Active measures

Active measures (Russian: активные мероприятия) is a term for the actions of political warfare conducted by the Soviet and Russian security services (Cheka, OGPU, NKVD, KGB, FSB) to influence the course of world events, in addition to collecting intelligence and producing "politically correct" assessment of it.[1] Active measures range "from media manipulations to special actions involving various degrees of violence". Beginning in the 1920s,[2] they were used both abroad and domestically. They included disinformation, propaganda, counterfeiting official documents, assassinations, and political repression, such as penetration into churches, and persecution of political dissidents.[1]

Oleg Kalugin 1992 US Senate public hearing
Oleg Kalugin called active measures subversion intended to: "drive wedges in the Western community ... particularly NATO, to sow discord among allies, to weaken the United States ... and thus to prepare ground in case the war really occurs."

Active measures included the establishment and support of international front organizations (e.g. the World Peace Council); foreign communist, socialist and opposition parties; wars of national liberation in the Third World; and underground, revolutionary, insurgency, criminal, and terrorist groups.[1] The intelligence agencies of Eastern Bloc states also contributed to the program, providing operatives and intelligence for assassinations and other types of covert operations.[1]

Retired KGB Maj. Gen. Oleg Kalugin, former Director of Foreign Intelligence for the KGB, described active measures as "the heart and soul of Soviet intelligence": "Not intelligence collection, but subversion: active measures to weaken the West, to drive wedges in the Western community alliances of all sorts, particularly NATO, to sow discord among allies, to weaken the United States in the eyes of the people of Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and thus to prepare ground in case the war really occurs."[3]

Active measures was a system of special courses taught in the Andropov Institute of the KGB situated at SVR headquarters in Yasenevo, near Moscow. The head of the "active measures department" was Yuri Modin, former controller of the Cambridge Five spy ring.[1]

Active measures have continued in the post-Soviet era in Russia. In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the US policy response to Russian interference in the 2016 elections, Victoria Nuland, former US Ambassador to NATO referred to herself as "a regular target of Russian active measures."[4]

Against the United States

Some of the active measures by the USSR against the United States were exposed in the Mitrokhin Archive:[1]

  • Discrediting of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), using historian Philip Agee (codenamed PONT).
  • Stirring up racial tensions in the United States by mailing bogus letters from the Ku Klux Klan, placing an explosive package in "the Negro section of New York" (operation PANDORA), and spreading conspiracy theories that Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination had been planned by the US government
  • Starting rumors that fluoridated drinking water was in fact a plot by the US government to affect population control
  • Starting rumors that the moon landings were hoaxes and the money ostensibly used by NASA was in actuality used by the CIA
  • Use of sympathetic elements in the press to libel the Strategic Defense Initiative as an impractical "star wars" scheme
  • Fabrication of the story that AIDS virus was manufactured by US scientists at Fort Detrick; the story was spread by Russian-born biologist Jakob Segal.

Supporting political movements

According to Stanislav Lunev, GRU alone spent more than $1 billion for the peace movements against the Vietnam War, which was a "hugely successful campaign and well worth the cost".[5] Lunev claimed that "the GRU and the KGB helped to fund just about every antiwar movement and organization in America and abroad".[5]

The World Peace Council was established on the orders of the Communist Party of the USSR in the late 1940s and for over forty years carried out campaigns against western, mainly American, military action. Many organisations controlled or influenced by Communists affiliated themselves with it. According to Oleg Kalugin,

... the Soviet intelligence [was] really unparalleled. ... The [KGB] programs—which would run all sorts of congresses, peace congresses, youth congresses, festivals, women's movements, trade union movements, campaigns against U.S. missiles in Europe, campaigns against neutron weapons, allegations that AIDS ... was invented by the CIA ... all sorts of forgeries and faked material—[were] targeted at politicians, the academic community, at [the] public at large. ...[3]

