Jonathan Haslam – Soviet counter-intelligence against US operations in Moscow

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Event Date: 29 April – 1 May 2011
East Midlands Conference Centre
University of Nottingham  
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RJ



Landscapes of Secrecy: The CIA in History, Fiction and Memory


Professor Jonathan Haslam (University of Cambridge) – Soviet counter-intelligence against US operations in Moscow

The paper outlines the role of Soviet counter-intelligence (in this case the 2nd Main Directorate of the KGB) in combating CIA operations in Moscow when the Americans began beefing up action on the ground in the Soviet Union under diplomatic cover. Operations against the main enemy are set against the overall tasks of the 2nd Main Directorate which were broadened and deepened with the accession of Yuri Andropov to chairmanship of the KGB in 1967. The work of the First Main Directorate’s Counter-Intelligence directorate is also considered, as this was focused exclusively on the external threat abroad. On the other side of the picture we see matters from the CIA standpoint, particularly troubled when Soviet penetration of both the agency and the FBI undercut the role of Moscow station in the 1980s. When set against noted achievements in the field of espionage from a distance (notably through high technology and via the Warsaw Pact allies, including penetration of the Soviet Group of Forces in Germany), the obvious question is whether humint operations on the ground were a practicable option that yielded much return.

Jonathan Haslam is a Fellow of Corpus Christi College and Professor of the History of International Relations at Cambridge University. He is also a Fellow of the British Academy. More recent work includes The Nixon Administration and the Death of Allende’s Chile: A Case of Assisted Suicide (Verso 2005). His latest book is Russia’s Cold War: From the October Revolution to the Fall of the Wall (Yale University Press 2011).

Contact information: Corpus Christi College, Cambridge CB2

Email: jgh1001@cam.ac.uk

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