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The Organization and Activities of the French Intelligence Service in Murmansk in April – August 1918. P. 15–26

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Section: History






Yuliya M. Galkina
Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin; ul. Mira 19, Yekaterinburg, 620002, Russian Federation; e-mail:


This article focuses on the activities of the French intelligence service in North Russia in the spring and summer of 1918. Using the sources of the French Defence Historical Service (navy archives), the author studies the organization mechanism of the French intelligence service, examines its aims and their fulfilment, as well as names its employees. Key sources were the reports of the intelligence worker Maurice; in addition, documents related to the development of the service organization project as well as track records and reports of other employees were used. The analysed materials indicate that the French were trying to diversify the strong English influence in the region by creating their own intelligence services and shaping their policy in accordance with the current political situation in Russia. Nearly all the aims set by the project of creating the intelligence service were pursued in practice, such as the counterintelligence support for the German-Finnish sector, public opinion analysis in the towns of North Russia, surveillance over the population, imposing of censorship, as well as coordination of action of special service workers and agents. This indicates that that the French were anything but passive observers of the processes taking place in North Russia in 1918, as can often be inferred from historiographic data. Particular attention in this paper is given to Martial Foissy, one of the representatives of the French special services, who was identified by Cheka and condemned by the Revolutionary Tribunal in 1918. The author dwells on Foissy’s activity in Russia and the process of his arrest.


North Russia, World War I, Civil War, Allied Intervention, French military mission, French intelligence service, history of special services
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