Pitfalls of Civilian Cover

18 SEPT 95


Ways in which Soviet military intelligence officers abroad are likely to betray themselves.


A. S. Rogov

In present-day conditions the work of GRU residencies2 under civilian cover in Soviet establishments abroad has certain advantages over that of intelligence officers in military attaché offices. Case officers of these legal3 residencies have great opportunities to establish contacts among the people, and it is more difficult for counterintelligence to detect their activities when under civilian cover. There are usually far more civilian officials in a country than military personnel staffing attaché offices, and it would be very difficult to keep a watch on all of them; counterintelligence therefore has to establish which civilians are in fact intelligence officers, whereas in a military attaché office they can assume that every member of the staff is a potential intelligence officer.

These advantages can be realized, however, only by an intelligence officer who is well versed in security practices, has high moral qualities, and is well trained for the work. Those who do not meet this high standard soon blow their cover and miss their operational opportunities. On arousing the slightest suspicion, intelligence officers under civilian cover attract more counterintelligence attention to themselves than military personnel do, the probability of compromise increases, and they have to drop operational work and often even be recalled.

This article will examine shortcomings and errors in the work of case officers under civilian cover during the last few years. It is based on data taken from the actual work of our officers, and it cites many real instances as examples. It takes advantage of a number of documents of the intelligence services of foreign countries which have fallen into our hands and show how and from what indications they unmask our military intelligence officers in their civilian cover.

The sources of the inadequacies and errors that have been manifested in the work fall roughly into four categories:

The personal qualities and cover behavior of the case officers and their families.

Relations with the heads of the establishments providing the cover.

The level of operational competence and tradecraft skill shown in working with agents.

The soundness of direction from the Center.4

[Top of page]


Living the Cover

Although considerably more attention is now being paid to the training of each officer to be put under civilian cover, both when he is studying at the Military-Diplomatic Academy and particularly when he is being instructed in the GRU operational directorates before leaving for abroad, it is still often the case that intelligence officers first assuming this cover have failed to rid themselves completely of military habits or of other habits or weaknesses that enable counterintelligence to unmask them by their behavior. Some retain the habit of clicking their heels, say "Yes Sir," "Aye, aye," and "Certainly, Sir," and sometimes even salute in greeting.

Some officers display vanity, trying to show that they know more than others of the same rank in the cover establishment, especially foreign languages, or acting the eager beaver for benefit of the head of the establishment. Others, without thinking of the consequences, make it a point to reestablish old friendships with former colleagues from military school or previous assignments who happen to be in the country or with personnel of the military attaché offices or other officers under civilian cover who have already drawn some suspicion on themselves.

Considerable harm is done by having inadequate qualifications for the cover jobs, particularly that of engineer in trade delegations. Counterintelligence looks for this in studying new arrivals posted to Soviet establishments. "Representatives of business firms" call on them, ostensibly for trade talks, but actually to determine the extent of their expertise. This practice on the part of counterintelligence is very widespread; most of our officers have to pass such surreptitious examinations.

Not all officers show initiative, imagination, and a creative approach to the problems of maintaining cover. Many use primer methods, stereotypes, for instance to discover whether they are being followed during their first days in a country--looking back, "losing" a handkerchief or gloves, "tying" their shoelaces, etc. Some study the layout of places that are difficult for counterintelligence (interconnecting stores, passage-ways between streets and houses) without proper regard to security, some like to get counterintelligence agents to follow them with a view to determining their methods or sometimes simply out of curiosity, and some have taken photographs under the eyes of counterintelligence. Some officers exaggerate the danger of being followed by counterintelligence, while others, like our officer K, have proved unable to detect it. All officers should keep a constant and attentive eye on the activities of counterintelligence and report objectively everything they notice.

Sometimes case officers are too active in ordering all kinds of local magazines and publications. This attracts the attention of counterintelligence.

