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Espionage Manual 6 - Soviet Defector & Tradecraft in Cold War
Espionage Manual 6 - Soviet Defector & Tradecraft
Secret Report of a Soviet Defector
© 2006
74 pages, 10 chapters, 1 appendix
Espionage Manual #6 - Soviet Defector and Tradecraft is a heretofore secret report
detailing the
transactions and tradecraft employed in Moscow during a nearly a
decade time span (during the
Cold War years of 1977-85). A Soviet citizen with
information of use to the US CIA attempted to defect to that agency’s Moscow
with his information. The CIA was then, and is now, infiltrated by communist moles
and agents of influence. Such personages were especially
prevalent in the Moscow
during the so-called Cold War with the USSR.  This report illustrates how the
CIA handled
one specific Soviet defector case. It describes the rudimentary
tradecraft utilized
by concerned operatives. The report fails to answer why the CIA
took so long to accept this Soviet defector
. One very possible reason for the delay
was that
communist moles within the Moscow Station hoped that by delaying the
defection of the Soviet, they might better insure his capture by Soviet counter intelligence.
Above all, it must be remembered that the only way the
CIA ever got any information
on the
Soviet Union during the Cold War was by Soviet defectors.
Review Table of Contents
“As part of this process, every case officer went to great lengths to establish a routine that took him to various parts of
Moscow on a regular basis, to do shopping, run errands, take part in recreational activities, go sightseeing, take the
children out, walk the dog, and so forth.  These routines were carefully constructed to try to bore the KGB surveillance
teams, to the point where they would be moved to other, presumably more productive, targets.  If and when the officers
did find themselves free of surveillance while on these personal travels around the city, they would take advantage of
this situation to look for prospective new dead drop sites, to service such sites, or to carry out other operational
This method of action meant that a series of alternative contacts had to be built into every agent communication
system, because a case officer could never know ahead of time whether he would be free of surveillance on any given
day.  Because of the heavy surveillance normally used against CIA case officers, another part of any agent
communications system required that several case officers be read in on the case, so that any one of them who was
able to determine that he was surveillance-free on a given day would be capable of communicating with the agent.
Another technique that was used to defeat KGB surveillance was to disguise the identity of the case officer being sent
out to meet with Tolkachev.  This technique was first used in this operation in June 1980.  John Guilsher drove to the
US Embassy building at about 7:20 p.m., ostensibly having been invited to dinner at the apartment of an Embassy
officer who lived there.  Once inside, he disguised himself so that when he later left the compound in another vehicle,
he would not be recognized by KGB surveillants waiting outside.  Checking to ensure that he was free of surveillance,
Guilsher, while still in the vehicle, changed out of his western clothes and made himself look as much as possible like a
typical, working-class Russian by putting on a Russian hat and working-class clothes, taking a heavy dose of garlic,
and splashing some vodka on himself.  Guilsher then left his vehicle and proceeded on foot and by local public
transportation to a public phone booth, where he called the agent out for a meeting at a prearranged site.”
Excerpt from Espionage Manual #6 - Soviet Defector and Tradecraft
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