But Why is Nothing Known about it?
In the Soviet Union the registration plates of certain cars from Georgia end with the letters GRU. This amusing coincidence goes unnoticed by almost everybody, including the police, for the GRU is unknown in the Soviet Union except to a small circle of enlightened ones. Even in the general staff, of which the GRU is a part, thousands of colonels simply consider that 'military department 44388', whence comes all espionage information, is a branch of the KGB. Moreover, KGB officers who guard Soviet embassies overseas but are not members of the KGB intelligence organisation consider, in many cases, that there is only one residency in the embassy, that of the KGB.
Much is known about the GRU by Western specialists, but the ordinary Western man in the street has practically no idea at all about it. His attitude is analogous to his attitude to the mythical animal from a Scottish loch: either it exists, there have been photographs published of it, or then again perhaps it does not exist. Some believe, others do not, but decidedly nobody is frightened of the animal. Nevertheless, how can so little be known about the GRU, given that it certainly exists and certainly possesses colossal power?
There are quite a few reasons, so let us discuss the most important ones. Firstly, having established their bloody dictatorship, the communists had to announce to the people the existence of an 'extraordinary' organ of the dictatorship of the proletariat which was permitted to deal in whatever way it pleased with the people - including the mass executions of millions. They did this through the mouth of Lenin when he informed the people about the birth of the V. Tcheka. Later Lenin's successors informed people of all the changes in the names of the Organs, underlining that it was only the nomenclature that changed. The essence remained as before. Traditions live, and it is still forbidden to complain about the Organs. The GRU did not need such publicity and therefore nothing official was given out about its existence. Secondly, the main function of the Organs is to exert pressure on the people themselves. Consequently in the people's consciousness everything that is dark, underground and secret is connected with the KGB but not at all with the GRU. In practical terms the GRU did not take part in the struggle against the people. Not because it was full of humanity and love for its fatherland, but simply because nobody had given it this function. Naturally people remember the KGB (on any pretext), but never the GRU. Thirdly, in his struggle for power, Kruschev made known to a stunned world some of the crimes of his predecessors and honourable Tchekists. The effect was so shattering that from that moment the whole world unreservedly saw the leadership of the KGB in all spheres of secret criminal activity. Kruschev by no means revealed everything, but only that which at a given moment might bring him undoubted political capital. He pointed to the mass executions in Stalin's time but forgot to mention the mass executions in Lenin's time. He mentioned the destruction of the communist leaders in 1937 but omitted the destruction of the peasants in 1930. He demonstrated the role of the NKVD but completely forgot the role of the communist party as the main, leading and directing force. Kruschev was interested in showing up the crimes of the Organs within the country and he did show up several of them. Revelations of crimes committed overseas did not enter into Kruschev's plans. They could not bring him any political advantage. He was therefore silent in this regard and did not mention the overseas crimes of the KGB and, of course, those of the GRU. Fourthly, the struggles against dissent, emigration, and western radio stations broadcasting to the Soviet Union are the sole responsibility of the KGB but not the GRU. Naturally the most talented representatives of liberation movements and immigration address their best efforts to enlightening the KGB itself. It is the same as regards radio station broadcasting to the Soviet Union and the Western organs of mass information in general. They certainly devote to the KGB significantly greater attention. Fifthly, any unpleasant things which happen to foreigners in the Soviet Union are first and foremost connected with the KGB and this gives rise to a corresponding flow of information about the KGB. Lastly, having made rivers of blood from the people, the KGB strove to whitewash itself at all costs advertising the 'attainments' of the Tchekists. In this connection all intelligence officers, KGB or GRU, were categorised as Tchekists, and this at a time when GRU intelligence officers hated the Tchekists many times more than they did the Gestapo. The GRU did not object to this. It preferred to maintain silence, not only about its crimes and mistakes, but also about its successes. The spying breed of animal keeps itself in the depths; muddy water and darkness are more to its liking than publicity.