Lithuanian archive releases KGB collaborator names

Feb 22, 2012, 9:13 PM

Associated Press

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) – Lithuania’s government has released the names of 238 citizens who were reservists for the KGB when their country was ruled by the Soviet Union, and said Wednesday it plans to identify scores of people who have refused to disclose their relations with the security agency.

All this information, including interrogation techniques the KGB used in Lithuania, is contained in thousands of Soviet files held by Lithuania’s official Genocide and Resistance Research Center and are slated to be released soon.

Documents containing the 238 names were put on the Internet on Tuesday as part of a campaign in the Baltic country to come to terms with 50 years of Soviet occupation after World War II.

“I believe this project will help Lithuania to shake KGB disease. It is always better to know truth,” said Birute Burauskaite, the center’s director.

Former Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis and State Security Department chief Arvydas Pocius were among the names released. Several years ago, they admitted being reservists for the KGB, and both men’s careers eventually suffered as a result of the confession.

KGB reservists did not necessarily work for the KGB, but were kept on reserve in case a major event, such as a war, required a sudden influx of manpower.

Burauskaite said thousands of KGB files would be released in the near future. They contain information on KGB officers’ biographies and operations, as well as on individuals who were listed as reservists but have not admitted working for the KGB.

“All these documents are kept at our center’s archives. Some of them cannot be released _ mostly personal files of former KGB collaborators or employees who registered with” a government commission, said Burauskaite.

In 1999 Lithuania passed a law that gave all ex-agents and informers six months to file detailed confessions to the commission in exchange for keeping their names confidential. Some 1,600 people registered, but the commission later disclosed their names and details, despite its pledge of confidentiality.

Burauskaite said some of the documents the government plans to release contain detailed descriptions of KGB methods used to enlist agents, infiltrate groups, and interrogate suspects.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Lithuanian archive releases KGB collaborator names