KGB Spy town

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Vinnytsia (Ukrainian: Ві́нниця Russian: Ви́нница)

"Winniza" "Vinnitsa"

Small Town Espionage

Small Town Espionage. (MPEG2). (Langley, VA.: Central Intelligence Agency, 1960.) (Downloaded from the National Archives and Records Administration).

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The Milwaukee Journal: Typical Yankee City in Russia Described

The Milwaukee Journal

Monday April 13, 1959.

Stockholm, Sweden - UPI - The big, shining American automobile drew up outside the "Texas Bar". A tall man in an ivy league suit got out and sauntered in to the dimly lit saloon.

"A sweet martini," he ordered.

"Nyet," snarled the barman.' "No American would drink a sweet martini. Now start all over again."

"Well, how about a Scotch on the rocks?"

Maj. Per Lindgren writing in I the Swedish military journal; "Contact With the Armed Forces." says this is the sort of thing' that happens every day in the; "typically American" town of Winniza, USSR.

30,000 Inhabitants

For Winniza, Lindgren says, is Russia’s top school for Soviet spies scheduled for assignment in the United States.

Russian spy training in Winniza. a tightly guarded town of 30.000 inhabitants in the central Ukraine, is the most efficient m the world.' Lindgren says "Nobody graduates until they are completely Indoctrinated into the American way of life," he said. Some of them spend up to 13 years there before their big chance comes." ,

According to Lindgren;

  • About 1,000 students from Russian universities are sent there ever year. The town is surrounded by barbed wire. Guards patrol the boundaries and "ordinary" Russians are not allowed entry.
  • All cars are American made. Bars and drugstores abound, jukeboxes blare out American jazz and rock & roll at all hours. Glamor girls put on burlesque shows.
  • Instructors act as barmen, waiters, hotel receptionists and shop hands. Every mistake is corrected on the spot. Every kind of American accent is taught. History strictly from the American angle, is pumped into the students.
  • They learn how to make telephone calls, how to order theater tickets in Boston, how to talk authoritatively on baseball. There is a special course on Hollywood with special emphasis on the seamier side of life there.
  • Students have to put themselves m the place of middle class Americans defending United States foreign policy.
  • They're [taught] ... to drive under American regulations - and how to react if pulled up by a traffic officer. Chewing gum machines adorn the sidewalks. The movie theaters show only American pictures. Poker is the only card game allowed.

Sources Not Revealed

Lindgren did not disclose his sources for the article, but he I said. ‘Allied counterespionage is well aware of Winniza's existence "

He added that the Allies also* knew about the Russian school 'for female spies at Marienburg, in Saxony, East Germany.

He said the Marienburg center was camouflaged as a dancing and gymnastic school and the "girls who graduate from there go to work mainly in West Germany where American military personnel are stationed.*'

They are the best looking women available, perfectly trained in everything from make-up to swearing in "Americancse" Lindgren said their most important course was "the art of seduction." but they also learn to dance the newest Americans and Latin steps.

Lindgren said Marienburg's best known graduate was beautiful Irmgardt. She got five years in jail in 1950 for trying to get secrets from an American member of the Berlin espionage bureau.

Rus Spy Center is Copy of U.S. Town

Daytona Beach Morning Journal

April 13, 1959

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The Russians are training more than 1,000 top students for spying In America at a center in the Ukraine constructed as an exact copy of a small American town, a Swedish army Journal said yesterday.

The Journal — called "Contact with the Army" said the students In the Soviet spy center of Winniza live the life of an average American student. They have their meals In snack bars or restaurants which could as well have been situated in New York, Chicago or San Francisco. The menu lists only American dishes.

The account gave these details:

The motion picture theaters in Winniza show only Hollywood movies and the stories sell only U. S. made articles. The students drive Fords or Chevrolets by U. S. traffic rules. They study the history of the US. in original American school books and they talk about baseball and the latest scandals.

The first stage in the training Is devoted entirely to studies of American dialects which they must be able to speak perfectly.

"The only genuine thing in this American city in the Ukraine is the high barbed wire fence that surrounds it," the army journal said.

"The pupils In this spy school are hand picked from the best students In Soviet universities. Western Intelligence services estimate the number of students at Winniza at between 1.000 and 1,300."