It has been widely claimed that the Soviet Union organised and financed western peace movements; for example, ex-KGB agent Sergei Tretyakov claimed that in the early 1980s the KGB wanted to prevent the United States from deploying nuclear missiles and that they used the Soviet Peace Committee to organize and finance peace demonstrations in western Europe.[6][7][8] (Western intelligence agencies, however, have found no evidence of this.)[9][10] Tretyakov made a further uncorroborated claim that "The KGB was responsible for creating the entire nuclear winter story to stop the Pershing II missiles,"[6] and that they fed misinformation to western peace groups and thereby influenced a key scientific paper on the topic by western scientists.[11]

Installing and undermining governments

After World War II Soviet security organizations played a key role in installing puppet Communist governments in Eastern Europe, the People's Republic of China, North Korea, and later Afghanistan. Their strategy included mass political repressions and establishment of subordinate secret services in all occupied countries[12][13]

Some of the active measures were undertaken by the Soviet secret services against their own governments or Communist rulers. Russian historians Anton Antonov-Ovseenko and Edvard Radzinsky suggested that Joseph Stalin was killed by associates of NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria, based on the interviews of a former Stalin body guard and circumstantial evidence.[14] According to Yevgeniya Albats allegations, Chief of the KGB Vladimir Semichastny was among the plotters against Nikita Khrushchev in 1964.[15] KGB chairman Yuri Andropov reportedly struggled for power with Leonid Brezhnev.[16] The Soviet coup attempt of 1991 against Mikhail Gorbachev was organized by KGB chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov.[15] Gen. Viktor Barannikov, then the former State Security head, became one of the leaders of the uprising against Boris Yeltsin during the Russian constitutional crisis of 1993.[15]

The current Russian intelligence service, SVR, allegedly works to undermine governments of former Soviet satellite states like Poland, the Baltic states[17] and Georgia.[18] During the 2006 Georgian-Russian espionage controversy several Russian GRU case officers were accused by Georgian authorities of preparations to commit sabotage and terrorist acts.

Puppet rebel forces

Trust operation

In "Trust Operation" (1921–1926), the State Political Directorate (OGPU) set up a fake anti-Bolshevik underground organization, "Monarchist Union of Central Russia". The main success of this operation was luring Boris Savinkov and Sidney Reilly into the Soviet Union, where they were arrested and executed.

Basmachi revolt

During the Basmachi Revolt (started 1916) in Central Asia, special military detachments masqueraded as Basmachi forces and received support from British and Turkish intelligence services. The operations of these detachments facilitated the collapse of the Basmachi movement and led to the assassination of Enver Pasha.[19]

Post World War II counter-insurgency operations

Following World War II, various partisan organisations in the Baltic States, Poland and Western Ukraine (including some previous collaborators of Germany) fought for independence of their countries against Soviet forces. Many NKVD agents were sent to join and penetrate the independence movements. Puppet rebel forces were also created by the NKVD and permitted to attack local Soviet authorities to gain credibility and exfiltrate senior NKVD agents to the West.[19]

Political assassinations

The highest-ranking Soviet Bloc intelligence defector, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa claimed to have had a conversation with Nicolae Ceauşescu, who told him about "ten international leaders the Kremlin killed or tried to kill": László Rajk and Imre Nagy from Hungary; Lucreţiu Pătrăşcanu and Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej from Romania; Rudolf Slánský and Jan Masaryk from Czechoslovakia; the Shah of Iran; Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, President of Pakistan; Palmiro Togliatti from Italy; John F. Kennedy; and Mao Zedong. Pacepa provided some other claims, such as a plot to kill Mao Zedong with the help of Lin Biao organized by the KGB and alleged that "among the leaders of Moscow’s satellite intelligence services there was unanimous agreement that the KGB had been involved in the assassination of President Kennedy."[20]

The second President of Afghanistan, Hafizullah Amin, was killed by KGB Alpha Group in Operation Storm-333. Presidents of the unrecognized Chechen Republic of Ichkeria organized by Chechen separatists including Dzhokhar Dudaev, Zelimkhan Yandarbiev, Aslan Maskhadov, and Abdul-Khalim Saidullaev were killed by FSB and affiliated forces.

