Trust Operation

   The most sophisticated counterintelligence operation run by the Cheka and the GPU involved their creation in the early 1920s of a fictitious opposition group within the Soviet Union. The Cheka-created Monarchist Organization of Central Russia created in turn a trust in Paris called the Municipal Credit Organization of Moscow. The Trust was crafted to establish ties with Russian émigré groups in the West and lure the leaders of the White movements back into the Soviet Union. Émigrés and some Western intelligence services fell for the ruse. In August 1924 Boris Savinkov, a former revolutionary and minister of war in the transitional Aleksandr Kerensky government, entered the Soviet Union clandestinely to contact the Trust. He was arrested and publicly confessed his sins in a Soviet court. Shortly thereafter, in September 1925, Sidney Reilly, sometimes agent of British intelligence, crossed the Finnish–Soviet frontier to contact the Trust. He was captured, interrogated, and then executed in Moscow.
   Following the success in capturing Savinkov and Reilly, the Trust disappeared as stealthily as it emerged. It has been studied in the West as well as the Soviet Union as the model of a successful counterintelligence operation. The Soviet and Eastern European intelligence services often engaged in false flag organizations such as the Trust to distract émigrés and foreign intelligence services.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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