 20, no. 3 (Fall 1976), pp. 701-32, and then by defector Ion Mihai Pacepa in 1978. After Golitsyn’s 1984 revival it was taken up by the Heritage Foundation, by Ambassador David B. Funderburk, Pinstripes and Reds: An American Ambassador Caught Between the State Department and the Romanian Communists, 1981-1985, Washington DC, Selous Foundation Press, 1987, and again by Securitate defector Pacepa in Red Horizons, Washington DC, Regnery Gateway, 1987.
[36] Pact archives reveal real differences between the non-Soviet allies and Moscow. That said, only the Romanians were genuinely oppositional in the sense that they refused to back down even when Moscow insisted. For intra-Pact differences see e.g. Mary Ann Heiss and S. Victor Papacosma, editors, NATO and the Warsaw Pact: Intrabloc Conflicts, Kent, Kent State University Press, 2008.
[37] Anna Locher, “Shaping the Policies of the Alliance: The Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Warsaw Pact, 1976-1990” May 2002, p. 18, in Records of the Committee of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, PHP.
[38] Indeed, the plentiful “evidence of conflict and bargaining between the Soviet Union and its allies” must be considered within which  “it was the Soviet Union that usually ended up ‘calling the shots.’” Mark Kramer, “Archival Research in Moscow: Progress and Pitfalls,” Cold War International History Project Bulletin no. 3 (Fall 1993), p. 34.
[39] Christian Nünlist, “Cold War Generals: The Warsaw Pact Committee of Defense Ministers, 1969-90,” (2001), p. 8; Jordan Baev, “The End of the Warsaw Pact, 1985-1991: Viewed from the Bulgarian Archives,” p. 6, in Jordan Baev and Ana Locher, “The Irresistible Collapse of the Warsaw Pact: Documents from Bulgarian Archives, 1985-1991,” November 2000, PHP.
[40] Vojtech Mastny, Learning from the Enemy: NATO as a Model for the Warsaw Pact?, Zürcher Beiträge zur Sicherheitspolitik und Konfliktforschung no. 58, Zurich, Center for Security Studies and Conflict Research, ETH Zurich, 2001, pp. 23 and 28, available at PHP; Csaba Békés, “Introduction,” Records of the Meetings of the Warsaw Pact Deputy Foreign Ministers, PHP, September 2005, pp. 2-3; Christian Nuenlist and Anna Locher, “At The Roots Of The European Security System: Thirty Years Since The Helsinki Final Act,” Conference Report, Center For Security Studies, Eth Zurich, November 2005, p. 4 at PHP. See also Csaba Békés, “Hungarian foreign policy in the Soviet alliance system, 1968–1989,” Foreign Policy Review (Budapest), vol. 3, no. 1 (2004), pp. 87– 127.
[41] See former East German Military Attaché Col. Joachim Schroter in Xiaoyuan Liu and Vojtech Mastny (eds.), China and Eastern Europe, 1960s-1980s, Beijing, 24-26 March 2004, Zurich, Center for Security Studies and Conflict Research, ETH Zurich, November 2004, p. 140. The Liu-Mastny report is available at “Publications,” PHP. In an earlier work Mastny misattributed the primary credit for this to Poland. Mastny (2001), p. 15.
[42] Mastny (2001), p. 44; Lochner (2002), p. 14; Nünlist (2001), p. 8. Despite clear archival evidence to the contrary, the Trojan horse theme continued to be sounded by otherwise serious scholars well into the new millenium. See e.g., Charles King, “Remembering Romanian Communism,” Slavic Review, vol. 66, no. 4 (Winter 2007), pp. 719-720.
[43] Intelligence Report on attempt on life of Georgiu Dej [sic.] and Soviet-Romanian relations (1965). See also Paul Lendvai, Eagles in Cobwebs: Nationalism and Communism in the Balkans, Garden City, NY, Doubleday and Company, 1969, pp. 305-306.
[44] Intelligence Study: Warsaw Pact Military Strategy: A Compromise in Soviet Strategic Thinking (Ref Title: Caesar XXVI), 7 June 1965, p. 27; Okváth (2001), PHP.
[45] Raymond W. Leonard, Secret Soldiers of the Revolution: Soviet Military Intelligence, 1918-1933, Westport CT, Greenwood Press, 1999, pp. 15-16, 46, 74, 168-172, 181; David J. Dallin, Soviet Espionage, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1955, pp. 14, 25, 305, 393. Romania also remained a priority in World War II as Berlin’s most effective military ally on the Eastern Front. Soviet authorities did their best to conceal their preoccupation with it. For a partial corrective see David M. Glantz, Red Storm Over the Balkans: The Failed Soviet Invasion of Romania, Spring 1944, Lawrence, University Press of Kansas, 2007, pp. xiii-xiv, 14-22, 371-375.
[46] During the several exceptions to this rule, Romanian authorities always ensured the separation of Soviet troops from their weapons, confined them to one travel corridor, and allowed a limited time-span with which to complete their transit. Refusal to permit an extra-territorial corridor for military transit after Moscow had already constructed a Warsaw Pact command center in Bulgaria (of which Bucharest was informed only afterward) compelled the USSR to construct the Odessa-Ilyichovsk/Illichivsk train ferry.
[47] The Soviet-Romanian border was 1,329 km long. The Polish-Soviet border was 1,321 km long until a territorial exchange in 1951 shortened it to 1,244 km. Romania’s Black Sea coastline was 193.5 km long.