Other widely publicized cases are murders of Russian communist Leon Trotsky and Bulgarian writer Georgi Markov.

There were also allegations that the KGB was behind the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II in 1981. The Italian Mitrokhin Commission, headed by senator Paolo Guzzanti (Forza Italia), worked on the Mitrokhin Archives from 2003 to March 2006. The Italian Mitrokhin commission received criticism during and after its existence.[21] It was closed in March 2006 without any proof brought to its various controversial allegations, including the claim that Romano Prodi, former and current Prime minister of Italy and former President of the European Commission, was the "KGB's man in Europe." One of Guzzanti's informers, Mario Scaramella, was arrested for defamation and arms trading at the end of 2006.[22]


Promotion of guerrilla organizations worldwide

Soviet secret services have been described as "the primary instructors of guerrillas worldwide".[5][23][24] According to Ion Mihai Pacepa, KGB General Aleksandr Sakharovsky once said: "In today’s world, when nuclear arms have made military force obsolete, terrorism should become our main weapon."[25] He also claimed that "Airplane hijacking is my own invention". In 1969 alone 82 planes were hijacked worldwide by the KGB-financed PLO.[25]

Lt. General Ion Mihai Pacepa described operation "SIG" (“Zionist Governments”) that was devised in 1972, to turn the whole Islamic world against Israel and the United States. KGB chairman Yury Andropov explained to Pacepa that

a billion adversaries could inflict far greater damage on America than could a few millions. We needed to instill a Nazi-style hatred for the Jews throughout the Islamic world, and to turn this weapon of the emotions into a terrorist bloodbath against Israel and its main supporter, the United States[25]

The following liberation organizations have been allegedly established or supported by the KGB: Red Army Faction, PLO, National Liberation Army of Bolivia (created in 1964 with help from Ernesto Che Guevara); the National Liberation Army of Colombia (created in 1965 with help from Cuba), Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1969, and the Secret Army for Liberation of Armenia in 1975.[26]


Russia's alleged disinformation campaign, its involvement in the UK's withdrawal from the EU and the election of Donald Trump as US President, and its support of far-right movements in the West has been compared to the Soviet Union's active measures in that it aims to "disrupt and discredit Western democracies".[27][28]

