Notes on Political Espionage from USSR Territory

November 1, 2018

Notes on Political Espionage from USSR Territory
Yu.V. Andropov Red Banner Institute of the USSR KGB


Political Espionage from the Territory of the USSR

Inv. 7031-A


Moscow – 1989

Department 1


Approved by the USSR KGB PGU [First Main Directorate] as a teaching manual for students of the Andropov Red Banner Institute in special discipline course 1 and agents of external intelligence

Maj. Gen. V.M. Vladimirov, candidate of historical sciences

Col. Yu.A. Bondarenko, candidate of historical sciences

Under general edit of Maj. Gen. V.M. Vladimirov

108 pages

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

p. 6

“In 1932, the Statute on Foreign Departments and Sections of Authorized Representatives of the OGPU in certain republics, territories and regions was approved. At that time, more than 100 officers worked in the territorial intelligence divisions.”

p. 7

In May 1947, Soviet government decreed that a unified organ for foreign intelligence be created: Committee for Information under the USSR Council of Ministers. This had the First Department which organized intelligence work in ministries and agencies. Aside from legal and illegal agencies abroad, this department could form intelligence sub-departments in ministries, agencies, scientific and civic organizations.

[The First Department responsible for personnel in virtually every Soviet office of any kind was run by the KGB throughout the Soviet period–CAF]

This was a successful measure, as the Committee for Information’s 1950 report said “organization of this new task not only fully justified itself but opened up serious prospects for Soviet intelligence and broader use of additional channels to conduct intelligence work abroad”.

The functions of that First Department were transferred to First Main Directorate (PGU) of the MGB (Ministry for State Security, KGB’s precursor–CAF). Underneath the PGU was organized the 15th Department (later renumbered the 12th Department) to obtain political and scientific-technical intelligence through the counter-intelligence service of delegations and tourist groups travelling abroad. They were also charged with intercepting hostile activity among Soviet sailors and passengers on ships.

But practice showed uniting all those functions in one department was unwieldy so in 1957, the Second Main Directorate of the KGB was created to handle Soviet delegations and tourist groups abroad. The 12th Department then solely worked on scientific-technical espionage. In 1958, the monitoring of the ships was moved to external counter-intelligence.

“The process of the further development of intelligence from the territory of the Soviet Union was restrained, on the one hand, by the relatively small scale of the international ties of the Soviet Union, and on the other, by the conviction prevailing in those years that every foreigner who came to the Soviet Union fell into the field of view of the enemy’s counterintelligence, and therefore could not be viewed as a prospective subject of recruitment work or as a reliable source of intelligence information.”

Thus, the KGB was mainly involved in counterintelligence with these visitors and with the emigration

p. 9

But as a result of the “weakening of the forces of imperialism and the strengthening of the socialist system, the stormy process of the fall of the colonial system of imperialism began and the creation of independent states”. UN membership went from 83 to 126; by 1986 there were 159 states in the UN. The USSR established diplomatic relations with 108 of these in the 1980s but by 1985 had diplomatic ties with 131. That meant active trade ties.

From 1966 to 1985, Soviet trade relations grew from 51 countries to 145. There were trade and economic agreements made and a new form of cooperation, scientific and technical.

During the Cold War, the capitalist states “significantly reinforced their counterintelligence services. As a result of the unfolding scientific and technical revolution, their surveillance and technical equipment was fundamentally renovated and perfected.”

The imperialist states also helped the developing world to get equipped with these new technical devices.

“All of this to a significant degree complicated the operational setting in the overwhelming majority of countries under surveillance, and restricted to a certain degree the capacity of the KGB’s rezidentura abroad. Furthermore, there was a disproportionate growth between the number of intelligence tasks and the number of ‘legal’ rezidenturas in many capitalist countries due to their establishment of quotas for Soviet representative offices”.

p. 10

This is why in 1970, the KGB began to look for new ways to operate via Directorate RT. Tasks:

o obtain current political, military, strategic, economic and operational info useful to intelligence on the US, their close allies, and China

p. 11

o conducting active measures using the capacities of the KGB’s divisions on political, military-strategic and economic issues, and also active measures to oppose subversive activities by the enemy’s intelligence services

o organizing and coordinating intelligence work of the KGB’s first divisions, guidance of officers of the active reserve

o running intelligence from the USSR through the ministries and KGB itself

o organizing agent networks of foreigners capable of obtaining intelligence information and running active measures, targeting facilities for penetration or other operational tasks

o recruiting Soviet citizens for intelligence work and active measures

o bringing foreigners into the USSR of interest to the KGB in order to study, develop and recruit them or to establish trusted ties in order to get intelligence and run active measures

o working out means of communication with agents

o preparation of background reports and intelligence reports

Directorate RT further developed in the 1980s to use the cover of ministries with foreign ties for intelligence work and to organize and coordinate work on foreign intelligence using the intelligence capacity of all the national and regional ministries with access to foreigners.

Service “A” of the PGU [First Main Directorate] worked on active measures, taking into account the real opportunities of each sub-division of the KGB (in the ministries) and targets for recruitment

pp. 12-14 – A lot on the structural changes of intelligence and the history of the variations of the KGB.

pp. 14-15 – PGU’s work with their own KGB agents to train, deploy and keep tabs on them, organize trips abroad

p. 15

“Work with agents from among the foreigners and with those with trusted ties on USSR territory is conducted by the first (intelligence) sub-divisions of the KGB-UKGB independently. The conducting of meetings with them abroad in each individual case is coordinated with the PGU and is undertaken as a rule with the knowledge of the KGB rezidentura abroad”.

Chapter 2

Section 1

p. 19

– recruiting agents inside the USSR is not that different than recruitment abroad. “The advantage of conducting recruitment work on USSR territory is the ability to create favorable conditions for influencing the foreigner in the necessary direction and using the entire arsenal of means and methods in recruitment work”.

p. 20

Several million people visit the USSR every year and tens of thousands of them stay for longer periods Many of them are carriers of secret information.

