THE GOVERNING BODIES OF THE KGB OF THE LITHUANIAN SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC IN 1954–1991
This article analyses the governing bodies of the KGB of the Lithuanian SSR from 1954 to 1991, revealing the process and development of the leadership. The main functions of the chairmen were emphasized by how suppressed the anti-Soviet movement was, by fighting against the Catholic Church and émigré organizations. The activities of the KGB chairmen of the LSSR reflect the policy of the control mechanism.
The KGB consisted of a chairman and three deputy chiefs. The first deputy chief was always Russian, and the scope of its authority included controlling the operative work. The second deputy was a local KGB recruit, and he controlled political surveillance. The third deputy was responsible for the supervision of the KGB personnel, and alongside, exercised the functions of the head of the Personnel Department. The KGB chairman together with his deputies, the heads of major directorates and departments and the heads of the KGB departments of the biggest towns formed the Board of the Lithuanian KGB, which dealt with major issues of the KGB organizational work like reports by the heads of departments and directorates, the major draft instructions and decrees, and so on.
The KGB was a triple organization whose main functions included external intelligence, fight against the reconnaissance and subversion activities of the foreign special services (counterintelligence), and also fight against “nationalism and anti-Soviet activities” which were organised and coordinated by the all seven chairmen (Kazimieras Liaudis, Alfonsas Randakevičius, Juozas Petkevičius, Eduardas Eismuntas, Romualdas Marcinkus, Stanislavas Caplinas, Anzelmas Armonas) of the KGB of the Lithuanian SSR. The mentioned chairmen (1954–1991) except S. Caplinas were ideologically trained Lithuanians. Their individual and official characteristics show what people were appointed to the post of the KGB chairman.
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Lithuania partly influenced the appointment of the chairmen of the Lithuanian KGB. The KGB chairmen K. Liaudis, A. Randakevičius and J. Petkevičius were loyal to the first secretary of the Communist Party of Lithuania, A. Sniečkus, and helped him to control Lithuanian political and public life. Though after Sniečkus’ death the chairmen of the Lithuanian KGB became more dependent in the relationship with the local nomenclature and other secretaries of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Lithuania they were not able to keep the previous power. Under the leadership of Randakevičius the reorganization of the KGB agency net was carried out, the control of public life became strict and anti-religious policy intensified.
The twenty years of Petkevičius’ leadership of the KGB were marked by the persecution of dissidents, of the Catholic Church and by fabricating political cases. “Preventive measures” became a powerful means of the fight against dissidents.
When the fight for independence started in Lithuania, the Soviet security office could only operate through incitement and its secret activities, which was so typical and often used in the Soviet system. The last KGB chairmen R. Marcinkus,
S. Caplinas and A. Armonas did not have so much power without Moscow’s help to influence the events in Lithuania. After 11 March 1990, the KGB status changed dramatically. The KGB officially became an institution of a foreign country functioning in the Republic of Lithuania according to the laws of the USSR. In October 1991, the KGB terminated its official activities in Lithuania.
Genocidas ir rezistencija, 2007, Nr. 2(22)