After the 2014 annexation of Crimea, Kremlin-controlled media spread disinformation about Ukraine’s government. In July 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by a Russian missile over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers. Kremlin-controlled media and online trolls spread disinformation, blaming Ukraine rebels had shot down the airplane.[29]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Mitrokhin, Vasili; Andrew, Christopher (2000). The Mitrokhin Archive The KGB in Europe and the West. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-028487-7. (en.wikipedia) (google books)
  2. ^ Testimony of Alexander, Gen. (ret.) Keith B. (March 30, 2017). "Disinformation: A Primer in Russian Active Measures and Influence Campaigns" (PDF). United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. p. 1. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Interview of Oleg Kalugin on CNN Archived June 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ CSPAN, Senate Intelligence Committee on the policy response to Russian interference in the 2016 elections: Victoria Nuland testimony, June 20, 2018. URL accessed July 19, 2018
  5. ^ a b c Stanislav Lunev. Through the Eyes of the Enemy: The Autobiography of Stanislav Lunev, Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1998. ISBN 0-89526-390-4
  6. ^ a b Pete Earley, "Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia's Master Spy in America After the End of the Cold War", Penguin Books, 2007, ISBN 978-0-399-15439-3, pages 167-177
  7. ^ Opposition to The Bomb: The fear, and occasional political intrigue, behind the ban-the-bomb movements Archived April 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ 1982 Article "Moscow and the Peace, Offensive" Archived 2008-10-27 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Central Intelligence Agency, "International Connection of US Peace Groups
  10. ^ Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009 ISBN 0-7139-9885-7
  11. ^ Paul Crutzen and John Birks, "The atmosphere after a nuclear war: Twilight at noon", Ambio, 11, 1982, pp.114-125
  12. ^ Antonov-Ovseenko, Anton, Beria, Moscow, 1999
  13. ^ Gordievsky, Oleg; Andrew, Christopher (1990). KGB: The Inside Story. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-48561-2.
  14. ^ Edvard Radzinsky Stalin: The First In-depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia's Secret Archives (1997) ISBN 0-385-47954-9
  15. ^ a b c Yevgenia Albats and Catherine A. Fitzpatrick. The State Within a State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia—Past, Present, and Future. 1994. ISBN 0-374-52738-5.
  16. ^ Vladimir Solovyov and Elena Klepikova (translated by Guy Daniels) Yuri Andropov, a secret passage into the Kremlin London: R. Hale, 1984. ISBN 0-7090-1630-1
  17. ^ Special services of Russian Federation work in the former Soviet Union (Russian) – by Andrei Soldatov and Irina Dorogan, Novaya Gazeta, 27 March 2006.
  18. ^ Moscow Accused of Backing Georgian Revolt Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine Olga Allenova and Vladimir Novikov, Kommersant, September 7, 2006.
  19. ^ a b Yossef Bodansky The Secret History of the Iraq War (Notes: The historical record). Regan Books, 2005, ISBN 0-06-073680-1
  20. ^ The Kremlin’s Killing Ways Archived 2007-08-08 at the Wayback Machine – by Ion Mihai Pacepa, National Review Online, November 28, 2006
  21. ^ L'Unità, 1 December 2006.
  22. ^ The Guardian, 2 December 2006 Spy expert at centre of storm (in English)
  23. ^ Viktor Suvorov Inside Soviet Military Intelligence Archived 2005-08-30 at the Wayback Machine, 1984, ISBN 0-02-615510-9
  24. ^ Viktor Suvorov Spetsnaz Archived 2005-09-10 at the Wayback Machine, 1987, Hamish Hamilton Ltd, ISBN 0-241-11961-8
  25. ^ a b c Russian Footprints – by Ion Mihai Pacepa, National Review Online, August 24, 2006
  26. ^ From Russia With Terror,, interview with Ion Mihai Pacepa, March 1, 2004
  27. ^ "The motherlands calls: Russian propaganda is state-of-the-art again". The Economist. 10 December 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  28. ^ "Russia Is Already Winning". Politico Magazine. 18 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  29. ^ "Russian disinformation distorts American and European democracy". The Economist. 22 February 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.

Further reading

  • Vasili Mitrokhin and Christopher Andrew, The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World, Basic Books (2005) hardcover, 677 pages ISBN 0-465-00311-7
  • Ishmael Jones, The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture, New York: Encounter Books (2010) (ISBN 978-1-59403-223-3).

External links

Active Measures (Homeland)

"Active Measures" is the fifth episode of the seventh season of the American television drama series Homeland, and the 77th episode overall. It premiered on Showtime on March 11, 2018.

Active Measures (film)

Active Measures is a 2018 documentary film by director Jack Bryan. It is the first major documentary to address the allegations of "collusion" between the Trump campaign and agents of the Russian state.

Active Measures Working Group

The Interagency Active Measures Working Group was a group led by the United States Department of State and later by the United States Information Agency (USIA). The group was formed early during the Reagan administration, in 1981, as an effort to counter aggressive Soviet propaganda.

Representatives of the CIA, FBI, Department of Defense, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of Justice, and the United States Information Agency were among the government agencies that served in the group. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Dennis Kux, was the group's first chairman and served until January, 1984. Three individuals succeeded Kux for brief stints: William Knepper, Tom Thorne, and Lucian Heichler. In 1985, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen C. Bailey was appointed Chair of the group and served until her departure in late 1987. An in-depth report by the National Defense University analyzed the history and effectiveness of the working group.

