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Soviet « Active Measures »: définition, typologie, méthodes, objectifs.


1\- Active Measures: définition et typologie:

Forceful action taken by a management or government to change the status quo to realize its objectives.

The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West. Mitrokhin, Vasili, Christopher Andrew (2000), Gardners Books:

(Russian: Активные мероприятия) were a form of political warfare conducted by the Soviet security services (Cheka, OGPU, NKVD, KGB) to influence the course of world events, « in addition to collecting intelligence and producing politically correct assessment of it ».[1] Active measures ranged « from media manipulations to special actions involving various degree of violence ».

They were used both abroad and domestically.

They included disinformation, propaganda, counterfeiting official documents, assassinations, and political repression, such as penetration of churches, and persecution of political dissidents.[1]


Fabrication of the story that the HIV virus was manufactured by US scientists

« Operation INFEKTION »

at Fort Detrick; the story was planted by Soviet KGB officers in the Pro-Soviet Indian newspaper « The Patriot » in 1983. The claims were subsequently spread by the Soviet press in a process that was well documented by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Information Agency. The Soviet’s AIDS fabrication was officially disavowed in the fall 1987 […]


La subversion soviétique a fait des petits depuis, un exemple de mesure active crée par les soviétiques et communiquée en 2012 par les dirigeants de la dictature iranienne,  Pour Ahmadinejad, les “grandes puissances” propagent le sida pour dépouiller les pays pauvres.

L’objectif n’a pas changé depuis l’époque soviétique, il s’agit de radicaliser l’opinion publique internationale contre l’occident:

Soviet Active Measures in The ‘Post-Cold War’ Era 1988-1991

A Typology of Active Measures Themes and Messages:

One particular type of Soviet active measures operation has received disproportionate public attention: crude, anti-American disinformation, such as the Soviet campaign that falsely claimed that the United States had created the AIDS virus in a military laboratory.

In fact, such crude, defamatory disinformation represented only the tip of the Soviet active measures iceberg. The outrageous and distasteful nature of these claims made them instantly identifiable to many audiences worldwide as attempts by the Soviets to manipulate public opinion. But there were many other types of Soviet active measures operations of equal or greater importance that were only dimly perceived or passed completely unnoticed. These less well known types of active measures operations were the ones that were, in fact, the most important during the « post-Cold War » era.
[… Lire la suite sur A Report Prepared at the Request of the
United States House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations
by the United States Information Agency
June 1992



2\-La désinformation ce n’est pas simplement le mensonge, c’est aussi l’art de faire dire par l’ennemi ce que l’on souhaite lui faire dire.

Jean-François Revel interviewé en 1984 dans le documentaire KGB Documentary Film: Soviet Active Measures (1984) .


3\- Méthodes des mesures actives, un document du Congress Federal Research Division daté de 1989 et mis a jour en 1997:

Active Measures

Active measures were clandestine operations designed to further Soviet foreign policy goals and to extend Soviet influence throughout the world. This type of activity had long been employed by the Soviet Union abroad, but it became more widespread and more effective in the late 1960s. Among these covert techniques was disinformation: leaking of false information and rumors to foreign media or planting forgeries in an attempt to deceive the public or the political elite in a given country or countries. The United States was the prime target of disinformation, in particular forgery operations, which were designed to damage foreign and defense policies of the United States in a variety of ways. Defectors reported that the Soviet Union and its allies circulated forged documents–often purporting to be speeches, letters, or policy statements by United States officials–containing false information. The use of international front (see Glossary) organizations and foreign communist parties to expand the Soviet Union’s political influence and further its propaganda campaigns was another form of active measures. The World Peace Council was the largest and most important of Soviet front groups. Together with the International Department of the Central Committee, the KGB funneled money to these organizations and recruited Soviet agents to serve on their administrative bodies.
Other active measures involved support for terrorists and insurgents. As of 1989, there was no direct, public evidence that Soviet citizens had planned or orchestrated terrorist acts by groups from Western Europe or the Middle East, but there was much indirect evidence to show that the Soviet Union did support international terrorism. The Soviet Union maintained close relationships with a number of governments and organizations that were direct supporters of terrorist groups. The Soviet Union sold large quantities of arms to Libya and Syria, for example, and also maintained a close alliance with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), providing it with arms, monetary assistance, and paramilitary training. Moscow’s surrogate, Cuba, played a central role in Latin American terrorism by providing groups with training, arms, and sanctuary, and the Soviet Union’s East European satellite states often served as middlemen or subcontractors for channeling aid to terrorist groups. Although the KGB, with some exceptions, avoided direct involvement with terrorist operations, it played an important role in diverting aid to these groups and providing the Soviet leadership with intelligence reports on their activities.

The KGB also was heavily involved in the support of « wars of national liberation«  in the Third World. Together with satellite intelligence services, the KGB helped to organize military training and political indoctrination of leftist guerrillas, as well as providing arms and advisers. The manipulation of wars of national liberation enabled the Soviet Union to influence the political future of the countries in question and to make their new governments more responsive to Soviet objectives. The Soviet regime concentrated mainly on African countries until the late 1970s but then extended its support for « national liberation movements » to Central America, where it has regularly employed the services of Cuba.

The KGB relied heavily on the intelligence services of satellite countries in carrying out both active measures and espionage operations. The intelligence services of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Cuba formed important adjuncts to the KGB. Although formally subordinated to their own governments, these satellite intelligence services were, according to many Western experts, heavily influenced by the KGB. A former official in the Czechoslovak intelligence service stated that Soviet intelligence was informed about every major aspect of Czechoslovak intelligence activities, and Soviet advisers (called liaison officers) participated in planning major operations and assessing the results. As far back as the 1960s, the KGB introduced a new element of coordination with the satellite intelligence services through the creation of departments for disinformation in East German, Czechoslovak, and Hungarian intelligence services and the establishment of direct lines of communication from these departments to the KGB.

Soviet active measures involved not only KGB and satellite intelligence services but also several other Soviet agencies, which all participated in a coordinated effort to further Soviet policy objectives. In addition to the KGB, the Central Committee’s International Department took a leading role in directing and implementing active measures.

Data as of May 1989

Sources and Methods

Chapter 19. Internal Security SOVIET UNION – A Country Study Library of Congress Federal Research Division – 1989
FAS | Intelligence | World Agencies | Russia | KGB ||||| Index | Search |

Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood

Updated Wednesday, November 26, 1997



Voir aussi:

Le témoignage du transfuge Youri Bezmenov ex désinformateur (faux journaliste) de RiaNovosti, explique les méthodes de la Subversion kagébiste à destination de l’étranger: Youri Bezmenov ex KGB, 1983: ” Subversion, conspiration, radicalisation, déstabilisation, crise, normalisation.”. RussiaToday, la chaîne de désinformation conspirationniste du Kremlin et des dictatures, en anglais espagnol et arabe est une création de Ria Novosti.

Deux exemples de mesure actives brutes dites « crude« :

La propagande de Sana & al-Manar: Russian Union of Writers Honors al-Assad for “Resisting Global Hegemony”.

Et cette fiche plus détaillée sur les activités d’un désinformateur très populaire: Un pamphlet antisémite distribué à une conférence de Michel Collon en 2010, inspiré d’un pamphlet crée par le KGB en 1963, « Le Judaïsme sans fard« . Ces documents sont une réactualisation du Protocole des sages de Sion. Le blog d’opposants à la théocratie iranienne, qualifie Michel Collon de « VRP » des dictateurs dans Les Supporters français de la dictature première série de portraits.



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