June 20, 1986 | Backgrounder on Russia
518 June 20, 1986 INTRODUCTION East bloc nationals have run the United Nations Department.of Conference Services (DCS) since 19
62. The effect of this nearly quarter-century monopoly on the U.N.Is largest division has been profound. An FBI spokesman cha racterizes DCS as Ita clearinghouse for Soviet activities at the U.N The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee noted last year, 'IThe' Department of Conference Services contains the largest contingent of Soviets in New York. A high proportion of KGB and GRU officers serve in this department.lw And this is the result of deliberate policy permitted by the U.N.Is highest officials. Soviet bloc and client state nationals have been installed in key DCS executive positions while U.S. nationals have been purged.
Mis sion in New York, IIWelve lost a lot of high-ranking positions over there [at DCS].Il One of his colleagues paints an even grimmer picture IlWe don't control any meaningful policy-making positions at DCS.Il Says a spokesman for the U.S. United Nations Whi l e Soviets comprise approximately 5 percent of the DCS workforce, they hold a disproportionate share of the professional DCS positions. Soviet, Soviet bloc, and client state nationals, for example, hold six key policy-making positions: American nationals h o ld 1. "Soviet Presence in the U.N. Secretariat," Select Committee on Intelligence, United States Senate, May 1985, 99th Congress, First Session (Washington, D.C U.S. Government Printing Office, 1985 p. 17. none. The highest-ranking U.S. national on the DC S payroll is the Ilcoordinator of the technological innovations pr~gramme What makes this Soviet bastion more,than a bureaucratic curiosity is that DCS is the largest entity within the U.N. Secretariat. It has 2,527 full-time employees and hires hundreds m o re on a temporary basis. DCSIs 1986-1987 budget is estimated at $280,810,000, of which the U.S. share is 25 percent or approximately $70 million distressing contrast, the Soviet share--including that of Byelorussia and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Repub lic--is a mere 11 percent.
And even this overstates the Soviet contribution because Moscow foots only 4.27 percent of the total U.N. budget, compared to a 24.7 percent share borne by the U.S By If DCS is ever going to operate on behalf of the U.N. rather t han the USSR, reforms are necessary. The complete extent of the problem must be uncovered. A U.S. congressional inquiry, even if partially classified, should be initiated to investigate DCS-based Soviet espionage.
Rotation of the DCS directorship among th e major U.N. blocs should be reinstated. This would do much to change DCS's deserved reputation as a refuge for spying and sloth. If the U.N. refuses to launch such reforms, the Reagan Administration and Congress should reconsider U.S. funding of DCS.
THE EXTENT OF SOVIET CONTROL Control of DCS enables the Soviets to manipulate and misuse U.N resources to 1) Promote Soviet bloc interests in the United Nations 2) Spread Soviet propaganda 3) Influence individuals and groups within member states 4) Conduc t espionage. 2 2. Ibid p. 4 2Soviet abuses under this fourth category became so blatant that the FBI, in the wake of several espionage arrests of3Soviet U.N.
Mission and Secretariat personnel in the late 1970s, began investigating key Soviet DCS employees. The investigationls results are classified, but the FBI does acknowledge that Soviet abuses of DCS include o Manimlatins the release of U.N. documents and their formats. This provides Soviet, Soviet bloc, and client state interests with early warning of impending U.N. actions and allows these diplomats extra preparation time. Controlling format and release time maximizes propaganda value o Controllina the timina of meetinas and conferences.
Conference sites and times can be manipulated to provide cover fo r Soviet intelligence officers and other pro-Soviet spies employed by DCS. The Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed these suspicions in 1985, noting, W.N. staff assignments are used as cover for operations directed at the host country and third countri es.lI4 o Slantina conference results. Since DCS provides conference preparation services, its personnel can slant basic conference documents that skew the discussion and temper the outcome in ways that enhance Soviet propaganda aims.