[48] Dennis Deletant estimates between 100,000 and 500,000 were deported in I. C. B. Dear and M. R. D. Foot, editors, The Oxford Companion to World War II, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1995, p. 129.
[49] Fritz Ermarth, “Bodyul Again Attacks Anti-Russian Feeling in Moldavia,” 17 March 1967, Radio Free Europe Research (RFER), OSA, Box 110, Folder 2, File 163 and “Socialist Encirclement is Also Dangerous,” 29 July 1968, USSR/5, RFER, Box 50, Folder 7, Report 142, Open Society Archives (OSA). By 1968 Moscow’s relations with capitalist Finland, Iran, Afghanistan and even NATO member Turkey were “certainly better” than those with Romania. Ermarth (1967), p. 1.
[50] Mark Kramer, “Moldova, Romania, and the Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia,” CWIHP Bulletin, No. 12/13 (Fall/Winter 2001), pp. 326; Mark Kramer, “Ukraine And The Soviet-Czechoslovak Crisis Of 1968 (Part 2): New Evidence From The Ukrainian Archives,” CWIHP Bulletin, No. 14/15 (2003/2004), pp. 295-301.
[51] Watts, A Romanian INTERKIT? Soviet Active Measures and the Warsaw Pact “Maverick” 1965-1989 (2012); Sovietskaia Moldavia, 16 February 1967; Ermarth (1967).
[52] Kramer (2003/2004), p. 298 and 349, footnote 172; Memorandum No. 2039-A (Top Secret) from Yu. V. Andropov, chairman of the KGB, to the CPSU Secretariat, 30 August 1968, in Rossiiskii Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv Noveishei Istorii (RGANI), F. 5, Op. 60, D. 339, Ll 58-6; On the Position of Romania in connection with the events in Czechoslovakia, Report No. MB-4809/65 (Top Secret), from V. Makashev, deputy secretary-general of the Soviet foreign ministry, 16 October 1968, in RGANI, F. 5, Op. 60, D. 339, Ll. 188-194; and On Romanian Attitudes Towards the Developments in Czechoslovakia (Political Writing), Cable No. 1000 (Top Secret), A. V. Basov, Soviet ambassador in Romania, to Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko and the CPSU Secretariat, 23 September 1968, in RGANI, F. 5, Op. 60, D. 339, Ll. 130-154.
[53] Andrew and Mitrokhin (2001), pp. 269-270.
[54] See Documents 1-7 in Larry Watts, The Soviet-Romanian Clash Over History, Identity and Dominion, Cold War International History Project e-Dossier No. 29, March 2012,
[55] Andrew and Mitrokhin (2005), p. 500. Madrid announced its intention to join NATO in 1977. Because of its close links with the US, West Germany, China, Egypt and Israel, Romania was also dealt with by KGB FCD Departments 1, 4, 6, 8 and 18 (as well as 11).
[56] HVA, Dep. VIII: Analyse zum Stand, zur Wirksamkeit und den Ergebnissen der Konterarbeit in Objekten legal abgedeckter Residenturen [Status Analysis regarding Efficiency and Achievements of the Objects of Legally Protected Residencies], November 25, 1985, BStU, MfS, HV A 407, pp. 1-31 as cited in Herbstritt, “Refused Cooperation” (2008), pp. 287-291. Cuba was also included in this group.
[57] Serviciul Roman de Informatii (SRI: Romanian Intelligence Service), Punct de vedere preliminara al Serviciul Roman de Informatii privind evenimentele din decembrie 1989 [Preliminary Point of View of the Romanian Intelligence Service Regarding the Events of December 1989], November 1990, Bucharest, Senate Archive, Inventory 0003, File no. 5, p. 27.
[58] Stenograma nr. 33, 26 ianuarie 1994, audierea generalului-locotenent Neculicioiu Victor [Transcript No. 33, January 26, 1994, Hearing of Lieutenant General Victor Neculicioiu], Bucharest, Senate Archive, p. 5. Western services aware of Romanian-Warsaw Pact friction were often much less aware of the degree of that antagonism. Author’s conversations with senior MI6 and CIA officers, 28 October 2006, Ottowa, and 26 November 2007, New Orleans.
[59] Romanian Proposal For Warsaw Pact Reform: Information Regarding The Romanian Proposal, 8 July 1988, p. 2, “XXII. Meeting of the PCC, Warsaw, 15-16 July 1988,” in Mastny, Nuenlist, Locher, and Selvage (2001), PHP. See also Evaluation of the Romanian Proposal for Reform of the Warsaw Pact in Preparation of the PCC Meeting, by the East German Minister of Defense (Heinz Kessler), Ibid.
[60] Memorandum of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “The Political Processes in the European Socialist Countries and the Proposals for Our Practical Steps Considering the Situation Which Has Arisen in Them,” 24 February 1989, Document No. 3 in Jacques Levesque, “Soviet Approaches to Eastern Europe at the Beginning of 1989,” Cold War International History Project Bulletin, no. 12/13 (Fall/Winter 2001), p. 69.
[61] Information re: KDS collaboration with the “fraternal” security services in 1978, 15 May 1979, Bulgarian Ministry of Interior Archives (AMVR), Sofia, fond 1, record 10a, file 344, in “Bulgaria in the Cold War,” CWIHP. The KDS was periodically labeled Department and Directorate as well as Committee and abbreviated simply as the DS. KDS is used here to more easily distinguish it from Romania’s DSS.
