irwi99 (irwi99) wrote,

The Lubyanka Files: Textbooks for Putin's Spies

EDITOR'S NOTE, Oct. 4, 2019: Note that since this project was launched we have increased the number of KGB manuals in our possession from 11 to 20. Following the description of the project below, we now introduce the titles and summaries of the new batch of manuals first, then proceed to the titles and summaries of the original batch, which were published when this campaign began.

This project, presented by The Interpreter , will explore the history of Soviet espionage and subversion, as told through never-before-published KGB training manuals spanning multiple decades. Once used to train Soviet intelligence officers, these documents are still classified in modern Russia because of their continued curricular use in teaching tradecraft to Vladimir Putin's spies at Russia’s domestic and foreign intelligence academies. They range in content from how to recruit and psychologically manipulate agents on Western soil; how to root out enemy disinformation schemes; how to infiltrate international scientific gatherings to recruit agents; to how to outflank suspected agents provocateurs. These are all methods still used today to undermine the United States and European countries.

The goal will be to provide a kind of “living history” of the Cold War, relying almost exclusively on primary sources from the Lubyanka’s own files, similar to The Mitrokhin Archive, but with the added value of bringing this history into the contemporary relevance.

Sovietologists, historians and intelligence experts will naturally find this project an invaluable addition of primary sources for understanding how Soviet intelligence pedagogy and practice worked. Lay readers will come away with accessible and useful pen portraits of how one of the most notorious security services ever contrived cynically tried to snare ordinary people -- many of them Soviet citizens -- for the purpose of making them do extraordinary things. Most important, this project will help illuminate the theory and practice of ongoing Russian intelligence operations against the West and better immunize people from being duped, seduced or destroyed by them.

"The Lubyanka Files" will be unveiled over the course of a year, with each calendar month dedicated to the release of a new KGB manual.

Each publication will be:

Posted in full in scanned form at The Interpreter;
Posted in full English translation next to the Russian-language original;
“Curated” by Interpreter staff

Curation will include a stand-alone essay for each manual explaining the tradecraft it reveals and how it relates to actual historical episodes and contemporary Russian intelligence efforts. (To see examples of how this looks, see Interpreter Editor-in-Chief Michael Weiss’s series on four previously uncovered KGB training manuals in The Daily Beast.) These new manuals will be accompanied by a dynamic "spy exhibition," hosted at The Interpreter's website, which will feature:

Tags: kgb/fsb, kremlin, vladimir putin, Владимир Путин, кгб/фсб, кремлёвские, шпионаж

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