Although the primary focus of group's activities was countering Soviet disinformation, it also reported on front groups and other Soviet active measures. The Active Measures Working Group developed an approach that expanded the U.S. Government's monitoring of Soviet disinformation from an activity conducted exclusively by the CIA into an interagency counter-disinformation effort.


CD59 glycoprotein, also known as MAC-inhibitory protein (MAC-IP), membrane inhibitor of reactive lysis (MIRL), or protectin, is a protein that in humans is encoded by the CD59 gene. It belongs to the LY6/uPAR/alpha-neurotoxin protein family.CD59 attaches to host cells via a glycophosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. When complement activation leads to deposition of C5b678 on host cells, CD59 can prevent C9 from polymerizing and forming the complement membrane attack complex. It may also signal the cell to perform active measures such as endocytosis of the CD59-CD9 complex.Mutations affecting GPI that reduce expression of CD59 and decay-accelerating factor on red blood cells result in paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria.Viruses such as HIV, human cytomegalovirus and vaccinia incorporate host cell CD59 into their own viral envelope to prevent lysis by complement.

Clandestine HUMINT operational techniques

The Clandestine HUMINT page deals with the functions of that discipline, including espionage and active counterintelligence. This page deals with Clandestine HUMINT operational techniques, also called "tradecraft". It applies to clandestine operations for espionage, and for a clandestine phase prior to direct action (DA) or unconventional warfare (UW). Clandestine HUMINT sources may also act as local guides for special reconnaissance (SR).

Many of the techniques here are important in counterintelligence. Defensive counterintelligence personnel need to know them to recognize espionage, sabotage, etc. in process. Offensive counterintelligence specialists may actually use them against foreign intelligence services (FIS).

While DA and UW can be conducted by national military or paramilitary organizations, al-Qaeda and similar non-state militant groups appear to use considerably different clandestine cell system structure, for command, control, and operations, than do national forces. Cell systems are evolving to more decentralized models, sometimes because they are enabled by new forms of electronic communications.

This page deals primarily with one's own assets. See double agent for additional information adversary sources that a country has turned to its own side.

Confederate Secret Service

Confederate Secret Service refers to any of a number of official and semi-official secret service organizations and operations conducted by the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. Some of the organizations were under the direction of the Confederate government, others operated independently with government approval, while still others were either completely independent of the government or operated with only its tacit acknowledgment.

By 1864, the Confederate government was attempting to gain control over the various operations that had sprung up since the beginning of the war, but often with little success. Secret legislation was put before the Confederate Congress to create an official Special and Secret Bureau of the War Department. The legislation was not enacted until March 1865 and was never implemented; however, a number of groups and operations have historically been referred to as having been part of the Confederate Secret Service. In April 1865, most of the official papers of the Secret Service were burned by Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin just before the Confederate government evacuated Richmond, although a few pages of a financial ledger remain. Thus, the full story of Confederate secret operations may never be known.

Dezinformatsia (book)

Dezinformatsia: Active Measures in Soviet Strategy (and a later edition published as Dezinformatsia: The Strategy of Soviet Disinformation) is a non-fiction book about disinformation and information warfare used by the KGB during the Soviet Union period, as part of their active measures tactics. The book was co-authored by Richard H. Shultz, professor of international politics at Tufts University, and Roy Godson, professor emeritus of government at Georgetown University.

Shultz and Godson discuss Soviet disinformation tactics including injection of Communist propaganda through covert groups within the U.S.S.R. tasked with disrupting activities of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the U.S. The book explains disinformation methods including forgery as covert operation, agents of influence, and using social influence to turn targets into useful idiots. They focus on disinformation activities of Soviet intelligence from 1960 to 1980. Shultz and Godson discuss case studies as examples of Soviet disinformation, including a French journalist covertly financed by Russian agents in order to publish biased material against Western interests, and the front organization activities of the World Peace Council. They back up their analyses with two Soviet intelligence defectors.