[62] Order no. 13/89 regarding the development, command and leadership of the operational liaison groups of the MSS with the friendly foreign security organs, July 14, 1989, BStU, MfS, HA II/10, 243, pp. 292-4; Herbstritt and Olaru (2005), p. 96.
[63] On the Measures Regarding the Decision of the KGB Collegium of the USSR of 5 September 1989: On the Tasks of the State Security Services of the USSR Regarding the Defense of the Soviet Constitutional Regime,” November 28, 1989, signed by chief of the MSSR KGB, General Gh. Lavranchuk, Document 27 in Watts, A Romanian INTERKIT? Soviet Active Measures and the Warsaw Pact “Maverick” 1965-1989 (2012), pp. 42-44, 144-147, . Lavranchuk had been MSSR minister of interior during 1985-1988. He remained president of the MSSR KGB until July 1990.
[64] Interestingly, the U.S., British and Israeli enemy services were identified by country. Only the Romanians had their “special organs” and “Patriarchy” referred to by code name. This had been the case at least since a KGB Collegium decision of July 1986 when the MSSR KGB was headed by General-Lieutenant G. M. Volkov. See Document 27 in Watts (2012), pp. 42, 140-143.
[65] Stability of the Soviet Satellite Structure (NIE 12-57), 19 February 1957, p. 8.
[66] Sejna (1982), p. 76.
[67] Relations of Romania SR to China and their position to the current policies of the Chinese leadership, Political Section, Embassy in Bucharest, 18 December 1972, Interkit, PHP.
[68] Minutes of Conversation between Todor Zhivkov – Leonid I. Brezhnev, Voden Residence [Bulgaria], 09/20/1973, CSA [Bulgarian State Archives (Tsentralen Drzhaven Arhiv)], Sofia, Fond 378-B, File 360, “Bulgaria in the Cold War,” CWIHP.
[69] Informative Note Drawn Up By The Chief of Service Referring to The Current Situation of Romania and The Policy of That State, HVA, Abteilung VII, December 15, 1983, BStU, MfS, ZAIG 6267, S. 10-12; Herbstritt and Olaru (2005), pp. 361-2. The CMEA as also known as COMECON.
[70] Although quoted here from Robert Hutchings, the opinion was shared by the overwhelming majority of the 97 top specialists and government officials from North America and Europe in attendance. See e.g. “Remarks of Robert Hutchings” in “Part II: The Warsaw Pact Forces: Fragmentation and Reintegration,” The Warsaw Pact and the Question of Cohesion: A Conference Report, co-sponsored by Washington, D.C., Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies and The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1985, p. 25. Hutchings, at the time acting Director of Radio Free Europe, was soon drafted as U.S. National Intelligence Officer, where he coordinated the community-wide National Intelligence Estimates during the final years of the decade. 
[71] Documents 2, 4 in Watts, The Soviet-Romanian Clash Over History, Identity and Dominion (2012),
[72] See e.g. HVA, Abteilung VII, December 15, 1983, BStU, MfS, ZAIG 6267, S. 10-12; Herbstritt and Olaru (2005), pp. 361-2 and 367.
[73] Ibid.
[74] Documents 1, 5 in Watts (2012); Herbstritt and Olaru (2005), pp. 361-2 and 367.
[75] Vojtech Mastny, “Editorial Note XVII. Meeting of the PCC, Warsaw, 14-15 May 1980,” in Vojtech Mastny, Christian Nuenlist, Anna Locher and Douglas Selvage, editors, “Records of the Warsaw Pact Political Consultative Committee, 1955-1990,” May 2001, “Party Leaders,” “Warsaw Pact Records,” PHP. As Mastny notes, Moscow did not “publicize its problems with the Romanians” despite their essential nature, and avoided forcing the contentious adoption of “documents against their opposition.”
[76] Locher, “Shaping the Policies of the Alliance: The Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Warsaw Pact, 1976-1990” (2002), p. 18, PHP.
[77] See e.g. Report for the Czechoslovak Party Presidium on the PCC Meeting, 27 May 1980, p. 8, “XVII. Warsaw, 14-15 May 1980,” and Romanian Proposal for Warsaw Pact Reform: Information regarding the Romanian Proposal, 8 July 1988, p. 3, “XXII. Meeting of the PCC, Warsaw, 15-16 July 1988,” in Mastny, Nuenlist, Locher, and Selvage (2001), PHP
[78] Soviet active measures and disinformation approximated the methods and goals of the “Black Legend” applied to Spain from the 16th century. As one author defined it, the “Black Legend” was “the careful distortion of the history of nation, perpetrated by its enemies, in order to better fight it. And a distortion as monstrous as possible, with the goal of achieving a specific aim: the moral disqualification of the nation…in every way possible.” Alfredo Alvar, La Leyenda Negra [The Black Legend], Ezquerra, Ediciones Akal, 1997, p. 5. In the late 1500s Spain had been targeted by “political and religious propaganda that blackened the characters of Spaniards and their ruler to such an extent that Spain became the symbol of all forces of repression, brutality, religious and political intolerance, and intellectual and artistic backwardness for the next four centuries.” Philip Wayne Powell, Tree of Hate: Propaganda and Prejudices Affecting United States Relations With the Hispanic World, New York, Basic Books, 1971. Many Spaniards aware of their dismal reputation abroad were persuaded by the weight of propaganda that it must be true, thus becoming unwitting accomplices in their own marginalization at the periphery of Europe.
