Active measures

An authorisation to carry out special measures assigned and approved by the political secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (ÚV KSČ) and the Czechoslovak government can be found already in the first statute of the Communist foreign intelligence from 1954 (TRMV No.100/1954): “to uncover and thwart the plans of capitalist countries, to break up reactionary emigrant groups and to compromise their leaders, to disinform capitalist governments, military headquarters and foreign intelligence. If necessary, to carry out other important measures.“ The term active measures became customary for these tasks. As in many other such cases, the term is a translation from Russian. The KGB used the expression “aktivniye meropriyatiya“ for similar actions.

Based on an own definition of the 1st Directorate of the Federal Ministry of Interior, an active measure was a strictly confidential measure aimed in its final effect at supporting the foreign policy and security of the world socialist system or at the fulfilment of a certain concrete operative purpose. The foreign intelligence was to achieve the final effect by striking the enemy as efficiently as possible in the spheres of political, economic or military life or by securing other benefits for the interests of the ČSSR and the countries of the socialist system.

An active measure was any activity aimed at weakening or misleading the opponent, e.g. by the spreading of disinformation, alarming news, discreditation, scandalisation, inciting unrest or demonstrations. The term was however also used for the planning and execution of kidnappings, sabotages or murders.

Next to gathering intelligence information, active measures became the main task of the foreign intelligence and one of the main methods of its work. It was the duty of members of the foreign intelligence working at foreign residenturas to produce at least two proposals of potential active measures per year. Starting in 1964, active measures were given their own independent department. From the mid-seventies, the following long-term active measures were run by the foreign intelligence, within the purview of the department of active measures:

  • SÉPIE (sepia) –all actions and measures against the USA, the “main enemy“
  • LONG – operations or measures against NATO
  • SYNONYM – active measures directed against the OSCE or at reaching a “constructive approach“ of the participants of individual meetings of the OSCE
  • ČAJ (tea) – actions against the People’s Republic of China, “uncovering of the expansionist aggressive policy of China“
  • NAPA – operations within the Non-aligned movement
  • PAGODA – an umbrella for actions against the Catholic church, the Vatican and religious emigration
  • AKTÉR (participant) – operations on the line of the FRG and Austria
  • DELTA – active measures realised in the Near East  
  • KOMETA (comet) – operations against foreign secret services
  • INFEKCE (infection) – actions against Radio Free Europe
  • VARIACE (variation) – measures in connection with the events in Poland (Solidarity movement), support of Marx-leninst forces in the Polish People’s Republic

All long-term active measures and especially the individual actions carried out by the Czechoslovak foreign intelligence were consulted regularly, at least once a year, with representatives of the KGB. Furthermore, the KGB foreign intelligence was regularly informed about all important actions, their preparations, course and responses to them.

List of active measures in the years 1970-1989 which were carried out by the 3rd Department of Directorate B (B/3), from 1974 as the 36th department of the 1st Directorate of the Federal Ministry of Interior:      

