The Secret KGB Manual for Recruiting Spies

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tags: Cold War, Putin, KGB



This is the first of a three-part series based on never-before-published training manuals for the KGB, the Soviet intelligence organization that Vladimir Putin served as an operative, and that shaped his view of the world. Its veterans still make up an important part of now-Russian President Vladimir Putin’s power base. All were trained in the same dark arts, and these primers in tradecraft are essential to an understanding of the way they think and the way they operate. ...

THE 108-PAGE DOCUMENT is marked “secret” in Russian and titled “Political Intelligence from the Territory of the USSR.” It is dated Moscow, 1989 (the year the Soviet bloc collapsed) and comes with the following disclaimer: “Approved by the USSR KGB PGU as a teaching manual for students of the Andropov Red Banner Institute in special discipline course 1 and agents of external intelligence.” PGU stands for Pervoye Glavnoye Upravlenie, or the First Chief Directorate, and the Andropov Red Banner Institute is the famous finishing school for Soviet operatives.

The document is a how-to guide for recruiting and running foreign agents who traveled to the Soviet Union, using institutions ostensibly dedicated to everything but espionage. Such as?

Well, such as: “The Foreign Ministry, the Ministry for Foreign Economic Ties, the State Education Committee, the Ministry of Culture, the Peace Committee, the 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.” Conveniently, where problems or conflict situations don’t arise spontaneously, they can be manufactured to serve precisely this purpose.

The First Chief Directorate training manual was passed to The Daily Beast several weeks ago by a European security service, which says that the document is still classified in Russia primarily because, even though it is nearly 30 years old, it is still relied upon as an educational tool for Putin’s clandestine cadres....

Read entire article at The Daily Beast


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