Archive for February, 2010

STASI, KGB OCH SECURITATE I SVERIGE

February 25, 2010

Nu kräver Folkpartiet att Säpo lämnar ut namnen på de svenskar som spionerade för den östtyska underrättelsetjänsten Stasi. Även justitieminister Beatrice Ask (m) öppnar på glänt för en närmare utredning liksom (s). Justitieministern vill dock först att domstolarna får slutbehandla målet som föranletts av professor Birgitta Almgrens ansökan att få ta del av Säpos material om de misstänkta Stasispionerna. Kammarrättens dom har överklagats till regeringsrätten, så det kan ta tid innan en slutgiltig dom föreligger.

I Danmark har det sagts att Sverige skyddar sina öststatsspioner. Det lär nog ha varit riktigt så länge (s) satt vid makten. Nu, år 2010, bör alliansregeringen bryta tystnaden. Men inte bara Stasis spioneri bör bli föremål för en utredning. De sovjetiska, polska och tjeckoslovakiska underrättelsetjänsternas arbete i Sverige bör kartläggas. Även rumänska Securitates aktiviteter i Sverige under det kalla kriget bör utredas.

Det är viktigt att det händer något före valet i september 2010.

Flera tidningar har efter kammarrättens avslående av Birgitta Almgrens överklagande av Säpos beslut att vägra lämna ut uppgifter om de svenska kollaboratörerna krävt att regeringen ingriper. Expressen har skrivit (25/2 2010):

…finns det tidigare DDR-informatörer som i dag har en förtroendeposition finns det ett allmänintresse att offentliggöra dem.

Vi måste också våga göra upp med vår historia under det kalla kriget, vilket länder som Tyskland och Finland varit betydligt bättre på. I dag finns det en lucka i vår historieskrivning.

Medan det både i Danmark och Norge väckts åtal mot misstänkta Stasispioner har detta inte skett i Sverige. Ett av problemen har varit att en rad brott preskriberats på grund av det bristande intresset hos Säpo för utredningar i Stasimålen.

Några av de ledande Stasispionerna rekryterades redan på 1960-talet. ”Schuster” kunde leverera material från Sveriges ambassad i Bonn. Andra rekryterades så sent som på 1980-talet: ”Krone” hade personlig kännedom om Olof Palme och kan antas ha funnits i ledningen för (s). ”Martin” rekryterades så sent som 1986 och lämnade information om Sveriges kontakter med Namibia.

Under den östtyska statens existens hölls de så kallade Östersjöveckorna i Rostock, som besöktes av socialdemokrater och kommunister från de nordiska länderna. Mötena i norra Tyskland utnyttjades av Stasi för att rekrytera agenter.

Men det är inte bara Stasi som är av intresse. Arkiven innehåller med säkerhet mycket material om svenskar som arbetade för sovjetiska KGB. Även det kommunistiska Polens underrättelsetjänst hade ett omfattande nätverk i Sverige.

En viktig del av den nuvarande politiska oppositionen utgörs av Vänsterpartiet, som påstår sig ha genomgått en förvandling från kommunism till socialism sedan Sovjets kollaps 1991. Man kan på goda grunder anta att ett forskningsprojekt om kommunistiska staters spioneri i Sverige kommer att avslöja en rad agenter, som stått det kommunistiska partiet nära. Inte minst finns det ett behov av att genomlysa hur Sovjet och andra öststater använde politiska inflytandeoperationer, vilseledningsoperationer, förfalskningar och frontorganisationer förutom desinformation (dezinformatsia) dvs. spridandet av falsk eller missvisande information.

Advertisements

SOVIET STATE SECURITY AND THE ASSASSINATION OF STEPAN BANDERA AND LEV REBET

February 19, 2010

Since the Ukrainan political leader Stepan Bandera was made a Hero of Ukraine in January 2010 there has been a campaign in the West against his memory supported by Russian organizations. It should therefore be of interest to present some material from the West German Federal High Court, which in 1962 sentenced the assassin, Bogdan Stashinsky, for aiding and abetting murder. In the view of the court the true murderers resided in Moscow.

The future assassin was born in a village near Lviv in western Ukraine. His family had supported the Ukrainian resistance (UPA) against the returning Soviets after World War II. In 1950 Stashinsky was caught on a train without a ticket. He was interrogated in Soviet occupied Lviv by MGB (later named KGB), the Soviet State Security. The interrogator said that Stashinsky could be valuable to MGB. He was at the time only 19 years old and signed a declaration binding him to work for Soviet security. In 1951 he joined a resistance group of the Ukrainian OUN as Soviet infiltrator. This was his first job for the MGB.

