An overview of the most effective operations carried out by the disinformation department of Czechoslovak intelligence in 1986–1988
The last surviving documents on the cooperation between Czechoslovak intelligence (Dir. I, SNB) and the main directorate of the KGB (1stChief Dir., KGB USSR), in agency operations and the production of active and influence measures, include three documents from February 1988 and 1989, intended either directly for the highest representative of Soviet intelligence in Czechoslovakia, i.e. Maj. Gen. Valentin Borisovič Lvov (the last chief representative of the 1st Chief Directorate of the KGB at Directorate I of the SNB in Prague), or the information section of Czechoslovak intelligence, as the basis for the drafting of an overview for "Soviet Friends".
Historian Pavel Žáček published a study entitled For peace and socialism until the bitter end II. Documents on the cooperation between Czechoslovak and Soviet intelligence from 1987–1989 in the anthology Securitas Imperii. With the author's permission we have reproduced the most important matters – an overview of the operations of Section 36 (influence and active measures (AM) section), which Czechoslovak intelligence conducted during the 1986–1988 (dis)information war, and evaluated as "highly effective".
- Overview of disinformation and psychological operations of Czechoslovak intelligence around the world in 1965
- List of operations of the disinformation section from 1970 - 1989
22 February 1989 – Prague. Overview of most effective active measures carried out by Section 36, assigned to Section 10 of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the National Security Corps 1986-1988, ref. A-00191/36-89
Náčelník 10. odboru
Col. Karel ŠENER
Subject: Overview of most effective AMs for 1986, 87, 88 – sent
At the request of Section 10 (comrade Šener) we enclose an overview of the most effective active measures for 1986, 1987, 1988, evaluated as H[ighly] E[ffective].
We provide the materials for your further use.
Chief of Section 36 […]
Maj. Jaroslav PÁNÍK
Source: ABS, f. Directorate I of the SNB – nesvazková agenda, ISF 474, sl. 5. Subject: Overview of most effective AMs for 1986, 87, 88 – sent, 22. 2. 1989. Original, typescript, 1 page
Overview of most effective active measures carried out by Section 36 of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the National Security Corps from 1986 - 1988
Operation SEPIE – unmasking aggressive US policy (particularly in Latin America); promoting the peace proposals of the USSR and socialist nations
AM LIUS 2
Objective: condemnation of US aggression in Libya and the threat of the same in Nicaragua.
Execution: speaking engagements for residenturas in L[atin] A[merica] at political party meetings.
Repercussions: positive reaction in the local media, resulting in protests.
Objective: discrediting of US positions in connection with Gorbachev–Reagan discussions in Reykjavik.
Execution: dissemination of ideas (requested by Friends) in W[estern] E[urope] through journalists and political contacts by means of articles, speeches and interviews.
Repercussions: positive impact.
Objective: condemnation of racial discrimination against black people and residents of LA origin in the USA.
Execution: in the form of a brochure in LA using materials supplied by Friends.
Repercussions: presenting publication at universities to 1500 people, subsequent discussion, wide distribution in LA, responses in HSP, letters from readers; highly rated by Friends.
AM DEFENSA 2
Objective: discrediting the US "Star Wars" military strategy.
Execution: in the form of a brochure in LA.
Repercussions: appeared in the press; considered as good source material for journalists and political figures; thank you letter from a senator.
AM FORO 6
Objective: to act upon Jewish circles in Europe and the USA to further the development of the disarmament process and cooperation in the spirit of initiatives of the socialist community (Jakeš's plan)
Execution: our ideas were expressed through the agency of Dir. X, SNB during two international events of Jewish organizations and the text of the speech was distributed among participants. It was advocated that a "Jews for Peace and Disarmament" group be set up and included in a TV spot.
Repercussions: the establishment of the group was accepted by several prominent officials of the European Jewish Congress. The television spot was picked up by the CNN in US. US Embassy expressed interest in the output of the AM. The Zionist International Council of Jews from Czechoslovakia headquartered in London responded sharply.
AM DRAFT 7
Objective: to promote the concept of establishing a demilitarised zone in connection with the idea of creating a zone of trust and cooperation along the line of contact between W[arsaw] P[act] countries and NATO.
Execution: in the form of using the international broadcasting of Czech radio, television and the publication of a brochure in Belgium, to be distributed in Western Europe and the USA.
