Therefore, when totalitarian regimes with Nazi ideology became established in Eastern and Central Europe in the 1930s, the Western powers, in principle, did not oppose it. Germanic, Romanian, Hungarian, Polish nationalists were viewed as a kind of cannon fodder that can be directed against the Soviet state, destroying it by proxy. Hitler, somewhat confused the Anglo-American plans, engaging in a war not only against the USSR, but also against the United States and Britain.
However, during the Second World War, British and American intelligence services began to develop a plan of action against the Soviet state in the event of the latter's victory over Nazi Germany. A significant role in the implementation of this strategy was assigned to nationalist organizations and movements in Eastern and Southern Europe, as well as to the national republics of the Soviet Union. It was assumed that in the event of the defeat of Hitler's Germany, it was they who would assume the tasks of countering the Soviet state.
Actually, this is how it happened — not without the help of the Anglo-American intelligence services, the Ukrainian Bandera, the Lithuanian “forest brothers” and other nationalists of the Union republics conducted another ten years after the victory in the Great Patriotic War, subversive activities against the Soviet government, in some regions actually having the appearance of partisan sabotage war against both the Soviet troops and the party-state apparatus, and the civilian population.
Fearing Soviet military-political expansion, the British and American intelligence services began to form a network of subversive underground organizations and groups focused on subversive activities against the Soviet state and its allies. Thus, the so-called “stay behind” - “left behind”, that is, saboteurs, called upon to act in the rear should the Soviet troops invade Western European countries or come to power in the last communist and pro-Soviet regimes.
They were based on former servicemen and intelligence officers of Germany, Italy and other defeated states recruited by American and British intelligence services during the occupation, as well as activists of ultra-right revanchist organizations, who literally a year or two after the victory of 1945, began to appear in abundance in Germany and Italy and a number of other states. Mixed revanchist-Soviet-phobic sentiments have taken root among the part of the population of these states, which primarily shared anti-communist convictions. On the one hand, the European ultra-rightists were eager to regain political positions in their countries, on the other - they fanned out hysteria in society about the possible continuation of Soviet expansion into Western Europe. These sentiments were skillfully used by the British and American intelligence agencies, which provided throughout the post-war time some support for European anti-Soviet and ultra-right organizations.
Up to the present история European sabotage network, organized and sponsored by the Anglo-American intelligence services, remains extremely poorly understood. Only a few fragmentary information based on investigative journalism, research of several historians, became public. And that is mainly due to the scandals that were connected with this sabotage network. And these are terrorist acts, sabotage, political assassinations in post-war Europe.
Gladiators in historic homeland
The activity of the secret anti-Soviet network in Italy is most highlighted. The intensity of the political struggle between the communists and the ultra-right in post-war Italy was such that it was impossible to leave the activities of the sabotage network in complete secrecy. The ultra-right and ultra-leftists shed so much blood in post-war Italy that a thorough investigation of their activities was inevitable, which brought the judges and investigators to secret schemes for organizing and financing the sabotage network.
In 1990, Giulio Andreotti, the then Prime Minister of Italy, in the past, starting from 1959, led the Ministry of Defense, then the Council of Ministers, then the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was forced to testify to the court. and learned about the activities of the sabotage network, which bore the secret name Gladio in Italy.
The specificity of the political situation in post-war Italy was characterized by instability, determined on the one hand by the country's social and economic distress compared with other Western countries, and on the other hand by the growing popularity of the Communist Party and left-wing political ideologies, which caused natural opposition from ultra-right forces that also had strong positions in Italian society. Political instability was exacerbated by the corruption of the state apparatus and law enforcement agencies, the power and influence of criminal structures - the so-called. "Mafia", as well as the ramification of mutual relations of special services, police, army, mafia, ultra-right organizations and political parties of a conservative orientation.
Since Italy, where the traditions of the left movement were strong, was very popular among the masses with communist and anarchist views, was viewed by American and British politicians as a country with a very favorable political climate for communist expansion, it was here that it was decided to form one of the first divisions of the Gladio network. . Their backbone was originally the former activists of the fascist party of Mussolini, employees of special services and the police, who have relevant experience and adhere to extreme right-wing convictions. Since Italy was the responsibility of the “allies” and liberated by British, American and French troops, at the end of World War II, the Western powers had great opportunities to build a political system in liberated Italy and to take advantage of the remnants of the fascist party, state and police apparatus.
