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Dictionary beginning with C

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C

Comecon

See: Council for mutual economic cooperation

Communist party of the Soviet Union

In 1912, a bolshevik faction was formed within the Social democratic workers‘ party of Russia. It derived its name – bolsheviki – from the situation which arose at the party congress in London in 1903 when the majority (bolshinstvo) of the delegates sided with the opinion that Russia of the day needed a violent revolution. The change of conditions was not to happen gradually (e.g. by parliamentary means), but based on a professionally organised and systematically prepared state coup.

This happened in Russia in November 1917 when the bolshevik party headed by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin seized power. It was this faction of the social democrats which went on to become a state party, subjugating and taking control of the state mechanisms, eliminating the role of parliament and government, applying the interests of the party apparatus as a priority and introducing a totalitarian regime in the country. Despite calling themselves bolsheviks, they always represented a small minority of citizens in the state.

Communist regime

Communism (from the Latin communis = common, general) is a notion  that an optimal economic, political and social order in society can be programmed and applied in practice based on a common ownership of production means and the redistribution of achieved revenue, supposedly leading to the attainment of a class-less, egalitarian and prosperous society. In the theoretical sphere it leans on the teachings of marx-leninism in which the key role is played by so-called class struggle. 

The regime of the Communist party, optimally instated by means of a revolution, is founded on a strong position of the leader of the Communist party ( the first or general secretary), often leading to a almost non-critical admiration of this person (so-called personality cult). The Communist party also very quickly subjugates the mechanisms of state power, it permeates them and becomes a state-party. Its interests become the main interests of the entire society. To promote them, the Communist regime, supported by a bureaucratic repressive apparatus, is prepared to liquidate its opponents, be it even potential ones.    

The authors of the Black book of Communism stated absolutely clearly in their introduction: „The Communist regimes overcame the individual crime, the clearly directed and occasional massacres, turning mass crime into a true system of government.“ 

The totalitarian Communist system refuses the parliamentary system. The Communist party pervades all spheres of social life, paralysing their normal functions and in the end stage, it fully controls them. Truly democratic systems are absent. Elections exist for instance, but they only have a formal character. The position of the party apparatus is fundamental in society, although the Communist form its minority. An elimination of non-Communist parties takes place; they are either taken over and further controlled or they are liquidated. Opposing viewpoints are not tolerated; critics of the regime are persecuted harshly and without compromise. The regime does not observe even its own laws, such as civic and human rights written in the constitution. There is a massive use of repressions, violence and terror aimed at liquidating be it potential enemies. To this end, a repressive apparatus is created. The citizens of the state are systematically intimidated (everybody knows someone who was persecuted by the regime). The state-party also attempts to gain maximum control of the life of society as a whole. The Communist regime changes the system of protection of the state borders; free travel is not possible, everything is subject to control. In combination with censorship interventions the Communist regime creates its own propaganda in which it explains to its citizens what they are supposed to think. The regime deliberately eliminates and attacks the positions of the church in society. An “equalisation“ of culture and art takes place; instead of a variety of artistic forms, a one and only admissible socialist realism is created. 

The Communist regime in Czechoslovakia eliminated private property. In the field of agriculture it promoted a collective form of ownership (state farms, united agricultural cooperatives). The economic development of society happened in a centralised, planned manner under surveillance by the Communist party in the form of two-year, five-year or seven-year plans. In reality however only a redistribution of financial flows took place. Financial collapses were solved by means of a so-called monetary reform (Czechoslovakia in 1953). The production directed by the Communist party severed contacts with Western democracies, it failed to maintain the quality of production and eventually could not compete with the market environment. The regime subsidised non-competitive enterprises. An important phenomenon were also the so-called “shortage goods“ and queues for anything (from hygiene articles to fruits and vegetables to electronics and cars).    

Upon relaxation of the total control by the Communist party over society a crisis of the regime sets in. A reform of Communism initiated from within the Communist party itself is not possible (see the events in Hungary and Poland in 1956, Poland at the beginning of the 1980s, Gorbachov’s perestroyka and glasnost policies). 

Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls

The Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (CoCom) with its seat in Paris was a body responsible for the creation of lists of strategic products and technologies which the Western countries denied the Communist states. The main criteria for the labelling of a country Communist and for placing an embargo on it was the existence of a ruling Communist party and state-owned economy. The CoCom was founded in 1949 and the USA played a key role in it. Other member states were: United Kingdom, Turkey, Portugal, Norway, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Italy, Greece, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Denmark, Canada and Japan.

The science and technology unit of the Communist foreign intelligence worked on obtaining these Western technologies and circumventing the embargos. National companies directed their demands for the “purchase“ of technologies to the Ministry of interior which delegated the task to the 1st Directorate of the Ministry. After the June 1990 session of the CoCom member states in Paris, the embargo for Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland was cancelled.

Council for mutual economic cooperation

(Comecon), an intenational organisation created in January 1949 in Moscow. Its purpose was mutual economic exchange between countries of the Soviet bloc and an attempt to compete with the emerging European economic cooperation after WWII.

Founding members were Albania (excluded in 1961), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, hungary, Poland, GDR, Romania and the USSR; Mongolia joined in 1962, Cuba in 1972, Vietnam in 1976. Yugoslavia was an associate member since 1964. A dominant position in the Comecon was occupied by the USSR, also based on its political power. The USST dictated the priorities and goals. For example at the beginning of the 1950s at the time of the culminating Cold war it emphasized heavy and military industry. Member states of the Comecon committed themselves to mutual economic cooperation which oftentimes was supposed to replace the interrupted contacts with Western Europe. Nikita Khrushchov strived for deeper economic cooperation (which was supposed to be realised starting inn 1960) which finally did not take place due to the resistance of Bulgaria and Romania.

For Czechoslovakia, participation in the Comecon was not advantageous. It led to the closure of the market and a drop in competitiveness of products.   

The Conoucil for mutual economic cooperation was dissolved on 28 September 1991. 

Counterintelligence

See: Second Directorate of the Federal Ministry of Interior

Counterintelligence residentura of the Federal ministry of interior

Residentura is a term which is commonly used to denote an intelligence service base in another country. For the pre-1989 period, Czechoslovak residenturas are mostly only mentioned in relation to the activity of the Communist foreing intelligence (code name 1st Directorate). From the beginning of the 1950s, it created a vast network of residenturas associated with embassies in countries outside the Soviet bloc.

As a matter of fact, from the beginning of the 1970s, there were residenturas active also in several Communist countries (Soviet Union, East Germany, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria). Their operative activities were steered by counterintelligence forces of the secret police. Gradually, similarly directed residenturas were created in further pro-Soviet oriented countries so that in 1989, next to the countries mentioned there were residenturas also in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Irak, Cuba, Libya, Nikaragua and Vietnam. Next to respective internal directives, their position was regulated also by international treaties which were concluded with the foreign partners by the Federal ministry of interior.   

The operative activities of the counterintelligence residenturas of the Federal ministry of interior (FMV) can be divided into three areas. The first was the “line of the external enemy“ which meant first of all ascertaining the activities of the employees of the embassies and the citizens of “enemy“ countries (especially the USA, FRG, Iran and China), the second was the “fight against the internal enemy“, and the final the counterintelligence protection of the economy. 

The largest residentura with a “counterintelligence“ orientation was the residentura of the FMV in the Soviet Union. Its staff developed activities especially in Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev where there were Czechoslovak embassies. The Moscow residentura which had altogether 9 operative agents was very important because it maintained and mediated direct contacts with the leadership of the Committee for state security of the USSR (KGB). At the same time, there were several thousand Czechoslovak citizens in the Soviet Union acting in different roles, and their “counterintelligence“ monitoring was one of the residenturas‘ main tasks. 

The activity of the residenturas of the FMV in the member states of the Warsaw pact was regulated for the first time by a special directive approved by Minister of interior Radko Kaska on 16 December 1970. The directive delimited the general powers, tasks and relationships of the representative of the FMV and the staff of the residenturas in the USSR, the Polish People’s Republic, the German Democratic Republic, the Hungarian People’s Republic and the Bulgarian People’s Republic. The territorial authority of the representative of the FMV and the establishment and activity of the residenturas were then regulated by international treaties at the ministerial level.

