The Lithuanian KGB first chief directorate (foreign intelligence) in the 1970s assumed the responsibility of monitoring the activities of dissidents who had been able to make it to the West. The fifth directorate, specifically assigned to harass, intimidate and eliminate dissidence had previously been tasked to this work not only domestically but also abroad. According to some experts dissidents abroad were becoming a more serious problem for the Soviets and deserved a more professional coverage than the apparently less sophisticated personnel of the fifth directorate.
An appropriate example of the earnestness of the first chief directorate can be seen from the “Dekadent” dossier that the Lithuanian KGB initiated with the 1977 arrival of dissident writer Tomas Venclova in the USA. The Lithuanian KGB foreign intelligence operatives kept up surveillance of Venclova in the USA and were active in spreading disinformation about him so as to compromise him amongst the Lithuanian community abroad. Simultaneously the fifth directorate was in close contact with Venclova’s wife who had remained in the occupied homeland. The KGB exploited Venclova’s longing for his daughter and it wasn’t difficult for the KGB to play on these emotions. In helping to maximize their ability with the emotional manipulation of Venclova, the KGB sent to the west an operative codenamed “Harris” to personally drive this effort. As expected, the KGB opened and read all the mail sent by Venclova to family and relatives, the copies of which are still in the “Dekadent” dossier.
(Excerpt) The complete article was published in Estonian Life, January 4, 2013
Addendum to VEKSA VI