KGB against the reform movements and independent state from 1988 to 1991
When the perestroika processes started in the USSR and the Baltic States, the KGB faced new challenges, namely, with the ideas of freedom of expression and historical truth coming from Moscow. This repressive structure had to define its relations with the new processes, to adapt itself to the new political situation and new operating conditions.
Informal social movements, the preconditions for whose creation were created by perestroika (restructuring) processes, began to raise highly topical issues to the public (white spots of history, ecological problems, bureaucratic abuse, discrimination of the language of the locals and others), and finally the ideas of restoring the statehood. At the beginning the Soviet Intelligence acted more as an observer but with the rhetoric of the reform movements in the Baltic States becoming tougher it took stricter measures against it. Intensifying agency work, smear and whispering campaigns in the press, other measures taken had to intimidate everybody who supported processes of liberation, to discredit actions of the leaders of the movements and their most active members and to make the possibility to deal with them easier. Besides, it was important for the KGB to divide newly formed social movements or organisations and those which started operating earlier. During the last years of the soviet regime, the changed conditions precluded the KGB from implementing such usual radical repressive measures as dismissal, detention and the like. The KGB moved its activities to the public space, to a struggle for pubic opinion. Soviet Intelligence published compromising, slanderous articles about dissidents, the organisations that were created during the restructuring period and campaigns launched by them.
The KGB’s concern about the situation in the soviet system is testified to by structural internal changes in the KGB. New internal structures were created, mobilisation plans for acting in certain conditions were developed, and documents were taken away from Lithuania or were destroyed there and then.