The training goes on for years, "in some cases even 10 years.*' "Then, when these agents go to the States—either in a legal way as diplomats or In other ways— they are ready at once to fill their mission."

Time Magazine: Iowa in the Ukraine

Time Magazine

Monday, Apr. 27, 1959

Fords and Chevrolets honk under a movie marquee advertising a western.Blue notes from a cocktail lounge mingle with the blare of bebop from a drugstore jukebox. "A hamburger and a Coke," says the man in a Tennessee drawl, scuttling onto a lunch-counter stool. It might be Tupelo or Tuxedo Junction—but it is actually Vinnitsa in the Ukraine. The existence of a top-secret finishing school for Soviet spies, made in an exact copy of a small American town, has long been a fantasy of fiction writers, but has also been taken quite seriously as a possibility by U.S. counterintelligenee.

Last week, in the Swedish military journal Contact with the Army,Swedish Major Per Lindgren, a man well regarded as a Soviet analyst,pieced together the available evidence about Vinnitsa. Hand-picked from the most promising Russian university students, the 1,000 "citizens" of Vinnitsa, he reports, lead American lives from morning to night for as long as ten years. They master American dialects,learn American history from U.S. textbooks, gossip about American movie stars, and swap hot-stove-league baseball statistics.

"Everything in Vinnitsa down to the smallest detail is pure American."says Major Lindgren. "The bar serves American drinks, and the restaurant American food. The movies are Hollywood-made, and the stores sell everything from ready-made clothing to chewing gum." The only authentic Communist touch is the high, barbed-wire fence that seals Vinnitsa off from the rest of Russia.

United States Congressional serial set, Volume 12334

United States Congressional serial set, Volume 12334 [1]

News of the World With Morgan Beatty, NBC, October 6, 1960.

Page 337 (Scanned page: 355):

BEATTY. This is Morgan Beatty bringing you News of the World.

Tonight, in the headlines. The big story.

Two American tourists have uncovered Russia's deepest espionage secret.

Last free word from Vannitsa the secret city within a city.

It's a model American town to train cadres for Americans espionage or takeover.

Russians refuse any word on the vanished men.


And the news tonight, exclusive with News of the World, begins with the most fantastic spy story on record, all about the model American town operated by the Russian Soviet espionage system. Two American tourists have uncovered Russia's deepest espionage secret.

The men's names are Harvey C. Bennett of Bath, Maine, age 26, postgraduate student, who has been trying to make up his mind whether to become a teacher of the Russian language or a Foreign Service officer.

The other man is Mark Kaminsky, same age. who was to have started teaching, presumably the Russian language because he knows it well, at Purdue University this fall. On his application to visit Russia, Bennett reported he was going for education: Kaminsky, that he wanted to study and visit relatives.

Now, the exclusive part of the story--and an answer to how these young chaps might have run afoul of suspicious Russian police, could well be the men didn’t even know what was going on.

For years intelligence agents have been hearing about a town within a city in Soviet Russia, in the Ukraine, and I have touched on it before now. The barbed wire and high fence hides a complete model American town and it’s reported to be the city of Vinnitsa. The last word from these men before they got into trouble came from Vinnitsa, the town with the high board fence, and a deep Soviet secret. Bennett wrote Mrs. Bennett that they had had car trouble but would soon cross the border westward. The next word from the men came from other American tourists early in September. Kaminsky was at a border station. He told an American acquaintance that he was in trouble. Since then, nothing. And the Russians won’t say anything except that they have no information and when they got, it they will give it to the American Embassy.

The Russian anxiety to accuse Americans of spying has obviously caught them on a rough international wicket. They may well have two innocent Americans who unwittingly have exposed the Russian plans for the long-distance future to take over the United States. And that would never do.

Let me explain.

The model American city has long been suspected, as we have said, but nothing came to public light about it until a highly respected Swedish Army officer, Maj. Per Lindgren, set himself to the task of separating fact from fiction. He doesn’t tell how he did it. But in an article in the Swedish military journal named “Contact With the Army,” the Major made an exposure that startled all intelligence agencies because it indicated the Russians had plans for taking over major countries of the world. And one of their plans, called the American plan, centered in Vinnitsa.