In January 1956 he was told to go to Munich in then West Germany. He was to cooperate with a Soviet infiltrator to abduct the editor, Lev Rebet, of a Ukrainian exile paper, “Ukrainski Samostinik” in Munich. Later, in 1957, Stashinsky had to report to MGB in the Soviet Zone of Germany. It was now made clear that he had been chosen by State Security to assassinate Rebet. The weapon was a metal tube around 7 inches long. It had a capsule with poison and a firing pin that would ignite a powder charge. The vapour produced would cause the death of Rebet when inhaled.

In October 1957 Stashinsky flew from Berlin to Munich and registered at the Stachus Hotel under a false name. He later stationed himself in the center of the city and waited for Rebet to appear which he did on the second day. Rebet got off a tram and walked to Karlsplatz 8. Stashinsky followed and in the staircase of the house he pointed the weapon to Rebet’s face and fired. The victim reeled forward and the assassin got away.

Returning to the Soviet Zone he was in 1959 ordered to go to Munich and assassinate Stepan Bandera. The Ukrainian exile leader lived at Kreittmayer Street but his office was at Zeppelinstrasse 67 in Munich. Stashinsky downed an anti-poison pill and waited. In the spring that year he spied out all circumstances around Bandera’s life. After that he returned to East Berlin. He travelled again to Munich in October. Stashinsky would this time use the same type of weapon:

Shortly before 1 o’clock, just as he was beginning to feel relieved, he saw Bandera arrive alone in his car and drive into the yard…he slipped off the safety- catch on the weapon, which was wrapped in a sheet of newspaper, opened the entrance-door and entered the house… [there he waited]…and soon heard the entrance door being opened. He thereupon went down the stairs and saw that Bandera, who had just come in and had a little basket with tomatoes…was trying with his left hand to pull out the door-key, which had apparently got stuck. In order to fill this delay Stashinsky bent down and pretended to be fiddling with his shoe-laces…He then went towards Bandera, who was still standing by the door, and saying something like ‘Won’t it work?” as he passed Bandera, took hold of the outside door-knob with his left hand and, pointing the weapon, which was concealed in a newspaper, at the head of his unsuspecting victim with his right hand, fired the contents of the double-barrelled pistol, which could be done without any effort, and hastily pulled the door from the outside.

Escaping to East Berlin Stashinsky was decorated with the Order of the ‘Red Banner’ by a KGB general, head of the local KGB. In December he was called to Moscow to report to the head of KGB, Shelepin, who wanted to hear a full account of the assassination. A few years later a Soviet disinformation campaign was started in an attempt to portray the Ukrainian emigrant Myskiw as murderer of Bandera on October 15, 1959, at the instructions of the German Federal intelligence service, and that the alleged assassin had been murdered shortly afterwards.

In 1961 Stashinsky defected in West Berlin and was brought to an official U.S. department. Later he was handed over to German authorities and placed in custody. At the trial in Karlsruhe Stashinsky was found guilty on two charges of aiding and abetting a murder to eight years penal servitude. The court concluded among other things that the real instigators could be found in Moscow:

The political leadership of the Soviet Union…a country that wants to be proud of its history and civilization…a member of the United Nations which entertains correct diplomatic relations with the German Federal Republic, considers it expedient to have a murder by poison, decided at least on a government level, committed on the sovereign territory of the German Federal Republic as a state order…On the strength of the evidence in this trial the guilt of those from which he received orders is far greater. Without their system of individual political terrorism these two murders would not have happened.

The material and the quotes for this contribution are from the verdict in the Stashynsky trial, Federal High Court, Karlsruhe, Germany, Verdict of October 19, 1962 – 9 StF 4/62.

Bandera was a victim of both Nazi and Soviet injustice. It is natural that he is honored by Ukraine for his struggle against both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

PROPOSED NASA BUDGET CUTS A THREAT TO THE WEST

February 12, 2010

If the Obama administration has its way there will be no Constellation program with the Orion crew capsule, Ares 1 launcher, the large Ares 5 rocket and the Altair lunar lander. For a long time the United States has dominated the low-earth orbit. As of 2010 the United States will have nothing to put humans into space. The future will, in this scenario, be in the private sector, no bad idea in itself, but it will take time to develop fully. And the future proposed landing on Mars will be decades away.

American space industry will need a whole new propulsion system for rockets to take crews to Mars. The attempt to substitute Mars for the Moon is a political trick: instead of planning for a possible trip to the Moon for perhaps mining, a sophisticated alternative is offered that is in the distant future.

Compared with the Apollo program of the Cold War a similar budget in 2011 for NASA would be 150 billion US dollars. Now the Constellation program is abandoned for the lack of a few billion dollars. Instead Russia, India, China and South Korea will be prepared to take over and the United States is expected to rely on Russia for sending astronauts into space.