Repercussions: the television spot was taken up by American, Chinese, Japanese and Yugoslavian television. Positive written responses to the brochure were received from the director of a Californian university, a Belgian MP and a senior French official. Other sources also labelled the brochure as unobjectionable for Western readers.
Objective: to discredit the USA by exposing US attempts to create a secret fund for the financing of Nicaraguan counter-revolutionaries by initiating illegal arms sales to Venezuela.
Execution: in the form of questioning of the Minister of Defense through the press; publishing in the country's HSP and initiating a letter from Venezuelan MPs to the US Congress.
Repercussions: the reaction of the Minister of National Defense and other politicians published in the press; US diplomat's statement published; comments in HSP; appreciated by Friends.
Operation KOMETA – actions to discredit unfriendly special services (especially the CIA and the German BND)
AM RETUŠ 2
Objective: to discredit an ex-cadre of Directorate I of the SNB (ŠTURMA); attempt to provoke special services to react, through Radio Free Europe (RFE).
Execution: in the form of 4 telephone calls to RFE and making the search known to the public through Czechoslovak television.
Repercussions: no direct feedback obtained, but according to reliable intel the information from the direct telephonic connection to RFE was passed along to the US leadership of RFE, who then forwarded it to the special services of the USA and West Germany.
AM UDAR 3
Objective: to discredit the CIA's intelligence activities in the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria.
Execution: a fake declaration followed by fake letters connected to such declaration.
Repercussions: the action caused a stir among the diplomatic corps in Algeria, reinforcing the feeling of many diplomats that caution was needed in interactions with the US Embassy; led to a decrease in the CIA's intelligence activities in the country and caused the US residentura to react.
Operation INFEKCE – against centres of ideodiversity and the issue of divisions among hostile emigrants
Objective: to eliminate pressure from Western delegations against socialist countries regarding human rights' violations (in particular the discriminatory nationality policy implemented by Austria).
Execution: in the form of using a petition of the Slovenian minority in reaction to information about the situation of the Czech minority in Austria; initiating a protest march by Czech and Slovenian minorities; a pamphlet supporting national minorities in Austria; a pamphlet supporting national minorities in Austria (for delegates of the Follow-Up Meetings in Vienna); sending of a delegation of national minorities to US representatives at the Meeting.
Repercussions: the AM led to negotiations between Austrian representatives and minorities on improving their living conditions.
AM RAND 2
Objective: stirring up conflict between staff members at the magazine Svědectví and disrupting its ties to the CSSR.
Execution: in the form of an article in Signál magazine and agency-operative combination.
Repercussions: as a result of the operation Tigrid'scollaborator left the editorial office and some reservations were raised about Tigrid's style of work. Provoked a reaction from the head of the AFP press agency in Prague.
Objective: to discredit HRUŠOVSKÝ the bishop for Slovak emigrants abroad and sharpen differences of opinion in the selection of a chairman of the S[lovak] W[orld] C[ongress].
Execution: in the form of an open letter by a fictitious organisation of Slovak Catholics and a falsified appeal by an SWC opposition group.
Repercussions: RFE responded to the activities by discrediting Bishop HRUŠOVSKÝ and he was not selected as a candidate for chairman of the SWC.
Operation ÚROK – support of Czechoslovak international trade and discreditation of the economic policy of the USA
AM GRAFIT 8
Objective: reducing the effect of Western propaganda regarding the Chernobyl accident and influencing the EEA's environmental work in Brussels.
Execution: by spreading our ideas by word of mouth at an international conference in Sweden and at the EEA environmental protection agency in Brussels.
Repercussions: the accident in Chernobyl was not condemned at the conference in Sweden and the embargo on the importation of food from socialist countries was gradually lifted by the EEA.
Objective: to create conditions for increasing the activities of Fiat in cooperation with Czechoslovakia and to discredit the Fiat representative for Czechoslovakia.
Execution: by means of spreading our ideas among the more prominent people at Fiat.
Repercussions: after the AM, Fiat's interest in renewing relations with the ČSSR increased (e.g. specifically resulting in the assigning of a licence for the production of engines for the Škoda 781). And the absence of the Fiat representative for the CSSR at negotiations between Fiat and the CSSR signalled that he had been intentionally excluded from the negotiations.
Objective: to create misgivings about in the scientific and industrial circles of Western Europe about the benefits of cooperating with the USA.
Execution: in the form of dissemination of our ideas and a lecture at an international conference in France.
Repercussions: an immediate consequence for the CSSR was the effect it had on the Japanese delegation, which concluded an agreement on cooperation with the ČSSR immediately after the conference.
