The Kremlin’s Psychic Spies

Retired KGB Major General Boris Ratnikov has a story to tell – about the Soviet and Russian intelligence services’ use of psychic espionage in the Great Game. While Ratnikov’s story may sound fantastic, the details on Cold War-era remote viewing programs in both the United States and Soviet Union are very real. With that in mind, perhaps the general’s claims aren’t so far-fetched after all. In this 2006 interview with state newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta (RG), Ratnikov (BR) reveals some aspects of his mysterious work that no less than mirror the popular film Inception.


Major General Boris Ratnikov, 62 years old. Worked in the UKGB [Upravlenie – Directorate] for Moscow and Moscow Oblast. From 1991 he was the first deputy chief of the Russian Federation Main Protection Directorate (GUO). From 1994 to 1997 he was the main consultant to the Russian Federation Presidential Security Service (SBP) and Advisor to the chief of the Federal Protection Service (FSO). Today he is Advisor to the Chairman of the Moscow Oblast Duma. 

Magic Secrets from the KGB

Ratnikov Boris IV
KGB/FSO Major General Boris Ratnikov

RG: Boris Konstantinovich, why was your service enclosed in a shroud of secrecy?

BR: Probably because we were engaged in matters directly tied to control of both societal consciousness and the consciousness of wholly real individuals. And also searched for possibilities of defending a person from an unsanctioned intrusion into his consciousness.

RG: So the Chekists as well studied occultism here in Russia?

BR: There’s nothing paradoxical that such a subject matter was within the security organs’ field of vision. From ancient times humanity has been interested in what the consciousness represents. The powerful of this world used various technologies for influencing the psyche.

In the twentieth century, the magical practices of ancient shamans entered the scientific level of research, which immediately fell into the intelligence services’ field of vision. Special attention was devoted to this problem in Great Britain, Germany, and the Soviet Union. In our country, for example, practically all the people who possessed supernatural capabilities were under the control of the KGB.

You can’t even conceive what sort of war of minds was unfolding in this field in the first half of the twentieth century. I’d hardly be exaggerating if I say that sometimes real “astral” battles were waged. And all of this was classified and camouflaged, probably no less than the nuclear project.

Ratnikov Boris I
Guarding Yeltsin. Ratnikov can be seen in a suit fourth from left.

RG: Publicly science has stigmatized such research as obscurantism, while secretly scientists were seriously studying it in special laboratories and closed institutes?

BR: In the middle of the 1980’s, problems of creating psychogenerators and remotely acting on the human psyche were studied practically in all developed countries. Serious scientific experiments were conducted, and the circle of ones that succeeded in comparison with the beginning of the century expanded significantly.

In the USSR, the importance of this problem was generally realized, as well as the danger concealed in the possibility of invading and manipulating another’s consciousness. Around 50 institutes in our country studied the possibilities of acting on the psyche remotely. Expenditures for these goals were counted in the hundreds of millions of rubles. And although the investments justified themselves, the results we got were not developed.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, all this work was shuttered, and specialists in the area of subtle psycho-physical fields were scattered throughout the country and engaged in other matters. By my data, purposeful research on these subjects isn’t being conducted in the country today.

Accessing the Secretary of State’s Mind

RG: After research was shut down, you ended up in the Federal Protection Service (FSO) for the first president of Russia. And what did you do there?

BR: We understood perfectly well that the new state formation was undergoing the painful period of its establishment. And during disease, the state organism, just like the human body, is very vulnerable. We needed to shield our head of state from attempts to manipulate his consciousness. And there were not just a few such attempts. I’m confident we succeeded in that task.

RG: And you yourselves didn’t try to manipulate President Yeltsin’s consciousness?

BR: In no cases. The task of the structure that I headed within the FSO was to protect top figures from attempts at external influence on their consciousness. Putting my hand on my heart, I can say that we never manipulated Yeltsin’s consciousness, nor Kozyrev or Gaidar’s.

RG: Then tell us, from what were you protecting Yeltsin and Russia?

BR: Perhaps from war with China. We aborted Yeltsin’s first visit to Japan. It should have taken place in 1992. As it became known to us, the president was being strenuously “programmed” to hand over a number of the Kuril Islands to Japan. But that was only the first move in a multi-party game by forces laying claim to world hegemony.

Yeltsin in Japan
Yeltsin finally makes it to Japan in 1993 after having his prior trips postponed.

While after the transfer of the islands to Japan, China, which was also part of the program, should have begun to actively demand the return of disputed territories, of which there were enough at the time. The matter could’ve escalated to armed conflict. And immediately a wave of protest would be raised in the world against Chinese expansion. Russia, incited by the international community, could well have declared war on China. Today such a development of events is unlikely, inasmuch as all border disputes between China and Russia are regulated. But 14 years ago, armed conflict was wholly real.

