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Publisher's Summary

“The main emphasis of the KGB is not in the area of intelligence at all. Only about 15 percent of time, money, and manpower is spent on espionage and such. The other 85 percent is a slow process which we call either ideological subversion or active measures...or psychological warfare.” - Yuri Bezmenov

The KGB is one of the most famous abbreviations of the 20th century, and it has become synonymous with the shadowy and often violent actions of the Soviet Union’s secret police and internal security agencies. In fact, it is often used to refer to the Soviet state security agencies throughout its history, from the inception of the inception of the Cheka (Extraordinary Commission) in 1917 to the official elimination of the KGB in 1992. Whether it’s associated with the Russian Civil War’s excesses, Stalin’s purges, and even Vladimir Putin, the KGB has long been viewed as the West’s biggest bogeyman during the second half of the 20th century. 

Inevitably, some of the Cold War’s most shadowy actions involved trying to turn Soviet assets, whether for propaganda or intelligence purposes, but the Soviet system constantly had to worry about defections, as evidenced by the construction of the Berlin Wall in the early 1960s. That said, while the whistleblowers may be celebrated if they damage the public relations of an adversary, they can be controversial if they damage one’s own country, as evidenced by the polarizing reputations of individuals like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange. 

Yuri Bezmenov was among the first Soviet whistleblowers to attract attention on a global scale, and interest in his story has recently been revived thanks to his surprising cameo in the teaser trailer for Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War in August 2020. This came despite the fact he was far from the first ex-KGB agent or Russian to pull back the curtains on the Russian government and reveal the harrowing “truths” they were once sworn to harbor.

©2020 Charles River Editors (P)2020 Charles River Editors

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