AM ERES 2
Objective: to artificially induce competitive attitudes, in favour of ČS-PLO, between the ports of Bremen, Rotterdam and Hamburg, thereby improving the situation for Czechoslovakia at the Hamburg port.
Execution: by means of a media campaign in West Germany, influencing West German political and economic players; an interview on German television.
Repercussions: out of the fear of losing its Czechoslovak partner, the Hamburg port offered to let ČS-PLO increase its number of dockworkers and lowered the cost of facility rental by 15%.
Operation LONG – discreditation of NATO and exposure of divisions between member states of NATO; peace issues focusing primarily on Europe
Objective: to deepen the anti-American direction of the "Dialogue on the Mediterranean" using the platform of efforts to create a nuclear-free zone in this region.
Execution: use of our propositions in the "Dialogue in Athens" in the speech of a participant and in his discussions with delegates.
Repercussions: a substantial part of the speech was subsequently published in the local and Cypriot press and the propositions were disseminated among participants from Portugal, Libya, Algeria, Syria, Israel, Sudan and Lebanon. A spokesperson for the Government of Cyprus expressed official interest in the script of the speech.
AM ARAK 2
Objective: to discredit US policy towards Nicaragua (N).
Execution: special edition of a Belgian magazine, which was distributed to a number of Western European countries.
Repercussions: the magazine reiterated the appeal we began to collect funds to support Nicaragua and contributed arguments to the discussion regarding other US policy action against Nicaragua. The discussion resulted in the adoption of a communiqué sent by political and social leaders of Belgium and the HSP. Widely published in the press, incorporating our ideas. Positive impact verified in talks with political players.
AM ARAK 4
Objective:to incite and broaden actions by the Cypriot public against US policy towards Nicaragua (N).
Execution: youth organizations were inspired to support N through various actions (discussions, articles, collections of money); articles from ARAK 2 were used in the local press; promotional materials produced (stickers, badges).
Repercussions: the action was adopted by other progressive Cypriot organizations, creating a long-term campaign in line with the AM's objectives, with great public response.
Objective: to strengthen divisions between the European members of NATO and the USA, taking advantage of the fact that Cypriot sites do not control supplies (of chemical weapons) to English military bases in Cyprus.
Execution: by means of articles in the Greek press, a fake document, the spreading of our ideas in Cyprus's political and social circles even against the President.
Repercussions: The Cypriot press published an article with copies of documents distributed through the AM and the content of the article was published in a report for the Embassy and other major subscribers. The press criticized the government's lax approach (also published in the report); the campaign led to action by the Cyprus Peace Council, which was widely published.
Objective: to contribute to the spreading of the USSR's proposals for the guaranteeing of security and the easing of tensions in the Mediterranean.
Execution: by means of publishing the entire proposal in the bulletin of an influential Italian organization; printing posters condemning US activities and plans in the Mediterranean (some of the posters were put up at US military bases and some were sent to peace organizations in Italy, Greece and Spain).
Repercussions: a number of Italian peacekeeping organizations used the information that was spread and joined the call to declare the Italian coast a denuclearized zone, thereby strengthening resistance to the US presence in the area. The organization that issued the bulletin was fully won over to our cause and on its own continues to champion the aims of our AM.
Operation AKTÉR – discrediting the policy of the Federal Republic of Germany (operation discontinued in 1988 and subject matter incorporated into operation LONG)
AM ETNA 2
Objective:to activate the peace movement in West Germany, Austria and the German-speaking regions of Switzerland and Belgium against US space armament plans.
Execution: through re-issuing of a brochure (extended version incorporating Friends' materials) in the Federal Republic of Germany and distribution in the above countries.
Repercussions: positive impact, especially among left-wing members of the SPD, assessed as suitable material for mobilizing the passive forces of the SPD, for use in party training; as study material for officials of district and provincial organizations of SPO; the brochure was owned by the Austrian Foreign Minister.
Objective: to deepen the discrediting of the CDU/CSU/FDP coalition within democratically oriented FRG circles.
Execution: in the form of a brochure published in West Germany.
Repercussions: the brochure was positively received by SPD officials and organizations (e.g. the municipal organization in Bonn); they used it in pre-election rallies and identified it as a positive contribution to the activation and equipping of the SPD base (for argumentation and propaganda).