[79] Agents working in the residence “had to take more subtle and more numerous measures of precaution” because exposure “would have especially negative effects.” Herbstritt and Olaru (2005), p. 103.
[80] See Herbstritt (2004) for the first analysis of these documents.
[81] Bucharest provoked Andropov’s fury (again) by denying a U.S. first nuclear strike intention (RYAN), rejecting a military build-up, refusing to label the U.S. responsible for global tensions, and insisting on drastic unilateral military and budget reductions. Throughout Andropov’s “term as general secretary, RYAN remained the FCD’s first priority.” Andrew and Mitrokhin (2001), pp. 213-4; Vojtech Mastny, “Editorial Note: XVIII. Meeting of the PCC, Prague, 4-5 January 1983,” Records of the Warsaw Pact Committee: Records of the Political Consultative Council [PCC], PHP.
[82] David Childs and Richard Popplewell, The Stasi: The East German Intelligence and Security Service, New York, New York University Press, 1996, p. 177. Werner Irmler was head of ZAIG during 1965-1989.
[83] BStU, MfS, ZAIG 7120, pp. 282-3; Herbstritt and Olaru (2005), p. 354.
[84] Ibid.
[85] US military assistance to Yugoslavia initiated in 1952 provided $750 million of aid by 1958, and “several hundred” Yugoslavs “received advanced training in U.S. military schools” while the army was “modernized with Western armaments during a period when Yugoslavia felt an active threat of military intervention.” It was henceforth presumed that Yugoslavia would be provided with further military assistance if attacked. CIA, The Yugoslav Military Elite (U), R-2131, February 1977, RAND publication prepared for Office of Regional and Political Analysis, Central Intelligence Agency, 1 February 1977, pp. 8, 28. Yugoslavia also signed assistance agreements with NATO members Greece and Turkey.
[86] Neil Barnett, Tito, London, Haus Publishing, 2006, p. 138; The Yugoslav Military Elite (U) (1977), p. 48.
[87] Steven Zaloga and James Loop, Soviet Bloc Elite Forces, London, Osprey, 1985, p. 18. The 103rd was already famous for its role in the invasion of Czechoslovakia. “In 1979 the 105th Air Assault Division, supported by elements of the 103rd,” was deployed in the invasion of Afghanistan. Op. cit., p. 12. Units of the 102nd Air Assault Division were permanently based in Chişinău and Tiraspol in the Moldavian SSR.
[88] The Czechoslovak crisis is discussed in Chapters 13-17 below. The crisis created at the November 1979 Warsaw Pact meeting in Moscow is discussed Larry L. Watts, Extorting Peace: Romania, The Clash Within The Warsaw Pact And The End Of The Cold War, 1978-1989, Bucharest, RAO, 2013, Chapter 3, pp. 100-126.
[89] Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, 18 May 1964, Document no. 12, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968, Volume XVII, Eastern Europe, Washington D.C., 1996.
[90] For ‘leaks’ on Romanian mediation in Vietnam see The New York Times, 22 and 23 November 1965.
[91] For Kekkonen’s KGB credentials see Oleg Kalugin with Fen Montaigne, The First Directorate: My 32 Years in Intelligence and Espionage Against the West, New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1994, pp. 169-170; Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, KGB: The Inside Story of its Foreign Operations from Lenin to Gorbachev, New York, HarperCollins, 1990, p. 433; Hannu Rautkallio, Laboratorio Suomi. Kekkonen ja KGB 1944 – 1962 [Finland Laboratory. Kekkonen and the KGB 1944 - 1962], Porvoo-Helsinki-Juva, W. Soderstrom, 1996, and his Agenda Suomi. Kekkonen - SDP – NKP [Finland Agenda. Kekkonen - SDP - NKP], Porvoo-Helsinki-Juva, W. Soderstrom, 1999. See also Kimmo Rentola, “President Urho Kekkonen of Finland and the KGB,” in Juhana Aunesluoma and Pauli Kettunen, editors, The Cold War and the Politics of History, Helsinki: Edita Publishing, 2008, pp. 269-289.
[92] Childs and Popplewell (1990), pp. 114 and 229.
[93] See Herbstritt (2004); Herbstritt and Olaru (2005).
[94] The East German INTERKIT reports are available at INTERKIT, PHP. See also the Bulgarian intelligence materials at PHP and at CWIHP. KGB reports are available in the volumes co-authored by former KGB officers Oleg Kalugin, Oleg Gordievsky, and Vasili Mitrokhin cited below, as well as works authored individually by Kalugin and Mitrokhin.
