The Communist International, or Comintern, was founded in Moscow in March 1919 to serve as the general staff of the world revolution. The second conference of the Comintern in 1920 laid out 21 conditions that socialist and communist parties had to adhere to for membership; foremost among them was loyalty to the Soviet Union. Created by Vladimir Lenin to mobilize support for the Bolshevik Revolution and spread revolution, the Comintern became as well a critical component of Soviet intelligence for the 24 years of its existence. Both the security and the intelligence services used the Comintern as a cover for false flag operations for the recruitment and running of agents. Many of the best Soviet agents in the 1930s believed at first that they were working for the Comintern.
   The Comintern developed clandestine radio networks to allow Moscow to maintain contact with foreign communist parties and intelligence officers. During the 1930s, the Comintern maintained three radio links with the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA). Radio links were also maintained with western and central European communist parties. These links allowed the Soviet intelligence services to vet prospective agents and to convince party officials to support intelligence operations. For example, Pavel Fitin, chief of NKVD foreign intelligence during World War II, requested information about communist party members who were being considered for recruitment in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
   Soviet leader Joseph Stalin used the Comintern to control foreign communist parties. He also purged its leadership of dissidents and suspected enemies. During the Yezhovshchina, the Polish, Hungarian, Austrian, and German parties were decimated. The entire leadership of the Polish party and most of the leadership of the Hungarian, Austrian, and German parties were shot or perished in the gulag. Over 1,100 German communists were arrested by the NKVD, and 132 were eventually handed over to the Gestapo, as a gesture of good will following the Nazi–Soviet Pact.
   While the Comintern was initially established to foment world revolution, it evolved into an extension of the Soviet Communist Party and was seen by the Stalinist leadership as a tool for Russian strategic interests. One leader of the Comintern put it succinctly and cynically: “Since Russia is the only country where the working class has taken power, the workers of the world should become Russian patriots.” Stalin abolished the Comintern in 1943 as part of a diplomatic effort to win support for the Soviet Union during World War II. Its functions were transferred to the international department of the Communist Party’s Central Committee. At almost the same time, NKVD officers abroad were cautioned about open contacts with Communist Party members and Comintern officials; in the United States, the handling of especially important agents was switched from CPUSA personnel to Soviet agent handlers. Nevertheless, by the 1940s the link between communist parties and Soviet intelligence services was clear.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • COMINTERN — acron. Internazionale Comunista, Terza Internazionale Sinonimi: KOMINTERN …   Dizionario italiano

  • Comintern — Third International (1919), from Communist International …   Etymology dictionary

  • Comintern — [käm′in tʉrn΄] n. [< Com(munist) Intern(ational)] the international organization (Third International) of Communist parties (1919 43) formed by Lenin to promote revolution in countries other than the U.S.S.R …   English World dictionary

  • Comintern — Third International redirects here. For Webster s Third New International Dictionary, see Webster s Dictionary. Part of the series on …   Wikipedia

  • Comintern — /kom in terrn , kom in terrn /, n. See Third International. Also, Komintern. [ < Russ Komintérn, for Kommunistícheskii Internatsionál COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL] * * * or Communist International or Third International Association of national… …   Universalium

  • Comintern — noun Etymology: Russian Komintern, from Kommunisticheskiĭ Internatsional Communist International Date: 1923 the Communist International established in 1919 and dissolved in 1943 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • COMINTERN — Internationale communiste Pour les articles homonymes, voir IC et Komintern (groupe de musique). L Internationale communiste (IC ou Komintern d après son nom russe Коммунистический Интернационал, Kommunistitcheskiy Internatsional) ou Troisième… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Comintern — noun An international association of Communist parties, established in 1919 by Lenin …   Wiktionary

  • Comintern — ► POLÍTICA VER Komintern …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Comintern — n. Third International (international organization founded in Moscow to unite Communist groups from all over the world, 1919 43) …   English contemporary dictionary

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