DCS control makes the Soviets the major players in day-to-day U.N. operations and allows them to exert a heavy influence over its institutional memory. It also enables DCS to o Funnel millions of dollars worth of hard currency into the Soviet Union. Cuba, and the Peoplels Repu b lic of China for Ilcontractual translationf1 and "language training service During the 1984-1985 budget cycle, DCS sent $491,400 to Moscow and $299,500 to Beijing for language training purposes. It is estimated that during the current 1986-1987 budget, th e se numbers will swell to 528,900 and $322,300, respectively. One-fourth of this, of course is funded by U.S. taxpayers. Also, since June 1981, DCS has paid the 3. In 1977, Ivan N. Rogalsky, a Soviet alien living in Jackson Township, New Jersey, was arrest ed after receiving classified documents from the RCA satellite center at Princeton.
Yevgeniy Petrovich Karpov, an employee of the Soviet U.N. mission, was named a co-conspirator in the case. In 1978, the FBI arrested two Soviets employed by the U.N.
Secre tariat. Rudolf P. Chernyayev and Valdick A. Enger were taken into custody after trying to obtain classified information about United States Navy underwater warfare projects. A Soviet mission employee, Vladimir Zinyakin, was named a co-conspirator, but inv o ked diplomatic immunity 4 Senate Intelligence Committee Report, OD. Ck, p. 11 3Empresa de Servicios de Traductores e Interpretes (ESTI) in Havana Cuba, a sum that DCS executives refuse to divulge for %ontractual translation and typing.116 This is consiste n t with the findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee report, which states, "Soviets in the U.N. Secretariat are instructed to get back as much as possible of the USSR's contribution to the United Nations o Recruit DCS emnlovees and maintain a sonhisti c ated natronacfe network. The Soviet bloc uses DCS jobs to recruit third country nationals and curry favor with sone Arab and other llnonalignedll nations. Because of this in addition to the institutional inefficiencies endemic at the U.N., DCS wastes mill i ons of extra dollars keeping employment at artificially high levels because of an ongoing harassment campaign directed by top DCS executives and through simple attrition, top DCS policy-making positions are no longer held by U.S. nationals. Top-ranking Am e ricans have been removed, reassigned, or retired from the Executive Office Editorial Control Section, Interpretation Service, and Documentation, Reference, and Terminology Section. And the Soviet bloc ha6 cemented its hold on key DCS slots including Meanw h ile o The Under-Secretary General for Conference Services and his assistant o The Executive Office o The Documents Control Section, where the two top deputies are from the USSR and Cuba o The Official Records and Editing Section, where professional level S oviets outnumber Americans 2 to 1 o The Interpretation and Meetings Division, controlled by a Soviet (where the two top deputies, a West German and an American, are under review and could be reassigned o The Russian Interpretation Section and The Russian T ranslation Service, the only two such units in DCS that employ nationals from only one country--the USSR. Notes the Senate Intelligence Committee The Soviet translators are together in one Russian language section 5. Sources: Section 28, p. 138m, 1986-198 7 U.N. Budget and letter of M.L. Quere-Messing DCS Administrative Officer, Contractual Translation Unit, May 7, 1986 6. Senate Intelligence Committee Report 90. cit, p 7. The Soviets are millions of dollars in arrears in U.N. dues. See "Pain is good for th e U.N The Economist, May 3 1985 p. 17 4where Soviet supervisors can free KGB officers to do their 'other work I as it is called in the United Nations o The Publishing Division, headed by a Soviet. Its sales officer also is a Soviet o The U.N. Library, head ed by Soviets since 19
64. A recent Heritage Foundation study concluded, "For over 20 years, the Soviets and their operatives have used the U.N. Library system to cover and support far-ranging espionage activities at U.N. expense. They have manipulated Lib rary resources for propaganda purposes I8 An official United Nations response to this Hfritage study in effect acknowledged and confirmed these findings. o DCS-Geneva. Provides conference and library services to U.N. meetings, organizations, and delegatio n s in Geneva and conference services to U.N. meetings in Vienna, Nairobi, and other locations worldwide as required. DCS-Geneva is also a Soviet bastion. Control of DCS operations outside New York allows the Soviets, reports the Senate Intelligence committ e e, the ''use of U.N. international organizations to support their third-country operations planned for New York, Geneva, Vienna, or Paris, although the agents travel and business have nothing to do with the United Nations. U.N conferences held in these co s mopolitan cities allow the Soviets extended contact with agents with whom it would be difficult to meet in their home countries.'I One-fourth of this, of course, is paid by the U.S Meetings are 7. Senate Intelligence Committee Report, OD. cit p. 17 8. Mar k Huber The United Nations Library: Putting Soviet Dishformation Into Circulation Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 487, February 18, 1986 9 Comments on The Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 487 undated United Nations release distributed by the Depar t ment of Public Information Comments on Heritage Foundation Backgrounder on United Nations Library Department of Public Information Press Section, United Nations, New York, Note No. 4553, March 10, 1986); Letter from Burton Yale Pines, Vice President, The H eritage Foundation, to Hon. Yasushi Akashi Under-Secretary-General for Public Information, United Nations Secretariat, March 20 1986; Letter from Gilbert0 Rizzo, Officer-in-Charge, Department of Public Information, to Burton Yale Pines, March 31, 1986; Le t ter from Burton Yale Pines to Hon. Yasushi Akashi April 4, 1986; Letter from Burton Yale Pines to Hon. Javier Perez'de Cuellar Secretary-General, The United Nations, May 16, 1986 10. Senate Intelligence Committee Report, OD. cit, p. 12 5The Soviets skillf ully meld patronage and propaganda. DCS documents and publications are part oflla concerted Soviet disinformation network within the U.N.