The representative of the FMV was appointed by the Minister of interior of the ČSSR upon a proposal by the chief of the Section for international relations who however first consulted his choice with the chiefs of the operative forces of the FMV. The representative was directly responsible to the federal minister of interior for the fulfilment of his tasks, however the “operative agency“ tasks were given to him by the corresponding chief of the operative Directorate through the Section for international relations. The representative was responsible for the activity of the entire residentura and he coordinated the work in the “operative agency“ tasks of its individual staff members who were subordinated to him irrespective of their original rank. He was also the representative of all sections of the FMV toward the respective partners in the country where he was active. At the same time, he fulfilled tasks ensuing from his legalisation position and he discussed all questions connected with the defence and protection regime of the Czechoslovak embassy with the official title bearer.  

The residentura was an organisational unit of the FMV composed of the representative, the staff of the residentura, the code maker and possibly further technical assistance staff from the ranks of the National security corps. Although mostof the staff of the residentura worked at the embassy, the directive also expected the possibility of acting outside the diplomatic space. The selection, training and legalisation of the residentura staff who dealt with “operative agency activities“, coding and communication services, was carried out by the respective chief. A staff member of the residentura therefore carried out both tasks ensuing from his or her legalisation position and tasks of “operative agency character“ entrusted to him or her by the representative and the respective part of the FMV. The concrete tasks of the staff members followed from the annual plan of work and from the plans for concrete actions. They mostly dealt with intercepting and verifying the contacts of Czechoslovak citizens with Western foreigners. According to the directive mentioned, the residentura was to be “established based on strict conspiracy especially toward the capitalist foreign intelligence“.

In the following twenty years, the position of the residenturas in the Communist countries did not change much. At the end of the eighties, the representative of the FMV and other staff of the residentura were transferred to the active reserve of the office of the Minister of interior of the ČSSR, to whose chief they were subordinated. On the administrative side, the residenturas were directed based upon his motions by the Section on international relations of the office of the Minister of interior. At the end of the eighties, the chief was lt. col. František Kubánek. After the reorganisation of the secret police in August 1988 the Main Directorate of the counterintelligence of the State security was created (code name 2nd Directorate of the National security corps). The preparation and steering of the operative activities of the residenturas in the Communist countries were also transferrred under its authority.

Several staff members of the 3rd department of the analytical section of the 2nd Directorate of the National security corps were entrusted with preparing plans for the residenturas in twelve countries, with helping in selecting suitable persons for collaboration upon their subsequent arrival abroad and they doing the administrative keeping of their files. As of 31 October 1988 the section had 90 secret collaborators, 9 candidates for secret collaboration and 206 confidentes, about half of which were directed by staff members of the residentura in the Soviet Union. They were also responsible for the material operation of the residentura, preparing contractual documents with the host country and securing the training of newly deployed staff of the residenturas. The listing of activities might seem overwhelming at first sight, however the reality was surely much more prosaic. At the end of October 1988, staff member of the 3rd department of the analytical section of the 2nd Directorate lt. col. František Pitra complained that he could not fulfil all the given tasks because he had only four operative staff members. A number of tasks thus remained only on paper and other were fulfilled only mechanically. 

Overview of operative staff members of the residenturas in the Communist countries and of files of collaborators (October 1988)

residentura (city)

number of operative staff

secret collaborators

candidates

for secret collaboration

confidentes

Moscow, Kiev,

Leningrad

1 + 8

40

6

111

Warsaw

1 + 2

14

0

19

Sofie

1 + 1

4

1

12

Budapest

1 + 1

0

0

8

Berlin

1 + 3

19

1

22

Hanoi

1

0

0

7

Baghdad

1

0

0

3

Kabul

1

2

0

3

Addis Abeba

1

1

0

3

Havana

1

0

0

6

Managua

1

0

0

2

Ulaanbaatar

1

1

1

7

total

27

58 (?)

9

206