Meanwhile, thousands of Soviet citizens go abroad to both capitalist and developing countries where they visit facilities of interest to intelligence.

Several thousand foreign government representatives in the USSR are of the most interest; 2,000 diplomats, 100,000 foreign students in 800 universities, of these about 60,000 from capitalist and developing countries. About 10,000 military people from 30 countries are trained in the USSR.

Some 60,000 to 80,000 Soviet citizens make business trips abroad.

Academy of Sciences provides wide opportunities because of 200 partnerships with academies in capitalist and developing countries.

The largest group of foreigners are undergraduate and graduate students, often on government exchanges. The Soviet Union provides scholarship through its Committees of Solidarity with Asia and Africa, the Committee of Youth Organizations of the USSR, the friendship societies, etc.

Children of government officials often among these students so are a good prospect for recruitment “even from countries far from socialist orientation”.

Many with Soviet diplomas then get significant positions in government, political and economic organizations. The national liberation movements and fronts provide some of these students who are already ideologically compatible and who often have information of use to intelligence.

Those in internships in science especially are trying to get a good recommendation in the USSR so they can keep visiting it when their internship is over. Military trainees from generals to privates are of interest, especially given the role of the military in politics in the developing countries.

Others on scientific, cultural and economic exchanges often are prosperous in their own countries and are good for direct or indirect ties to targeted organizations.

pp. 23-24

Science is a particular rewarding channel as increasingly, scientists are called in to advise governments. Major American embassies abroad have special science groups which include scientists from research centers.

“In the leading capitalist countries, science centers, individual scientists, specialists in the field of social sciences are brought in to draft and establish government foreign policy and military strategy doctrines and also for the preparation of specific political, economic and military activities”.

So the State Department, Pentagon, CIA, National Security Council in the US draw in specialists from universities and science centers. These can be recruited to enable penetration into US government institutions. The same for England, West Germany, France, Japan, Italy.

The same goes for businessmen interested in expanding trade with the USSR.

There are also the various Soviet “civic” organizations that can be used for intelligence because they have exchanges with foreigners — the youth organizations, the Committee for the Defense of Peace, the friendship and cultural societies as well as solidarity committees and the Novosti Press Agency (APN)

p. 25

Churches and religion play an important role in the capitalist countries, have “serious influence on the political situation in their countries and on the activity of state and government agencies and civic organizations” so they are a target. The Russian Orthodox Church and the Armenian Gregorian Churches have parishes in the US, Canada, Latin America, France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, Finland, Turkey, India, and Morocco and have broad contacts with Muslim organizations as well which is “of great interest in connection with the importance of the ‘Islamic factor’ in the politics of many Arabic and other developing countries”. There are also Soviet Baptists and Buddhists.

Among tourists visiting the USSR are political figures, government officials, businessmen, journalists etc. with access to secrets. While the brief nature of their visit and their packed programs can make it hard to recruit them, but some are already known to rezidenturas abroad and can be worked on further “and an opportunity is created to conduct the relevant operational measures.”

p. 26

People with relatives in the USSR who stay longer for 3-6 months are another target: 1.5 million Russian emigres, more than 2 million Ukrainian, 1.5 Armenians, 800,000 Balts, many have preserved their national cultural and ties with relatives “of undoubted interest for the external intelligence of the KGB’.

Of course, they are “convinced carriers of bourgeois ideology as well, hostile and with prejudice regarding the socialist system, our state, and infected with anticommunism”. The enemy’s intelligence actively uses the science, cultural, sports and tourist channels for their own intelligence tasks and also conduct prophylactic work on those going to the USSR, putting them under surveillance with their own assets in the USSR, and intercepting undesirable contacts. After these foreigners return home, they are debriefed by foreign intelligence and followed in order to set up “provocative anti-Soviet actions”.

p. 27

“Thus, insufficiently prepared actions, from the professional regard, in developing foreigners from USSR territory may be used by the enemy for compromising scientific, cultural and other ties with the Soviet Union and damaging inter-governmental relations of the USSR with certain capitalist and developing countries. All of this requires from intelligence [agencies] from USSR territory an unconditional maintenance of security for the measures conducted and close cooperation with the counterintelligence divisions of the USSR KGB.”

Science centers as well as various party, business etc. offices abroad can be reached by Soviet visitors abroad when they can’t be by the KGB legal rezidentura.

Directorate RT will then plan on various trips abroad the necessary agents or trusted persons to perform certain assignments.

p. 28

Section 2 – Selection of Candidates for Recruitment

Counterintelligence divisions of the KGB send to Directorate RT the names of people in capitalist and developing countries who may be used for intelligence work.

KGB harvests a certain amount of its data from Soviet citizens in various ministries who work with foreigners. Also scientists, journalists, trade officials “usually know their foreign colleagues’ professions and interests very well and can successfully collect basic and personal reference data on foreigners which is actively used by the KGB’s foreign intelligence”.

Each time a foreign student goes to the USSR, he has to go through an application process. The agents’ network becomes involved in the process of get-acquainted chats, and PGU operatives especially sent to various countries may be involved. After these students get to the USSR, they are studied via agents from among Soviet and foreign citizens in their universities, by administrative, professor and other personnel and by military in the cases of military training. Those staying for a few months or a year have more prospects for studying and recruitment.

Before recruiting, it should be determined what prospect the student has of getting a job in institutions of interest to Soviet intelligence.

p. 30 In some countries this would be a government or party post, but in other countries this would be impossible without connections with the right relatives. Sometimes those in the humanities have a better prospect for a job; other times it is technical and medical studies that would work. In some countries, Soviet diplomas are not recognized so the student has to go to Western countries to get a job of interest to intelligence.