And the situation seems to get worse. DCS's Medium Term Plan for 1984-1989 will tighten Soviet bloc control by increas ing the discretionary power of DCSIs Under-Secretary-General (East bloc nationals have held this position since 1962) and his top policy-making deputies, many of whom are Soviet and East bloc or client state nationals. The plan also calls for the establis hment of a computgr network that would greatly aid MOSCOW~S global propaganda machine.
THE QUESTIONABLE MANAGEMENT OF DCS Even from a purely managerial perspective, DCS behavior is worrisome. U.S. officials charge DCS with conducting an elaborate budget
!shell game Example: Conferences thought to be of interest to the United States sometimes are reserved for the supplemental budgetary period supplements or face conference cancellation or deferment officials complain that DCS budgets are inflated and Ildo nlt reflect true costs.Il DCS executives present llfull-costll budgets which omit built-in economies and discounts The U.S is forced to vote for these budget Other U.S.
The "budget shell game" and llfull-costll budgets assure more than an ample kitty for D CS operations. still, according to at least one former DCS executive, this is insufficient for certain DCS employees who, it is alleged, as early as 1977 concocted an elaborate kickback scheme that relies on the falsification of employment records.. One h i gh-ranking DCS employee, after investigating this alleged scandal was Veassigned." Another resigned under fire. DCS executives refused 11. Anatoly Mkrychan, a Soviet, heads the U.N. Department of Public Information's External Relations Division. Former U. N. Under-Secretary-General Arkady Shevchenko, who defected from the Soviet Union in 1978, has identified Mkrychan as a KGB colonel. Shevchenko maintains that the post has been held by a KGB officer since 19
68. See Juliana Geran Pilon Moscow's U.N. Outpost Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 307, November 22 1983, p 10. A recent General Accounting Office study found a large portion of the U.N.
Department of Public Information materials "contained elements of bias against the United States See U.S. General Accounting Office, GAO/NSIAD-86-98, Washington D.C April 19
86. Also see Thomas E.L. Dewey The GAO Renders Its Verdict: The U.N. Information Service is Anti-American Heritage Foundation Backarounder No. 51 5, June 9, 1986 12. United Nations General Assembly, A/37/6/Add.2(Part i Addendum to the Medium-Term Plan for the Period 1984-1989 6to return repeated calls from The Heritage Foundation soliciting comment on these alleged improprieties and even on routine budgetary manners. This I lconspiracy of silence1# suggests a need for further investigation.
WHAT DCS DOES The 2,527 full-time employees of DCS provide the rest of the U.N with editing, documents control, stenographic, interpreting, meeting reporting, translation, printing, distri bution, publishing sales, and library services. DCS controls the U.N. institutional memory and supentises much of the daily paper flow including agendas resolutions, transcripts, and journals. Permanent staff service an average of 70 meetings per week (10 0 during peak periods) at the Manhattan Headquarters and a total of approximately 14,000 meetings annually worldwide. DCS employs temporary staff daring peak periods and requested $4,250,000 for this purpose in 19
86. DCS maintains offices at U.N. facilities in New York, Geneva and Vienna.
Department of Conferences and Library Services-New York. DCS Headquarters estimates that it will service 7,600 meetings with interpreting for the 1986-1987 period, handle 65,500 interpreting assignments, translate or rev ise 199,650,000 words, type 397,000,000 words, edit 178,000,000 words, reproduce 1.5-billion page impressions and distribute 120,000,000 pages of documentations.