An important shortcoming is failure to adhere always and without exception to security measures in dealing with friends and relatives. Some comrades being put under civilian cover do not keep this secret while they are still at the Academy, so that many persons at the MDA get to know about their appointment before they leave the country. Their unmasking may start from this. Others do not observe security measures in communicating with members of their families left behind. The following case occurred quite recently: One of the officers under civilian cover in France asked a civilian colleague who was going on leave to take a parcel to his wife, giving him the Moscow address. When the man went there he not only could tell that this was obviously a military officer's home but actually saw a photograph of our officer in his colonel's uniform.   On returning to France he expressed his astonishment.

Cases still occur of officers sending letters home (and getting them) via the residency and the GRU instead of through the cover establishment. Arrangements are now being put into effect in the GRU to get all correspondence into the channels of the covering department (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Trade, etc.).

Some officers do not pay enough attention to indoctrinating the members of their families, so that breaches of security occur through them. Some wives are chatterboxes, and in the course of conversation they often unintentionally reveal that they have military husbands; many of them are indiscreet on the telephone. A special danger is presented by children, who often let it out that their father is a military man. Members of families must be given special briefings on security matters both before they leave for abroad and at their post.

Some officers try to get a private car as soon as possible, even though other employees on their level in the cover establishment do not have cars. Car owners returning from receptions where they have been drinking often drive themselves though they know they should not; this is fraught with serious consequences, especially as it may attract the attention of the police. Such infractions were committed twice by our officer Orlovskiy, under cover on the staff of the trade delegation in England, who had to be recalled. The rule against driving after drinking has to be obeyed.

It should be borne in mind that counterintelligence can tell whether our officers' cars have been used in the evening as well as on their cover business during the day; it runs speedometer checks for this purpose. We have a device which will let us switch off the speedometer when making trips that should not come to the knowledge of counterintelligence, but this device has not yet been brought into use.

Despite the fact that in training courses serious attention is given to the use of caches in cars to hide material collected from agents in the event of an accident or a surprise search, some officers still do not use these caches but continue to carry the material in their pockets or under the seat.

Some officers are indiscreet in using prearranged phrases in telephone conversations, visit the embassy too often, especially on holidays, though their cover establishment is not there, stay too long in secret offices, and are seen without reason in areas where there are military targets. All this increases the interest of counterintelligence in them and enables it to identify the intelligence officers among the civilian employees.

One should also be careful about social parties in the evening (on birthdays, name-days, 23 February, etc.) to which an officer invites others who are under cover. If the host happens to be compromised to any extent, counterintelligence will as a rule make a note of all others present on the occasion.

Some of our officers do not get along with their colleagues in the cover establishment; they do not always show the necessary tact in relations with the other employees, quarrel with them, and in this way unwittingly arouse the suspicions of counterintelligence.

[Top of page]


The Cover Boss

The success that officers under civilian cover enjoy in their intelligence activities depends to a considerable extent on the attitude the heads of the cover establishments have toward them, on the experience, tact, and skill of these, on their appreciation of the importance of the intelligence tasks and their willingness to help in any possible way. It happens quite often that some establishment heads make things more difficult for our officers because of inexperience, while others refuse to give them the necessary help. If the local resident5 does not take steps in time to eliminate the troubles, situations arise which make it easier for counterintelligence to identify our people. Several of the most outstanding examples of this are given below.

Often our officers are not met on arrival at the railroad station or the port of entry. Some do not attach any significance to this and make their own way to their destination. Others, however, behaving incorrectly from the very beginning, show great indignation and demand special consideration (as in the case of G in England), as a result of which they may at once attract counterintelligence attention.

Sometimes our officers arriving in a country are not given accommodations in the same houses as other employees of the cover establishment on the theory that the military intelligence resident should make arrangements for housing his own people and only "clean" employees should occupy establishment quarters. That leaves our people to find accommodations for themselves and at once attracts attention to them. A similar situation exists in regard to our officers' private cars. Some establishment heads for the same reasons will not accept these in their garages, and this also arouses suspicion.