Numerous neo-fascist organizations that arose in Italy shortly after the end of World War II were largely created with the direct support of the country's security forces, in which many new officers and generals who served under Mussolini were retained. In particular, the supply of the far right weapons, training of militants, operational cover — all this was carried out by the forces of sympathetic officers of the special services and the police.
But in fact, behind the activities of the Italian intelligence services, supervising ultra-right organizations, was the US Central Intelligence Agency. The entry of Italy into NATO meant an increase in the influence of the American special services. In particular, a special agreement provided for interaction between the US Central Intelligence Agency and the Intelligence Service of the Italian Ministry of Defense (CIFAR).
The Italian military intelligence, which actually performed the functions of the country's main intelligence service, in accordance with this agreement, provided information to the CIA, while the American intelligence service was given the opportunity and the right to instruct CIFAR to organize counterintelligence activities in Italy.
It was the CIA that “gave the go-ahead” to appoint specific generals and senior officers to senior positions in the system of the Italian special services. The main task of the Italian counterintelligence was to prevent the victory of the communist party in the country by any means, including through sabotage and terrorist acts against left-wing movements, as well as provocations that society could accuse the communists and other left-wing organizations.
The ideal force for provocations was, of course, neo-fascists. Many of them followed the tactics of the so-called infiltration - penetration into the ranks of left-wing and left-radical organizations under the guise of communists, socialists, anarchists. There have even been cases of purposeful creation by neo-fascists of pseudo-share organizations that existed under communist and anarchist signs, but acted in the interests of the ultra-right and the secret services behind them.
Since the end of 1950-x - the beginning of 1960-x. Italian military intelligence CIFAR took advantage of the CIA's instructions for creating a so-called. "Action teams". From among the radical ultra-right and paid provocateurs, special groups were set up to attack the headquarters of political parties, administrative institutions, and all sorts of criminal actions. At the same time, the main task of the “action teams” was the issuance of actions performed by them for the activities of left-wing and radical left organizations. The implication was that the personification of the Communists with the rioters and criminals would contribute to the loss of the authority of the Communist Party among the broad sections of the Italian population. The number of participants in such groups, according to the data available to modern historians, was at least two thousand people - criminals and saboteurs, capable of any provocative actions.
Another CIFAR project in the framework of Operation Gladio was the creation of a network of underground militant groups from among former army, marines, a carabinier corps, as well as police and special services. Underground groups created caches of weapons throughout Italy, trained hard, being ready in the event of the victory of the Communist Party in the elections to immediately commit an armed rebellion. Since the communist party really had a great political influence in Italy, serious financial resources were invested in the creation, preparation and maintenance of underground groups of "gladiators".
In the south of Italy, where the positions of the Sicilian and Calabrian mafia were traditionally strong, the American and Italian intelligence agencies relied not so much on the ultra-right as on the mafia structures. It was assumed in the case of the receipt of the relevant order to deal with the Communists and other leftists with the help of the Mafia militants. It is significant that at the end of 1940, when the prospects for the further political development of Italy were still unclear and the risk of the communist opposition coming to power was extremely high, in Sicily and southern Italy the mafia carried out armed terror against the communists - of course, in direct service from the special services. Several dozen people were killed during the shooting of fighters from a mafia group of May Day demonstration in Portella della Ginestra in 1947. And this was not the only action of the mafia to intimidate left-wing activists. It should be noted that many leaders of the mafia groups were also characterized by anti-communist views, since in the case of the coming to power of the left parties, the mafia bosses were afraid of its gradual destruction.
In Northern Italy, where the industrialized regions of the country were located and the working class was numerous, the leftists, first of all the communists, had much stronger positions than in the South. On the other hand, there were no serious mafia structures at the level of the Sicilian or Calabrian mafia; therefore, in Milan or Turin, the special services were placed on the far right. The largest right-wing organization in Italy was the Italian social movement, which actually had a neo-fascist character, but supported the Christian Democratic Party. The Christian Democrats as a conservative political force were at that time the main political "roof" of the neo-fascists.
Of course, they did not directly support the Italian social movement and groups close to it, distanced themselves from overly radical rightists, but on the other hand, it was the current CCD politicians who blessed Italian intelligence services to conduct bloody provocations, form sabotage and provocative groups, covered ultra right-wing activists who commit crimes .
