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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June, 2007

PSEUDONYM. FOLDER 11. THE CHEKIST ANTHOLOGY.

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    Mitrokhin states that discipline was the main reason for assigning a pseudonym to a KGB agent. Some agents refused to choose a pseudonym, considering it to be humiliating. But as Mitrokhin points out, a refusal to use a pseudonym could diminish the psychological and operational effect of the recruitment process. The KGB Order No. 00430 stipulated that all recruits had to sign a non-disclosure agreement regarding their collaboration with the agency. The KGB Order No. 00235 specified that the most valuable agents had to be indexed solely by their respective pseudonyms. As a recruitment tactic, Mitrokhin notes, the use of a pseudonym enhanced agent’s awareness of the secretive nature of one’s work and accentuated the conspiratorial function of the KGB.
    "Pseudonym. Folder 11. The Chekist Anthology.," June, 2007, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Contributed to CWIHP by Vasili Mitrokhin. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113418
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