Heads of establishments sometimes will not agree to a change in cover jobs, or they do so unwillingly. As a result, it often happens that the replacement for an intelligence officer who may have been compromised must take over the same position and live in the same house, unaware that by these acts of succession he is enabling counterintelligence to draw the appropriate conclusion.

As a rule, our officers do not work full time in their cover jobs; they are often called "three-hour men." Establishment heads usually do not like it that our men cannot devote all their efforts to the interests of their establishment, and sometimes they even send cables to the Center about the undesirability of giving them a three-hour man. Their displeasure finds its expression in various ways. They often fail to invite our officers to receptions they arrange, pleading either forgetfulness or economy. Our residents must intervene in each such case and take steps to eliminate the trouble.

Heads of establishments usually do not take steps to make all their employees more active in order to cover intelligence activity. As a result, while the intelligence officers are out in town in the evenings, the other employees are likely to be sitting at home with their families. This makes it easier for counterintelligence to mount surveillance on our people. The intelligence officers also travel about the country more, work more energetically, are considerably more active at various kinds of receptions, and show greater curiosity. This difference in behavior is bound to arouse the attention of counterintelligence.

In order not to draw attention to themselves, not to stand out, our officers must weigh the situation in each specific case and make their actions fit in with those of the other employees of the establishment. This will make it more difficult for counterintelligence to detect their real employment. At the same time, all possible steps must be taken to make all employees of cover establishments more active. Then our people will not stand out. In this respect the situation in our establishments abroad is still bad.

Cases of bad relations between our officers and the heads of establishments or other employees are not infrequent. In one of our establishments in the UAR, the relations between its head, Consul-General S, and our officer P were so bad over the two years of their association that operational work suffered seriously. Unpleasant interdepartmental talks were held on this subject at the Center. And there have been similar cases in other countries.

It should be emphasized that most of the heads of cover establishments are on the whole satisfied with the work of our people, and our residents make an effort to have our officers work actively, without watching the clock, in their cover jobs. Nevertheless establishment heads sometimes complain to our residents about the bad work of our officers. There are in fact a few lazy ones, who explain their idleness in their cover jobs as due to their preoccupation with residency matters and at the same time justify the ineffectiveness of their work in the intelligence field by claiming to be overloaded in the cover jobs. In such cases only the resident can be an objective judge. There is of course no room for idlers. On the other hand, establishment heads cannot be allowed to give our officers so much work that they cannot perform their operational duties properly.

[Top of page]


Operational Competence

Errors and shortcomings in operational work are caused by inadequate experience, low intelligence qualifications, or inability (and sometimes unwillingness) to adapt operations to the particular modus operandi of the opposing counterintelligence. This can be demonstrated by examples taken from practice. It is known, for instance, that counterintelligence is less active on weekends and holidays. Instead of making use of this circumstance, however, case officers still do most of their agent work on ordinary weekdays.

A case officer selecting deaddrops usually has other persons (a driver, a second case officer) along. If counterintelligence detains one of them, it usually gets to know others, because operational workers often do not adhere strictly enough to security rules, now and then are simply careless, and in particular do not take steps to avoid betraying whoever is with them. In London, for instance, a case officer engaged in selecting a site for a deaddrop was approached and asked by a counter-intelligence agent what he was doing. Instead of giving some plausible explanation to allay the man's suspicions and shake him off, he tried to get away by saying that a car was waiting for him around the corner. Naturally, the counterintelligence agent followed him to the car where the driver and another case officer were waiting and examined their papers. Thus counterintelligence learned the names of three of our officers.

In another case an officer who had determined in the course of carrying out an operation that he was being watched went to the car where his supporting officer was waiting and so gave him away.