Thus careful coordination must be made with all the PGU’s geographical departments and the relevant rezidenturas. Otherwise this leads to unnecessary expense of funds and efforts to develop recruits of little use to intelligence.

Section 3

p. 31 Some potential recruits identified abroad can be invited especially to the Soviet Union for further work-over. They can either be invited directly or generically, if it is known that they are in the right position in a department that they would be the ones sent to the Soviet Union.

It’s best if these potential recruits aren’t the head of delegations going to the Soviet Union. The delegations invited can be large enough to ensure the inclusion of the person needed to recruit.

p. 32 but sometimes this can’t be done for operational reasons so then an agent is sent to him from the USSR, under cover of a science trip or study abroad. Or an agent already residing in that country will be activated and a pretext for contact created.

A scientific institution could be used to establish initial contact via correspondence with the target of intelligence interest although this much attract the attention of the enemy’s intelligence. Thus this method can only be used in certain cases depending on the position of the foreigner, the type of counterintelligence regimen in the country where he lives, the presence of convincing pretexts for organizing correspondence etc.

The Foreign Ministry, Ministry for Foreign Economic Ties, the State Education Committee, the Ministry of Culture, the Peace Committee, Academy of Science etc. can be used as well as theatre, art shows, cinema, tourism.

Opportunities for contact with foreigners come when they have to solve problems and resolve a conflict situation, for example, violation of customs rules, road accidents, or violation of other Soviet laws. Agents can be placed in trains, planes and hotels to make these approaches.

Always close contact with counterintelligence has to be maintained in studying the behavior and interests of foreigners, the places they visit most, their schedule etc. so as to orient agents toward their interests and facilitate circumstances for acquaintance.

In making the contact with the foreigner, learn his political views, his interests, his personal qualities and what’s especially important, create a pretext for continuing the contact on the basis of mutual interests.

A file is drawn up that is called DPI — Initial Study File. If the relationship is developed and begins to take on an intelligence nature, then a DOP is created — Operative Development File.

p. 34

Section 4

follow-up – determine if he is sincere about relating to a Soviet representative, study his personal and professional qualities, political views and his real opportunities for intelligence gathering. Factors that make for successful study and recruit of foreigners:

– “long length and full program for each individual meeting

– opportunity and practicality of development with involvement with several intelligence officials and agents from among Soviet citizens

– more active and diverse use of surveillance tech and also external surveillance

– great scope for operational methods for the purpose of studying the foreign and also for influencing him in a way profitable to intelligence, as a result, for example of the positive effect on him of Soviet reality”

Irregular or rare meetings with foreigners don’t enable the constant influence on him required.

“Organization of meetings with foreigners residing in our country do not involve serious difficulties. However, in this case a strict rule of compliance is in effect with requirements of tradecraft [konspiratsiya] and maintenance of security for every meeting, to avoid the detection of his connection to us to his fellow countrymen, especially intelligence officers working in the representative offices of his country in the USSR”.

– can be very difficult or even impossible to meet with foreign government officials inside the USSR — easier with scientists, students, businessmen. Some countries do not allow government officials to go to the socialist countries

p. 36

– Even with difficulties, various conferences, seminars, festivals, art shows, sports competitions, sister cities etc. can be used to make contact. Also personal contacts, invitations through civic and cultural institutions, even transit through the USSR en route to other countries can be used.

– foreigner should be handled by multiple agents in the interests of security; these can include intelligence agents working under cover in ministries; counterintelligence agents, agents from among Soviet and foreign citizens, trusted persons, and the special PGU reserve disguised as citizens from foreign countries.

p. 37

– assignments have to be clear, cooperation close, direction strictly centralized, with operational corrections on the fly given changing circumstances and new info

– avoid duplication of effort and exposure, complement one another; check info from others; compare notes on what the target says about other agents; determine the degree of the foreigner’s sincerity and honesty

– needs to be kept under constant surveillance from the moment he crosses the border, from the hotel to the restaurant to other cities, etc.

p. 38

– make sure he has an agent who accompanies him everywhere, “his” person

p. 40

– use recruiting agents already in place with cover of the type of activity in which the target is engaged

– this creates more natural excuses for contact; the target may himself seek contact especially if the Soviet agent is prominent on the international scene; the foreigner will be less suspicious of him

– contact is then more natural and less dangerous

Section 5

p. 41

Use of psychiatrists in intelligence work:

– “Positive results are obtained by introducing qualified psychologists into the development of foreigner agents who provide scientifically-based characterizations of his personality.”

p. 42

Use of actual recruiter or a false-flag person. “Recruitment is strengthened above all by giving intelligence tasks to the person recruited for collaboration, the performance of which violates certain legal or moral norms of his country. The inculcation of the newly-recruited agent of the habits of tradecraft, training of methods to perform intelligence tasks in keeping with his abilities and his ideological and political education are done in the process of managing the agent, taking into account the bases and forms of his recruitment.”

p. 41

In recruiting on USSR territory, use ideological, political, material and moral-psychological foundations, often in combination with each other

For maximum success, at the last stage of recruitment, go deep into the motivations of why the subject wants to become an agent, either directly or under a false flag — his character, motivations, interests, behavior.

“Recruitment is strengthened above all by giving the person brought into collaboration concrete intelligence tasks, the performance of which are related to violation of certain legal or moral norms in his country.”

p. 42

While sometimes the foreigner will be ideologically compatible, often he is only partially compatible or not at all. A target may even be an opponent of socialism but needs cooperation with Soviet intelligence and may help it to resolve certain problems.

“Thus for example, the arms race and the threat of a nuclear conflict leading to the destruction of civilization on Earth forces citizens of capitalist countries, including those who hew to a bourgeois ideology, to cooperate with Soviet organizations and institutions and also directly with intelligence for the sake of preventing a nuclear disaster.”

p. 43

Material motivation for cooperation can be very uneven; either the individual or his institution may need material assistance from Soviet science institutions, for example.