Foreign Affairs called the book a "useful survey" of how Soviet intelligence used disinformation "to further its strategic aims such as discrediting America and weakening NATO". The Journal of Conflict Studies described it as "a useful introduction to a field of knowledge" of importance to security experts, the United States Intelligence Community, and diplomats. Society called Dezinformatsia, "a highly readable and insightful book". Political Science Quarterly gave the work a negative review, criticizing the book's writing style and methodological rigor.


Disinformation is false information spread deliberately to deceive.. This is a subset of misinformation, which also may be unintentional.

The English word disinformation is a loan translation of the Russian dezinformatsiya, derived from the title of a KGB black propaganda department. Joseph Stalin coined the term, giving it a French-sounding name to claim it had a Western origin. Russian use began with a "special disinformation office" in 1923. Disinformation was defined in Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1952) as "false information with the intention to deceive public opinion". Operation INFEKTION was a Soviet disinformation campaign to influence opinion that the U.S. invented AIDS. The U.S. did not actively counter disinformation until 1980, when a fake document reported that the U.S. supported apartheid.The word disinformation did not appear in English dictionaries until the late-1980s. English use increased in 1986, after revelations that the Reagan Administration engaged in disinformation against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. By 1990 it was pervasive in U.S. politics; and by 2001 referred generally to lying and propaganda.

First Chief Directorate

The First Main Directorate (or First Chief Directorate, Russian: Первое главное управление, Pervoye glavnoye upravleniye) of the Committee for State Security under the USSR council of ministers (PGU KGB) was the organization responsible for foreign operations and intelligence activities by providing for the training and management of covert agents, intelligence collection administration, and the acquisition of foreign and domestic political, scientific and technical intelligence in the Soviet Union. The First Chief Directorate was formed within the KGB directorate in 1954, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union was renamed as the Central Intelligence Service and finally the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR RF). Although the agency SVR restyle in 1991 implies a generic foreign surveillance activity, the primary foreign intelligence service in Russia and the Soviet Union has been the GRU, a military intelligence organization and special operations force shrouded in secrecy, most famed for stealing the blueprints of the atomic bomb during the Manhattan Project and barring entry into its headquarters to anyone, even the leader of the Soviet Union proper, without a formal authentication.


The KGB (Russian: Комите́т Госуда́рственной Безопа́сности (КГБ), tr. Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti, IPA: [kəmʲɪˈtʲet ɡəsʊˈdarstvʲɪnːəj bʲɪzɐˈpasnəsʲtʲɪ] (listen)), translated in English as Committee for State Security, was the main security agency for the Soviet Union from 1954 until its break-up in 1991. As a direct successor of preceding agencies such as Cheka, NKGB, NKVD and MGB, the committee was attached to the Council of Ministers. It was the chief government agency of "union-republican jurisdiction", acting as internal security, intelligence and secret police. Similar agencies were constituted in each of the republics of the Soviet Union aside from Russia, and consisted of many ministries, state committees and state commissions.

The agency was a military service governed by army laws and regulations, in the same fashion as the Soviet Army or MVD Internal Troops. While most of the KGB archives remain classified, two online documentary sources are available. Its main functions were foreign intelligence, counter-intelligence, operative-investigatory activities, guarding the State Border of the USSR, guarding the leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the Soviet Government, organization and ensuring of government communications as well as combating nationalism, dissent, and anti-Soviet activities.

In 1991, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the KGB was split into the Federal Security Service and the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation.

After breaking away from Georgia in the early 1990s with Russian help, the self-proclaimed Republic of South Ossetia established its own KGB (keeping this unreformed name).

