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The KGB activities in Lithuania

One of the main pillars of the Communist regime in Lithuania in 1940–1991 was the repressive Soviet structures variably known as NKVD/MVD/NKGB/MGB/KGB. Throughout the Soviet occupation, they carried out crimes against humanity and war crimes, persecuted Lithuanian citizens because of their worldview or resistance to occupation or because they belonged to ethnic, national, religious, social or political groups. These organisations based their functions on Communist ideology and USSR internal and foreign policy. Together with other parts of the totalitarian control system (Ministry of Internal Affairs, Soviet Army, etc.) they had to ensure one party in power and domination of the Communist ideology. The persecution of supporters of Lithuanian statehood and opponents of the Soviet regime and Communist ideology was aimed at preventing restoration of the Lithuanian state and maintaining the policy of non-recognition of Lithuania’s annexation.

Currently, the research mainly focuses on KGB activities in Lithuania in 1954–1990. The research programme is to contribute to the investigation of the reliability of KGB documents, disclosure of essential characteristics and principles of KGB activities (composition, principles and methods of political persecution, formation of the image of the enemy, discrediting and disinformation, and psychiatric coercive measures applied by the KGB), summarising the characteristics of the repressive policy, assessing the contribution of both the KGB and the Communist Party of Lithuania to the repressive policy, etc. The research would allow specific characteristics of KGB activities in Lithuania to be analysed and an understanding of the effect of the KGB measures and their legacy in society. Publication of the KGB documents online would contribute to publication of the KGB activities and their accessibility to the public at large. Research is also being conducted on the activities of the Soviet repressive structures in 1940–1953.

  • Juozas Starkauskas, Čekistinė kariuomenė Lietuvoje 1944–1953 metais (NKVD–MVD–MGB kariuomenė partizaninio karo laikotarpiu) [The Chekist Army in Lithuania in 1944–1953, the NKVD-MVD-MGB Army during the Partisan War], 1998
  • Liudas Truska, Arvydas Anušauskas, Inga Petravičiūtė, Sovietinis saugumas Lietuvoje 1940–1953 metais (MVD–MGB organizacinė struktūra, personalas ir veikla) [The Soviet Secret Service in Lithuania in 1940–1953; the Organizational Structure, Staff and Activities of the MVD-MGB], 1999
  • Juozas Starkauskas, Stribai (Ginkluotieji kolaborantai Lietuvoje partizaninio karo laikotarpiu, 1944–1953), [The Co-operation of Secret Services and the Communist Party Imposing the Soviet Occupational Regime in Lithuania in 1944–1953], 2001
  • Pilietinis pasipriešinimas Lietuvoje ir Lenkijoje: sąsajos ir ypatumai, 1939–1956 [The Civil Resistance in Lithuania and Poland in 1939–1956: Connections and Specifics], edited by Arvydas Anušauskas, 2004
  • Juozas Starkauskas, Represinių struktūrų ir komunistų partijos bendradarbiavimas įtvirtinant okupacinį režimą Lietuvoje 1944–1953 m. [The Co-operation of Secret Services and the Communist Party Imposing the Soviet Occupational Regime in Lithuania in 1944–1953], 2007
  • The KGB in Lithuania in 1954-1991, compiled by Kristina Burinskaitė and Lina Okuličiūtė, 2010, 2014

The staff of the Soviet secret service in Lithuania

In the 1950s, the Soviet secret service, which earlier had very little ethnic Lithuanians in its staff, began admitting a great number of ethnic Lithuanians into its ranks. In 1957, more than half of employees of the USSR KGB of Lithuania knew the Lithuanian language. The share of ethnic Lithuanians increased due to the influx of employees from the Communist Party (although this percentage was always lower than the percentage of ethnic Lithuanians living in Lithuania). In 1986–1988, ethnic Lithuanians already comprised 45.6 percent of the total staff of the headquarters of the USSR KGB of Lithuania and 58.8 percent of the staff of regional KGB units in Lithuania. These 45 units had 769 employees, 400 of whom were ethnic Lithuanians. There were 87 ethnic Lithuanians out of the total 151 employees of the KGB’s commanding staff in Lithuania.

In the 1980s, more than half of agents of the KGB’s Second Directorate, which carried out the counterintelligence activities, were persons with higher education degrees (10 percent of them were persons with degrees of doctors of sciences). Every sixth agent knew some foreign language. The social groups of the network of KGB agents were the following: engineers made up 43 percent of the network, workers – 29 percent, office employees – 22 percent, and scientists – 6 percent. The network’s two major ethnic groups were the following: 52 percent of ethnic Lithuanians and 24 percent of ethnic Russians.

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