Agents are not infrequently given inaccurate descriptions of deaddrops and their sites, and the selection of the sites and deaddrops is not always sound. This makes the work much more difficult. Thus on one occasion an agent placed the material to be passed on the left of an agreed tree, but our case officer was expecting it on the right; not looking on the other side, he went off empty-handed. Another agent was told that material was being left for him under cover of a stone. The agent took this literally; at the agreed spot he found the stone, picked it up, and was much surprised that nothing was under it. He put it back and went away, not realizing that it contained 2,000 pounds sterling wrapped up and smeared over with cement to look like a stone. Another time a report was rolled up and concealed in a bone. The report was well hidden, but a dog ran off with the bone.

There has been one case when a photograph of the agent himself was passed via a deaddrop. This is of course quite impermissible. In this connection one may mention that case officers sometimes photograph a prospective agent, one under assessment, at meetings and thereby arouse his suspicion.

The methods of setting up signals in conjunction with deaddrops are deficient in variety. As a rule chalk of various colors is used, although it is often washed away by the rain. On one occasion "a twig from a tree, hung on a fence" was to serve as a signal. But that day the wind was blowing hard and not one but several twigs were on the fence, so there was no telling whether one was the signal. Many case officers still do not attach enough significance to the matter of setting up signals, considering it to be of little importance. But defective signals often cause operations to break down and have to be repeated, thus increasing the danger of compromise.

Not all case officers know what is meant by a system of deaddrops or do not give it serious attention, so that they work with agents for a whole year, say, through two or three deaddrops. Training at the Military-Diplomatic Academy is evidently bad in this respect.

Not infrequently case officers drive to deaddrops or meeting sites directly from their cover establishment. This naturally makes it possible that they are followed. They frequently park their cars at deaddrops or at meeting sites, and these can attract the attention of counterintelligence agents who may be passing by by chance.

Case officers on trips and staying at hotels often carry on conversations without taking security precautions, so that the contents of the talks become known to counterintelligence through the use of eavesdropping or recording devices. More generally, our officers pay too little attention to the possibility that their conversations may be overheard by counterintelligence and to the fact that an eavesdropping or recording device may be installed in any building or car. Often conversations whose content could serve as the starting point for unmasking our case officers are carried on in the most unsuitable places. Once more officers must be reminded always to take into account the possibility that a conversation may be overheard and to find a place for it that makes this impossible.

A lookout should also be kept for new methods being used by counterintelligence in pursuit of our people and countermeasures taken as necessary. Cases have lately come to our notice in which fingerprints are taken of our officers staying at hotels by means of dishes placed specially for them.

Some officers still indulge in the practice of using false names when registering at hotels or making purchases at shops. This can only give counterintelligence cause for reflection and may serve as grounds for expulsion from the country. Others, despite repeated orders to the contrary, still visit night clubs, where counterintelligence is particularly active.

Especially serious mistakes are made in recruiting work, and it is consequently advisable to go into these in greater detail.

[Top of page]



Many of our case officers reveal themselves prematurely, often on first acquaintance, make arrangements with the recruit for a meeting in town, warn him about the need for being careful, or take material of little value from him. Thus our man "I" took material of little value from a Frenchman of Polish origin; counterintelligence learned about it, and "I" had to be recalled as blown. One officer under civilian cover made the acquaintance of a local inhabitant while visiting an exhibition and at once gave him the task of photographing a naval exhibit which was of interest to us. Some officers quite unjustifiably offer money to acquaintances or give them expensive presents, which only arouses unnecessary suspicions and puts them on the alert instead of furthering the recruitment. Often case officers are led up the garden path by extortioners whom they are "developing," paying them money they have not earned. (This actually happened, for instance, in Pakistan.)

By and large our officers do not display sufficient ability and initiative in finding agents of use to us in the right places, and meanwhile they cultivate persons of little value with the result that they have many acquaintances but none of them suitable candidates for further study and recruitment. Thus they give an impression of great activity, but in reality all this work is unproductive and unpromising.

