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The Kwantung Army (Japanese Armed Forces in Manchukuo)’s Policy of Intelligence Warfare against the Soviet Union and White Russians

  • Journal of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • 2019, 76(2), pp.13-53
  • DOI : 10.17326/jhsnu.76.2.201905.13
  • Publisher : Institute of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : May 4, 2019
  • Accepted : May 9, 2019
  • Published : May 31, 2019

In-soo KIM 1

1건국대학교 아시아콘텐츠연구소

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The most obvious feature of the position of the ethnic minority during the World War II in the Far East was represented through the problem of White Russians. White Russians, who were the anti-Communist groups in Russia, were the targets of the ‘Ethnic Harmony Policy’ (民族協和政 策) advocated by Manchukuo (滿洲國). They represented an ambivalent existence, included in the category of Russians on a racial and ethnic perspective. The Kwantung Army (關東軍) tried to study the intelligence warfare techniques of the Soviet Union and used the White Russians as a means of intelligence, propaganda and conspiracy warfare. It also established a buffer-zone with the Soviet Union by utilizing the agricultural immigrants of White Russians. In addition, the Kwantung Army planned to create autonomous governments for them. From the standpoint of the Kwantung Army, White Russians were both resources of knowledge about the Soviet Union and useful tools for propaganda. The White Russians were also the ones who had a desire to revert to an anti-revolutionary homeland. However, at the same time, they were considered as a danger because they were targets of espionage and vigilance, and they embodied Russian ethnicity. The attributes of White Russians were inherently conflicted and contradictory: the internal political conflicts of White Russians’ society, the clash between anti-communist ideals and the Russian national ethnicity, and the inability to distinguish between Red Russians (the revolutionists) and White Russians. The Kwantung Army’s intelligence warfare against the Soviet Union through the White Russians during World War II clearly shows the character of the space in which the sub-ethnic groups were located. There is a huge contradiction and ambivalence between desire and neurosis in the Kwantung Army’s policy towards the White Russians.

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