DCS-Headquarters number of employees Division Post Reauirements 1986-1987 Budaet a) Editorial and official records 434 $31,686,700 b) Interpretation and meeting services 226 27,637,500 c) Translation 454 53,481,200 d) Publishing e) Library Total Headquarters 338 157 1,609 32,553,500 15.085.400 160,444,300 13. U.N. Fortieth Session, Fifth Committe e, Agenda Item No. 115, December 13, 1985, p. 4 14. Ibid, p. 9 7Department of Conference and Librarv Services-Geneva. DCS-Geneva employs 798 &ull-time personnel and has a 1986-1987 budget of 70,507,4
00. DCS-Geneva serviced 7,111 meetings in 1983 (the last year for which complete figures are available). For the current period, it is estimated that DCS-Geneva will handle 73,000 interpreting assignments, which is more than Headquarters.
DCS-Geneva staff,provide conference services to U.N. meetings held in Vi enna and Nairobi when required of most of its conference requirements, DCS-Geneva relies on,more temporary assistance than Headquarters. DCS-Geneva also adfnsinisters the U.N. library there 1986-1987 budget 4.182 million).
Conference and Librarv Services- Vienna provides conference services for U.N. bodies other than the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, which maintains its own conference capability. DCS-Vienna employs 42 full-time personnel and has a biennial budget of $4.131 million. Th e International Atomic Energy Agency operates the Vienna library under a cost-sharing agreement Due to the seasonal nature Hefty management, overhead, and support charges add another $40 million to the DCS budget worldwide. As technological innovations red uce its manpower requirements on the operational level, DCS has kept its payroll fat by adding increasing layers of management.
IRON CURTAINS IN THE EXECUTIVE SUITE DCS has been controlled by an East bloc national since 19
62. The current Under-Secretary-General for Conference Services and Special Assignments is Eugeniusz Wyzner. He was Polandls ambassador to the U.N. from 1980 to 19
82. A former member of the U.S. mission to the U.N. describes Wyzner as a Communist Party llapparatchyk.ll He has made life difficult for several high-ranking American nationals employed by DCS. IIWelve lost a lot of high-ranking positions over at DCS," a member of the U.S. mission told The Heritage Foundation. Only three Americans, none in important policy-making positions, r emain in the DCS executive corps, the only U.N. department exempt from geographical distribution staffing requirements 15. Ibid, p. 24 16. Ibid, p. 35 8Wyzner has surrounded himself with Soviet bloc and pro-Soviet nonaligned nationals in DCS's most sensit ive positions. They include Slawomir Cvtrvcki of Poland, Special Assistant to the Under-Secretary-General.
Ridha M. Zoubeidi of Algeria, Executive Officer. Zoubeidi previously served as a top assistant to Mohamed Habib Gherab, a former Assistant Secretary- General for Personnel Services, who was fired by then Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim after reports of a'job-selling scandal in 1980.
Aleksandr A. Kokorev of the USSR, Director, Interpretation and Meetings Division.
Vladimir Faekov of the USSR, Russian Interpretation Section Chief Adnan M. Yusuf of Iraq, Arabic Translation Service Chief Valerv I. Kotov of the USSR, Chief, Russian Translation Syria).
Service Vladimir Grechko of the USSR, Director, Publishing Division.
Alexander Brick of the USSR, Sales Officer, Publishing Division.
Lenward Khitrov of the USSR, Director, Dag Hammarskjold Nikolai Vochtchinine of the USSR, Director, DCS-Geneva Library (Headquarters Valeri Boainitch of the USSR, Executive Officer, DCS-Geneva.
Victor Autamou of the USSR, Deputy Chief of Section, Editorial and Documents Control, DCS-Geneva.
Sadik Aziz Kinae of Syria, Chief, Arabic Translation Service DCS-Geneva.
