Created: 12/1/1959

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TITLE: Soviet Intelligence Training AUTHOR: Sherman w. Plemer




A coKeetion ol articles on tho historical, operational, doctrinal, and theoretical aspects ol Intelligence.

All staiements of fact, opinion or analysis expressed in Studies in Intelligence are those of

the authors They do not necessarily reflect official positions or views of the Central Intelligence Agency or any other US Government entity, past or present. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying US Government endorsement of an article's factual statements and interpretations


Your professional adversary is notedicated andCommunist,earned one,pecialty tn the area where he faces you.


The younger generation of Soviet Intelligence officers now operating around the world haverofessional education probably unequaled anywhere. They wereParty activists when the mtelligence services spotted them. They were already college graduates. In ourthoroughly grounded In the social sciences, history, foreign afTairs and languages. Beyond the college level they had done graduate work In Party schools on the theory of human socialMaxjist-Leninistand had received some training in mtelligence techniques and revolutionary tactics. Then they bad been selected for their good characters. Intelligence aptitude, and clean records from among many with similar educational qualifications to attend one of the intelligence institutes, where they spent at least two years in full-time study of tradecraft, the organization and methods of Soviet and foreign intelligence services, and the area and languages of their planned operationalThose that have been In the business for some years have probably alsoull-year refresher course by now.

The older generation is dependent on refresher courses to pick up what they have not learned by experience, for theInstitutes were not established until late in World War H" days. There are now two main ones for foreign Intelligence, run respectively by the military and civilian members of tbe Soviet IntelligenceArmed Forces' Chief mtelligence Directorate and State Security'sDirectorate. The missions of these two mtelligenceand therefore the curricula of their institutes,overlap: the military service collects not only military

Soviol Infe/linence Training

but also scientific, technical, and economic Intelligence. State Security runshird main Soviet Intelligence institute, one training officers lor the Internal security services.

The UUitary Diplomatic Academy

The military school Isiplomatic Academy, Into the practice of using diplomatic cover (orofficers abroad. It accepts candidates from all tbe armed forces, but they must have graduated from secondary schoolilitary academy, have had two years' command experience and some Intelligence service, and be PartyTheir health, security, and service records must be outstanding, and they must not be older

Recognising that its matriculant* from the armed forces, for all their schooling, may not have the polish orscholarship expectedilitaryhe Academy spends two years giving them as ItA. in liberal arts, with courses In music and literature, philosophy and logic, psychology, and law, and some military science and military history thrown In. Only then does It get down to serious Intelligence training, so its whole course lasts four years.

Beginning In the third year, the Academy's DiplomaticDepartment schools the student primarily for his cover duties, offering courses In diplomatic etiquette andobservation, collection, and reporting; but It also touches on covert tasks, operational as well as informationaland the organization of deep-cover operations. Another Department teaches him about the organization of foreign armed forces and their Intelligence divisions, with emphasis on the American. Meanwhile he is learning tradecraft In classes of the Special Preparation Department. Here the third year Is devoted to subjects like Intelligence history and methodology, comparative organization, comparativeSoviet intelligence objectives, procedures under official cover and under deep cover, and the organization of third-country operations. Tradecraft proper comes In the fourth year, with courses such as agent recruitment and direction, operational techniques,photography, secret writing,and concealment, and counterintelligence evasion.

Soviet InielUgence Training

Practical operational exercises arc carried out in Moscow and its suburbs alter the techniques have been mastered hi laboratories and classrooms. Theoretical exercises arealso organized with the helpollection of classified materials includuig sanitized operational casethese are studied, analyzed, criticized, and debatediew to developing skill and ingenuity in theand operation oi intelligence networks.

In preparation for his particular future assignment the harriedhe has been attending regular political lectures and physical culture sessions on theat the same time pursuing courses in the Area Studies and Foreign Language departments. He learns about the geography, politics, economics, industry, agriculture, and theand transportation networks of the country where he Is scheduled to go and of its immediate neighbors. He learns at least one foreign language, perhaps two, with the aidystem which divides language students into groups of no more than five for study and instruction. Finally heoneis assigned abroad in an attache office of one of the military services, or perhapsoreign trade missionASS bureau overseas.