“Material incentives play a very important role in bourgeois society. They are at the foundation of bourgeois ideology and morality, which can be successfully used by the KGB’s external intelligence”.

For maximum success, at the last stage of recruitment, go deep into the motivations of why the subject wants to become an agent, either directly or under a false flag — his character, motivations, interests, behavior.

“The moral and psychological basis offers a wide spectrum of moral, psychological and emotional factors. Individual elements of this basis are in particular career ambitions prestige factors, a sense of revenge, hatred, and love, nostalgia, personal attraction to the operational officer or agent, fear of consequences of the illegal deed committed.”

p. 43

“Recruitment is strengthened above all by giving the person brought into collaboration concrete intelligence tasks, the performance of which are related to violation of certain legal or moral norms in his country.”

pp. 43-44

“In recruitment work on Soviet territory, counter-intelligence agencies often use compromising materials. This has justified itself outside the USSR. However, for reasons of security, the KGB rezidenturas [KGB officers resident in an embassy or Soviet office in a foreign country-CAF] abroad very carefully approach contact with agents recruited on this basis, since in performing the tasks of state security agencies under pressure while in the USSR, may change their attitude toward cooperating with intelligence after returning to their homeland. In this regard, the intelligence divisions, cooperating with the counter-intelligence apparats, take timely measures to ensure the “transfer” of the agent recruited with compromising materials to an ideological-political or material basis. At any rate, such an agent, while in the USSR, must be sufficiently reliably ensured and vetted for performing sensitive intelligence tasks.”

p. 44

“Diplomats and journalists accredited in the USSR cannot make a career without contacts among authoritative political and civic circles in our country. Foreign graduate students and interns need access to the materials and assistant of interest to them from representatives of the professorial and teachers’ cohort, and sometimes the support of major scientific authorities with international recognition. Many political and civic figures in foreign countries need contacts with Soviet institutions and organizations for reasons of prestige, and sometimes strive to ensure themselves and their political groupings success in their domestic political arena as authorities in the area of relations of their country with the Soviet Union. All of these elements create bases for establishing contacts with foreigners, their operative development and attraction of them to intelligence cooperation.”

p. 45

Be careful in recruiting agents from friendly countries, so if the mission fails, there won’t be a disruption of relations.

Be “decisive” and “uncompromising” in recruiting agents from hostile countries.

“Agent relations are not established with citizens of developing countries of a socialist orientation. The relevant regulatory documents of the USSR KGB allow involvement of citizens from these countries only in the capacity of trusted contacts.”

“The end goal of operational development of persons who hold high government and party posts and maintain official relations with Soviet state and party agencies, and also prominent scientists and successful businessmen is to establish with them, as a rule, trustworthy relations. The relations are not brought to the agent level with members of progressive organizations as well.”

pp. 46-47

Soviet institutions like Institute for USA and Canada, Institute for the Far East, Institute for World Economy and International Relations, the Soviet Committee for Peace, etc. “are a convenient cover for the activity of political intelligence.”

“Therefore, in recruitment work of foreigners contacting such agencies, often there is no need to reveal the affiliation of the recruiter to the state intelligence agents. The work can go on under the flag of these institutions.”

The recruitment agent is introduced into the operation separate from the agent who is running the recruitment so that in the event of failure, the intelligence agent isn’t exposed who is working through the cover institution.

This also enables more reliable control over the person being recruited by being able to see his reaction to the actions of the recruiter.

A recruitment agent is needed when the agent doesn’t have enough background in the topic in which the foreigner specializers or doesn’t have a position in the cover organization which would be at the foreigner’s level and authoritative for him.

p. 48

“At the final stage of recruitment development, the systematic vetting of the foreigner continues. Since in this period he is beginning to be brought into specific tasks which are obviously of an intelligence nature, conditions are created for a deeper analysis of the reliability and loyalty of the subject of recruitment, whether he has for this the bravery, restraint, operational acuity, resourcefulness and readiness to take an intelligent risks, etc.

“For the purposes of vetting, such situations are created through which the real face of the subject of recruitment is revealed, his behavior in various conditions is seen and in contacting various people. The main role in such vetting measures is played by the agents’ network of Soviet citizens and foreigners, widely making use of operational and technical means and external surveillance. In some instances, operational officers with experience in work under illegal conditions are planted with the recruitment subjects under the guise of foreigners.”

p. 49

– Recruit must be brought deeper into “violation of certain legal, administrative or moral standards of his country, which confirms his readiness for practical intelligence cooperation and makes it impossible or difficult for him to refuse such cooperation in the future.”

This is tricky because the subject may have second thoughts, go back and tell his own institution or intelligence of his country about his contacts.

“It is especially risky to transfer to the KGB rezidentura abroad an agent not established in practical work, who was recruited with compromising materials, since recruitment under pressure of such materials may leave the foreigner with a dislike toward intelligence, to its individual representatives, and maintain an internal dissent against the promise to cooperate given under coercion.

p. 49-50

To reinforce the trusted ties with recruits that don’t have access to intelligence information:

“In that case, to reinforce the recruitment special measures are developed and conducted with create the impression in the foreign of his involvement in practical intelligence activity. For this, his is oriented toward collecting characteristic and particularly compromising data about his fellow countrymen, to turning over to intelligence unofficial news on the situation in his association or embassy.”

This sometimes yields good results as preventive measures can be taken against his fellow countrymen or they can be expelled from the USSR on the basis of the target’s reports

A student can be given tasks when he goes back to his homeland for the holidays such as finding out sensitive information, conducting active measures, or retrieving a controlled plant from a specially-prepared hiding place or even sending mail.

p. 51

Of course it’s easier to deal with them on Soviet territory, more opportunities to watch their mood, their moral-psychological state and “to create the necessary atmosphere before a talk, during and after it, to document behavior and statements from the target and track his behavior and state after recruitment, to put additional influence on him in the event he shows hesitation, to reduce the negative consequences of a failed recruitment.”

p. 52

Section 6


Meetings in person are the best

– using the official capacities of the agent who periodically visits the USSR

– another country where the operative or agent used from among Soviet citizens has official channels

– in third countries where the target lives or works temporarily where the agent can go

– at international events

– in transit countries the target may pass through

– on modes of transportation agreed in advance

Meetings in the Soviet Union are safer, the target will not feel he is watched.