[95] See e.g. the hundreds of Soviet documents in Elena Negru and Gheorghe Negru, “PCM şi Naţionalism (1965-1989): Documente adunate în cadrul programului de cercetări effectuate de câtre Comisia pentru studierea şi aprecierea regimului totalitar communist din Republica Moldova” [The MCP and Nationalism: Documents Collected within the Research Program for the Commission for the Study and Evaluation of the Communist Totalitarian Regime in the Republic of Moldova], special edition, Destin românesc (Chişinău), vol. 16, no. 5-6 (2010), pp. 1-333; and Elena Negru and Gheorghe Negru, “Cursul deosebit al României” şi supărarea Moscovei. Disputa sovieto-română şi campaniile propagandistice ale PCM împotriva României (1965-1989). Studiu şi documente [“Romania’s Special Course” And Moscow’s Fury: The Soviet-Romanian Dispute And the Propaganda Campaign of the Moldovan Communist Party Against Romania (1965-1989)], Chişinău: Centrul Editorial-Poligrafic al USM, 2013, 616 pp.
[96] Brucan admitted conspiring with Soviet authorities during the 1970s and 1980s. Silviu Brucan, Generaţie irosită [Wasted Generation], Bucharest, Universal & Calistrat Hogaş, 1992, p. 188.  
[97] Brucan and Prime Minister Petre Roman fought tenaciously for the appointment of Caraman, who remained functionally subordinate to Prime Minister Roman from January 1990 until the passage of the National Security Law in July 1991. After his ouster in April 1992 Caraman became Roman’s security advisor. “Armaghedonul spionilor: ‘Reteaua Caraman’” [The Spy Armageddon: The Caraman Network,” Ziua, 7 February 2005. The knock-on affect of Militaru’s confirmation was tremendous as he in turn re-activated 30 senior, mostly Soviet trained, officers and transferred others such that by January 1990 GRU agents exposed in the 1970s had been appointed to head the interior ministry, military intelligence, and the general staff. Caraman brought in as his deputies former Securitate deputies responsible for anti-western operations, most notably Constantin Silinescu, who attempted to scuttle NATO integration negotiations in 1996-1997, and Ristea Priboi, who partnered with convicted terrorist Omar Hayssam. “Un grup, cu o clară dependenţă estică, a incercat împiedicarea integrării României în NATO” [A Group with a Clear Eastern Dependence Tried to Block Romania’s Integration in NATO], interview with Senator Ioan Talpeş, former coordinator of the Romanian intelligence community, Independent, 18 January 2008, pp. 6-7,; O. C. Hogea, “Generalul Silinescu, fost spion, consilier special al primului-ministru” [General Silinescu, former Spy, Special Counselor to the Prime Minister], Evenimentul Zilei, 19 January 2001; L. P., “Nastase: ‘L-am apărat şi il mai apăr pe Priboi’” [Nastase: “I Have Defended and I Will Continue to Defend Priboi”], Evenimentul Zilei, 20 November 2002.
[98] Vadim Zagladin, Note Regarding Discussions with Silviu Brucan (Romania), 17-22 September 1990, October 1990, Gorbachev Foundation (Mezhdunarodnii Obshestvennii fond sotsialno-ekonomicheskih i politologicheskih isledovanii: Social International Foundation for the Political and Socio-Economic Studies), Moscow, fond 3, opis, 1, dosar 7287, f. 1-8 as cited in Alex Mihai Stoenescu, “Adevărata apartenenţă a lui Silviu Brucan” [The True Agency of Silviu Brucan], Vitralii: Lumîni şi Umbre [Stained Glass Windows: Lights and Shadows] (Bucharest), no. 2 (March 2010), p. 89. Brucan insisted that cooperating with the Americans against Iraq after it invaded Kuweit compromised Soviet interests, and that “the law and morality should not be transformed into a fetish.”  Ibid, p. 90. In the 1980s Zagladin viewed “negotiation or meaningful cooperation with the capitalist world” as “not only futile but dangerous because they could nurture reformist illusions.” Gordon H. Hahn, Russia’s Revolution From Above, 1985-2000: Reform, Transition, and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, New Brunswick, NJ, Transaction, 2002, pp. 284-285; Walter C. Clemens, Can Russia Change? The USSR Confronts Global Interdependence, New York, Unwin Hyman, 1990, p. 132. Brucan was the ‘godfather’ of the Group for Social Dialogue (GDS), the civil rights group that operated as gatekeeper for determining who were appropriate interlocutors and partners for the West. By February 1990 the US intelligence community was already citing that group as legitimate authority (the “watchdog”) on Romanian democratization. See e.g. Outlook For Eastern Europe In 1990: An Inter-Agency Intelligence Memorandum (NI IIM 90-10001), 8 February 1990, p. 28. Several of the GDS’s founding members were later exposed as collaborators of the Securitate and Soviet intelligence, and several others were complicit in attempting to conceal the security links of their GDS colleagues. See e.g. Deletant (1995), pp. 279-280; For a description of the disappointing results of US aid to the GDS see Thomas Carothers, Assessing Democracy Assistance: The Case of Romania, Washington, Carnegie Endowment, 1996. The GDS and its members remained the principal beneficiaries of Western civic society support as of this writing.
[99] Larry L. Watts, “Intelligence Reform in Eastern Europe’s Emerging Democracies,” Studies in Intelligence, vol. 48, no. 1 (April 2004), pp. 21-22; Jane Perlez, “Touchy Issue of Bigger NATO: Spy Agencies,” New York Times, 5 January 1998.
[100] Kieran Williams and Dennis Deletant, eds.,  Security Intelligence Services In New Democracies: The Czech Republic, Slovakia And Romania, New York, Palgrave, 2001, pp. 64-65, 111; Oldrich Czerny, Czechoslovak (Czech) Intelligence After the Cold War, Working Paper no. , Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, 2002, pp. 4-5; Tomas Horejsi, “Minister Tvrdik to Replace Army Intelligence Chief,” Lidove Noviny, 8 April 2003, http://www.fas.or/irp/world/czech/armyint.html.