Olea Doukharev of the USSR, Chief, Russian Translation Section DCS-Geneva.
Badr Kasme of Syria, Chief Librarian, DCS-Geneva.
Theodore Dimitrov of Bulgaria, Chief of Acquisition and Catalogue Section, DCS-Geneva 9Similarly disturbing is the lack of balance at the U.N. offices in Vienna, where the Director General is a Syrian and his senior officer is a Pole.
Apparently the current alleged U.N. financial crisis has not been felt in DCS executive offices scheduled to increase 31.8 percent during the current biennium.
Much of the continually rising DCS budget appears to be padding for the payr oll. Wyzner is even calling for a D-1 post, the U.N.Is third-highest pay grade, to be established in his office to serve as a principal officer in charge o& coordinationt1 whose duties would be largely redundant to Wyznerls receive an $84,800 travel allow a nce will receive a pay increase because his job requires him to attend cocktail parties and receptions. According to the U.N. budget, IIThe higher [pay] level is warranted by the expanding representational duties of the incumbent, who routinely complement s or stands in for the Under-Secretary-General in a wide spectrum of functions where contacts with 9igh-level officials and representatives of Governments are the from The Heritage Foundation Wyznerls office budget is in faEt Wyznzr and his top aides also W yznerls special assistant and fellow Pole, Slawomir Cytrycki Cytrycki would not return repeated phone calls Technical innovations, such as word processing and computer-enhanced translation, hold the promise of a trimmer DCS. Such efficiencies, however, of t en conflict with the political requirements of command. Former DCS Under-Secretary-General Bohdan Lewandowski of Poland, who carefully avoided casting blame on any one delegation told The Heritage Foundation, IIDelegations always interfered with the work o f the department. I always requested fewer people than I received. ltZ1 Nor has technological innovation appreciably reduced DCSIs enormous document backlog. Lewandowski wryly observes, "The U.N bureaucracy has a tradition Documentation, Reference, and Te r minology Section Chief in the DCS David Arnold, an American who was the 17. Proposed Programme Budget for the Biennium, 1986-1987, Volume. 11, General Assembly Fortieth Session, Supplement No. 6 (A/40/6 p. 3 18. Jbid, p. 6 19 m, p. 7 20 p. 7 21. Interview April 9, 1986 10 Translation Division, claims a large portion of the 1.5 billion pages produced by DCS each year are '9nounds of totally useless paper."
Arnold explains that U.N. translators spend much time retranslating U.N. documents that quote from previously translated materials.
DCS: SOVIET PROPAGANDA MACHINE Control of DCS gives the Soviets, East bloc, and client states control of the major component of the U.N. communications apparatus.
Aleksandr A. Kokorev, for example, is a Soviet and the director of the DCS Interpretation and Meetings Division. He has wide discretionary powers ''to act on behalf of the [General] Assembly in dealing with departures from the approved calendBr of conferences that have administrative and f i nancial implication Kokorev reigns over the Planning and Meetings Service Section, which plans for conferences and meetings months, even years in advance, as in the case of this year's International Year of Peace conference. This preparation gives the Sov iets and their allies a major edge.
Senate Intelligence Committee notes, for example Soviet [U.N employees directly influenced key conference documents for the U.N special sessions on disarmament in New York and the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Belgrade in 19
83. The UNCTAD document was such an egregious distortion oh Soviet versus Western aid efforts that it drew a sharp U.S. protest The Kokorev also supervises the Interpretation Section. Under his orders, the Russian Interpretatio n Section hires only Soviets, even though the largest Russian emigre community outside the Soviet Union lives at Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, only a few miles from U.N.
Headquarters. By contrast, the translation sections for Chinese English, French, Spanis h, and Arabic hire nationals from a variety of countries, provided that 1) the language required is their mother tongue and 2) they are competent in it this situation came about after members of the Soviet delegation complained that interpreters and trans l ators from other nations were unfamiliar with local idioms or had accents that were difficult to understand translation and interpreting services gives the Soviets important advantages Former DCS officials claim The real reason is that their iron grip on t he Russian By controlling the availability of Russian interpreters, Moscow can force meetings to be delayed or postponed as it wishes. The 22. Medium Term Plan, p. 12 23. Senate Intelligence Committee Report, g cit, p. 5 11 Russian Translation Service, me anwhile, can delay the release of documents for propaganda purposes.
