Interwar Period

The Trust

Bailey, Geoffrey [Pseud.]. The Conspirators. New York: Harper, 1960. London: Gollancz, 1961.

Rocca and Dziak call The Conspirators "[o]ne of the better and reliable works on the 'Trust' and other Soviet operations against the emigration." On the other hand, Halebian, Studies 9.4 (Fall 1965), sees this work as "[a]n uneven and not completely satisfactory account of the Trust operation, largely drawn from Western sources."

Constantinides says the part of the book on the Trust "is by and large a useful presentation of facts and interpretation.... Experts believe this is one of the best treatments of that Soviet operation, even though .. it includes some errors." But the reverse is true about the segment covering the Tukhachevsky affair; in fact, "[s]pecialists consider it quite unreliable." See pages 3-132 for the portion of this book concerned with the "Trust" operation (1921-1927) and follow-on events.

Barros, Andrew. "A Window on the 'Trust': The Case of Ado Birk." Intelligence and National Security 10, no. 2 (Apr. 1995): 273-293.

Ado Birk was the former Estonian Minister in Moscow who escaped in March 1927 after being kidnapped by the Cheka. The author uses the Birk case to make a broader assessment of the effectiveness of the "Trust."

Blackstock, Paul W. The Secret Road to World War II: Soviet versus Western Intelligence 1921-1939. Chicago: Quadrangle, 1969.

The reviewer for Studies 14.1 (Spring 1970) finds that "[t]his book has grave faults." The author is "is insufficently grounded in intelligence, or insufficiently critical, to make discriminating judgments about his sources." He also "artificially equates the USSR and the democratic West in comparing their governments and their intelligence services."

Constantinides advises caution in approaching this book. However, readers "interested in Soviet penetration, manipulation, deception, and violence against Russian emigré organizations and their allies, particularly the Trust, may still find some merit in [Blackstock's] treatment of aspects of these operations." Rocca and Dziak note that, with regard to the Trust, "significantly different interpretations exist" between the author's account and that of Geoffrey Bailey; these "are unresolvable on the basis of existing evidence."

Grant, Natalie. "Deception on a Grand Scale." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 1, no. 4 (1986): 51-77.

Nikulin, Lev. V. The Swell of the Sea. Springfield, VA: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Technical Information Service, 1972. Mertvaya zyb'. Moscow: Voyenizdat, 1965.

According to Rocca and Dziak, this is a retelling of the "Trust" operation (1921-1927) "with significant changes in fact and emphasis from versions propagated in the Twenties, and sponsored by the Soviets after World War II."

Sayers, Michael, and Albert E. Kahn. The Great Conspiracy: The Secret War Against Soviet Russia. Boston: Little, Brown, 1946.

Rocca and Dziak say that this work gives "a pro-Soviet slant on the 'Trust' (Trest) case.... Soviet sponsorship of this book was identified in Congressional testimony in 1952 by Igor Bogolepov." For Kronenbitter, Studies 16.1 (Special Edition 1972), this is a "volume of grotesque falsehoods," especially as regards Leon "Trotsky's 'espionage' aimed at destruction of the Soviet Union."

Spence, Richard B. Boris Savinkov: Renegade on the Left. Boulder, CO: East European Monographs, distributed by Columbia University Press, 1991.

Barros, I&NS 8.2, sees this work as a "notable scholarly departure from the largely unbalanced and shallow literature on Savinkov ... in the past." There is "one weak section: the discussion of Savinkov's involvement with Reilly, the Trust, and the Sindikat operations.... Several important sources are neglected."

Spence, Richard B. "Russia's Operatsiia Trest: A Reappraisal." Global Intelligence Monthly 1, no. 4 (Apr. 1999): 19-24.

The author refers to this article as "an overview of the Trust operation and a reassessment of it based on recently available Soviet documents." Spence, IJI&C 15.2/241/fn.63.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The Trust. Arlington. VA: Security and Intelligence Foundation, 1989.

Petersen: "Reprint: Soviet deception targeting exiles, intelligence, and counterintelligence in the 1920s."

Return to Russia 1917-1939

Return to UK - Interwar Table of Contents