Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Moscow Must Extend SMERSH System from Occupied Portions of Ukraine to All of Russian Federation to Counter Diversionist Threat, Deputy Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 7 – Andrey Gurulyev, a retired lieutenant general who is a member of the Duma’s defense committee, says that the spread of terrorist attacks across the Russian Federation means that Moscow should revive the notorious World War II SMERSH (“Death to Spies”) counter-intelligence and counter-terrorist structures.

            Such analogues already have been set up in Russian occupied portions of Ukraine, he says; but recent attacks, including the bombing of a rail tunnel in the Russian Far East at the end of November mean that Moscow has good reason to extend this system to Russia as a whole (

            According to Gurulyev, the country’s regular intelligence and counter-intelligence systems have been overwhelmed by the Ukrainian and American orchestrated attacks, and only something like the SMERSH system Stalin set up during World War II but then abandoned in 1946 can cope with the challenge.

            Stalin created SMERSH by a secret decree in April 1943 and gave its officers broad authority to root out diversionists and spies. What makes Gurulyev’s proposal worrisome is that it suggests the Kremlin is again prepared to put all Russia on a war footing and to eliminate any remaining rights Russians have in the name of fighting against Ukraine and its supporters.


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