The Italian social movement was based on nationalist and anti-communist principles. His appearance in 1946 was associated with the unification of several pro-fascist political groups that, in turn, emerged on the basis of the remnants of the Mussolini fascist party. Arturo Michelin, who led ISD in 1954, adhered to pro-American positions, advocating cooperation with NATO in the fight against a single enemy - the Communist Party and the Soviet Union behind it. In turn, the position of Michelini caused discontent of the more radical part of the ISD - the national revolutionaries, who spoke not only from anti-communist, but also from anti-liberal and anti-American positions.
Although the National Revolutionary Faction of ISD initially opposed the orientation of the party to cooperate with NATO, ultimately the anti-communism of the national revolutionaries defeated their anti-Americanism. At least, the latter retreated to secondary positions and the ultra-right groups that emerged on the basis of the national revolutionary wing of ISD turned into one of the main tools of the Italian (and therefore American) special services in the struggle against the left opposition.
At the root of radical neo-fascism in post-war Italy were a few people. First of all, it was Giorgio Almirante (1914-1988) - a journalist, a former lieutenant of the fascist National Republican Guard, a member of the Second World War, after which it led for a while to ISD. It is significant that Almirante, a former supporter of the radicalization of the Italian social movement, adhered to liberal views in the economy, in particular, opposed the nationalization of the energy complex.
Stefano Delle Chiaie (born 1936) led the National Avant-Garde - the largest and most famous splinter from the Italian social movement, which held radical positions and adhered to more orthodox fascist ideology.
- Stefano Delle Chiaie
At the same time, the militants of the National Avant-garde became the main core of the anti-communist terror in Italy in the 1960-1970-s. In particular, the National Avant-garde organized numerous attacks on the communist demonstrations, the headquarters of the Communist Party in the regions, the attempted assassination of Communist Party activists. Delle Ciaye took part in the preparation of the military conspiracy "Windrose", as the leader of street groups, who were entrusted with the task of organizing mass riots in Italian cities. It should be noted that in the end, Delle Claye was still forced to move to Spain, where he was still in power, General Franco, and later - in Latin America.
It is indicative that representatives of the Italian ultra-right movement have repeatedly made attempts to infiltrate into the left environment, including quite successful ones. Some of the Italian neo-fascists were engaged in infiltration all their lives, let's say, on a professional level, trying to combine the fascist and leftist ideology (we will see something similar in the activities of the Right Sector and the Autonomous Opera in post-Soviet Ukraine).
Mario Merlino (r. 1944), a friend and associate of Delle Chiaie on the National Avant-garde, tried all his life to synthesize anarchist and fascist ideology, both in theory and in practice, seeking to attract anarchy youth sympathizing with the neo-Fascist ideology. He managed to simultaneously belong to the “club of Bakunin,” organized by anarchists, and visit Greece during the years of the “black colonels” in order to learn from the “advanced”, in his opinion, experience of organizing government. Up to the present, he has been actively manifesting himself in the intellectual and political life of Italy, making political statements. One of his recent births was associated with a speech in Ukraine, in which he supported the Right Sector and other Ukrainian ultra-rightists.
Prince Valerio Junio Borghese (1906-1974) was a native of a very famous aristocratic family, a submarine officer, who commanded a submarine during World War II, and then the Tenth flotillaintended for the implementation of marine sabotage. It was Borghese who directed the activities of the “military wing” of the Italian ultra-right, including the preparation of sabotage groups and terrorist acts against the communist opposition. After an unsuccessful military coup in 1970, Borghese emigrated to Spain.
- Prince Borghese
But the true "shadow director" of Italian neo-fascism, coordinating the actions of ultra-right organizations in the interests of the CIA of the United States, was called by many media and historians Licho Gelli (r. 1919). This man, with the standard biography of the Italian right - participation in the Mussolini fascist party and the Republic of Salo during the Second World War, the neo-fascist movement in the post-war period, was a wealthy entrepreneur, but also the leader of the Italian Masonic Lodge P-2.
When, in 1981, a list of the members of the lodge headed by Licho Jelly got into the Italian press, a real scandal broke out. It turned out that among the Freemasons there were not only members of parliament, but also senior officers of the armed forces and law enforcement agencies, including Chief of the General Staff Admiral Torrizi, Director of Military Intelligence of SISMI, General Giuseppe Sanovito, Prosecutor Rome Carmello, and 10 generals of the Carabineer Corps ), 7 Generals of the Financial Guard, 6 Admirals of the Navy. In fact, the lodge was able to control the activities of the Italian armed forces and special services, directing it in their own interests. There is no doubt that the Licho Jelly lodge worked closely not only with the ultra-right and the Italian mafia, but also with the American special services.