The Major pieced together various intelligence reports, came up with this statement, “Everything in the town within Vinnitsa is pure American. The bar serves American drinks, the restaurant, American food. The movies are Hollywood made and the stores sell everything from ready made clothes to chewing gum. Fords and Chevrolets drive through the streets. Blue jazz notes blare from the cocktail lounge, mingle with the blare of jukebox bee-bop in the drug store. Ana all the dialects of the United States are spoken by the young Russians who inhabit this town within a town. The order, a hamburger with a coke, is as familiar as it is in Waterloo, Iowa, or McKeesport, Pa.

Major Lindgren reported that the town has 1,000 inhabitants, all in training to know everything American intimately so they may be used for spies or for the cadres who ultimately might take over our country. The courses in Vinnitsa’s classrooms—some of them are 10-year courses. All the students are handpicked Russian university students, with a special mission.

Could it be the boys in the car touring Russia unwittingly stumbled onto the secret of Vinnitsa, or even took pictures, or were suspected of taking pictures. Certainly no Russian can be found who will tell the truth.

And maybe this explains a little conversation in New York between Nikita Khrushchov and NBC’s Joe Michaels, who has served for several years in Russia. Khrushchev was holding forth great length to American reporters in Park Avenue about how free people were in Russia and how Americans could come any time and have the run of the country.

Michaels remembered the reports about the two American tourists. He spoke up. But what about the American tourists who were arrested for taking pictures! Khrushchev turned on Joe Michaels and said, “You are an evil man. I will not answer any more of your questions.”

That’s the story. Back in a moment, with the way the Little Khrushchev of Cuba does business and more News of the World. (Break.)

News of the World with Morgan Beatty, NBC, October 20, 1960

Page 708:


BEATTY. This is Morgan Beatty bringing you News of the World.

Tonight in the headlines:

The big story: The case of Mr. Khrushchev and the two American tourists.

Nikita escapes the charge of preparation for war on his borders— expedient, confiscating the pictures of Mark Kaminsky.

And after they are free to tell the truth he loads the world with his lies and cites Cuba as the star in his crown and the gold traders of Europe help him with his case.


Those are the headlines. In a moment the news. (Break.)

And the news tonight is the curious pose of the Soviet dictator, Nikita Khrushchev, before the world.

And the case of two young Americans who returned home after one of the most mysterious spy trials in all history.

Mr. Khrushchev’s pose was the same as ever except that he combined saber rattling and peaceful coexistence by claiming—and the U.S. Navy agrees with him—that the Russians have atomic sub¬marines. Khrushchev said not how many. The Navy says three. We have 20, going on 30.

But here is the stance of the Soviet leader in his homecoming speech. An old stance in new words. First, the Communist countries have unheard of means of exerting influence on the capitalist countries and even of compelling them to disarm.

And point 2. Again disagreeing with his Red Chinese pals. A nuclear war would be unthinkable. Nations will not perish in such an adventurous war. And only adventurers can think that a change in the social system can be achieved by unleashing a war among the states.

Now what can the man mean rattling rockets and preaching against nuclear war at the same time. We must look at the hard fact. The man stands by his demand for a veto in the Security Council of the United Nations, and another and paralyzing veto to prevent the United Nations from intervening in a chaotic situation.

As we say in geometry, we now look for that which was to be proved, Q.E.D.

I submit tonight that a symbol of that proof is the arrival in the United States or two young American tourists by the name of Mark Kaminsky, the Michigan schoolteacher, and his friend, Harvey C. Bennett, a man about to make up his mind to become a Foreign Service officer with the State Department.

We have already told you how these young men were arrested after passing through Vinnitsa, the American model town in the Ukraine. How they admitted they took pictures for a book Kaminsky was writing for an American foundation. The Soviets carefully put them on trial, sentenced Kaminskv to 7 years for spying, then suddenly turned him loose. They reported Bennett had turned state’s evidence them on trial, sentenced Kaminsky to 7 years for spying, then suddenly turned him loose. They reported Bennett had turned state’s evidence and denounced Kaminsky.