[101] Watts (2004), p. 18. The continuity of Bulgarian services and their ties with Soviet/Russian services have been described as the most extensive, although the 2007 Macierewicz report on Poland and the 2008 revelations regarding Hungarian intelligence discussed below indicate very similar continuities. Jan Zielonka and Alex Pravda, editors, Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe: Volume 2: International and Transnational Factors, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 421 and Nikolai Bozhilov, “Reforming the Intelligence Services in Bulgaria: The Experience of the Last Decade,” paper prepared for workship on Democratic and Parliamentary Oversight of the Intelligence Services,” Geneva Centre for Democratic of Armed Forces, 3-5 October 2002,
[102] Fred Iklé, “How To Ruin NATO,” The New York Times, 11 January 1995; John Pomfret, “Poles Ponder Patriotism After Spy’s Appointment, Firing,” The Washington Post, 3 September 1994. Athough convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1981, Zacharski was traded four years later for 25 Western agents held in prisons throughout the bloc, indicating his importance to the KGB.
[103] Report on the actions of soldiers and employees of the former Military Intelligence Services (WSI) performing military intelligence and counter-intelligence activity and other actions going beyond the issues of State defense and safety of the Polish Army, coordinator, Antoni Macierewicz, President of the Verification Commission Warsaw, 16 February 2007, pp. 28-64,  Among the Soviet-trained officers, for example, were WSI chiefs Marek Dukaczewski (2001-2006), Kazimierz Głowacki (1996-1997) and Bolesław Izydorczyk (1992-1994).
[104] The Macierewicz report conservatively estimated that “at least” 800 senior Polish officers underwent GRU or KGB training from the early 1970s to 1989. Given that 127 attended such institutions during 1973-1974 alone, the number may have been several times higher.
[105] Judy Dempsey, “K.G.B.-Trained Hungarian Has NATO Role,” New York Times, 4 February 2008. The NBH boss, Sándor Laborc, had taken over from another KGB alumnus, Lajos Galambos. As Jane Perlez noted a decade earlier, even though a center-right government took over “after the fall of the Communists, there was little purging of the secret services” and, as of 1998, both Hungarian civilian and military intelligence were “headed by officials from the Communist era.” Perlez (1998).
[106] KBH chief Géza Stefan was also a graduate of the KGB’s Dzerzhinsky Academy. “Debate over the Hungarian secret services II,” Budapest Analyses, no. 177, 8 December 2007 and “The crisis of the Hungarian intelligence services,” Budapest Analyses, no. 160, 10 July 2007, The officers in charge of classifying materials at KBH and IH, Miklós Herczeg and László Hellebrand, were also Soviet trained. “No end to dirty tricks in Hungary’s secret services,” Eurasian Secret Services Daily Review, 08.05.2007.
[107] Zielonka and Pravda (2001), p. 421.
[108] As former chief of the US National Security Agency, General William Odom, noted in 1998, “the Russians will probably have enough residual capacity [in Hungary and Poland] to cause us serious problems.” Jane Perlez, “Touch Issue Of Bigger NATO: Spy Agencies,” New York Times, 5 January 1998.
[109] Incidental information on Romania emerged from Soviet era archives relating to interwar operations against Poland but files on KGB and GRU operations against Romania remain closed. Soviet anti-Romanian operations during the 1920s were described by a former security intelligence chief, by Western observers and by former Soviet agents. See e.g. Zaharia Huzărescu, Mişcarea subversive în Basarabia [The Subversive Movement in Bessarabia], Kishineff, State Printing Office, 1925; Charles Upson Clark, Bessarabia: Russia and Roumania on the Dniester River, New York, Dodd, Mead & Co., 1927; and the Romanian references in Dallin (1955). Hungarian intelligence organizations and operations are discussed in Ioan Dumitru, Spionajul maghiar în România 1918-1940:Însemnări documentare [Hungarian Espionage in Romania 1918-1940: Documentary Notes], Bucharest, Editura Concordia, no date; Marian Ureche, Serviciile secrete maghiare [Hungarian Secret Services], Bucharest, I.S.I., 1992; Liviu Gaitan, Serviciul de spionaj horthyst [Horthy’s Espionage Service], Bran, 1993; Nevian Tunareanu, Organizarea şi activitatea desfăşurată de serviciile de informaţii maghiare împotriva României în perioada interbelică [The Organization and Activity of Hungarian Intelligence Services Against Romania in the Interwar Period], Bucharest, 1995; Constantin Aioanei and Nevian Tunareanu, Acţiuni ale spionajului ungar împotriva României în perioada 1940-1950 [Hungarian Espionage Operations Against Romania During 1940-1950], Bucharest 1996; and Traian-Valentin Poncea and Aurel Rogojean, Spionajul ungar în România [Hungarian Espionage in Romania], Bucharest, Editura Elion, 2007. For Hungarian Communist-era security structures see János Kenedi, Kis állambiztonsági olvasókönyv [A Concise State Security Reader], Budapest, Magvetõ, 1996; Lászlo Varga, “Watchers and the Watched,” The Hungarian Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 146 (summer 1997), pp. 51-77; and Raija Oikari, “On the Border of Propaganda and What Can Be Said” in Ansii Halmesvirta, editor, Bridge Building and Political Cultures: Hungary and Finland 1956-1989, Hungarologische Beiträge, vol. 18, Jyväskylä, Finland, University of Jyväskylä, 2006, pp. 299-356.