Practical experience shows that regular contact can be made with:

— foreign scientists who have regular contacts with Soviet science centers

— employees of international and regional organizations where the USSR is represented

— journalists, especially those specializing in international affairs

— businessmen with ties to soviet trade organizations

— those in the “free professions” (i.e. artists)

— Foreigners with relatives in the USSR

p. 54

On the other hand, meetings on Soviet soil cannot be too frequent, and the information that the subject may obtain can get out of date. The recruit will have trouble bringing secret documents into the USSR, and may face financial hurdles to travel. Thus the recruit should have the capacity to pay for his own trips — if Soviet intelligence reimburses him.

– the organization of meetings with agents and trusted contacts in their own country can only be done by especially-trained agents; they are not assigned to Soviet citizens without that training.

“If contacts with the agents or trusted contacts in their native country cannot be convincingly legended with their official position, then meetings with them are conducted only in extreme cases, in close cooperation with the rezidentura, in particular to obtain really valuable information or solving a one-time operational task.”

p. 55

– Meetings in third countries are less dangerous; local intelligence agencies who have Soviet representatives under surveillance are less attentive to their contacts with citizens from other countries. In choosing the third country, take into account:

– nature of operational setting, counterintelligence, and visa regimen

– relations between the country of the agent’s citizens and the country where the meeting will be; level of political, trade, science, culture, sports, tourist ties between them

– compatibility of citizens of that country with the country of the agent, on ideological, ethnic, race, religious grounds

– state of intergovernmental, political, trade, science, cultural and other relations of that country with the Soviet Union; number and quality of Soviet colony; attitude toward official Soviet agencies and public

– existence of business, science or other ties in that country or a pretext for visiting it

– ability to convincingly legend the trip to a third country for a Soviet representative and also the agent, if there are no official pretexts

– geographical location, convenience of transportation, level of travel expenses given official salary of agent

p. 56

Of course meetings in the target’s home country or third countries aren’t as favorable as in the Soviet Union, but this works for officials from secret facilities that are barred from visiting the Soviet Union; often this is the only way to have personal meetings with them.

Meetings at internal events are another option if the contact can be made without alerting the enemy’s counter-intelligence.

“During the course of international events it is quite natural to have contacts and chats among representatives of various countries in the hallways, in an unofficial setting, a confidential exchange of opinions on questions discussed at official meetings, or negotiations for agreeing positions of concluding documents.”

“Of special interest are conferences, seminars, and symposiums at which specialists in areas of knowledge of interest to intelligence are gathered.”

Often the topics at one meeting involve discussion of the next one planned, so that contact can be arranged two or three times a year.

p. 57

Another method of contact is in a transit country. Since counter-intelligence more strictly polices the end point of trips by their citizens, and they pay less attention to transit points or are unable to maintain surveillance over them.

An “accidental” meeting can be arranged, and the target may not know that the coincidence of travel routes was in fact pre-arranged.

Nothing can guarantee that contacts can be maintained regularly, so in each case, consider the optimal combination of variables; for example, a scientist may be invited once a year to the USSR if he has an exchange with a Soviet science center. A Soviet citizen may then visit that person in his own country once or twice a year; they may both take part in international events once a year, and go to a third country once a year, etc. Thus 4-6 meetings a year using these different methods might be arranged.

Other means of contact:

p. 58

– short and long-wave radio contact

– secret drops, including on modes of transportation

– postal service

– encrypted messages and micro-photograph

– signals communication

Sometimes valuable intelligence may come by these means of communication, but often they are used only to set up the next meeting in a third country, etc.

The postal service is the most actively used means since the Soviet institutions or international organizations would have a reason for official correspondence.

Organizing regular and reliable communications is the most important condition for recruiting a target.

“Constant perfecting of the means of communication, a decisive refusal to use a regular template, initiative and inventiveness in this matter is the utmost duty of every operative.”

Sometimes agents and trusted contacts brought into intelligence work while in the USSR are turned over to the rezidenturas abroad — if they are reliable, vetted, if there are no conditions to work with them inside the USSR, if they can cooperate with the rezidentura, if there are specialists in that area of knowledge that the agent has, if productive and intensive work can be arranged.

p. 59

Agents are turned over to rezidenturas at a meeting as follows:

– the agent of the rezidentura makes the contact on behalf of the person who recruited the foreign inside the USSR

– operational contact is established, and an operative is sent abroad to work with the rezidentura to make the contact

– an officer from the Center is dispatched in certain cases

Only if the agent is vetted, strong, disciplined and trained in the necessary level of conspiracy should he be met; before risking a meeting with an insufficiently prepared agent, a preliminary contact can be made on neutral ground to study him, although this can get him exposed.

– Legend must be reliable

– Take into account level of professional and social position

– age of operative

– his resume (characteristics)

Sometimes an agent can’t be passed on to the rezidentura because there is no one appropriate to take him. Especially for those with high-profile positions in their country, such as ambassadors, members of government, party leaders etc.

“Great difficulties emerge also with passing on trusted contacts from among military servicemen due to the KGB agent network’s absence of a military cover or officials with military education capable of deeply understanding the relevant issues, and to understand and take into account the specifics of the professional psychology of servicemen, their circle of interests.”

pp. 60-61

Section 7

Recruitment can be made by the RT Directorate alone without the involvement of other divisions of the KGB, or by other divisions but even so, is a complex measure in which parallel, officers of the PGU will be involved. The plan for recruitment has to be approved by the head of the division. The plan must contain the measures, their sequence, the tasks for the operatives and agents. Trips by the foreigner to the USSR or by the operative to the foreigner’s country or to an international conference should be indicated.