Well they arrived home today. Kaminsky denied he was a CIA agent. He admitted he was taking pictures that would have shown the preparations for war on the Soviet borders facing west where the West has openly charged the Soviets keep 75 divisions at the ready. He indicated there are far more soldiers and military installa¬tions in the border zone, than there are civilians and farms and towns. Yes; he took the pictures and Bennett agreed he took the pictures.

Now here’s the Q.E.D. The Soviets held these men long enough and searched their car thoroughly enough to be sure they had not made away with any of their pictures. But did they hold a great spy trial in full view of klieg lights loaded with Western reporters to tell all the details of the evidence? They did not. Neither did they hold the two men and impose on them cruel and unusual punish- ment.

No, you see Mr. Khrushchev was about to pose as a great giver of peace to the world, a man with those upturned clean hands and his obviously pure heart. How could he anord to put two men on the stand before the world who could prove by their testimony, that Mr. Khrushchev was a liar. How could he hold them indefinitely with¬out inviting the charge by the United States, that our Ambassador could not even see these two men who had wandered through the thickets of guns and launching pads and soldiers in uniform. He could not. He took the only way out and turned them loose. They can now tell their story. But they can’t prove it.

Meanwhile he counts on depression or panic. Note the gold buy¬ing in London and confusion—the Congo—and his great star of Latin America to carry his case forward that there’s a new world out there and it’s all his with every man and woman a robot of Com¬munist discipline. Of course he won’t state it that way but well there’s the Cuban story. Back with that and more News of the World. (Break.)

Per Lindgren

Swedish wikipedia: Vinnytsia

Sovjetisk Spionutbildning


Some noteworthy was the information on the city from the Swedish Major Per Lindgren was otherwise a very reliable source. Major Lindgren (1901-1979) had during World War II served in the Defense Intelligence Division and in recent years the author of several books on espionage and sabotage. As an expert, he assisted Carl Olof Bernardsson when he wrote the classic book Spy police go in (1952) and at the end of his career he wrote together with Bertil Häggman book Industrial Espionage in Sweden and abroad (1975). Overall, he came to write dozens own books in the field.

Hägg Lindgren's book Industrial Espionage in Sweden and abroad is available on Google Books. The book is reviewed in including Norrköpings Tidningar ( "When the spy adds puzzle") on 26 November 1975, the Helsingborgs Dagblad December 2, 1975 ( "Overlooked espionage"). "Evening Post has met Sweden's most spy hunter" was published in Malmö newspaper the Evening Post November 30, 1975. Business Economics published in No. 12/1975 review "Warning for industrial spies."

Lite anmärkningsvärt kom uppgifterna om staden från den svenska majoren Per Lindgren som annars var en mycket pålitlig källa. Major Lindgren (1901-1979) hade under andra världskriget tjänstgjort inom försvarsstabens underrättelseavdelning och på senare år författat åtskilliga böcker om spionage och sabotage. Som sakkunnig bistod han Carl Olof Bernardsson när han skrev den klassiska boken Spionpolisen går på jakt (1952) och i slutet av karriären skrev han tillsammans med Bertil Häggman boken Industrispionage i Sverige och i utlandet (1975). Totalt kom han att författa ett dussintal egna böcker inom ämnesområdet.

Lindgren-Häggmans bok Industrispionage i Sverige och i utlandet finns tillgänglig på Google Books. Boken finns recenserad i bland annat Norrköpings Tidningar (“När spionen lägger pussel”), den 26 november 1975 och i Helsingborgs Dagblad den 2 december 1975 (“Förbisett spionage”). “Kvällsposten har träffat Sveriges mesta spionjägare” publicerades i Malmötidningen Kvällsposten den 30 november 1975. Affärsekonomi publicerade i nr 12/1975 recensionen “Varning för industrispioner”.


CIA documents

  • ..."Received a request from Jay Sourwine on behalf of one of his Senators for an English translation of the Per Lindgren article on spy schools operating in the Soviet Union, referenced in the WASHINGTON POST of 20 April at page A-12."
  • Advised Mr. Jay Sourwine that the newspaper carrying the Per Lindgren article has not yet arrived in this country, but upon arrival will be translated and a copy furnished to him.[2]

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