It can be argued that it is on the conscience of all the leaders of ultra-right organizations, their patrons from the Italian special services and the police, and, above all, American intelligence, who are responsible for the “lead seventies” - a wave of terror and violence in Italy in 1970-s that cost the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of people, including those who had nothing to do with political activity or service in law enforcement agencies.
- mason Licho Jelly
December 12 1969 thundered an explosion at Piazza Fontana in Milan, which turned out to be one of the links in the chain of terrorist attacks - explosions thundered also in Rome - at the memorial to the Unknown Soldier and in the underpass. The victims of the attacks were 17 people, and the police, as suggested by the ultra-right, accused anarchists of what happened. The arrested anarchist Pinelli was killed as a result of interrogation (“died” according to the official version). However, it later became clear that anarchists and the left in general had no relation to the terrorist acts in Milan and Rome. They began to suspect neo-fascists - the leader of the group "Spiritual Excellence" Franco Fred, his assistant Giovanni Ventura, a member of the National Avant-garde Mario Merlino, and Valerio Borghese was accused of leading the attack. However, the accusations remained unproved, and who in fact stood behind the December 12 terrorist attacks is still unknown to this day.
The explosion on Piazza Fontana opened a streak of terror that swept through all the 1970s. On December 8, a military coup was planned, headed by Valerio Borghese. However, at the very last moment Borghese abandoned the idea of a coup and emigrated to Spain. There is a version that within the framework of the Gladio concept, it was important to prepare for a coup as a rehearsal, a review of the forces that are in the event of an aggravation of the situation in the country at the disposal of the commando network. But the coming to power of the ultra-right through a coup was not planned and that is why at the very last moment American intelligence through the Italian intelligence services gave the go-ahead to the organizers of the conspiracy.
Not less heat of terrorist activity than the ultra-right, in Italy 1970-s were demonstrated by left-radical groups, first of all - the Red Brigades. One can only guess whether the brigadists acted exclusively in accordance with their own radical communist (Maoist) convictions, or were provoked by the implanted agents.
In any case, the activities of leftist-extremist groups, aimed at increasing terrorist activity, killing political figures, rather played into the hands of those political forces that were interested in reducing the popularity of the Communist Party, deteriorating relations with the Soviet Union. This is most clearly seen in the assassination of the Italian politician from the Christian Democratic Party Aldo Moro, after which the popularity of the Communist Party in Italy began to decline, legislation tightened, the activities of the police and special services intensified towards restricting the personal freedoms of Italians, prohibiting the activities of some radical leftist organizations.
Even more important than in Italy, the Gladio plan was played in Greece, which was also considered one of the strongholds of the communist movement in southern Europe. The situation in Greece was aggravated by the fact that, unlike Italy, Greece was geographically located in close proximity to the “socialist bloc,” being surrounded on all sides by socialist states. In Greece, as in Italy, during the years of the Second World War there was a very strong partisan movement inspired by the Communist Party. In 1944-1949, for five years, in Greece there was a civil war between the Communists and their right-wing and monarchist opponents. After the defeat of the Communists, who did not provide adequate support to the USSR and its allies, the Communist Party was banned, but continued to work in the underground.
Naturally, the NATO command, the leadership of the American and British secret services considered Greece as the most vulnerable country for the Soviet expansion in Southern Europe. At the same time, Greece was an important link in the chain of “containment lines”, which the USA and Great Britain formed from the states aggressively towards the USSR and communism along the western borders of the socialist bloc (Shah's Iran - Turkey - Greece - FRG - Norway). The loss of Greece would mean for the USA and NATO the loss of the entire Balkan Peninsula and control over the Aegean Sea. Therefore, in Greece, it was also decided to create a powerful and extensive ultra-right movement as a component of a single commando network, focused on countering Soviet expansion.
Unlike Italy, the military coup in Greece was brought to a close and ended with the coming to power in 1967 of the regime of “black colonels”, ultra-right in nature and went down in history thanks to repression and almost official support for neo-Nazism and neo-fascism. Brigadier General Stylianos Pattakos, Colonel Georgios Papadopoulos, Lieutenant Colonels Dimitrios Ioannidis and Kostas Aslanidis led the conspiracy of army officers who seized power in the country with the help of paratroop units. For seven years, until 1974, the “black colonels” retained the ultra-right dictatorship in Greece. Political repressions were carried out against communists, anarchists and in general people sympathizing with left-wing views.