Directorate RT, in cooperation with other divisions executives the join plan. Upon completion, a report is sent to headquarters signed by the RT division and sub-divisions that cooperated. Recruitment of foreigners with the help of the rezidenturas abroad is done through geographic divisions of Headquarters

When recruitment is made by geographical divisions, the central apparat maintains oversight and resolves specific issues, i.e. inviting a foreign to the USSR or a third country or sending a Soviet agent abroad in a delegation to an international event; in developing recommendations taking into account the ethnicity and citizenship of the foreigner.

If a foreigner is taken on and handed to the rezidentura, a report is made to the head of the territorial division of the KGB.

“Since diplomatic, journalistic and trade covers are widely used by the intelligence agencies of the enemy, the relevant categories of foreigners are developed above all by counterintelligence divisions of the KGB’s central apparat and the territorial agencies of the KGB and UKGB.”

Counterintelligence divisions inform the PGU of prospective recruits; conduct joint operations to study and develop the foreigner while he is in the USSR; and to follow up with him abroad.

Foreign intelligence takes part in recruitment of officials from diplomatic, trade and other foreign institutions in the USSR, and also journalists in the following cases:

– when the foreigner was already the subject of work by the rezidentura abroad and had been contacted

– when a Soviet citizen or RT agent maintains contact with the foreigner in accordance with his cover

– when the foreigner is preparing is leaving the USSR.

Foreign intelligence assists counterintelligence and provides it with the necessary information in recruiting a foreigner.

p. 64

At the completion of the recruitment, a report is sent with the signatures of heads of intelligence and counterintelligence divisions to the leadership of the USSR KGB or territorial division of the KGB with the proposal to include the foreign in the agentura or as a trusted contact.

Directorate RT and intelligence of territorial KGB offices recruit foreigners studying in the USSR and also independently recruit agents among foreign students for counterintelligence work.

Special departments of the KGB study the foreigners training in military institutions in the USSR. Then RT Directorate or the intelligence divisions develop the recruit.

The confirmation of a foreign military officer as an agent or trusted contact is made with a joint report of the military counterintelligence division of the KGB and Directorate RT. Then foreign intelligence puts the foreigner in the agents’ network.

Chapter 3

Recruitment of Soviet Citizens

pp. 66-67

“Intelligence from USSR territory gives constant attention to a qualitative strengthening of the agent apparat of Soviet citizens, the improvement of all work with agents and trusted persons. The foundation of this apparat is the officers of Soviet foreign institutions, and also ministries maintaining international ties or contacts with foreign representatives, who are devoted to the cause of the Communist Party and socialist Motherland.”

“Work with agents and trusted persons requires from the intelligence officer organizational skills, professional competence, the ability to cultivate, train and effectively use them for obtaining political, military-strategic, economic and operative information, to conduct active measures, the obtaining of leads to foreigners representing an interest to foreign intelligence, their study, development and recruitment, the defense of Soviet citizens from the subversive actions of the enemy, the guaranteeing of security at international events.”

“An agent of KGB foreign intelligence from among Soviet citizens – a Soviet citizen who has been brought into secret collaboration by foreign intelligence on an ideological and political basis, and who, out of patriotic motivations systematically performs its tasks abroad and on USSR territory, maintains the fact of his collaboration and its content in secret, and observers the demands of conspiracy and discipline.”

“A group leader is an agent who leads intelligence work of the agents among foreign citizens and trusted contacts given to him for communication, and also agents from among Soviet citizens.”

“To maintain a safe house (on USSR territory _ a recruited Soviet citizen, residence of office space which is used by intelligence for operational purposes.”

“The maintainer of the conspiratorial apartment (on USSR territory) is a recruited Soviet citizen who provides the necessary conditions for the agents’ network and other work in the space which is used by state security agencies.”

“An important task of the operational group is the daily, targeted search for persons who can be recruited, and in the process of active operation, adaptation and training be prepared as valuable agents”.

Soviet citizens to pay particular attention to — international specialists, country specialists, trade organization staff, economists, journalists, members of civic organization.

To study a candidate for recruitment, use official sources, agents’ reports, surveillance, the KGB’s information search system, personnel files, autobiography, personnel references, lists of scientific publications; check his nearest relatives;

Look for any obstacles: ideological inconsistency, spiritual and physical maladies, low moral qualities, talkativeness, insularity, prejudice, cowardice, etc.

Test his qualities by giving him assignments, but don’t reveal that it is a KGB officer doing so; don’t tell him specific targets of intelligence interest.

DPI – the preliminary study case file

Authorization to recruit a Soviet citizen as an agent must come from the chief of headquarters, his deputies, or heads of the KGB, with the submission of a report and the opening of a personnel and work file.

p. 70

The main form of communication is by personal meeting.

“At the meeting, the agent reports on the performance of assignments, discussed the information provided him, explains the circumstances of how he obtained d or the reasons why the assignment failed. With the agent’s participation, a new assignment is made, the ways and means for its performance are defined, as well as the agent’s lines of behavior. Each meeting must take place in a business-like atmosphere, stimulating the interest of the agent in the successful performance of the tasks placed before him. For deeper apprehensive of difficult and important tasks, the methods for doing them may be given in written assignments. A qualified setting for the assignments to the agents’ network is one of the conditions for its targeted and active use.”

p. 71-72

“The preparation and training of agents is undertaken concretely and constantly by observing the principle of an individual approach. Taking into account the political, general education and cultural level of the agent, his experience and skills, the features of his character, the difficulty of the tasks. A sense of high political vigilance is formed in agents, internal readiness to conscientious and decisive battle with the enemy’s subversive activity, a deep understanding that the KGB’s foreign intelligence operations are from the party’s directives, in the interests of the state and Soviet people.”

