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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 13, 1976

SOVIET BLOC INTELLIGENCE SERVICES TAKE JOINT COUNTERMEASURES AGAINST RADIO FREE EUROPE AND RADIO LIBERTY

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    This GDR document is a German translation of the draft Action Program of Countermeasures against RFE and RL which was discussed at a multilateral meeting of Bloc intelligence services (minus Romania) in Prague in February 1976. The Prague meeting was suggested by the Czechoslovak interior ministry but dominated by the Soviet Union. Oleg Kalugin, then in charge of KGB counterintelligence, gave the opening speech (no copy of which could be located). Some of the measures listed in the Action Program, such as disinformation, were implemented. Others, such as a public tribunal to condemn the Radios, were never pursued.
    "Soviet Bloc Intelligence Services Take Joint Countermeasures against Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty," February 13, 1976, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BstU, Berlin. MfS HAX 541. Obtained by A. Ross Johnson. Translated by Christian Ostermann. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121518
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121518

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The representatives of the intelligence organs of the PRB, HPR, GDR, PPR, USSR and CSSR, who met on 12-13 February 1976 in Prague exchanged experiences on active measures, both completed and in preparation, against the centers of ideological subversion, the radio stations Free Europe (RFE) and Radio Liberty (RL), and came to the conclusion that minimum objective for the short term was the necessity to expel the US centers of subversion in the form of RFE and RL from the European continent. The optimal goal would consist of their total liquidation.

To achieve this goal, it seems pertinent to implement the following measures:

I. Active Measures

The measures against RFE and RL exposing them as ideological subversive centers of the USA working under the direction of the CIA are to be continued. For this purpose, mass communication media, radio and TV of the countries of the socialist community are to be deployed with the purpose of publicizing information among the international public that compromise the enemy. In particular, it is planned:

for Czechoslovak intelligence to publish a book that would implicate the stations RFE and RL as well as the CIA by using the documents obtained by major minariK and Col. CZECHOWICZ and other materials available to the intelligence agencies of the socialist countries;

to continue the publication of articles and public appearances in socialist and capitalist countries of major MINARIK, who has returned from RFE to the CSSR, taking advantage of the possibilities at the disposal of the intelligence organs in an effort to expose the participation of RFE in subversive activities of anti-socialist forces in the socialist countries;

for soviet intelligence to publish a book which uses materials from the American press to expose the activities of the CIA, RFE and RL;

for the Czechoslovak service to publish a collected volume of documentary material from the intelligence services of the socialist countries which expose the subversive activities of RFE and RL as well as of those persons who work in the centers of ideological subversion;

to publish a APN [Novosti Press agency] brochure in German and English with articles from the soviet media on RFE and RL, and distribute this brochure in the West, especially in the FRG and the USA, other NATO countries and neutral European countries;

with the help of the security organs of the socialist countries to produce documentaries and movies which expose the subversive activities of RFE and RL.

International public opinion has to be mobilized for the purpose of ending the criminal activities of RFE and RL as hotbeds of ideological subversion whose existence is in contradiction with international law and the Helsinki final act.

Taking into consideration the forces and possibilities of the security organs of the PRB, HPR, GDR, PPR, USSR and CSSR the following measures are to be implemented for this purpose:

On the territory of Austria, Operation Spider, designed to make the countries participating in the Helsinki Conference aware of the legal basis of the illegality of RFE and RL, is to be completed;

Regarding this issue, interventions are to be inspired in the Bundestag of the FRG; the sending of letters to American members of Congress and statements by progressive groups and press agencies to the us government, the embassies of the us, the FRG et al are to be organized;

The attention of the international public is to be drawn to us attempts to force the NATO countries to finance RFE and RL thereby legalizing the stations as international organs of ideological subversion.

The question of holding a public tribunal against RFE and RL on the territory of a socialist country (CSSR, GDR, or another socialist country to be agreed on) [is to be examined], featuring the participation of renowned international law experts, well-known figures from socialist and Western countries, former employees of these centers who were ordered back from the West (CZeCHoWiCZ, laCH, smolinsKi—PPr, marin—USSR, minariK—CSSR and others), people who used to work there, selected citizens who came under the influence of the radio stations, and using documentary materials from all socialist intelligence services.

According to the participants in the meeting the tribunal should take place no later than the third quarter of 1976.

