Department of State Security
The Department of State Security (Serbian: Uprava državne bezbednosti, Croatian: Uprava državne sigurnosti, Cyrillic: Управа државне безбедности, УДБА; Macedonian: Управа за државна безбедност, УДБА; Slovene: Uprava državne varnosti) was the secret police organization of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Although it operated with more restraint than other secret police agencies in Communist Eastern Europe, the UDBA was nonetheless a feared tool of control. It is alleged that the UDBA was responsible for the eliminations of dozens of enemies of the state within Yugoslavia and internationally (estimates about 200 eliminations and kidnappings). Eliminations vary from those of notorious war criminals (e.g. Vjekoslav "Maks" Luburić and Ante Pavelić) in Spain and Argentina to those of the Croatian emigrant and scholar Bruno Bušić on October 16, 1978 in Paris.
The UDBA formed a major part of the Yugoslav intelligence services from 1946-1991, and was primarily responsible for internal state-security. After 1946 the UDB underwent numerous security and intelligence changes due to topical issues at that time, including: fighting gangs; protection of the economy; Cominform/Informbiro; and bureaucratic aspirations. In 1945 and 1946, for instance, the UDB was organized into districts. In 1950, when the administrative-territorial units were abolished as authorities, the UDB was reorganized again. During this period the intelligence and security activities concentrated less on intelligence and more on internal security. There was an emphasis on collectivism, brotherhood, social harmony, loyalty, and tolerance towards those with different views. Deviation from this set of values became an immediate issue for security services.
Later, the use of force was mitigated and when the process of "decentralization of people's power" began, intelligence and security services underwent further reorganization in order to decentralise power and increase effectiveness. The Act on Internal Affairs and the Decree on Organization of State Internal Affairs Secretariat regulated the intelligence security authority as the prerogative of the State Security Directorate within the Ministry of the Interior. The following reorganization addressed issues relating to the competence of the federation (state security, cross-border traffic, foreign citizens, passports, introduction and dissemination of foreign press, and federal citizenship).
Intelligence and security activity was organized in the following manner:
- After OZNA (Одељење заштите народа / Odeljenje zaštite naroda) was abolished, intelligence activity was divided among various federal ministries: the Federal Ministry of the Interior by the State Security Administration, and the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Service of Investigation and Documentation (SID) which collected foreign political information; military-defense intelligence was handled by the GS 2nd Department- KOS (Kontraobaveštajna služba/ Counterintelligence Service) of Yugoslav People's Army.
- SDB in the republics was not autonomous, but was tied to the federal service which co-ordinated the work and issued instructions.
- State security was regulated by secret legislation (secret Official Gazette), which prescribed the use of special operations. The SDB performed house searches, covert interceptions inside the premises, telecommunications interception, covert surveillance of people, and covert interception of letters and other consignments.
- Of primary interest to the SDB was domestic security; identifying and obstructing activities of the "domestic enemy" (i.e. the "bourgeois rightwing", clericalists, members of the Cominform, nationalists, and separatists). Intelligence work abroad was deemed less important and was under federal control.
- The SDB was a "political police", answerable to the party organization from which it received its guidelines and to which it reported. The SDB was so deeply rooted in the political system that one of its tasks was the preparation of "Political Security Assessments"; that is, assessments on literally all spheres of life.
- During its activity, the SDB enjoyed a wide range of power, including classical police powers (identifications, interrogations, and arrests).
- The SDB organization was constantly changing and making improvements, but it remained tied to the central unit in republic capitals and smaller working groups in the field. All information and data flowed into the central unit in the capitals and sent on from there to the users. Field groups had working contacts with the local authorities, but did not answer to them.
From 1963 - 1974, security intelligence services dealt with a series of domestic and foreign political events. At home, there were political confrontation both before and after the Brioni Plenum (1966), liberal flareups and massive leftist Students' demonstrations in Belgrade in 1968, Hrvatsko proljeće (Croatian Spring) or "MASPOK" (mass movement) in Croatia in 1971, an incursion of a group of nationalists (Raduša, 1972), and a revival of nationalism in Kosovo, Serbia, Macedonia, and Slovenia. The most significant event abroad was the invasion of the Warsaw Pact troops into Czechoslovakia in 1968.
These were the circumstances at the time the first act on internal affairs of the individual republics was adopted in 1967. According to this act, internal affairs were handled directly by the municipal administrative bodies and the secretariats of internal affairs of each republic or by their provincial bodies. This was the first time since 1945 that republics gained control and greater influence over their individual security organs and intelligence security services.
The State Security Service (SDB) was defined by law as a professional service within the Republic Secretariat of Internal Affairs (RSUP). Naturally, most of its competence remained within federal institutions, as prescribed by the Act on Handling Internal Affairs Under Competence of Federal Administrative Bodies (1971), which determined that the federal secretariat of internal affairs coordinate the work of the SDB in the republics and provinces. Further steps were taken with the transformation of state administration, adoption of the Federal Act on State Administration (1978), and the Republic Act (1978). The newly adopted act on internal affairs tasked the Republic Secretariat of Internal Affairs (RSUP) with state security issues, which then became RSUP issues and were no longer given special handling "at the RSUP". This resolution remained in force until the 1991 modifications of the act on internal affairs.