In each budget period, the Translation Division also awards 1,200,000 worth of contractual translation work to facilities abroad including Soviet and Chinese facilities in the USSR and th e PRC respectively. It also includes Cuba. Havana was awarded Spanish translation work formerly processed in Madrid having peculiar political undertones.
Translation Service, Juan Gerona, was said to be upset about the award but would not discuss it when contacted The award was seen as The head of the Spanish The Editorial and Official Records Division is one of the most important DCS sections.
U.N. officials looking for undemanding employment, it has been hiring an increasing number of Soviet men. The ap parent reason: this division edits and formats documents and thus can add or delete subtle nuances or alter release time Once the bailiwick of the wives of senior Vladimir Grechko, a Soviet, is director of the DCS Publishing Division. document printing, r e production, distribution, and sales. This division decides which outside printers are awarded fat U.N. printing contracts worldwide (up 294 percent from the last budget period) and schedules when documents will be printed and released. All of this is mani pulated to aid MOSCOW~S global propaganda program.
Lengvard Khitrov, a Soviet, is director of the U.N. Library. The Soviets have run the library since 1964, using it as a cover for espionage operations, a means of access to a wealth of U.S. tEchnica1 infor mation, and as an important front for Soviet propaganda Grechko supervises a vast department that controls all U.N.
CONCLUSION: DCS, A VITAL SOVIET ASSET Perhaps as early as the mid-l950s, Moscow decided that early capture of DCS was essential to exploiti ng the espionage and propaganda value of the United Nations. Now East bloc, client state or cooperative Western nationals control every major DCS office.
According to U.S. intelligence sources, the Russian Interpretation and Translation units have been tu rned into "KGB storefronts.Il DCS controls the U.N. paperflow from cover to cover-from the moment a word is interpreted to when a U.N. document (or other document is catalogued, put on microfiche, and filed. The Soviet 24. Huber, p cit 12 bloc has complet e horizontal and vertical integration at DCS personnel, paperflow distribution, and contracting control.
DCSls large budget and surplus workforce make it the perfect cover for the Soviet bloc intelligence officers from the interpreter's booth to the librar y stacks. Arkady Shevchenko, the former Under-Secretary-General for Political and Security Council Affairs, who had been the highest-ranking Soviet to serve in the U.N. Secretariat when he defected to the West in 1978, described how Soviet llinterpretersl v routinely photographgd Western diplomats I documents from their Security Council booths. East bloc control of DCS worldwide is so complete that the Soviets were able to install, in the late 1970s, Vladimir K. Lobachev, a well-known KGB agent, as director of Conference and Library Services-Geneva. Today, this important post remains under Soviet control.
The network of Soviet bloc control at DCS not only violates the As the main paymaster of DCS substance and the spirit of the United Nations rules but puts the U.S and the West at serious disadvantage the U.S. has the right to demand fair treatment and economical service from the Department To achieve this, the U.S. should press for changes in the DCS operation. Among them 1) Assigning top DCS posts on a rot a ting basis, instead of allowing them to be monopolized by Soviet bloc nationals 2) Eliminating contractual translation work and DCS support for language institutes abroad. This would eliminate millions of dollars in subsidies to the PRC and USSR 3) Replac i ng a large number of full-time personnel employed by DCS by accelerating installation of word-processing and automated translation technology 4) Prohibiting the Russian interpreting and translation services from hiring only Soviet nationals determination in hiring for these posts.
Nationality should not be a 5) Reducing significantly the number of regional conferences held at U.N. facilities other than New York and Geneva 6) Agreeing to a thorough evaluation of DCS work by an independent auditing agency. I f this is not possible, the U.S.
Congress should request the General Accounting Office to investigate the U.N 25. Arkady Shevchenko, Breaking. with Moscow (New York: Knopf, 1985 p. 229 13 - If the U.N. fails to act on these propo sals, Washington should prepare to reduce funding of DCS activities. As the United States has discovered with other U.N. programs, the U.N. only acts responsibly when confronted with an effective U.S. challenge.
Prepared for The Heritage Foundation by Mark Huber a Washington consultant 14 -