BOOK REVIEW: KGB Operations against the USA and Canada in Soviet Ukraine, 1953-1991

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Professor Zhuk’s “KGB Operations against the USA and Canada in Soviet Ukraine, 1953- 1991” focuses on the post-Stalin Cold War period, when Soviet Ukraine was gradually opened to American and Canadian visitors and combines counter-intelligence documents in the 1st (and 16th) fund of Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) archive with the Committee for State Security’s (KGB) official correspondence and reports to the political leadership of Soviet Ukraine. The first and most important historical source of the book which follows a chronological and thematic sequence reflecting the story of special KGB operations is the reports of various KGB agents who participated in KGB counterintelligence operations. The second group of “unexpected” sources, as the author calls it, consists of interviews with retired KGB officials in Kyiv and Dnipro. In the first part of the book (pp. 1-94), it is emphasized that the most important target of the KGB in the geopolitical conflict was Ukrainian nationalism, which was linked to and financed by Americans, and from 1953 to 1991, almost 50% of all criminal cases were devoted to this “dangerous” issue of Ukrainian nationalism. The author states that the second target of Ukrainian KGB was Jewish nationalism, while the third target was religious sects and the fourth target was American espionage. The most interesting narrative of the first part is the “Yankees case” involving Valentina Fedorovna Safianova and seven so-called nationalist Jews. Professor Zhuk, who mentioned in his work that the KGB adopted an antiSemitic approach despite the Soviet Union’s (USSR) official distancing from anti-Semitism, states that the KGB used Ukrainians and Russians for the needs of Soviet intelligence. The Ukrainian diaspora in America in the 1960s became the “useful means” of the Soviet KGB and one demonstrative example used by the author, Zhuk, is Peter Krawchuk who visited Soviet Ukraine as a member of Canadian Ukrainian Communist Delegations almost every year starting from 1947. Zhuk wrote regarding Peter Krawchuk that “Their material wellbeing, even their Canadian businesses depended on those relations (p. 66)”.


KGB, USA, Canada, Soviet Ukraine


Mustafa Koç, “Sergei I. Zhuk, KGB Operations against the USA and Canada in Soviet Ukraine, 1953-1991 (London and New York, Routledge, 2022)" Uluslararasi Iliskiler, Advanced Online Publication, 13 March 2024, pp. 1-3.


Mustafa KOÇ PhD. Candidate, Department of History, İstanbul University, İstanbul. E-Mail: [email protected] Orcid: 0000-0001-6441-6273

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