MOSCOW, OCT. 30 -- A photograph of Katya Mayorova appeared on the front page of Komsomolskaya Pravda the other day under the headline "Miss KGB." There she was, before 22 million readers, the world's only holder of a "security services beauty title," somehow making erotic work of strapping on her bulletproof vest.

Soon, Miss KGB will be appearing on "Good Evening, Moscow" and other television programs making "announcements" about the secret service and its operations. "I guess they think I'll be the new face of the KGB," Mayorova said, all smiles and blush and teeth. "We'd like people to think that we're not monsters working here."

But this evening, as dusk and a light snow fell over Moscow, Miss KGB confronted the reality of the public's suspicion, its hatred of her employer. At a demonstration outside her offices at the KGB's Lubyanka headquarters, she saw angry signs reading, "The KGB can never wash the blood from its hands." She saw the families of the lost holding candles and crying as a priest consecrated a new memorial dedicated to the memory of the "millions of victims of the totalitarian regime."

The monument is a huge stone taken from the Solovetsky prison camp in the White Sea, an early outpost of the gulag archipelago set up a year after the 1917 Bolshevik revolution. By using a stone from Solovetsky, the mass political organization that promoted the event wanted to make it clear that not only Joseph Stalin, but Lenin himself, the founder of the state, helped lay the foundation for decades of terror, the murder of millions of innocents.

"Never before has a regime spent 70 years waging such a brutal war against its own people," the historian Yuri Afanasyev said during the ceremony. "Blessed are those who died in the camps and were hungry and cold." All around Dzerzhinsky Square and Lubyanka and the Children's World toy store, Afanasyev's voice echoed from the huge speakers. He could be heard a half-mile away and everywhere shoppers and commuters stopped and listened.

Yevgeny Yevtushenko read a poem indicting a nation: "... and while all the blind followers of the iron hand bowed down low ..." The priest, flanked by icons of Christ, called the stone "a foundation of a new government based on Christian love and mercy." Sergei Kovalyov, a former political prisoner and now the chairman of the human rights committee in the Russian parliament, said that "nothing has changed. We the people are still down here, and they {the KGB} are still there" in Lubyanka.

And all the while, circling round the crowd, hundreds of nervous-eyed KGB guards "kept order." What were they expecting? A raid on Lubyanka? On the evening news tonight, the KGB announced it would lay a wreath at the new monument. The organizers were unimpressed. The KGB initially objected to the plan to put the memorial -- the first ever in Moscow -- so close to its headquarters. But the Moscow city council, which is now led by some of the most radical politicians in the country, gave its permission.

Lyubov Khazanova, an 82-year-old woman who once was the director of a collective farm in a village 200 miles from Moscow, traveled all day to get to the ceremony. Her father Giorgi was killed in the gulag in 1937, one of the worst years of Stalin's purges. No monument could ease her bitterness and pain. "The stone is nice, and it is all well and good to come here and light candles and shed our tears," she said, "but there are millions and millions who cannot do even that."

Igor Volkov, a survivor of the Solovetsky camp, told the crowd that it was time that the huge statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the Soviet secret police in 1918, come down. People turned their heads and saw the enormous, illuminated "Iron Felix" on the traffic island nearby. Then, with the crowd applauding him, Volkov said, "I never thought I would live to see the day when the truth could be told and see a monument to all those who will never return."

Turning once more to the yellow stone building of Lubyanka, where thousands of prisoners were shot in basement cells and underground tunnels, Afanasyev said, "This building is a symbol of lawlessness, inhumanity and illegality."

So deep is the rage against the violence of the Soviet past that two members of the Moscow city council announced plans this week to hold a symbolic trial of the Communist Party modeled on the Nazi war-crime tribunals. "A rebirth of the country is not possible without the same process that took place in Germany after the war -- de-Nazification. We need de-Communization," said one of the council members, Lev Boloshev. "The Communist Party is swathed in silence, lies and half-truths. It cannot clean itself. We have to help." No date for the trial has been set.

Before the ceremony ended, Afanasyev asked for something more, for a sense of repentance and forgiveness. "We must leave the unveiling of this monument with more kindness in our hearts and with a refreshed memory," he said. "We need to go through a national repentance. ... We should think about forgiving those who went before us."

So what can it mean, all this talk of a "new KGB," even a Miss KGB? What strange world is it when Komsomolskaya Pravda writes that Katya Mayorova wears her bulletproof vest "with an exquisite softness, like a Pierre Cardin model"? Beyond "mere beauty," among Miss KGB's many charms, the paper said, was her ability to deliver a karate kick "to her enemy's head."

Katya Mayorova is 23 and six years ago, just out of school, she began working at the KGB as a secretary. She is trained in pistol shooting, preferring a model called the Makarova. Though, as a member of the Moscow KGB's press department, she doesn't quite make clear why she needs to be good with guns. "They try to give us all-round skills," she said during an interview just a few hours before the demonstration.

She plays the beauty queen role with abandon. She giggled and smiled through all her answers, and when she was asked to pose for a photo, she sidled up to a bust of Dzerzhinsky and positively cooed. She loves the Beatles and plays the guitar. She is not married and says she "doesn't necessarily" date only KGB men: "Men are the same everywhere." Ever since the Komsomolskaya Pravda article she's been getting a lot of stares and attention around Lubyanka. She won the Miss KGB contest -- that much can be confirmed -- but the contest itself was "private" and the number of contestants "is secret."

And yet this young woman seemed so immensely serious about her mission, this business of "showing the KGB in a new light." No one in her family was ever repressed, she said, "but I know about our past.

"Tens of thousands of innocent KGB men were also killed," Miss KGB said. "And so I'll go to the monument tonight. I think of it as my monument too. All of ours."