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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 05, 1963


This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    On 5 July 1963 the Bulgarian Ministry of Internal Affairs completed an information report on NATO's activity during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the report, the ministry outlines detailed espionage carried out by NATO agents. According to the report, the NATO Military Intelligence Services provided instructions for NATO member-states' military attaches stationed in Warsaw Pact countries and agents they could get to cooperate with them. Agents were to observe and report specific military intelligence collecting in Warsaw Pact countries -- arms deliveries, missile sites, military movements, etc. The report also includes explanation of how the attaches carried out their intelligence gathering -- reading official press, speaking in Russian and misrepresenting themselves as Russian, etc . The Bulgarian Interior Ministry notes that Western governments were well-informed of Bulgarian military structures -- including exact formations and secret designations.
    "Bulgarian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Information Report on NATO," July 05, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Bulgarian Ministry of the Interior, Fond 1, Opis 10, a.e. 83, pp. 96-107. Translated in summary by Greta Keremidchieva and edited by Jordan Baev. Obtained by the Bulgarian Cold War Research Group.
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Personal, Top Secret

Ministry of Internal Affairs

Information No. 300

NATO Military Intelligence Services had developed instructions concerning the work of their agents in the Warsaw Pact countries. The latter had to keep under observation the activity of the Warsaw Pact Political Consultative and Military Committees, the possible carrying out of joint military training and maneuvers, to find out and examine the Army command network, AA Defense, communications, etc.

In 1962 the NATO member-states’ Defense Attaches, working in our country, had received definite instructions to gather information about Soviet arms deliveries, eventual missile sites and nuclear weapons storage, military exercises, and Armed Forces battle readiness. Special attention was paid to visual observation. The American Attaches coordinated the activity of all NATO Defense Attaches.

In the period 19-30 January 1963, nine meetings for exchange of information had been carried out.

During the Cuban crisis of 1962, the US Defense Attaché Col. Cleary brought the instructions from the Istanbul Intelligence Center for carrying out active spy activities. Under his guidance interaction and coordination with the Defense Attaches from France, Greece, Turkey and other NATO countries took place. Some diplomats were included as well. Military bases, movement of the military units and roads were kept under observation night and day.

In October 1962 Col. Cleary informed his French and Greek colleagues Paul Murat and Loumakis that in the actual situation it was difficult for the US diplomats to travel inside the country; that’s why he relied entirely on the collaboration with them for receiving new intelligence information. He had asked his colleagues in Bucharest to report on troops’ movement through the Danube River as well. When Col. Cleary said to the former Turkish Defense Attaché Oljai that he would pay him for the obtained information, Oljai responded that they were representatives of one same Alliance, and he would deliver the requested information voluntarily. The Greek Defense Attaché informed that he heard about several missile sites in Bulgaria.

Joint intelligence activities were evaluated highly by the US Plenipotentiary minister, [Eugenie] Anderson, who sent information to Washington, thanking NATO member-states Defense Attaches.

During the visual observation, one of the most commonly used tricks was the usage of Russian language. The French Defense Attaché even introduced himself as a Russian. The agents made photos of the barracks and the military equipment. Some of them used special intelligence equipment. Part of the information [they] gained showed that the Defense Attaches used an agents’ network for gathering of intelligence information which could be obtained with no other means. The regular visits to the legations were also used for gathering of information and for arranging secret meetings with some agents.

The official press was used as an additional information source, too.

The capitalist Intelligence Services possessed the following more specific data about our Army:

They had found out that our Armed Forces were organized under the scheme of the Soviet one and were completely mechanized. They knew that there were different Staffs of the different Armed Forces structures: the Land Forces, the Air Forces and the Navy, and they had defined the exact location of many military formations and units. Some of the secret designations of the military units were known, too. The Intelligence Services had quite detailed data for several military warehouses and exact data for the technical equipment in use. Common information about the new AA Defense and Air Forces structures was available and more concrete information about the military airports and some missile bases.

Second and Third State Security Directorates had taken measures against the subversive activities of the capitalist Intelligence Services. But no Military Attaché was denounced for working with agents. The weak points of Bulgarian counter-activities were briefly noted.

5 July 1963

THE SECRETARIAT [of Ministry of Internal Affairs]