Main Directorate for Reconnaissance

The Main Directorate for Reconnaissance (German: Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung, HVA) was the foreign intelligence service of the Ministry of State Security (Stasi), the main security agency of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), from 1955 to 1990.

The HVA was an integral part of the Stasi, responsible for operations outside of East Germany such as espionage, active measures, foreign intelligence gathering, and counterintelligence against NATO-aligned countries and their intelligence agencies.

The Stasi was disbanded in January 1990 and the HVA's mode of operation was revealed to the public, including internal structure, methods, and employees. The HVA became the subject of broad interest and intensive research under the responsibilities of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records. The HVA is regarded by some as the most effective foreign intelligence service during the Cold War.

Passivation (chemistry)

Passivation, in physical chemistry and engineering, refers to a material becoming "passive," that is, less affected or corroded by the environment of future use. Passivation involves creation of an outer layer of shield material that is applied as a microcoating, created by chemical reaction with the base material, or allowed to build from spontaneous oxidation in the air. As a technique, passivation is the use of a light coat of a protective material, such as metal oxide, to create a shell against corrosion. Passivation can occur only in certain conditions, and is used in microelectronics to enhance silicon. The technique of passivation strengthens and preserves the appearance of metallics. In electrochemical treatment of water, passivation reduces the effectiveness of the treatment by increasing the circuit resistance, and active measures are typically used to overcome this effect, the most common being polarity reversal, which results in limited rejection of the fouling layer. Other proprietary systems to avoid electrode passivation, several discussed below, are the subject of ongoing research and development.

When exposed to air, many metals naturally form a hard, relatively inert surface, as in the tarnish of silver. In the case of other metals, such as iron, a somewhat rough porous coating is formed from loosely adherent corrosion products. In this case, a substantial amount of metal is removed, which is either deposited or dissolved in the environment. Corrosion coating reduces the rate of corrosion by varying degrees, depending on the kind of base metal and its environment, and is notably slower in room-temperature air for aluminium, chromium, zinc, titanium, and silicon (a metalloid); the shell of corrosion inhibits deeper corrosion, and operates as one form of passivation. The inert surface layer, termed the "native oxide layer", is usually an oxide or a nitride, with a thickness of a monolayer of 0.1-0.3 nm (1-3 Å) for a noble metal such as platinum, about 1.5 nm (15 Å) for silicon, and nearer to 5 nm (50 Å) for aluminium after several years.

Political warfare

Political warfare is the use of political means to compel an opponent to do one's will, based on hostile intent. The term political describes the calculated interaction between a government and a target audience to include another state's government, military, and/or general population. Governments use a variety of techniques to coerce certain actions, thereby gaining relative advantage over an opponent. The techniques include propaganda and psychological operations (PSYOP), which service national and military objectives respectively. Propaganda has many aspects and a hostile and coercive political purpose. Psychological operations are for strategic and tactical military objectives and may be intended for hostile military and civilian populations.Political warfare's coercive nature leads to weakening or destroying an opponent's political, social, or societal will, and forcing a course of action favorable to a state's interest. Political war may be combined with violence, economic pressure, subversion, and diplomacy, but its chief aspect is "the use of words, images and ideas". The creation, deployment, and continuation of these coercive methods are a function of statecraft for nations and serve as a potential substitute for more direct military action. For instance, methods like economic sanctions or embargoes are intended to inflict the necessary economic damage to force political change. The utilized methods and techniques in political war depend on the state's political vision and composition. Conduct will differ according to whether the state is totalitarian, authoritative, or democratic.The ultimate goal of political warfare is to alter an opponent's opinions and actions in favour of one state's interests without utilizing military power. This type of organized persuasion or coercion also has the practical purpose of saving lives through eschewing the use of violence in order to further political goals. Thus, political warfare also involves "the art of heartening friends and disheartening enemies, of gaining help for one's cause and causing the abandonment of the enemies'". Generally, political warfare is distinguished by its hostile intent and through potential escalation; but the loss of life is an accepted consequence.