Some officers still resort often to the recruitment of persons whom they have met a few times at receptions and in whom counterintelligence is therefore undoubtedly to some extent interested. They make little effort to find persons who do not come to receptions and do not visit our establishments, the ones with whom really promising relationships can be established. They do not exercise the initiative and ingenuity to establish and develop such connections through their friends, avoiding receptions in order to preclude observation by counterintelligence.

Not all of our officers have the ability to develop relations with an acquaintance correctly and gradually in order to bring him to the point of recruitment; and residents and their deputies give them little help in this respect. Not enough effort is made, either, to use trusted agents for talent-spotting or recruiting.

As a rule, the operational situation is studied superficially, so that features in the internal situation of a country which could facilitate recruiting work often remain unexploited. (For example, national and class antipathies create a field for recruitment among those who are dissatisfied with the political regime.) Many favorable opportunities such as the revolutions in Turkey, Ethiopia, and Laos, when certain persons could have been recruited or intelligence officers could have been dispatched to take advantage of the circumstances, have been lost.

Documents of foreign intelligence services in our possession show that they are aware of some of our working practices. They know that our case officers usually make recruiting approaches to journalists, students, and employees of business houses and pay particular attention to people in NATO who are short of money; and watching out for such approaches, their counterintelligence quickly mounts surveillance on our people and starts to bring about their downfall. The documents also mention cases of our recruiting post and telegraph employees for the purpose of getting access to correspondence.

The documents declare that the main task given to our agents is to obtain information on nuclear weapons and on industrial targets concerned with. defense (one agent being assigned to get such an important NATO document as MC-70) and that the methods of recruitment fall into a definite pattern: at first money or presents are often given, then small tasks to obtain material of little importance, and then more complicated assignments aimed at getting classified documents, which as a rule bring large financial rewards. Counterintelligence agents planted on us, knowing this pattern, can act with confidence and carry out their work without arousing any special suspicion on the part of our officers.

The documents report that we do not look for agents among Communists or prominent progressive figures, all the more so as practically all Communists have been removed from classified targets. It is believed, they say, that contact with agents is established and maintained mainly by our people holding medium-level diplomatic ranks, very seldom by employees in technical and ancillary jobs. All this must be taken into account by us; some comrades do think that agent operations can be carried out only by persons who hold diplomatic passports.

Recent experience shows that case officers under civilian cover, having little contact with military circles in their cover duties and also partly barred by security considerations, have practically no acquaintances in the armed forces of the country where they are assigned. Consequently there have been very few recruitments of military personnel. Since our officers in military attaché offices do not now recruit personally, we may be heading into a situation in which we not only have no prospect of expanding our operational work among armed forces personnel but are out of this field altogether. It is therefore time to start seeking better and more effective ways for officers under civilian cover to recruit armed forces personnel, with special attention to more active work by the staffs of military attachés in spotting and assessing candidates for recruitment and then handing them over to case officers under civilian cover.

There are many shortcomings in work with so-called walk-ins.6 Not all of our case officers have the right approach in determining their real motives and intentions, and this leads now and then to unfortunate consequences. Quite recently, in Washington, for example, there were two cases in which our officers, in spite of our strained relations with the USA, arranged to meet a walk-in in town, though not much effort was needed to establish that both were obviously counterintelligence plants. It was only through intervention by the Center that these meetings did not take place. On the other hand, in another country (in the jurisdiction of the Third Directorate) two walk-ins were turned over without sufficient reason to the police. They were brought to trial and an uproar in the press was precipitated, while in the end it turned out that they had really come to us with good intentions, being genuinely eager to give us all the help they could. It is doubtful that any walk-in will take the risk in that country in the future.

