Surprisingly enough, nobody in Russia blamed special services for the sad state of national economy which put the country and its people down.
Moreover, they say that the Ministry of Russian Security (established by ex-President Yeltsin instead of KGB) opposed the radical economic reforms by the first Prime Minister of the new Russia Gaidar. The reforms were finally conducted and impoverished people.
9 years ago, in the end of July of 1995 ex-Minister of Russian Security Victor Barannikov died. In the beginning of the 90s, he loyally served President Yeltsin. Then suddenly, in September 1993 he appeared in the midst of the opposition trying to overthrow Yeltsin – in Russian Parliament which building was shot with tanks.
PRAVDA.Ru tried to reveal this mystery in the interview with Ksenofont Ippolitov, the former Chief of the Information and Analytical Department of Ministry of Russian Security (ex-KGB).
Reporter. What was the state of the ex-KGB when Victor Barannikov was appointed its chief?
Ksenofont Ippolitov. Obviously, ex-KGB needed reorganization at that time. But there was no need of destroying the entire KGB structure, of dismantling all the system of protecting interests of the state and dismissing high-level professionals. Meanwhile, the previous chief of the ex-KGB Vadim Bakatin managed to bring the atmosphere of destruction in the very foundation of the KGB.
Reporter. Is it true that Bakatin ruined the basis of any intelligence – a network of agents, disclosed to CIA the scheme of tapping US Embassy in Moscow, gave the access to the KGB archives to everybody, including the enemies of Russia?
Ksenofont Ippolitov. In reality, it was even worse than that… So, new intelligence chief Victor Barannikov had to change the mood of despair which was at many of his subordinates. It was a more complicated challenge for him because many intelligence officers did not like that their new boss came from the police. KGB and Interior Ministry have never been on good terms, and in the end of the 80s some politicians tried to turn KGB and Interior Ministry into rivals. However, intelligence officers liked their new Minister soon.
Victor Barannikov was extremely hard-working, and he knew well what he wanted to accomplish. Intelligence officers were glad to see that their new chief puts an emphasis on work with operational staff. Minister Barannikov had frequent sessions with operational intelligence officers of different ranks, and they had candid exchange of opinions. He tolerated opinions which were absolutely different from his own viewpoints. But the most important thing, he really started to restore the system of the state security. Not the system of oppressing political opponents, but the state intelligence of high level pursuing political, economic and military purposes for the sake of Russia’s well-being.
We had no experience of creating intelligence services anew, under the conditions of new Russia having market economy. Foreign special services experience would not work on Russian soil. Nevertheless, soon basic guidelines for Ministry of Russian Security were elaborated, such as the Concept of Economic Security of Russia.
Reporter. What is the Concept of Economic Security of Russia about?
Ksenofont Ippolitov. The Concept comprises the system of measures to protect the inventions of Russian people and Russian industries, plus some measures to develop the country’s economy, some political, economic, social and administrative regulations.
Reporter. Didn’t we have all this before?
Ksenofont Ippolitov. All we had had, was ruined. All previous regulations were abandoned in our country. Do you think we have border regulations? Customs regulations? Do you think Russia has the regulations for foreigners’ trips across the country? Not at all, the entire system of regulations was completely destroyed.
Reporter. I am surprised to hear how much special services were damaged.
Ksenofont Ippolitov. As a rule, everybody suffers in the periods of turmoil, and only times of enforcing law and order are good for law-abiding citizens.