[110] Magyar Nemzet (Budapest), 11 June 1999.
[111] “Files in Hungarian National Archives Threatened,” Archivists Watch, February 2011; T. E., “Closing Down History,” The Economist, February 28, 2011. Protests and petitions were sent to Budapest from the archivist’s societies of a number of North American and European states. See also Nora Berend and Christopher Clark, “Not Just a Phase: The Hungarian government’s attempts to rewrite the country’s past,” London Review of Books, vol. 36, no. 22, November 20, 2014.
[112] See e.g. Rachel Donadio, “The Iron Archives,” New York Times, April 22, 2007.
[113] The treaty was apparently prepared in great secrecy at the Hungarian Embassy in Moscow. Interview by Vlast correspondent Marina Kalashnikova with former Deputy Foreign Minister of the USSR, Ivan Aboimov, “The Country's Leadership Regarded the GDR as Self-supporting Unit,” Kommersant, 26 April 2005. The continuity of Russo-Hungarian relations with its Soviet-Hungarian predecessor was made very explicit. According to Aboimov, Hungarian authorities first met with the out-going Gorbachev and then, in the same meeting room, the in-coming Yeltsin.
[114] Jorg K. Hoensch, A History of Modern Hungary: 1867-1994, New York, Longman, 1996, p. 334; Janusz Bugajski, Cold Peace: Russia’s New Imperialism, Westport, CT, Praeger, 2004, p. 152; Jeffrey Mankoff, “Russia's Latest Land Grab,” Foreign Affairs, vol. 93, no. 3 (May/June 2014); Gergely Szakacs, “Orban Renews Autonomy Call For Ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine,” Reuters, May 17, 2014; Casey Michel, “Hungary's Viktor Orban Walks in Putin's Footsteps,” The Moscow Times, August 5, 2014. Hungary was able to “bring pressure to bear on Rumania [sic] by co-operating with the powerful neighboring countries with which it lives in discord,” and “both Russia and the Ukraine are Hungary’s allies, when it comes to matters concerning Rumania.”  László Maracz, Hungarian Revival: Political Reflections on Central Europe, Nieuwegein, Aspekt, 1996, p. 384.
[115] The 1990-1994 Hungarian Democratic Forum government made this a centerpiece of their policy. The FIDESZ government of Victor Orban revived it during 1998-2002, with Orban declaring that “Budapest must openly support the aspirations for autonomy of the Hungarian minority in Transylvania as well as the adequate institutions for that autonomy,” specifying that his party’s intention “transcends the Basic Treaty” between Hungary and Romania. Erdélyi Naplö, 12 August 1997.
[116] Hoensch (1996), pp. 285, 313-314.
[117] It is worth noting that European and American institutions avoided Romania more or less entirely until 1993, prolonging the effect of such charges. By the mid 1990s, however, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Minorities, Max van der Stoel, and other independent western organizations, adjudged Romania a model for approaching ethnic relations and avoiding ethnic violence.
[118] Bugajski (2004), pp. 98, 103-105, 216.
[119] Ibid. Moscow used similar techniques to “discredit” Moldovan government attempts to establish closer relations with Bucharest, condemning it “for its ‘Romanianism’” and alleging that it was attempting “to subdue the Slavic populations along the Dniestr River.” Op. cit., pp. 95-6.
[120] Perestroka at the Crossroads: An Intelligence Assessment (SOV 90-10015), 1 March 1990, pp. vi and 3.
[121] “USSR: Moldavia Signs Agreement With Romania” in National Intelligence Daily, Tuesday, 2 October 1990, p. 11.
[122] National Intelligence Estimate (NIE-11-18-1990), The Deepening Crisis in the USSR: Prospects for the Next Year, 1 November 1990, p. 4.
[123] At the time, yet-to-be exposed Soviet agents within the CIA such as Aldrich Ames and Harold James Nicholson – the latter then serving as CIA station chief in Bucharest – may have been in a position to provide these evaluations to the KGB directly.
[124] Ceauşescu protested the sudden influx of Soviet ‘tourists’ to Moscow at the time. See e.g. the documents presented in Mircea Munteanu, New Evidence on the 1989 Crisis in Romania, e-Dossier no. 5, Washington D.C., Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, December 2001, pp. 3-11, CWIHP. The Romanian Senate’s investigation into the events of December 1989 disclosed the extraordinary jump in Soviet ‘tourists’ from 30,000 in 1988 to 67,000 in 1989 as recorded in customs and border statistics, as well as the unexplained delay in their departure. Mention of this glaring anomaly was qualified as unwarranted “conspiracy theory.” See e.g. Depostion of Petre Roman, Transcript no. 90/8.03.1994, Romanian Senate Archive, Bucharest, pp. 44-45. According to ex-Prime Minister Roman, 30,000 Russians ‘tourists’ remained in Romania for almost a year, until officially requested to leave in October 1990. According to Roman, Caraman’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) informed him about them only at that time. However, since at least March, Romanian TV was broadcasting news stories of the Russian encampments.