Now we do have good agents who originally came to us as walk-ins, so it is important to have the right approach in dealing with such persons. It must, however, never be forgotten that the offer may be a provocation on the part of counterintelligence, which is endeavoring under various pretexts to infiltrate or plant its people on us and get our people to come to meetings in town or accept documents of little value in order to detect them or compromise and catch them red-handed. There are cases in which direct invitations are given to our people to become traitors to the Motherland.

To avoid getting himself into the position of having such an invitation put to him, to evade the traps set by counterintelligence, to weigh the situation correctly, to pass with honor any test connected with attempts by counterintelligence to plant agents on us or perpetrate some other provocation--all this can be achieved by an intelligence officer who possesses high moral qualities and ability, is mature, experienced, and enterprising, and knows how to behave in complicated circumstances and find a way out of any situation.

Some case officers fall into the error of becoming careless when dealing with trusted cutouts, notably in buying topographic maps or technical equipment of which the sale to us is forbidden. Our officer T in the trade delegation in England, for example, was actively engaged in buying equipment through a person he trusted. The operation involved a great deal of correspondence with the Center and the planning of concerted action for transportation and delivery of the equipment via other countries. It turned out, however, that all this trouble was for nothing; the trusted intermediary was acting under the control of counterintelligence.

Another case was the following. Our officer V in the USA went with a trusted person to the latter's office to get maps. While this man went into the office to pick out the maps, V stayed in the car. That was fortunate, because it turned out that a counterintelligence agent was watching all the time out of a window, waiting for him to come into the office and be caught on the spot. What had happened was that counterintelligence had already mounted an intensive surveillance on V, and he had discussed the matter of obtaining the maps on the telephone, in disregard of security measures. Although V escaped a flagrant compromise, representations about him nevertheless followed from the State Department.

It should be borne in mind that most stores selling maps are under the surveillance of counterintelligence. In Canada there occurred the following incident. Our officer K failed to establish proper communications with a trusted person in connection with the purchase of city maps. One day this person threw a note into K's mailbox saying that counterintelligence was taking an interest in him and he was therefore stopping work. Later, however, four days before a pre-arranged meeting, K found another note in which the man said he would continue working. Despite the obvious contradiction in these notes, which should have put K on his guard, he decided to go to the meeting. There he received some maps, but not the ones he wanted; and after a few days he had to leave Canada.

[Top of page]


Headquarters Failings

In the direction and management at the Center there also are quite a lot of shortcomings which impede the activities of officers under civilian cover.

The rule we have made that data on our officers who are sent abroad should be removed from information offices has become known to the counterintelligence services of foreign countries, and this measure obviously now does more harm than good. If counterintelligence knows that a person it is checking on is a military man or that he lives in Moscow, and an information office will not give any data about him, then it can only conclude that he is probably an intelligence officer. We must go into this question and find a remedy. Formalism won't work; in some cases, possibly, it would be better not to remove the files from information offices.

Some case officers under civilian cover continue to remain in their posts for longer than the customary four years without getting a cover promotion. Worse, there have been cases, because of lapses on the part of GRU directorates, in which an officer is given a cover post junior to one he held earlier in another country, or vice versa (for instance, a chauffeur in one country becomes a diplomatic official in another). Our officers are given leave once every two years instead of annually as customary in the cover position. All these discrepancies arouse the attention of counterintelligence in all NATO countries, among whom, according to the documents in our possession, such information is regularly exchanged.

There are cases when officers under civilian cover receive their salaries directly from the residency, thus revealing themselves in the cover establishment as belonging to another department. Here in Moscow, correspondence goes on between the finance departments of the GRU and other agencies regarding the payment of the difference in rubles, so that many employees in the other agencies get to know the identity of officers under cover. Steps are now being taken to eliminate these shortcomings.

Not infrequently the operational directorates make miscalculations and try to keep a case officer in place even though he has been compromised instead of hurrying to recall him. At the present time the situation changes so quickly--and usually for the worse--that such a delay sometimes leads to the most unfortunate consequences. This happened in the USA, for example, to our case officer M, who not unavoidably was apprehended, is now being interrogated, and will be brought to trial.