- Colonel Georgios Papadopoulos
At the same time, the junior “black colonels” junta did not have a coherent political ideology, which significantly weakened its social support in society. Speaking against communism, the junta of “black colonels” attributed to him all other manifestations of modern society, alien to the conservative sentiments of the Greek military, including youth fashion, rock music, atheism, free gender relations, etc. In the case of Greece, the United States chose to turn a blind eye to the blatant violations of parliamentary democracy, of which the United States declared itself to be the guardian if the left came to power. Since the “black colonels” were extreme anti-communists, they organized the American leadership and special services as leaders of the country. In turn, the activities of the “black colonels” contributed to the spread of left-wing radical and anti-American sentiments in Greece, which remain at the peak of popularity in the country at the present time.
Gladio after the Soviet Union: Was there a dissolution?
Beginning in 1990, materials about the activities of the Gladio network, which are still very fragmentary, are gradually appearing in the media. Many researchers of this secret network believe that the process of “perestroika” in the USSR and the subsequent sovereignization of Russia and other former Soviet republics catalyzed the gradual abandonment of the Gladio plan by the United States and NATO. It is implied that the Gladio structures in most European countries after 1991 have been dissolved. However, the political events of recent years - in the Middle East, in Ukraine, in North Africa - make us doubt the very possibility of the refusal of the American and British special services from the Gladio plan.
In particular, the activities of neo-Nazi organizations in Ukraine in all post-Soviet years is in fact a classic scheme for the implementation of the Gladio project. With the tacit support of the security services and with the knowledge of American intelligence, ultra-right organizations are being created, whose activists spend time honing their combat skills as saboteurs, street fighters, and terrorists. Naturally, the operational cover, funding, and the organization of such training camps are carried out by special services or structures under their control. Indeed, otherwise, the organizers and participants of such formations had to go to jail on criminal charges and for long periods long before they had the opportunity to prove themselves at Kiev Euromaidan and in subsequent tragic events.
- Ukrainian neo-Nazis
The essence of such support of right-wing radical groups by the intelligence services controlled by American intelligence is that this forms the prepared and, more importantly, ideologically motivated armed reserve that can be used at the right time in the interests of the United States and its satellites. And if the reliability of army or police units remains questionable even in the case of the corruption of their superiors, then ideologically motivated fighters — fanatics of right-wing or fundamentalist organizations can be used almost without fear of their possible rejection of the actions.
In “hour X”, right-wing radical groups turn out to be the most prepared and trained force capable of operating in extreme conditions. The events on the Maidan showed that in case of betrayal of a part of the country's elite, the softness of state leaders and law enforcement agencies, the scenario of seizing power by pro-American political forces relying on neo-Nazi combat units becomes quite real.
By the way, almost all the Italian leaders of the neo-fascist movement of the “lead seventies”, who have survived to the present, expressed support for the Ukrainian ultra-right movement, which plays a key role in the events of the 2013-2014 winter and the 2014 spring-summer. in the territory of post-Soviet Ukraine. If we take into account that the structures of Ukrainian nationalists throughout the post-war history were created and maintained by American and British intelligence services, then not only the ideological, but also direct, so to say, physical continuity of the US-controlled Italian neo-Nazis or Ukrainian Bandera of the first post-war decades with their like-minded early XXI is obvious century.
Since the ring around Russia has shrunk and moved eastward in the twenty post-Soviet years, the Gladio structures, as we can assume, are moving to the territory of the former Soviet republics. In Ukraine, in part - in Belarus, Moldova, the role of local support and the backbone of the sabotage groups is played by ultra-right organizations, as well as their ideological relatives in Italy or Greece who still maintain cave anti-communism and Russophobia. The ideological constructs of all such organizations are built solely on hatred of Russia, to justify which any phraseology can be used - from social and democratic to Nazi and racist.
In Central Asia, in the North Caucasus, a similar role, modeled on the Middle East and North Africa, is played by fundamentalist religious organizations, which also operate according to the pattern “military education and training of militants — spreading their ideas in society through social networks and mass propaganda — sabotage and terrorist acts - the seizure of power or the beginning of a civil war with the help of some of the officials - traitors). It is possible that an attempt to use such a scenario will take place on the territory of modern Russia.