Skoblin's History Blog

This blog is composed of articles and translations written by Skoblin pertaining to the Soviet Security forces, White Russian underground movements and Russian counter-revolutionary forces during the 1920s and 1930s. Skoblin can be reached at

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Yezhov File (III)

Kedrov report concerning suspicious contacts maintained by former People's Commissar, N. I Yezhov

Top Secret
To the People's Commissar of Internal Affairs Union of the SSR
To Commissar of State Security, First Rank, comrade Beria


I consider it necessary to inform You about facts known to me, requiring verification, which point to the the non-accidental nature of the relations between N. I. Yezhov and individuals, subsequently exposed as enemies of the people.

1. Yezhov maintained relations with Pyatakov. Rodos informed me of this in 1936. In October 1936, I was ordered to interrogate Radek. At that time he had still not confessed to his criminal activity. He spoke rather openly about his connections with Pyatakov and other participants of an anti-soviet bloc. According to him, Pyatakov's apartment served as a meeting place and drinking spot for Pyatakov's friends. Radek named several persons, who frequented Pyatakov's apartment, including N. I. Yezhov. Kursky and Berman (the former Head of the SPO [Secret Political Section] NKVD and his deputy), to whom I reported Radek's statement, suggested that I not interest myself in this matter, because this was already known to the Politburo. Several day later I was dismissed from interrogating Radek. Radek was still refusing to admit guilt, but was on the verge of confessing. This matter could be clarified by Radek and Berman, and by L. Kogan and A. Al'tman (the former interrogated Pyatakov, the latter - Radek).

2. For reasons not understood, Nikolia Ivanovich Yezhov maintained unusual relations with a certain A. A. Mnatsakanov, a former official in the INO [Foreign Section] NKVD. In the summer of 1938, Mnatsakanov was expelled from the party as a clearly foreign element. Somewhat later it became known that he was a German spy. Meanwhile, suspicions about Mnatsakanov had emerged and were well-known among party circles in the INO NKVD long before this. Sufficient grounds for mistrusting Mnatskanov were apparent and it was impossible not to notice them. This individual was in no way connected with the Soviet Union. He had already gone abroad during the Imperialist war. His entire family lived outside the Soviet Union. He himself continually lived abroad, in Persia, Germany and Austria, until 1936. Until 1936, he would either be travelling in the Soviet Union or be here only to arrange his personal affairs and would then immediately depart once more. While not being accepted for Soviet citizenship, he would refer to himself as a Soviet citizen and carried a Soviet passport , while reserving the right to Persian citizenship. In Vienna he even carried a diplomatic passport as vice-consul. He was accepted as a candidate for the VKP(b) through the decision of a secret commission of the OGPU party committee. The members of the commission consisted of Slutsky and Ostrovsky from the party committee and Speransky from the personnel section. He had contacts with his brother, a Trotskyist and provocateur residing in Persia. When the Persians arrested this provocateur as a diversion, Slutsky obtained his release through the rezident INO OPGU in Persia. Mnatsakanov's wife, Boshkovich Erna, kept and maintained contact with her first husband - a Polish spy. Both Mnatsakanov and his wife did their utmost to become acquainted with and ingratiate themselves with Agranov, Yagoda's relatives, and so on, whom they met abroad. An agent of the INO OPGU from 1922 or 1923, Mnatsakanov become an official at the Berlin rezidentura in 1932, thank to his close personal relations with Slutsky. In 1935, he became the assistant of the rezident in Vienna and in the following year was assigned to work in the INO OGPU to the post of assistant to the section chief. His work with agents was notable for suspicious activities. In 1934, he persistently attempted to rehabilitate a provocateur with the codename "Paren'" and another time he divulged our plans to a double-agent with the codename "Lekart." Although he did not confess to this, Slutsky certainly new about it After Yezhov's appointment to the post of People's Commissar in 1936, Mnatsakanov told me the he was a personal acquaintance of Yezhov's. Another time, Mnatsakanov told me, that Yezhov would not consent to meet with any NKVD officials in Vienna except himself. Mnatsakanov and his wife served as Yezhov's guides. When my personal relations with Mnatsakanov failed to improve, he started dropping by my office for the purpose of calling Yezhov on my phone. He phoned Yezhov before the party committee session which discussed his party status. At the party committee session, Mnatsakanov behaved insolently, as if he counted on some sort of assistance. After Mnatsakanov's arrest, I appealed to Volynsky (former Deputy Head, 3rd Section GUGB) twice to permit me to interrogate Mnatsakanov regarding his criminal activities while in office. Volynsky did not grant me his consent. The third time I brought up this matter, I was talking with Dulov (also a former Deputy Head, 3rd Section GUGB), when the conversation turned to the Mnatsakanov case. Dulov told me that Mnatsakanov had confessed that he was a German spy and was beginning to write testimony about his criminal activities. During one of Mnatsakanov's interrogations, however, Yezhov dropped in during his rounds through the prison. Yezhov asked Mnatsakanov, "So, what are we doing, writing?," to which Mnatsakanov responded affirmatively. Yezhov, in monosyllables, said, "Well, write, write." After this, Mnatsakanov recanted his testimony and soon after was shot. This entire matter could be clarified by Dulov and Boshkovich, V. P. Roshchin and A. L. Shanina (former officials of the Vienna rezidentura INO NKVD) and by Slutsky's wife.

NKVD official
Senior Lieutenant, state security
28 January 1939.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home