The veterans of Russia’s KGB/FSB were chuckling to themselves, no doubt, as Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) announced his pleasure at Russia’s assumption of the presidency of the Group of Twenty (G20)* nations for 2013. Putin’s “strategic agenda proposed by Russia for the G20 in 2013” is loaded with favorable references to the FSB. The FSB acronym in Putin’s “strategic agenda” is not a reference to the dreaded Russian secret police (successor to the Soviet KGB and its earlier incarnations as the NKVD and the Cheka), however; it is a reference to the Financial Stability Board, a new institution created by the G20 leaders in 2009, ostensibly to deal with the economic crisis.
Nevertheless, the “coincidence” of choosing a name for this new, secretive global financial police with the same acronym as the Putin’s feared agency is oddly apropos. The G20’s FSB is a shadowy financial power that is headquartered inside another even more secretive, shadowy global financial powerbase, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland.Despite repeated appeals to accountability and transparency in the FSB Charter, the FSB — like the BIS and the Central Banks whose heads compose the Plenary that governs the FSB — operates in murky opaqueness, outside the controls of the U.S. Congress, national parliaments, or any constitutional constraints. Continue reading
Between October 1940 and February 1942, the impending start of the German invasion in June 1941 notwithstanding, the Red Army, in particular the Soviet Air Force, as well as Soviet military-related industries were decapitated by repressions once again. After a pause in mass repressions after the Great Purge, in October 1940 the NKVD (People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs) under its new chief Lavrenty Beria started a new purge that initially hit the People’s Commissariat of Ammunition, People’s Commissariat of Aviation Industry and People’s Commissariat of Armaments. High level officials admitted guilt, typically under torture, then testified against each other and were repressed on fabricated charges of anti-Soviet activity, sabotage and spying.
While the new wave of repression in the military-related industries continued well into 1941, in April–May 1941 Stalin’s Politburo inquired about the high accident rate in the Air Force, which led to the dismissal of several commanders, including Head of the Air Force Lieutenant General Pavel Rychagov. In May, a German Junkers Ju 52 landed in Moscow, undetected by the ADF beforehand, leading to massive repressions among the Air Force leadership. The NKVD soon focused attention on them and started repressions against the alleged anti-Soviet conspiracy of German spies in the military, centered around the Air Force and linked to the conspiracies of 1937-1938. The repression had taken on a large scale by early June, when the suspects were transferred from the custody of the Military Counterintelligence to the NKVD, and continued uninterrupted into well after the German attack on the Soviet Union, which started on June 22, 1941.
Timeline of arrests:
May 30 People’s Commissar of Ammunition Ivan Sergeyev and Major General Ernst Schacht Continue reading