“In the process of cultivating and training the ability of the agent to see, discover facts and events of interest to the KGB’s foreign intelligence, to analyze their essence and to give them an objective evaluation. Habits are instilled to establish and strengthen contacts with foreigners of interest to intelligence, and placing the necessary influence on them.”

“In work with agents, principled, fair demands must be displayed, while observing tact, sensitivity, kindness and respect for the dignity of the individual. The operative must constantly recall that often the agent is assigned an important, difficult and sometimes dangerous assignment, for which he must not only be trained and cultivated, but also inspired in a human way. Therefore relations with him must be of the sort that he meets half way to report on the fulfillment of the assignment and in order to find both kind advice and friendly support from the operative, and if required even assistance. Each agent must be treated strictly individually, taking into account his age, professional and social standing, his character, the length of cooperation with intelligence, and his results. One must build relations with women agents particularly tactfully, and constantly take into account the psycho-physiological and other specific features inherent in them”.

p. 77

Chapter 4

p. 79

“Agents and trusted contacts from among foreign students (students, graduate students, interns and military trainees) are able to visit the embassies of their countries, talk with their fellow countrymen coming to the USSR from among political and civic figures. Many of these agents and trusted contacts are members of various political groupings in their countries, active participants in national-liberation movements, with which they do not break contact even during their stay in the Soviet Union, which enables the tracking of internal political and internal party processes in the corresponding countries and political parties, and to detect changes in the political line of individual groups and in their relations among themselves in a timely matter.”

– Agents have political as well as military info, especially in those countries where the army is active in political life through their representatives in the government, and economy

Important to have “timely proactive information about plans and intentions of foreign delegations and individual government and political figures from foreign states during their visit to the Soviet Union, about the questions they intend to raise with Soviet leaders, about their readiness to make agreements and compromises advantageous to the Soviet Union, and also about their reactions to negotiations taking place”.

“A registry of trusted person is kept as a list in the “letter files”. The lists should contain basic data, time and purpose of establishment of trusted relations. When the trusted relations are ended, the appropriate notations are put in the lists in a timely manner.”

Whenever there’s a visiting delegation, special operational groups are created including agents who have sources of information as well as Soviet citizens who deal with foreigners; they are placed in the Soviet delegations as experts, advisors, translators, protocol service etc. and accompany the foreign delegation around the country to their various meetings.

“A packed schedule of meetings with agents and trusted contacts is set up, signals are established to call them to extraordinary meetings, the procedure is established to transfer and implement especially urgent information.”

– Of great interest are international conferences, exhibits, festivals etc. attended by prominent scientists, artists. Intelligence agents must provide Soviet officials that run these conferences information about the plans and intentions of the foreign visitors and ensure counterintelligence measures; they must obtain information about “possible provocations, terrorist and other anti-Soviet acts”

p. 81

“As a result of systematic campaigns of spy mania in the main capitalist countries, every officer of an official Soviet representative office is perceived as an officer of intelligence or an agent of state security agencies. However, Soviet citizens who are on brief trips abroad are not always under observation of the enemy’s intelligence service and have greater freedom of movement around the country and enjoy greater trust on the part of local citizens, especially if the Soviet representatives are specialists in their fields and well known for their official activity in political, social, scientific, athletic, business and other circles. Therefore, the results of the work of the officially active reserve of the PGU (by agency), agent, or Soviet citizens or trusted contacts to a larger extent depends on their ability to enter into the environment in which they must move in accordance with their official functions, to adapt to it and occupy an authoritative position. This can be done even by those intelligence officers who were previously known by the intelligence service of the enemy as officers of the state security agents. With deep and comprehensive mastery of their specialty according to their cover organization, they can successfully resolve information and other intelligence tasks both on USSR territory and abroad during brief business trips.”

p. 82

– coded telegrams sent to the Center with information from operatives on short trips abroad have a special index so that they can be monitored while they are abroad

“Naturally, the operative, agent or trusted person from among Soviet citizens, while on a short business trip abroad, is himself an object of study and is viewed by the enemy as a carrier of information. Therefore, during preparation for travel abroad, they are given theses, in accordance with which they must answer likely questions or express relevant judgements on their own initiative.”

“It is known that the enemy tries to bring targeted information to Soviet representatives during their stay abroad. Therefore, all materials obtained, the circumstances of their receipt and sources require careful analysis.”

p. 84

“The topic (political, economic, military) which is planned to be clarified from the foreigner during his visit to the USSR may be divided into questions. Each one of them separately will not provoke his wariness, but taken together, they will enable the compilation of a fairly full picture of the issue as a whole.”

Not only regular KGB agents are used for this, but various public figures, scientists, ministers, etc. at the request of the KGB; the agents’ network will put the necessary questions they need into the agenda for meetings with foreigners.

“Thus, the foreigner of interest to intelligence is put under conditions on Soviet territory where intelligence can use his knowledge to the maximum about the issue requiring informational coverage.”

p. 85

“Aside from obtaining information during the process of talks with foreigners during their stay in the USSR, it can be obtained (or supplemented) by making copies of the documents and notes in their possession through clandestine search of their belongings, and also with the help of acoustic surveillance technology.”

p. 86

Chapter 5

Active Measures

Active measures are for a good cause – improving international relations, disrupting the aggressive plans of imperialist states against the USSR, weakening the political, military, economic and ideological positions of imperialism; influencing countries to positions advantageous to the USSR; supporting national liberation movements; undermining and compromising anti-Soviet emigre organizations.

Service “A” of the PGU undertakes active measures as do KGB divisions with the obligatory approval of Service A.

“Methods of conducting active measures may vary depending on the nature of the tasks to be done and the presence of agent and operational capacities. The most widespread are: disinformation, exposure, compromising, special positive influence. In practice, these methods are often used in combination with each other with raises the effectiveness of the actions performed.”