Objective: to stir up anti-American sentiment in Bavaria through the spreading of fictional information about US interest in building a military training ground in the area, and to simultaneously discredit Strauss and the Secretary of Defence as advocates of US interests in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Execution: by means of a fake letter (information about a planned training ground and invitation to a rally); a fake flyer in the name of an environmentalists' organization attacking Strauss, etc.
Repercussions: the event (fictitious rally) provoked widespread police action. Members of the CDU requested clarification of the matter.
Objective: to discredit Kohl's 115thgovernment, which is developing relations with the US at the expense of the country's security.
Execution: in the form of a brochure in the FRG incorporating Friends' materials.
Repercussions: appropriate promotional material within the election battle - contributed to influencing the voter base in favour of the SPD.
Objective: to discredit Strauss in FRG social circles based on his activities during the war and cause a rift between the leadership of S[udetendeutsche] L[andsmantschaft] and Strauss.
Execution: by means of a fake declaration and fake invitation by the SL to a press conference regarding the announcement of a proposal to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Strauss.
Repercussions: the report was published by the US Press Agency and immediately retracted. The local press then branded the action as a targeted disruptive manoeuvre before an SL rally. Despite denouncing it as counterfeit, the press returned to the content in commentaries, quoted passages, criticized the working methods of the US Press Agency (important information should be verified); the press secretary for the SL was outraged, but acknowledged that the information in the counterfeit declaration is partially true.
Objective: to deepen divisions between NATO member states in the selection of a new S[ecretary] G[eneral]; to discredit Strauss.
Execution: through a fake statement by Strauss and a fake flyer of a Belgian anti-American oriented political party.
Repercussions: the fake statement by Strauss against the candidacy of the Secretary of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany for the post of SG of NATO was quoted by the Dutch before Kohl's visit to Holland; the HSP in the FRG have labelled the declaration as a fake, saying that the author has links to high political positions in Germany.
Operation DELTA – expose aggressive US policy in the M[iddle] E[ast] (operation discontinued in 1987; subject matter incorporated into operation NAPA)
Objective: to discredit the objectives of US neoglobalism in connection with US aggression against Libya.
Execution: pursuant to our ideas, realized mainly in the press and influence channels of residenturas of Athens, Delhi, Tokyo, Algiers, Paris, Berlin, Tirana (coordinated with Friends).
Repercussions: published in 3 influential periodicals, spread by word of mouth withinpolitical, journalistic and diplomatic circles, press conference organized, influencing of foreign correspondents; overall feedback positive.
Operation NAPA – strengthening the anti-imperialist nature of the NAM
AM TEMPO 4
Objective: to contribute to compromising the US political and military strategy in developing world states in connection with the 8th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Execution: by means of the publication of a book in India (in cooperation with GDR intelligence services).
Repercussions: in addition to sales in the country and distribution to selected addresses, the book was distributed right at the summit venue; very positive feedback from conference participants and attending journalists; interview with the author on Zimbabwe TV and radio; expression of considerable interest in further prints, including by the Americans; the book received the greatest attention out of all publications made available at the summit venue.
AM USUS 7
Objective: to promote Soviet peace proposals with particular emphasis on the regions of Asia and the Pacific.
Execution: the programme of an international symposium on "Non-Alignment and World Peace" was prepared in India based on our propositions.
Repercussions: the event was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India and a number of government, political and academic representatives participated. The press and television reported on the preparation, course and conclusion of the event.
AM FAVORIT 3
Objective: to expose the damage to the Syrian economy by an American oil company.
Execution: through the transmission of information to President Assad by the agency.
Repercussions: accurate knowledge of the situation made it possible to discredit the US firm and caused the Syrian President to commission Czechoslovakia for the project ($ 8 million in net profit for Czechoslovakia).
AM FAVORIT 4
followed up on AM FAVORIT 3 and in a similar manner obtained an additional contract for the CSSR representing about 7 million in net profit for the CSSR.
Operation PAGODA – discrediting the policies of the Vatican and Pope John Paul II (operation discontinued in 1987; subject matter incorporated into operation INFEKCE)
AM AVANTI 2
Objective: to contribute to creating discord between the Secretary of State and the management of Vatican Radio, and to temper the hard-hitting speeches of representatives of Czechoslovak priestly emigration against the CSSR on Radio Vatican.
Execution: through a channel of influence in the leadership of the State Secretariat of the Vatican.
Repercussions: the transmitted information about the unjustified attack of Radio Vatican against the CSSR triggered the transfer of the author (a Czechoslovak emigrant) of the radio transmission from the Vatican to Paris and the end of his contributions to Radio programmes. No similar transmissions were made any more.