Implementing measures to isolate the radio stations Free Europe and “liberty” in the international arena, including international (un, unesCo, ioC) and national organizations, centers, societies, and associations, [by characterizing them] as subversive agencies, whose activities in the spirit of the Cold War stand in contrast to détente, and the strengthening of cooperation among countries of a different social order.

In order to disorganize the internal activities of RFE and RL and exert psychological pressure on its employees, factors such as the following have to be actively exploited:

Competition between RFE and RL for the dominant position within the system of the “us Council on international Broadcasting [Board for international Broadcasting—editors];”

Displays of nationalist tendencies and statements of hostility between the “national desks;”

Zionization of departments of RFE and RL and the hostile attitudes of members of the stations against overwhelming Jewish forces, primarily against former citizens of socialist countries of Jewish nationality;

Preparation and mailing of letters from the employees who have been ordered back [to the East] from the radio stations to their former colleagues at RFE and RL.

II. Unofficial-operative activities

Coordinated targeted use of existing possibilities of the intelligence services of the PRB, HPR, GDR, PPR, USSR and CSSR for obtaining documentary data and unofficial materials relating to such basic questions as:

Objectives, tasks, forms and methods of RFE and RL activities, their role in uniting all antisocialist forces. Role of the radio stations in the policy of the USA and NATO;

Facts on the intervention in internal matters of the socialist countries and the violation of the sovereignty of the FRG. Falsification of materials. Harsh attacks against the Party and government leaders of the countries of the socialist community;

Role and position of the us intelligence agencies in the subversive activity of RFE and RL: spies; persons known to be or suspected of being agents; the system of obtaining information; participation in the development and conceptualizing of broadcasts, in the financing of the stations generally and of individual operations. The internal situation in the objects: contradictions between RFE and RL, national rivalries and their protagonists, unofficial-operative situations resulting from the exposing measures of the intelligence agencies of the socialist countries, control and spying on employees and others;

Mutual help of the fraternal intelligence services in assessing operative targets which come to the attention of the unofficial employees [of the Soviet bloc security services]. Assignment of proven agencies with the task of systematically analyzing all enumerated issues relating to the activities of the radio stations and drafting proposals for the discrediting and exposing [of the stations].

Regular assessments of the reaction of the enemy to the active measures of the socialist countries and of the countermeasures undertaken by [the stations].

In contact with the counterintelligence agencies, strengthening of the unofficial positions of the intelligence agencies of the PRB, HPR, GDR, PPR, USSR and CSSR within RFE and RL by using such possibilities as: Working on employees of the stations by the agencies, including by trusted officials of the counterintelligence services, to effect defection or compromising [of the employees];

infiltration into RFE and RL of persons from the nationalist emigration, Zionists and dissidents. In this regard, existing possibilities are to be examined and additional ones are to be created;

Preparation of unofficial employees by the security agencies for prolonged deployment with the objective of penetrating the enemy’s centers of ideological subversion;

In the short-term, targeted deployment by the security agencies of unofficial employees with the most potential in capitalist countries, with the objective of obtaining information and working on specific persons from the ranks of RFE and RL employees.

Using the possibilities of the intelligence and counterintelligence agencies of the socialist countries to counter the subversive activity of the enemy on the territory of the countries of the socialist community (uncovering agents, dissidents and persons with contacts to RFE and RL; organizing of persons who will be “set up;” intercepting of communication channels and materials; implementing operational actions, etc.). If necessary this work is to be conducted jointly with the relevant service units of the respective security agencies of the socialist countries.

Regular exchange of general and documentary materials, under the obligatory proviso that the receiving party coordinates in advance the possibilities and permissible manner of their use.

Measures at the diplomatic level

The conference considered it useful to propose to the leaderships of the security agencies of the socialist countries that they, together with the foreign ministry of each of the socialist countries, launch measures at a politically appropriate moment against the USA and the FRG regarding the subversive activities of RFE and RL.

In the case of a public tribunal against RFE and RL, the questions is to be examined as to whether there should be any representation undertaken by the foreign ministries of the socialist countries with regard to the governments of the USA and the FRG.

Organizational questions

The initiator of the meeting will communicate a draft text for a work plan to the leaderships of the intelligence agencies of the PRB, HPR, GDR, PPR, USSR and CSSR, which, if necessary, will make revisions and additions and communicate these to the initiator of the conference.

Prague, 13 February 1976

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