“Disinformation is the conspiratorial promotion to the enemy of fabricated news, especially prepared materials and documents, so as to lead him into confusion and motivate him to decisions and actions that meet the interests of the Soviet state. Disinformation measures are undertaken to undermine the positions of imperialism in various countries of the world, increase the contradictions among imperialist states, bourgeois political parties and individual figures, to weaken their positions, counteract the unleashing of anti-Soviet campaigns and also for the purposes of influencing the outcome of negotiations not only on political matters but in concluding major trade deals with foreign companies and firms etc.”

“Exposure as a method of active measures is used to reveal to the world public or the public of individual countries secret anti-Soviet plots, aggressive plans and intentions, bad deeds and other such actions of military political groupings of the enemy, state agencies, parties and their leaders and also the revelation of subversive plans of imperialist states against the socialist countries, national-liberation movements, progressive regimes and democratic forces. Exposure operations can have significant influence on the formation of public opinion abroad in the direction favorable to the Soviet Union, enable the strengthening of anti-American sentiments in various countries, the growth of the anti-war movement and so on.”

– Compromise is used to damage politically or morally states, political, religious etc. organizations and anti-Soviet emigre centers

“Special positive influence involves making an influence on a government party, individual political, state, civic figures, representatives of business circles advantageous to the USSR, as a rule, within the laws of the country under surveillance.”

p. 88

“Forms for conducting active measures by such methods are very diverse: influential talks with prominent figures of foreign countries, upon whom depends important political decision; promoting targeted information and disinformation; bringing documentary materials advantageous to the Soviet Union to individual state, political and civic figures as well as civic organizations; publication in the foreign press of articles, publication of books, brochures, leaflets in the name of foreign authors; organization of radio and television broadcasts; press conferences and interviews with prominent state, political and civic figures, prominent scientists and other influential foreigners in accordance with the theses prepared by Service “A” of the PGU; instigation in foreign countries of meetings, rallies, demonstrations, appeals to the governments, inquiries in parliaments; promotion of decisions, resolutions, manifestos corresponding to the interests of the Soviet Union and so on.”

– given importance of the press in western countries, special attention should go to foreign journalists, commentators, publishers.

“Their appearances with the use of our theses in the press, on the radio and on television can influence the public in the countries of the enemy in a light favorable to the USSR”.

– agents in religious organizations can be effective on the issues of war and peace, promoting the anti-war movement, supporting Soviet initiatives, and also can “counteract the Vatican’s subversive actions and neutralize the tendencies in the Islamic movement hostile to the USSR”.

p. 91

– visitors to the USSR are steered toward information of interest to the USSR, with the help of intelligence agents, they get targeted information.

“Of important significance is the constant nature of the actions on the foreigner during the entire period of his stay in the USSR, the diversity of means of influence, the wide selection of necessary specialists and authorities, the presence of conditions for creating an atmosphere enabling the increase in the foreigner of the susceptibility of the influence on him.”

p. 94

– disinformation work with books and brochures isn’t that different than the “legal” rezidentura’s work with APN news, Soviet Peace Committee materials etc.

“The fundamental difference between propagandistic measures from active actions of intelligence is that Soviet organizations speaks on their own behalf, but intelligence operates under a false flag, using the means, forms and methods available to it.

p. 95

“An important component of the preparation of an active measure is the development of a legend and the sequence of actions by the agents’ network. For example, in bringing targeted information to a foreign on USSR territory, the likelihood of questions arising regarding its source must be foreseen. Therefore, in giving the assignment to the agent to advance “information” in prepared thesis, news from the local press, especially discovered literature and so on must be included. This enables the agent (or trusted person) to show mastery of the problem discussed and to thus cloak the involvement of intelligence to the measure conducted.”

– checking reactions is obligatory

– find out foreigner’s intent on how the information will be used, i.e. in a report to leadership, publications, party discussions etc.

“Each active measure conducted is registered within a two-day period in Service ‘A’ of the PGU”.

Include number and date of assignment, time, place, form, channel of realization (in encrypted form), information about result and reactions.

p. 97

Chapter 6

Intelligence at International Conferences

– each year there are 300 international forums within the USSR and 700 abroad in which the Soviet Union takes part

– the KGB ensures these events are held with political interests of USSR

– World Festival of Youth and Students in Moscow in 1985 – “favorable conditions were created for operational activity which enabled useful contacts to be made with foreigners, to study them, to develop them and attract them to collaboration.”

– get information and influence foreigners

– expose US intents dangerous to world peace

– agents’ network abroad can get info in advance on foreign delegations

Other international events:

– Goodwill World Games, 1986

– Scientists for peace, against nuclear war (1986)

– Conference of civil society – USSR-USA (1986, 1987, 1988)

– Forum for a Non-Nuclear World, for the Survival of Humankind (1987)

– these events and many others “enabled the development of a sufficiently accurate system of cooperation and coordination between divisions conducting political intelligence from USSR territory and the KGB’s counter-intelligence apparats”.

– intelligence groups formed to work them — Directorate RT of the PGU, geographic and other operational departments, Directorate K, Service A, information and analytical departments of Headquarters

– obtain advance information about political positions, differences on these issues among the foreign delegations and individual members of them; efforts to find compromises in Soviet interests

– intelligence groups always formed to go with Soviet delegations to international conferences; operatives under cover of technical and service personnel, journalists, advisors and specialists

p. 104


-RT Directorate of PGU is head of political intelligence from USSR territory

– intelligence departments are created in relevant ministries, institutions and organizations and staffed with officers of the PGU, also through territorial divisions

– use of legal rezidenturas to obtain political, military, economic information and also use of active measures

– coordination with counterintelligence

– master the specific methods of political intelligence on USSR territory before learning recruitment methods, active measures

Organization charts