Year Country Assassinated 1946 Italy Ivo Protulipac Italy Andrej Uršič 1948 Austria Ilija Abramović 1960 Argentina Dinka Domančinović 1962 Argentina Rudolf Kantonci 1966 Canada Mate Miličević 1967 West Germany Joze Jelić, Mile Jelić, Vlado Murat, Jusuf Gervalla, Bardhosh Gervalla, Anđelko Pernar, Marijan Šimundić, Petar Tominac 1968 Austria Josip Krtalić Australia Pero Čović France Nedjeljko Mrkonjić Italy Ante Znaor West Germany Đuro Kokić, Vid Maričić, Mile Rukavina, Krešimir Tolj, Hrvoje Ursa 1969 West Germany Mirko Ćurić, Nahid Kulenović Spain Vjekoslav (Maks) Luburić 1971 Argentina Ivo Bogdan UK Maksim Krstulović West Germany Mirko Šimić Sweden Mijo Lijić 1972 Italy Rosemarie Bahorić, Stjepan Ševo, Tatjana Ševo West Germany Ivan Mihalić, Josip Senić 1973 West Germany Josip Buljan-Mikulić 1974 West Germany Mate Jozak 1975 Austria Nikola Martinović Belgium Matko Bradarić Denmark Vinko Eljuga West Germany Ivica Miošević, Nikola Penava, Ilija Vučić Sweden Stipe Mikulić 1976 France Ivan Tuksor 1977 South Africa Jozo Oreč West Germany Ivan Vučić 1978 France Bruno Bušić United States Križan Brkić 1979 Canada Cvitko Cicvarić, Goran Šećer United States Marijan Rudela, Zvonko Šimac 1980 West Germany Mirko Desker, Nikola Miličević 1981 France Mate Kolić West Germany Petar Bilandžić, Ivo Furlić, Ivan Jurišić, Mladen Jurišić, Ante Kostić, Jusuf Gervalla, Bardhosh Gervalla, Kadri Zeka Switzerland Stanko Nižić 1983 West Germany Stjepan Đureković, Franjo Mikulić, Đuro Zagajski, Milan Župan 1984 West Germany Slavko Logarić 1984 Austria Tomislav Katalenic 1986 United States Franjo Mašić 1987 Canada Damir Đureković West Germany Ivan Hlevnjak 1989 West Germany Ante Đapić 1990 Belgium Enver Hadri
The UDBA Since 1986
The role of intelligence and security changed after 1986, when a different mentality reigned within the Party and the processes of democratization were initiated. Intelligence security agencies came under attack, and many people started publicly writing about and criticizing the SDB. There were no more taboo subjects. The party organization was abolished in the SDB and the first attempts to introduce parliamentary control began.
The appointment of a commission to monitor the work was one of the most absurd decisions made by the country's intelligence security services during the era of "social democracy", since SDB activity was regulated by federal legislation and regulations published in the secret Official Gazettes. Neither the commission members nor its president had access to these Acts. It was difficult to evaluate information, since the commission had no investigative powers or capability to verify information. The head of the service was tasked simply to deliver requested information, even classified, to the commission. The SDB was also still receiving tasks from the Party, although the supervising commission lacked the powers to control those tasks. The above-mentioned events undermined the unity of the SDB, which formulated its own, unpublished regulations (sub-legal acts, ordinances, etc.). This made any protest about violation of rights impossible, as the regulations were inaccessible to the public.
The first democratic multi party elections in 1990, which enhanced the process of democratization, reverberated within the Federal Secretariat of Internal Affairs (SSUP) and Federal State Security Service (SSDB), which were fighting to maintain control over the individual SDBs in the republics. The latter became increasingly disunited; it was still legally connected to the federal bodies, but was becoming aware of the fact that it operated and worked in their particular republic. Some professional cadres, especially those in the "domestic field" (dealing with the "bourgeois right wing", clericalists, and student movements), began leaving the service. Conflict was increasing, and SDB archives were being systematically destroyed. In its search for new roles, the SDBs also began to limit information they were sending to the SSDB. It ultimately restricted its information to foreign intelligence services.
Along with the weakening positions of the SSDB position was becoming weaker and attempts by the Yugoslav People's Army Security Service or KOS to strengthen its position in the republics and in the individual SDBs were becoming more numerous. The attempts failed because they depended upon cadres of other nationalities still employed at the SDBs but who had no access to data bases and had no decision-making power due to their "Yugoslav" orientation.
Recently released files show over 1 million people of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia and other Yugoslav republics, whose files the UDBA in Slovenia kept records. Here you will see the names of the UDBA agents in Slovenia,( some of whom are still active in the Slovenian Military and Ministry of Interior and their victims. http://cae-udba.net
- Kontraobaveštajna služba (KOS)
- Bezbednosno Informativna Agencija (BIA)
- Služba za istrage i dokumentaciju
- Aleksandar "Leka" Ranković
- Eastern Bloc politics
Secret police agencies in Communist Eastern Europe Iron Curtain · Telephone tapping in the Eastern Bloc · Berlin Wall · Inner German border Soviet Union Socialist People's Republic of Albania People's Republic of Bulgaria Czechoslovak Socialist Republic German Democratic Republic People's Republic of Hungary People's Republic of Poland Socialist Republic of Romania Socialist Federal Republic of YugoslaviaDepartment of State Security (UDBA) / Department of State Security (SDB)
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