[125] Yevgheny Primakov, “Opravdano li rasshirenie NATO? Osoboe mnenie Sluzhby vneshnei razvedki Rossii” [Is NATO Expansion Justified? Special Opinion of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia], Nezavisimaia gazeta, 26 November 1993; Black (2000), pp. 8-9, 109-10 and 157; “Primakov Intervention” Brussels, NATO HQ (11 Dec 1996), February 13, 1998,; Bugajski, (2004), p. 218.
[126] Primakov propagated this through a variety of sources to Western, especially U.S., officials and academics as inside information. He did so publicly as advisor to Putin in 2003 when Romanian President Ion Iliescu was in Moscow to sign the first Russian-Romanian state treaty since 1989. According to Radio Free Europe: “In a surprise statement, Primakov, who was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in December 1989, said Ceauşescu asked then-USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev to send Soviet troops to quell the revolt.” Zsolt-Istvan Mato, “Former Russian Premier Says Ceauşescu Requested Soviet Union's Help In December 1989,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Newsline, July 7, 2003, Primakov’s claim was widely reported in the Romanian press. See e.g. “Fostul sef al spionajului rusesc, Evgheni Primakov: Ceauşescu a cerut, in ‘89, interventie militara sovietica in Romania” [Former Chief of Soviet Espionage, Evghenny Primakov: Ceauşescu Requested a Soviet Miliary Intervention in Romania in ’89], Evenimentul Zilei, July 4, 2003. Less well reported was Iliescu’s diplomatic rejection of the Primakov claim as “false.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Newsline, July 16, 2003. See also Yevgheny Primakov, Russian Crossroads: Toward the New Millenium, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2004, p. 131.
[127] See e.g. the documents presented in Munteanu (2001), pp. 3-11, at CWIHP.
[128] Transcript of the Meeting of the Political Executive Committee of the R.C.P. C.C., December 17, 1989, Archives of the Commission and of the Civilian and Military Courts (Arhivele Comisie si instantelor military si civil). “Commission” refers to the “Senate Commission for the Investigation of the Events of December 1989” or, more simply, Senate Archives, Inventory 004, dosar 1, p. 20. A version reconstituted from memory of only 8 pages is at ANR, fond CC al PCR, Sectia Cancelarie, dosar 338/1989.
[129] Documents 258 and 278 in Dumitru Preda and Mihai Retegan, 1989: Principiul Dominoului [1989: The Domino Principle], Bucharest, 2000. See also Document 1 in Munteanu (2001). Disapproving reports appeared on December 19 in, for example, Pravda, Sovietskaia Rossiia, Izvestia, Selskaia Zhizni, Komsomolskaia Pravda, and Sotsialisticheskovo Industriia. The East German and Soviet tourist agencies in issued official communiqués regarding the temporary shutdown of tourist travel.
[130] Document 278 in Preda and Retegan (2000); Document 4 in Munteanu (2001). Unfortunately, a mistranslation of a phrase meant to indicate continuing permission for non-tourist transit (especially for Soviet Jewish émigrés) as instead permitting Soviet “tourist transit,” in Document 5 in Munteanu (2001), continues to generate some confusion as the extent of concern regarding Soviet “tourism.” The translation problem is discussed in Larry L. Watts, “Romanian Revolution December 1989 (IV): Evaluating ‘Best Evidence’,” May 7, 2015,
[131] There is a “school” of analysts who simply deny the existence of Soviet tourists. The 203 page November 1990 “Preliminary Report” of Romania’s post-communist intelligence service describes in some detail the presence of Soviet (and Hungarian) “tourists” and their implication in violence during the revolution. See e.g. SRI, Punct de vedere preliminara al Serviciul Roman de Informatii privind evenimentele din decembrie 1989, Bucharest, Senate Archive, Inventory 0003, File no. 5, pp. 27-32, 138-141, 199-200. The report underscores that the causes of the revolution “were of an internal order and tied to the essence of the totalitarian regime that, through its actions, created such tension within the population that it was on the verge of explosion” and “the moment of detonation was only a matter of time.” (Ibid, pp. 138-139) It also notes that Romania was “the object of special attention and operations from multiple foreign centers” interested “for a variety of reasons” in the “destruction” of its regime but concludes that a relatively small percentage of Soviets “tourists” were implicated in the violence, “the majority behaving as if they were awaiting an order that never came.” (Ibid, p. 30)
[132] The journalist was Viacheslav Samoskin. Oana Balan, “Reporter rus sub gloanţe româneşti” [A Russian Reporter Under Romanian Bullets], Adevărul, 23 December 2009. Novosti Press Agency (APN) was well known as a KGB front, where its Service A “active measures” personnel staffed an entire section. John Barron, KGB Today: The Hidden Hand, New York, Reader’s Digest Press, 1983, p. 446. Even journalists who were not actually KGB officers carried out work for the KGB as a matter of course.
[133] Russia was remarkably successful in convincing Western observers that the treaty stalemate was due to unreasonable Romanian demand for an explicit condemnation of the Hitler-Stalin Pact. In fact, Bucharest and Moscow had reached agreement on an innocuous condemnation of all “pacts, diktats and invasions” already in 1993. The point of contention was in fact Romania’s NATO and European option. The Russian Federation continues to be a major obstacle to the reintegration of the Republic of Moldova into Europe.
[134] Bugajski (2004), p. 98.