The RaSh (Higher Intelligence School)

State Security, we noted, has separate institutes forintelligence and Internal security; the civilianof the Military Diplomatic Academy is the RaSh.for the RaSh, like those for the Diplomatic Academy, must belong to the Party or Komsomol, mustpecial security clearance, must be physically fit and show particular aptitudes for Intelligence work. Educational prerequisites for RaSh are higher, or at least broader, than for the Academy, since the two-year RaSh curriculum offers nothingwith the Academy's first two liberal-arts years;for enrollment must be graduates of schools of higher learning,he equivalent of MA.'s. notably in foreign trade. International relations, or foreign languages.

Our most recent detailed information on the RaShdatinghows the first year, like thethird, filled with the more general professional subjectsood deal of world-wide area study. RaSh seemed to

Soviet Intelligence Training

offer no equivalent of the Academy's courses on Individual areas, apparently seeking to make Its graduates area general-Ists rather than specialists; but area study nevertheless got down to details, uacludlng even foreign customs and social etiquette. Training In operational techniques was reserved for the second year, except for those ofubject In which theoretical lectures were supplemented by actual tailing practice wherein the student tried to evade experienced teams shadowing him about the Moscow streets.

Tbe second year was packed withand Picks. Flaps and Seals, secret writing, photography, audio-surveillance, operational communications, and the spotting, development, recruitment, handling, training, andof agents. Three categories of agent motivation were examined hi order ofmaterial, and blaeJcmall. Officers with experience In foreign operations gave lectures on tbe organization and practices of the police and counterespionage agencies of individual countries. In the meantime, throughout the two years, the student was gaining an oral mastery of at least one foreign language, together with some reading ability. As in the Military Diplomatic Academy, the language classes were restricted In size to five students or fewer.

We have some glimpses of student life at the RaSh as. Students used cover names, but the married ones were allowed to live with their families In Moscow.ubsistence allowance fixed on tbe basis of rank, students were given free issues of civilian clothing. Radios were furnished and foreign movies shown as an aid tolanguages. Students attended lectures00 every day but Sunday and spent the afternoons and evenings doing homework, participating In exercises, andto Party political lectures or to special professional presentations, frequently scheduled on short notice, byofficials from State Security or the Foreign Ministry.

The Higher School (Security)

State Securityhole network of schools at various levels to support tbe discharge of Its responsibilities fordomestic operations, Investigation, and theof foreign-language capabilities. They include a

Soviet Intelligence, Training

special school (or security personnel in the Satelliteandchool (or sergeants attached toariety of technical schools (or all ranks,School (or Investigators, and the Leningrad In-

stitute of Foreign Languages- Here we shall consider only its main staff Institute, the Higher School, which operates under law institute cover and Is actually so accredited.

Except for its law courses, however, this school is pitchedower educational level than the two foreign Intelligencebeing designed to give advanced operational training in internal security methods to officers who have alreadyood deal of practical requires graduation from secondary school andniversity-level entrance examination of its matriculants. As In the foreign intelligence schools, these must be Party or Komsomol members and meet high physical and security standards. They must be underears old and have one or two years' experience with the security organization. They continue to get their full pay during the three-year course.

Aside from the lawew general subjects such as "Party History"nd professional lectures on topics like "Anti-Stalinist and Deviationlstand "Ecclesiasticalhe course names that have reached us suggest concentrated work on securitywithout weapons, recruiting agents, tbe guidance of networks, handling Informers, fieldsurveillance, investigation techniques, radio direction finding, documentation, recognition of false documents, search, communications, operational records. Lectures areby seminar discussion sessions and by part-timeof individual students to operating securityby way of practical training exercises.

The Product

Our information, detailed If somewhat dusty andenables us to reconstruct the bare bones of Soviet In-

telligence training, the skeleton of the detnosaurut. The fearsome reptile's frametrong and massive one, but what counts Is tbe flesh that clothes and the spirit that moves it. Education canan'sation's capac-

Intelligence Training

tty to fulfil] Its creatively conceived ends, but training can also crystallize Its pattern of actioneries ofautomatic responses; end the individual and groupwhich constitute the Soviet intelligence challengebe measured by counting up curricula only. One must somehow gauge also the inspiration, Oexillblty, devotionause, self-discipline, and drive of the professional graduate. This should be the subject of another article.

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