For the Russian and security services, physical and technical surveillance was a critical tool. The Okhrana conducted surveillance of dissidents by intercepting mail and through close physical surveillance of suspects and their associates. In St. Petersburg, the Okhrana recruited cab drivers because of their ability to travel anywhere in the capital without raising suspicion. Surveillance allowed the Okhrana to keep careful and generally accurate files on dissidents in both radical and moderate parties.
   The Cheka expanded surveillance of known and suspected enemies of the infant Bolshevik regime. Along with mail interception and physical surveillance, the service perfected the use of audio surveillance. Joseph Stalin read reports of surveillance of both political enemies and poets. He decided on Solomon Mikhoels’s murder when he read in surveillance reports that the actor had made denigrating statements about the Communist Party to Americans. When Stalin read a detailed surveillance report on the great poet Anna Akhmatova, he reportedly said: “Our little nun is now receiving foreign spies.” Akhmatova had met with the British philosopher and diplomat Isaiah Berlin.
   The KGB and its predecessors developed a number of technical tools to make surveillance easier. Metka, or spy dust, was used to allow KGB dogs to follow suspected intelligence officers. The KGB also planted electronic devices in the shoes of NATO diplomats and small radio transmitters in the cars of diplomats and intelligence officers. The KGB’s Seventh Directorate was specifically established to conduct surveillance in cars and on foot. A team of 50 surveillants was dedicated to covering the British embassy. Three cars were assigned to follow the British chief of station Roderick Chisolm wherever he went. His wife was followed too: it was surveillance of Mrs. Chisolm that gave the KGB their first lead to Oleg Penkovskiy. Surveillance had two important benefits for the regime. It provided necessary information on a host of counterintelligence and domestic security issues. It also served to intimidate the opponents of the regime, forcing them to consider their powerlessness in the struggle with the state.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • surveillance — [ syrvɛjɑ̃s ] n. f. • 1663; de surveiller 1 ♦ Le fait de surveiller; ensemble des actes par lesquels on exerce un contrôle suivi. ⇒ 1. garde, inspection, vigilance. Déjouer, tromper la surveillance des hommes de garde. Surveillance attentive.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Surveillance) — Surveillance La surveillance est la fonction d’observer les activités de personnes ou groupes. Dans le domaine purement technique, on parle aussi de supervision ou de monitoring. La surveillance peut être secrète ou évidente. Celle ci a toujours… …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Surveillance — set of activities, except reassessment, to monitor the continued fulfillment by accredited conformity assessment bodies of requirements for accreditation (p. 3.18 ISO/ IEC 17011:2004). Источник …   Словарь-справочник терминов нормативно-технической документации

  • Surveillance — «Surveillance» Сингл Deluhi Выпущен 26 марта Жанры Альтернативный метал металкор Лейбл BRAVEMAN RECORDS …   Википедия

  • Surveillance — Sur*veil lance, n. [F., fr. surveiller to watch over; sur over + veiller to watch, L. vigilare. See {Sur }, and {Vigil}.] Oversight; watch; inspection; supervision. [1913 Webster] That sort of surveillance of which . . . the young have accused… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • surveillance — 1802, from Fr. surveillance oversight, supervision, a watch, noun of action from surveiller oversee, watch, from sur over + veiller to watch, from L. vigilare, from vigil watchful (see VIGIL (Cf. vigil)). Seemingly a word of the Terror in France …   Etymology dictionary

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  • surveillance — *oversight, supervision Analogous words: inspection, scrutiny, examination (see under SCRUTINIZE) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • surveillance — is pronounced sǝ vay lǝns, with the ll articulated …   Modern English usage

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