The author of a recent book on American-Russian cooperation in space (Selling Peace), Jeffrey Manber, recently stated to Fox News:

We’re at a very embarrassing point. Space policy of the last several decades has been a failure. We’ll be dependent on Russia for the next 5 to 7 years to fly to and from the International Space Station. And we got here because we stayed too long with the space shuttle program.

Manber has also stated to Fox News that he thinks China will likely land on the moon before any other country, for exploration reasons and as a symbolic act. That country, he said, has 200,000 engineers in its space program and long-term goals for space.

The Russians are the leaders in low-Earth-orbit space today. They may also have the best transportation infrastructure. Russia might well also plan a Mars mission to arrive before the United States can catch up.

One can only hope that a future GOP administration in Washington D.C. will revive the American space effort from 2012 and onwards. The first effort of that new administration should be to speedily return to American space flights. A goal should be to establish lunar colonies and mine for minerals on the Moon. Mining should naturally be a free enterprise effort. This could be done in cooperation with other space faring nations but the initiative should be American.

There are signs that starting in 2011 there will be more American private efforts in space. It’s unclear from recent statements whether President Obama is entirely in favor of privatizing space exploration — a capitalistic approach that would not match up with other liberal policies. However, he has stated that a visit to an asteroid could provide better scientific findings.

A new American Moon mission only makes sense if it is concentrated on exploiting abundant resources of for instance helium-3 (which can be used for nuclear fuel research and is rare on earth) or real colonization.

There is still time for the present American administration to change its mind. There is also much opposition to proposed program cuts. If all goes well the proposed administration cuts concerning NASA will be stopped on the way.

UKRAINE – GEOPOLITICS AND GEOECONOMICS

February 9, 2010

It was wrong to believe that the Orange Revolution of Ukraine in 2005 would last forever. Only one revolution in modern history has lasted: the American. The most important reason for the reverse of the Orange forces in Ukraine was the 2008 world wide recession that had a devastating effect for Kyiv.

Ukraine is geopolitically important. It remains to be seen if the apparent victor in the election on February 7 will mean that Russia moves forward its position in the West. The period between 2005 and 2010 has been an important step in Ukraine’s history. President Viktor Yushchenko has devoted much time to establish firmly the historic roots of the country. In 2008 – 2009 Hetman Ivan Mazepa was celebrated. He was the first Ukrainian leader who sought independence from Moscow. He failed in the beginning of the eighteenth century but remained a national hero. He has now been brought back and firmly planted in national memory. Importantly under President Yushchenko other national figures in Ukrainan history have been celebrated and the Holodomor, the hunger genocide of Ukrainians by dictator Josef Stalin, is now part of Ukrainian history and firmly recognized in the West as the true horror it really was. In 2010 the first Ukrainian constitution of Hetman Pylyp Orlyk will be celebrated (it was affirmed by oath of Orlyk on April 5, 1710).

As Anne Applebaum pointed out in today’s (February 9) Washington Post:

The only thing that has remained consistent over the past four years is the democratic process itself… Six years after the Orange Revolution, Ukrainian political culture remains open, unpredictable and interesting…

We don’t know if a possible President Yanukovych will stand by the democracy created by the Orange Revolution. If he does not he will surely be ousted in the next election. It will be easy to judge him by comparing him to Prime Minister Putin in Moscow.

Geopolitics will remain in the forefront. Will Ukraine join NATO in the future? Will it seek European Union membership? Ukraine is the largest and most important country in Eastern Europe. Any sign that Russia will move forward its position in that country will be an indication of what will happen. The reaction of a President Yanukovych to such a Russian offensive will be crucial. If he defends the independence of Ukraine it might be a sign that he has changed since 2005.

Geoeconomics will play an important role in the coming five years. Ukraine would need much support from the West in order not to be drawn into the Russian sphere of power. It is important that Ukraine holds on to the control of gas- and pipelines from Russia. The economy of the country needs to be diversified away from heavy industry in the sovietized eastern part of Ukraine. The IMF influence needs to grow. Visa and trade agreements are vital further steps in relation to Western neighbors.

The East Slavic roots of Ukraine can never be in dispute. Kyiv is the cradle of the East Slavic civilization. But cultural roots does not mean that Ukraine needs to accept Russian style autocracy. It never did in the past and hopefully it will never do in the future. The Orange Revolution in 2005 was crucial for Ukraine. The coming five years will also be important. Should Yulia Tymoshenko be the opposition leader in Kyiv she will be a guarantor for democracy and a strong free enterprise in Ukraine.