Propaganda in the Russian Federation

The propaganda of the Russian Federation is propaganda that promotes views, perceptions or agendas of the government of Russia. The media include state-run outlets and online technologies, and may involve using "Soviet-style 'active measures' as an element of modern Russian 'political warfare'".

Roy Godson

Roy Godson (born 1942) is an academic and scholar within the fields of international politics and national security, and a professor emeritus at Georgetown University.

Spurius Postumius Albinus (consul 110 BC)

For other persons with the cognomen "Albus" or "Albinus", see Albinus (cognomen).Spurius Postumius Albinus was a politician of ancient Rome, of patrician rank, of the 2nd century BC. He was consul in 110 BC, and obtained the province of Numidia to carry on the war against Jugurtha. He made vigorous preparations for war, but when he reached the province he did not adopt any active measures, but allowed himself to be deceived by the artifices of Jugurtha, who constantly promised to surrender. Many persons supposed that his inactivity was intentional, and that Jugurtha had bought him over. When Albinus departed from Africa, he left his brother Aulus Postimius Albinus in command. After the defeat of the latter he returned to Numidia, but in consequence of the disorganized state of his army, he did not prosecute the war, and handed over the army in this condition, in the following year, to the consul Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus. He was condemned by the Lex Mamilia, which was passed to punish all those who had been guilty of treasonable practices with Jugurtha.He was probably the son of Spurius Postumius Albinus Magnus.

The KGB and Soviet Disinformation

The KGB and Soviet Disinformation: An Insider's View is a non-fiction book about the KGB's use of disinformation and information warfare during the Soviet Union period. It was written by former intelligence officer specializing in disinformation for the Czech Intelligence Service and retired professor of disinformation at Boston University, Ladislav Bittman (later known as Lawrence Martin-Bittman).Under the direction of the Soviet secret police, Bittman was deputy chief of the disinformation division for Czech intelligence called the Department for Active Measures and Disinformation. In the book, he warns how disinformation can lead to blowback, causing unintended consequences from intelligence agency actions, which were harmful to the Soviet Union. The book includes case studies of joint disinformation campaigns by the Soviet Union and Czech intelligence and their repercussions, including a successful operation to stop the building of an aerospace center in West Germany and a failed plot to accuse CBS News anchor Dan Rather of murder in Afghanistan.The book received a positive reception from SAIS Review, where it was called "fascinating reading". Foreign Affairs gave a mixed review saying the author exaggerated the role of the KGB. One review in the International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence called the book "an excellent study" and its author "the top authority on disinformation in the U.S.", while another in the same journal said it lacked depth. It was also reviewed in the Italian language Rivista di Studi Politici Internazionali.

The Plot to Hack America

The Plot to Hack America: How Putin's Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election is a non-fiction book by Malcolm Nance about what the author describes as Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. It was published in paperback, audiobook, and e-book formats in 2016 by Skyhorse Publishing. A second edition was also published the same year, and a third edition in 2017. Nance researched Russian intelligence, working as a Russian interpreter and studying KGB history.Nance described the black propaganda warfare known as active measures by RT (Russia Today) and Sputnik News. He recounts Vladimir Putin's KGB rise, and details Trump campaign ties to Russia. Nance concludes that Putin managed the cyberattack by hacker groups Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear.The Wall Street Journal placed the book in its list of "Best-Selling Books" for the week of February 19, 2017, at seventh place in the category "Nonfiction E-Books". New York Journal of Books called it "an essential primer for anyone wanting to be fully informed about the unprecedented events surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election." Napa Valley Register described Nance's work as "the best book on the subject". The Huffington Post remarked Putin had played a Game of Thrones with the election. Newsweek wrote that the problem with disinformation tactics is that by the time they are debunked, the public has already consumed the falsehoods.

Operations and events
Frozen conflicts
Foreign policy
See also

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