Deception & “Active Measures”

Espionage History Archive

KGB Lt. General Vitaly Gregorievich Pavlov (1914-2005), a senior officer of the First Chief Directorate (Foreign Intelligence), responds to charges made by Soviet defectors to the West regarding disinformation campaigns in the Cold War. Pavlov notes that disinformation is a normal tool for ensuring the secrecy of ongoing intelligence operations by any espionage service, and that Anatoly Golitsyn’s claims of a “grand deception” were proven as fantasy by the historical record.


Now I’d like to speak a bit on the so-called active measures of Soviet foreign intelligence – those very active measures over which Anatoly Golitsyn, Stanislav Levchenko, Vladislav Bittman, and still others among the traitors, launched into their hysterics after having left for the West. In their portrayal, such measures represent calculated, wide-scale activity to deceive a world audience and lead it into confusion regarding the true goals and motives of Soviet foreign policy.

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1 Comment on Deception & “Active Measures”

  1. Douwe Egberts // March 8, 2018 at 12:35 pm // Reply

    Why has Vitaly Pavlov’s book, Memoirs of a Spymaster: My Fifty Years in the KGB (1994) completely disappeared from the market? As a bookseller, I can say this this is most irregular. I sold many copied of this book, and then years later while working on a book I’m writing, I tried to locate a copy. I had sold my last one for $10. I saw a copy on Amazon.ca (Canada) going for over $2000 Canadian dollars, and since then it has totally disappeared. Nobody but an intelligence agency would pay $2000 for a paperback of less than 20 years old. All copies in the worlds, including at libraries, have totally disappeared. I think I understand why. Pavlov had mentioned Gorbachev’s dealings with South Africa, and contracts to sell all of the former USSR’s diamonds to De Beers. The book raised many questions that need to be discussed globally.

    I’m guessing that the Russian, South African and Israeli secret services have gone on a spending-spree to buy up every available copy of this book. It needs to be reprinted, and I know several publishers who would pay handsomely for the rights.

    Anyone have a copy?

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