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Creating “Fear, Unrest, Confusion and Dissension”

Stephen Fidler has an interesting oped coming out in tomorrow’s Financial Times titled “It would not be the first time, Mr Putin.”

Further insight into old Russian practices, now obviously abandoned, comes from a CIA memo of 1964, now declassified: Soviet Use of Assassination and Kidnapping. The memo looks into the techniques known in the KGB as “liquid affairs”, carried out by the agency’s Department 13, which was indeed unlucky for some. Within it were two secret installations, one producing special weapons and explosive devices and the other developing drugs and poisons. “The large numbers of former citizens of the USSR (and of imperial Russia) living abroad in protest against the Soviet regime have been a continuing cause for concern to the Soviets since the early twenties,” the memo said. “Emigré leaders who participate in anti-Soviet activities have been primary targets of Soviet abduction or assassination operations. Such operations are sometimes designed to demonstrate that the Soviet regime can strike its enemies anywhere in the world. The Soviets hope thereby to create fear, unrest, confusion and dissension within emigré organisations and at the same time deter other emigrés from joining their ranks.”