The chief of the KGB secret service told a closed session of the Soviet parliament that Western intelligence services are working out plans for the "pacification and even occupation" of the Soviet Union under the "pretext" of controlling Moscow's nuclear capability.
KGB chief Vladimir Kryuchkov's speech, which was taped furtively at the session and played last week on the Leningrad television show "600 Seconds," was filled with warnings of doom and conspiracy, cautioning deputies, "Our fatherland is on the brink of catastrophe."Kryuchkov said the Soviet Union had suffered catastrophe in 1941 when it ignored warnings of an invasion from Nazi Germany. His implicit comparison to the "intentions" of foreign intelligence services apparently was intended to scare the legislators into taking a more conservative course.
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev swept aside earlier this month an attempt by his prime minister, Valentin Pavlov, to assume some presidential powers. Kryuchkov, Defense Minister Dmitri Yazov and Interior Minister Boris Pugo appeared to side with Pavlov in his opposition to the sort of radical political and economic reform endorsed by the West.
Although Kryuchkov appears to have lost the power struggle for now, his furious speech, as played on Leningrad television and recounted by deputies who were at the session, reflects a profound suspicion of Western intentions and implies that Gorbachev's perestroika, or economic reform, policies are little more than a favor to the CIA.
"Among these conditions (set by the West) is the carrying out of fundamental reforms in the country, not as they are envisioned by us, but as dreamed up across the ocean," he said.
Kryuchkov said he had "reliable information" that expectations that the West intends to give the Soviet Union tens or hundreds of billions of dollars in credits "are fairy tales, illusions."