The December Revolt and the Coup D'Etat - 1989

Soviet Ties To Romanian Security And Intelligence Organizations

The Soviet Union played a key role in helping the Romanian Workers'Party (RWP) consolidate its power and create a variety of security and intelligence organizations that the RWP and its successor the Romanian Communist Party (RCP) used in establishing and maintaining control over Romania. Romania's security and intelligence organizations broke off all direct contacts with Soviet intelligence organizations in 1964.

When Nicolae Ceausescu came to power in 1965, he moved quickly to eliminate Soviet influence over the policy-making process in the country. Shortly after taking power Ceausescu prohibited direct contacts between Soviet and Romanian officials, and even went to the extraordinary length of ordering all Romanian military officers who had taken Soviet wives to divorce them, send them back to the USSR, or resign from their posts. Ceausescu then moved to purge the Ministry of Internal Affairs of pro-Soviet officers in June 1967. Some of the ministry's powers were split off into a new Council of State Security (colloquially referred to as the Securitate). After strengthening his hold over the Ministry of Internal Affairs through a constant shuffling of personnel, Ceausescu then reintegrated the Securitate into the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The sweeping powers and enormous size of the Securitate soon made them the 'arbiters and the enforcers' of Ceausescu's will.26

Moscow responded to Ceausescu's independent policies by seeking to isolate Romania through various means, including the exclusion of Romanian officials from Warsaw Pact meetings on intelligence matters. However, Ion Pacepa's reports of a deception plan, called 'Red Horizon', which was supposedly designed to obtain Western technology and deliver it to the USSR, suggests that some co-ordination of intelligence activities by the KGB and CIE continued even under Ceausescu.27

However, Pacepa's testimony is not sufficient to justify the conclusion that other Securitate departments retained even casual ties with Soviet officials.