Operation ČAJ – discrediting the hegemonic policies of the P[eople's] R[epublic] of C[hina] and a positive AM for improving relations with the PRC
Objective: to disrupt Sino-Japanese political relations.
Execution: in the form of fake invitations to fictional receptions and fake threatening letters and statements of fictitious organizations.
Repercussions: a fictitious Japanese ultra-nationalist organization responded angrily to the Chinese presence in the country in a reply to the false invitation of the Chinese Embassy in Japan (an invitation to a reception to commemorate the anniversary of Japan's surrender); to this Japanese provocation, a fictitious Chinese organization responded with a false statement addressed to the Japanese Embassy in Beijing and various Japanese representations in the PRC. The Japanese press published a dismissive statement from the PRC Embassy in Tokyo; the Chinese press published a statement by a Chinese government spokesperson calling on the Japanese government to deal with the case in Tokyo (in addition to the vandalization of a Sino-Japanese memorial by worked up Japanese nationalist groups and demonstrations in front of the PRC Embassy). The action caused considerable turmoil at the PRC embassy in Tokyo, the local diplomatic corps and Chinese side, [it] was believed to be an AM by the CIA or Taiwan's special services.
Objective: to discredit Chinese nationalism in the eyes of representatives of developing countries, especially African countries.
Execution: in the form of a fake threatening letter by a fictitious Chinese students' organisation to select embassies of African countries.
Repercussions: Content of fake letter – the negative opinion regarding the inappropriate behaviour of African students in the PRC (from the perspective of Chinese nationalism) caused indignation and protest actions by African and other developing nation students and representatives in the PRC. The situation was dealt with by the Chinese government and a solution was adopted by the State Education Commission. The chairman of the All-China Students' Federation also had to take a stand. African students and diplomatic representatives were promised redress. Widely published in the local and foreign press. Weakened faith in China's nationalist direction.
Operation ASPEN – the struggle against international Zionism (operation discontinued in 1987; subject matter incorporated mainly into operation SEPIE)
AM DERBY 12
Objective: to spread among leading political representatives of the Arab world an assessment of developments in the Middle East in 1985 with the intention of unifying progressive Arab forces in the fight against Israel and the US.
Execution: in the form of a brochure drafted based on 12 editions of a bulletin issued by Czechoslovak intelligence under the auspices of a fictitious Arab Islamic group.
Repercussions: used by journalists in Algeria, Egypt, highly rated by Friends.
AM ADA 10
Objective: to scare Americans in Jordan and Cairo by insinuating that they would be the victims of Zionist terror.
Execution: in the form of a leaflet by a fictitious Zionist organisation sent to political figures, institutions and HSPs, especially in Western Europe.
Repercussions: specific concerns of workers at US institutions abroad were registered.
Objective: to deepen dissent on the issue of promoting the migration of Jews to Israel.
Execution: a falsified bulletin of a fictitious Jewish organisation sent to the press in Western Europe and the USA.
Repercussions: had an effect especially in England, and raised the concerns of the relevant circles and authorities in Israel and the World Zionist Organization.
Objective: to spread the views of the CSSR on the problems of the Middle East, Israeli aggression and the ideological diversity of Zionism among the Western and Arab public.
Execution: a brochure based on the views of the US publicist published by the Orbis Press Agency in Arabic and English.
Repercussions: rated highly mainly by foreign journalists; Arafat123showed interest.
AM FORO 2
Objective: to influence the differentiation process in the circles of the World Jewish Congress to support realistic positions (war and peace, etc.).
Execution: speeches by Czechoslovak delegates at the World Jewish Congress based on our propositions.
Repercussions: Widespread HSP response in the West; positively rated by Friends.
Source: ABS, Directorate I, SNB report - nesvazková agenda, ISF 474, col. 5. Annex to ref. A-00191 / 36-89. Original, typescript, 17 pages
Prepared by Peter Rendek
Printed in the header: No. 1, annex: 1/17 and a handwritten note: (5) and ref. no.: A-0043/10-89 ZD.
Col. Karel Šimůnek – "Šener" (born 1930), chief of Section 10 (planning and analysis section) of Directorate I. SNB from 1. 4. 1982 to 31. 5. 1989.
Signature: Maj. Páník 23/2/89. Mjr. Jaroslav Sládeček – "Pánik" (born 1951), chief of Section 36, Directorate I of the SNB from 1 October 1988 to February 1990