Thursday, July 2, 2020

Moscow Using ‘Operation Trust’-Style Operation Against Circassians

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 30 – A century after Cheka founder Felix Dzerzhinsky set up Operation Trust, the first Soviet-false flag operation, to subvert, disorder and discredit the anti-Bolshevik White Russian emigration, the Chekist successor state of Vladimir Putin has launched a Trust-style operation against the Circassians.

            The original trust involved setting up a Cheka-controlled organization inside Russia that purportedly was working to overthrow the Bolsheviks, wanted to cooperate with the emigration, but insisted that it and not anyone in the emigration had to control all decisions about what to do. (For a good introduction to the complex history of Dzerzhinsky’s Trust, see the 35-page report at

            Many White Russian leaders accepted the organization, informally known as “the Trust,” as genuine, deferred to its decisions and thus allowed Moscow to control their work, and, when it was exposed in 1927, almost certainly as part of a Soviet plan, stood discredited in the eyes of those Western groups and governments with which they had cooperated. 

            The reason Moscow has continued to use this strategy is that it is invariably effective because the groups the secret police control are telling those in the diasporas they don’t exactly what many in the latter want to hear, that things are going in the direction they want but adding that the diaspora must not do anything that will upset the applecart.

            To the extent that diaspora groups do agree to that condition, they are at a minimum disordered neutered as far as being a threat to the Russian government and may even become further coopted and be used by Moscow’s agents using in the guise of the domestic co-ethnic group against others.

            Now, it appears, Moscow has launched a serious “Operation Trust” operation against the Circassian diaspora, reflecting Moscow’s growing concerns about the echo in the north Caucasus of diaspora activities, a desire to block that, and a belief that some in that diaspora like those in others will cooperate with the one the Russian government has leverage or even direct control.

            (This last point is especially important. In the original Trust operation, it appears that some of those who were part of the Cheka-controlled Monarchist Organization of Central Russia were unwitting of the fact that their group was a false flag operation; and it is entirely possible even likely that some Circassians involved inside Russia may be in the same position.)

            The details of this operation may seem obscure to outsiders and need not be repeated here. (For the most comprehensive and accessible description of the developments that compel one to conclude that under Putin with the Circassians, the Trust lives, see

            But that this is a Chekist operation is also suggested by two other developments. On the one hand, Moscow has labelled the US-based Jamestown Foundation “an undesirable organization” in large measure because of that group’s coverage of the Circassians ( and

            And on the other, media outlets in Russia have begun scurrilous attacks on those in the West who support the Circassian cause, including the author of these lines both to discredit them personally and imply that the Circassian movement is not genuine but somehow the creation of Western intelligence services (

            All Circassians and those who care about the Circassian cause need to be aware of this danger. Those in the homeland know that Russian offers of cooperation can be a poisoned chalice and those in the diaspora that what they are hearing from some in the homeland may be more what Moscow wants them to hear than about reality.

            And those who support Circassian aspirations including the restoration of a Circassian Republic, the survival of the Circassian language, and the return of Circassians in the first instance from war-torn countries in the Middle East need to be alive to these dangers as well. Only if all three groups are will Moscow’s latest Operation Trust fail.

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