Secretariat. Creation of the “Mill”, a fake border post in the Soviet Far East used from 1941 to 1949 to test the loyalty of individuals, who were then arrested and imprisoned; many were shot (9 pp). [R 4 October 1956, St 1061] Excerpt.
To be returned, after the meeting of the Secretariat,
to Sector II, General Department, CPSU Central Committee
Copy No. 2
Ref. No. St 1061
4 October 1956
For the meeting of the Central Committee Secretariat
Memorandum of the Party Oversight Committee and the Central Committee Department of Administrative Bodies, concerning Fedotov,
former head of the 2nd Directorate, NKVD
To the CPSU Central Committee
Information has reached the Party Oversight Committee at the CPSU Central Committee and the Central Committee Department of Administrative Bodies that provocative intelligence-operative methods, resulting in grave consequences, were practiced by the Khabarovsk Directorate of the NKVD-MGB from 1941 to 1949.
Investigation has established that in 1941, with the permission of the NKVD in Moscow, the Khabarovsk Region NKVD set up near the border with Manchuria, a fake Soviet border crossing, a “Manchurian border police post”, and “a local Japanese military mission”, all in the area of the Kazakevichi village. NKVD officers referred to this in correspondence as “the Mill”. It was their idea to use the simulated Soviet border crossing, Japanese border and intelligence-gathering organisations to test Soviet citizens they suspected of being engaged in hostile activities.
This enterprise, however, was brutally perverted and directed against innocent Soviet citizens rather than true enemies of the Soviet State.
Goglidze, former head of the Khabarovsk NKVD Directorate, and Fedotov, former head of the 2nd Directorate of the NKVD of the USSR who exercised direct control over the “Mill”, used it for anti-State purposes, to fabricate incriminating evidence against Soviet people.
The “vetting” at the so-called Mill began with a suggestion to the person suspected of espionage or other anti-Soviet activities that he carry out a mission for the NKVD across the border. After obtaining the agreement of the “suspect” there was a staged transfer of the individual onto Manchurian territory from the phoney Soviet border crossing followed by his capture by Japanese border authorities. The “arrested” person was then transferred to the premises of the Japanese military mission where he was interrogated by NKVD officers posing as officials of Japanese intelligence and Russian White Guard émigrés. The task of the interrogation was to make the “person being tested” confess to the “Japanese authorities” that he had links with Soviet intelligence. To this end exceptionally tough conditions were created, aimed at breaking the individual psychologically, using various threats and forms of physical pressure.
At the end of the interrogations, which sometimes continued for days or even weeks, the “arrested” person was recruited by representatives of “Japanese intelligence” and sent into Soviet territory to carry out a spying mission. This provocative game concluded with the arrest by the NKVD of the “person being tested”. He was then sentenced by the NKVD special board to a lengthy term of imprisonment or to be shot.
[From 1941 to 1949 (inclusive) 150 people were processed by this “Mill”. They were subsequently rehabilitated, for the most part posthumously. This entire undertaking was condemned during the Khrushchev period as an “anti-State” operation, but none of the officers involved suffered serious punishment]