The KGB in Africa

Espionage History Archive

Africa has long been a geopolitical battleground among the great powers, with the Cold War representing an especially intense round of this struggle. From the archives of Russia’s SVR comes an overview of the KGB First Chief Directorate’s intelligence, covert action, and political influence operations in Africa during the 1960s and 1970s.  


In the postwar period, Soviet foreign intelligence had to work on an African continent almost unknown to it up to that time. In the 1950s, Soviet intelligence’s interest in Africa was conditioned mainly by the acquisition of information on the plans and intentions of Western countries. At that time many air and naval bases of NATO member nations were situated in Africa. Their interest in the continent was rooted not only in strategic reasoning: Africa was rich in food and mineral resources, and her depths preserved deposits of materials necessary for modern industry, such as uranium, cobalt, wolfram…

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1 Comment on The KGB in Africa

  1. Hi, Guilherme hailing from Brazil here

    I’ve recently discovered your site and I am enjoying your writings a lot.
    Since you are rebloging this piece on KGB espionage in Africa, I’ll ask: Are you acquainted with the works of some of the notable soviet bloc defectors such as Anatoliy Golitsyn, Ladislav Bittman, Jan Sejna and Ion Mihai Pacepa? If not, then here is my recommendation, and now that I’m at it, take a look in Jeffrey Nyquist’s site too.

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