There are important shortcomings in the management and execution of reporting functions. Officers under cover are less effective in their reporting than the personnel of military attaché offices. They send in few reports of their observations during trips they make around the country; they are ignorant of the military situation; they produce few records of conversations. It is necessary to eliminate these shortcomings as soon as possible.

Until recently our residents or case officers under civilian cover, when they obtained some important information, reported it first to the heads of the cover establishments and then to the GRU, so that it was transmitted to the Center in duplicate channels, and often the report via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs even arrived first. Now such cases practically never occur.

Cooperation and coordination between GRU and KGB residencies have now improved greatly, so that it has become possible to eliminate unnecessary inquiries and duplication almost completely. Thus the decision of the Central Committee of the CPSU in this matter is being brought into force.

The legal residencies set up under non-military cover in most countries have found themselves without the necessary technical security resources. They do not have their own transport to use in operational work. Darkrooms for photography and radio and operational equipment are still in the military attaché offices in most countries. These matters must be put right as quickly as possible.

Residencies under civilian cover are still being sent officers who lack the personal qualities to be good recruiters (ability to attract those with whom they talk by their cheerfulness, natural behavior, attentiveness, etc.), qualities which facilitate the establishment of rapport and consequently lead to success in recruiting. Not infrequently they are sent tongue-tied, unsociable, sullen, and unattractive officers, bad mixers who are unlikely to be able to establish a wide circle of acquaintances. There are also still cases when they are sent officers who are without experience in running agents or have displayed incompetence in solving operational problems.

Within residencies also, the direction of intelligence officers working under civilian cover leaves something to be desired. Many residents try to direct each case officer separately; this is done with great difficulty and often results in having some officers really doing nothing. In present-day conditions it is essential that our legal residencies be organized on more efficient lines. In any establishment where there are even two case officers they should be constituted as an administrative group, and in large residencies the subordination direct to the resident of any single officer working under civilian cover should be avoided. The organization of legal residencies should be such as to facilitate keeping an eye on the progress of operational work, keeping each person active, and maintaining the necessary security.

In conclusion it should be emphasized once more that in the work of legal residencies there are still many shortcomings and errors which bring, above all, poor recruiting results. Lack of good and thoughtful direction on the part of residents and a low level of personal responsibility in individual case officers are likewise important shortcomings. Not enough effort is made to study and take into account the actual operational situation in the country in question, and favorable situations for recruitment are not always exploited. Recruiting methods are allowed to follow a pattern. Security is weak. Little use is made in legal operations of such a good method for directing agents as communication by secret writing.

The operational directorates of the GRU must give better briefings to persons being sent out, bringing to their attention examples of poor methods which cause errors and shortcomings in the work, and the directorates should also guide the operational work of the legal residencies more efficiently. In the field, the practical situation must always be taken into account and working in a set pattern must be avoided. We must increase the responsibility of the individual case officer with respect to recruiting; a case officer to whom recruiting tasks have been assigned has done his job when he returns only if he has recruited at least one agent. We must improve the training at the Military-Diplomatic Academy for work under cover, stressing the development of students' ability to adapt themselves to life in civilian positions.

1 Adapted from a Top Secret study published in 1961 by the Soviet GRU under the circumstances described in Studies VIII 1, p. 16. It had recently been decided to increase the use of civilian official cover (Tass, trade mission, foreign service) for military intelligence officers abroad, replacing the transparent cover afforded by the offices of the service attachés.

2  Field stations.

3  Official-cover.

4 Headquarters in Moscow.

5 Chief of station.

6 This subject was covered in extenso by General Serov in Studies VIII 1, p. 17 ff.


[Top of page]

Posted: May 08, 2007 07:56 AM
Last Updated: Aug 04, 2011 03:18 PM