The FSO couldn’t guarantee the president’s security in Japan, and the Security Council recommended postponing the visit until a better time. Yeltsin was terribly indignant, but he was forced to subordinate himself to state rules.

RG: And your fears weren’t exaggerated? How much could you believe your informants?

BR: Heads of state in Western Europe and the United States were unwittingly our informants.

RG: Are you joking?

Ratnikov Boris III
Ratnikov in Afghanistan in the 1980’s.

BR: In no way! I told you that the USSR rather successfully studied the development of technologies for entering into another person’s consciousness. And we made powerful advances.

At the beginning of the 1990’s, I had a meeting with one particular CIA officer. We received him well, and as a result the American announced that nothing on our nuclear missile submarines was a secret for the US. As if their specially trained psychics were tracking each of our submarines, “observing” the actions of the crew and the condition of the strategic weaponry. Along with that he presented us evidence that, however paradoxical, indeed confirmed the rightness of his words.

Then we told him that their “viewing” our nuclear submarines was impressive, but that we could, even better, calmly “take a stroll through the minds” of the American president and his inner circle. After which we gave him information that could only be known by a head of state. The CIA officer connected with his people, and then said, “Why should we hide anything from each other? We’re entering into an open society; let’s be friends and exchange information.” We agreed, but after that all contacts with US intelligence in the area of psychotronics ceased.

Why Maksim Galkin Got Lucky

RG: And can you provide examples of reading information from the subconscious of the US leadership?

BR: I think that today we can do that. Back at the beginning of the 1990’s, we “worked” with Robert Strauss, the new US ambassador in Russia. Having read his thoughts, we came to the conclusion that within the embassy there was a device for psychotronic influence on Muscovites, but it was deactivated. We also received other information from his subconscious. A couple weeks before the start of the bombardment of Yugoslavia by American aviation, we held a seance to connect with the subconscious of Secretary of State Madeline Albright. I won’t begin to recount all her thoughts; I’ll note only the most characteristic moments that were confirmed already after the beginning of NATO’s aggression in Serbia.

First of all, within Madame Albright’s thoughts we discovered a pathological hatred for Slavs. She was also incensed that Russia possessed the largest reserves of minerals in the world. In her opinion, in the future not just one country should dispose of Russian reserves, but all humanity under the supervision, of course, of the United States. And she saw the war in Kosovo only as the first step in establishing control over Russia.

Brzezinski Russia Map
A map drafted by Secretary Albright’s mentor, former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, who has openly called for the dismemberment of Russia.

Second, it followed from Albright’s thoughts that the US Army would use a certain mix of chemical and biological weapons along with warheads containing radioactive elements.

Later it was found out that the Americans used chemical compounds that would alter the structure of blood cells within minutes. People who were subjected to the effects of such weaponry completely lost their immunity for some amount of time and could die from any minor sickness.

Then it also later became known that US aviation used shells with depleted uranium. Moreover, in the Tomahawks they used a radioactive iodine that would totally disintegrate in the course of a month, but which would wreak serious damage to people’s health and the environment within that time.

RG: And you directly reported the information you removed from the minds of US leaders to Yeltsin?

Rogozin Georgy
Ratnikov’s colleague Georgy Rogozin (1942-2014), known as the “Kremlin’s magician” during Yeltsin’s reign.

BR: Of course not. This information became a base for the continuing work of our analytical centers. When what came from SVR and GRU lines and diplomatic sources was applied to it, then a full picture emerged that would already form the basis of analytical reports to the country’s higher leadership.

RG: You mentioned psychotronic weapons. Do they really exist?

BR: At least they did exist. We had them, as did the US and other countries. It’s true, to use them is very dangerous. One can get the desired result, but along with that the weapon’s operator and even the man who orders its use can lose their health and even lives in a totally unpredictable way. The sphere of actively intruding into the human consciousness is nevertheless something beyond the outer limits, and psychotronics are not worth joking around with.

RG: And what are your colleagues who worked on genuinely outer-limits subjects doing now?

BR: Many are on their pensions. Some continue to research subtle physical fields, although there’s already no financial support from the state. Sometimes we render consultative services. Sometimes you start to look the people around you through a professional lens, and things become very interesting.

Take, for example, the public’s favorite impersonator Maxim Galkin. This person possesses unique and quite interesting psychic abilities, about which, I’m sure, he doesn’t even suspect. In past years he would have immediately ended up on the radar of the special services, from whose proposal he could hardly refuse. But today he’s a completely free man and does the stage business he prefers.


Original article from Rossiiskaya Gazeta

Translated by Mark Hackard

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