Recent Soviet propaganda has denounced the United States for aerial reconnaissance of the Soviet Union in terms designed to convince the world that the USSR would not stoop to espionage. In discussing this subjeot and the reception which President Zisenhower might expect on his visit to Russia,.Premier Khrushchev was quoted in the newspapers on May 11 1960, as wondering what would have been the reaction of the American people if the Russians had sent a plane over the United States on the eve of his visit to this country.
The facts are that at the very time Premier Khrushchev was advancing to the podium to speak before the United Nations General Assembly on September 18, 1959, two Soviet espionage agents were cautiously sureying a street corner in Springfield, Maseachusetts, in preparation for a clandestine meeting with an American whom they were attempting to subvert. At the very time that Krushchev was declaring that a means must be found to stop mankind from backsliding into an abyss of war, Vadim A. Kirilyuk, Soviet employee of the United Nations, was attempting to induce this American to fumish information regarding United States cryptographic machines and to secure employment in a vital United States Government agency where he could obtain classified information for the Russians. While this meeting was taking place Kirilyuk and the American were under observation by Leonid A. Kovalev, another Soviet employee of the United Nations who me conducting a countersurveillance. Unknown to the Russians, however, this meeting was also being observed by Special Agents of the FBI who obtained photographs of the Russians.
Not only did these Russians stoop to spying, but they callously abused their status as guests of this county to spy in the most reprehensilbe manner -- the subversion of an American on American soil.
Although FBI Agents observed this meeting and photographed the Russians, no publicity was given to this incident in view of the negotiations which were then in progress. This incident, as contrasted with the recent handling of the plane incident by the Russians, gives ample testimony as to which country is acting in good faith in trying to maintatn world peace.
And this is not an isolated incident - nor has the target always been so limited. The facts are that Soviet agents for three decades have engaged in extensive espionage against this country, and through the years have procured a volume of information which would stagger the imagination. This information includes literally dozens of aerial photographs of major
U.S. cities and vital areas which have given the Rusians the product of aerial reconnaissance just as surely as if Soviet planes had been sent over this country.
In a free country such things as aerial photographs are available to the public and can be purchased commercially. The Soviets have been fully aware of this and throughout the years have taken full advantage of this free information, . collecting aerial photographs of many areas of the United States.
For example, during October, 1953, two Soviet officials visited Minneapolis where they purchased fifteen aerial photographs of Minneapolis and St. Paul. In October and November, 1953, two Soviets traveled in Missouri and Texas and obtained aerial maps of Dallas, Tulsa, Fort Worth and the surrounding areas covering a Naval air station, an Army airfield, and an Air Force base. In April, 1954, a Soviet official purchased aerial photographs of five Long Island commuities. Also, in April, 1954, a Soviet Official purchased three aerial photographs of Boston, Massachusetts, and Newport, Rhode Island, areas. In May, 1954, three Soviets traveled to California where they ordered from a Los Angeles photography shop $80 worth of aerial photographs covering the Los Angeles area.
Howver,. they have not been content with acquisition of publicly available data. For example, on MaY y, 1954 Leonid E. Pivnev, an assistant Soviet air attache stationed in Washington, who had previously traveled extensively throughout the United States and had obtained commercially available aerial photographs of various areas of this country, requested a Washington, D. C., photographer to rent an airplane to take photographs of New York City which were not commercially available. He specified the scale to be used and the altitude from which the photographs were to be taken. He offered $700 for this activity. Obviously the photographs which he requested would depict vital port areas, industirial facilities, and military installations in the New York area.
For this brazen abuse of his diplomatic privileges Piunev was declared persona non grata on May 29, 1954, and departed from this country on June 6, 1954.
But this did not stop the Soviets. They continued their systematic program of collecting aerial photographs of major cities and vital areas of the United States. On January 29, 1955, the State Department sent a note to the Soviet Ambassador placing restrictions on the acquisition of certain types of data
by Soviet citizens in the United States. These restrictions were comparable to restrictions on American citizens in Russia and in part prohibited Soviet citizens from obtaining aerial photographs except where they "appear in or are appendices to newspapers, periodicals, technical journals, atlases and books commercially available to the general public.
Soviet reaction to the restrictiow was typical of their philosophy. They began circumventing the restriction by subverting Americans to purchase aerial photographs tor them. One month after the restrictiow became effective, Nikolai I. Trofimov, a Soviet official in Mexico, began negotiations for a resident of the west coast of the United States. to obtain aerial photographs of 45 major United States cities. nineteen of these cities are located near Strategic Air Commnd bases. The remaining 26 are all strategic cities in or near which are located air bases, naval bases, research or training stations, atomic energy installations or important industrial facilities.
During April, 1953, Vladimir D. Loginov, a Soviet employee of the United Nations used the same technique to obtain an aerial map of New York City. At 10 p.m. on April 26, 1958, Loginov secretly met an individual in a darkened parking lot at the railroad station in Scarsdale, New York, where this map was delivered to Loginov. Monnths later on November 15, 1958, this same parking lot was again utilized by the Soviets to obtain aerial photographs of Chicago, Illinois. On this occasion, the photographs were turned over to Kirill S. Doronkin, another Soviet employee of the United Nations. In this same operation, the Soviets attempted to obtain aerial photographs of Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and San Diego and San Francisco, California.
Circumvention of the restrictiow also took the form of trickery and deceit. For example, on July 27, 1959, Viktor V. Fomin, assistant Soviet military attache and Anatoli G. Vasilev, an employee of the Soviet Military Attache in Washington, D. C., obtained an aerial photograph of the Glasgow Air Force Base in Montana from the local Chamber of Comerce by posing as tourists without identifying themselves as Soviet officials. On July 24, 1959, they obtained an aerial photograph of Thermopolis, Wyoming, by bullying the clerk at the Chamber of Comerce in an arrogant and insistent manner, again posing as tourists. They were given the photograph in spite of the fact that such a photograph is not normally given to tourists.
Soviet activities did not stop there. At the present time, a Washirgton, D. C., photographer is under the instructions
of Petr Y. Ezhov, third secretary of the Soviet Embassy, to take flying lessons at Soviet expense. Ezhov has indicated that the Soviets will purchase a plane for the Photographer's use after he obtains his pilot's license. That aerial reconaissance is the Soviet objective, is amply proven by the fact that this photographer has been requested to obtain aerial photographs of the East Coast from Boston, Massachusetts, to Jacksonville, Florida. He has already been sent on reconnaissance trips throughout the southern states under Soviet instruction to photograph military installations with telephoto lenses. The information obtained on one of these reconnaissance trips including photographs of United States military bases was to be delivered on September 17, 1959, to Vladimir Glinsky, an assistant Soviet naval attache who originally recruited the photographer. At 7 a.m. on that date, however, Glinsky contacted the photographer by telephone and cancelled the appointment, explaining, "my boss is here." Premier Khrushchev on that morning was winding up his first visit to Washington on his tour of the United States. These photographs were subsequently delivered on October 2, 1959.
It is apparent from the examples cited that the Soviet Union reaps the benefits of aerial reconnaissance of the United States just as surely as if planes were sent over this country.