  • 1970: Pancíř, Rída, Pach (smell), Vlna (wave), Pachl, Seminář (seminar), kontinent, Enklama, Úsvit (dawn), Heitman, Kazimír, Manifest 2, Souhra I (interplay I), Sudety, Interval, Souhra III (interplay III), Převrat (coup), Popud (impetus), Kongres,
  • 1971: Brigadýr (brigadeer), Poprask (uproar), Záměr (intent), Aliance, Politruk (political officer), Palestina, Redaktor (editor), Senátor, Sidon, Svícen (candlestick), Labiryn, Spiklenec (conspirator), Infiltrace (inflitration), Aspirant, Historie, Habdal, Analýza, Separat, Hadbal, Varhaník (organist), Výzva (appeal), Podpora (support), Kreten (cretin), Odborník (specialist), Resignace, Drogy (drugs), Paton, Kamínek (pebble), Kyklop, Předehra (ouverture), Odin, Manifest III,
  • 1972: Fundament, Projekt, Karol, Rekrut, Partner, Klín (wedge), Solar, Komando, Exil, Jed (poison), Makaron (maccarone), Hasič (firefighter), Coronel II, Senator II, Slunovrat (solstice), Attila II, Ztráta (loss), Kříž (cross), Obchod (deal), Hrad (castle), Sonda (probe), Vypravěč (storyteller), Bimetal, Biolit (an insecticide), Památník (memorial), Táborák (campfire), Podporátor, Protokol, Přátelé (friends), Družina (hoard), Úder (strike), Jádro (nucleus), Trn (thorn), Regina, Avion, Vítěz (winner), Kovář (blacksmith), Švéd (Swede), Faun, Dotace (subsidy), Praktikant (intern), Regulátor, Trubadur, Velmistr (grandmaster), Mitrop, Jehla (needle)
  • 1973: Mitrop, Mitrop II, Fanda (fan), Omegap, Duha (rainbow), Vietus, Mina III, Ka, Kampanachi, Kampaň (campaign), Taktik, Pagan, Moly, Wiliam, Tumos, Preludium, Diva, Varhany (organ), Ferenc, Tajemník (secretary), Fanda (fan), Poptávka (demand), Galina, Danilo, Mohykán (Mohican), Zona (zone), Matador, Lufťák (city bumpkin), Rafael, Pták III (bird III), Pták IV (bird IV), Alan, Volby (elections), Long, Budha II, Akoro, Polar, Lev (lion), Fiesta, Mango, Hoower, Beira, Koleda (carol), Junák (boy scout), Filantrop, Tadeáš
  • 1974: Busta (bust), Borax, Kanár (canary), Nedůvěra (mistrust), Povodeň (flood), Sakura, Erb (coat of arms), Zmar (downfall), Přepad (hold-up), Rafael, Jesep, Agitka (propaganda), Akord (chord), Zápletka (plot), Jesep II, Aviso, Phytia II, Anketa (survey), Etapa (stage), Derivát (derivative), Bohém (Bohemian), Xerxes, Blíženci (gemini), Cedr (cedar), Bora, Bok (hip), Dispute, Odysseus, Přízrak (ghost), Gadi, Clona (aperture), Lež (lie), Duktus, Rafael VI, Gel (gel), Ivana, Bramuto II, Adonis, Láva, akvisice (acquisition), Drop III, Vykladač (interpreter), Přísada (additive), Polínko (small log), Pálka (bat), Buršák, Akrobat, Kinematograf, Taxis, Hračka (toy), Rezeda (reseda), Cipřiš (cypress), Amulety (amulets), Revolta (revolt), Tětiva (quiver), Aparát, Car, Citrát, Tyrkis (turquoise), Amor, Pepton, Bidet, Běs (evil spirit), Anotace (annotation), Ažura (hemstitch), Banket, Cval (gallop),
  • 1975: Evropa, Rašid, Pythya, Mýdlo (soap), Cembalo, Candat (pikeperch), Centin, Saso, Izaf, Konference, Acidita, Bzukot (buzzing), Vampir, Azor, Touha (yearning), Delen, Manon, Antika (antiquity), Inka II, Akvizice IV (acquisition IV), Kabar, Hvozd (deep woods), Ažura (hemstitch), Cip, Činže (rent), Lipka (small limetree), Obelisk, Kolár, Luk II, Baltik, Vykladač II (intrepreter II), Výprava (expedition), Čakan (ceremonial axe), Ulita (snail shell), Choutka (whim), Knuta (Russian whip), Bureň, Azor (hemstitch), Aféra (affair), Optik, Akubir, Rula (gneiss), Útrata (expense), Káně (buzzard), Nonsion I, Rezeda IV (reseda IV), Štafeta (relay), Cirát, Egal, Madlo (handrail), Cinobr (vermillion), Výročí (anniversary), Papyrus, Agit, Náboj (cartridge), Nához (pitching), Slánka (salt seller), Rafael IX, Kaluz (puddle), Palba (gunfire), Balkán (Balcans), Krysař (Pied Piper), Polis, Cíl (finish), Průraz I (breakthrough I), Chvoj (fir branches), Afiš, Měnič (changer), Objev (discovery), Nákaza (infection), Jepice (gadfly), Fank, Leč (hunt), Kajak (kayak), Emisar (emissary), Helma (helmet), Dispute II, Lach, Falut, Jagr, Iber, Mag (magician), Egej, Cesta (road), Rafael X, Kadence, Rubicon, Fank II, Litera, Inspekce (inspection), Čirok, Blizard, Inspekce II (inspection II), Ormik, Harfa (harp), operace Faraon (operation Pharaoh), Tesař (carpenter), Rys (lynx), Iluse (illusion), Emis, Ofset, Cirka, Imitace (imitation), Akvizice VII (acquisition VII), Kanzik, Tamus, Kafr (camphor), Pachatel (perpetrator), Singl (single), Evropa II, Mandel (15 pieces), Cigaro (cigarette)
  • 1976: Negro, Vada, Hoboj (oboe), Velia, Indicie (indication), Muklíř, Úprava (adjustment), Volt, Vampír IV (vampire IV), Isabela, Panel, Gaučo II a III (Gaucho II and III), Barel, Anatom (anatomist), Rafael XI, Talar I (robe I), Rampa (ramp), Hluš, Scena (scene), Haras II, Rosenka, Kaliko, Násep (rampart), Tamus 3, Izobara (isobar), Klívie (clivia), Lisař (press operator), Balet (ballett), Hasič (firefighter), Lastek, Malta, Studánka (natural spring), Malaga, Deflace (deflation), Replika I a II, Zakol, Banka (bank), Typos, Lamela, Nábor (recruitment), Omikron, Abnas a II, Fain, Emfa, Akvisice VIII (acquisition VII), Namon, Rafael XII, Modeler, Regus, Inflace (inflation), Náběh (inclination), Jamka (socket), Jelec, Cicero, Tyrkys (turquoise), Malin, Gaučo IV (Gaucho IV), Mlat (threshing floor), Synonym, Sever (north), Mračno (clouds), Rafael XIII, Fanatik, Rubicon, Lež (lie), Fadesa, Tago (cue), Talár II (robe II), Barel, Matador, Indiga, Tavič (smelter), Chrpa (cornflower), Tereza, Závazek (commitment), Saturn, Viráž, Jabloň (apple tree), Fanatik (fanatic), Vokál (vocal), Salka, Imel, Epocha (epoch), Panika (panic), Obžaloba (indictment), operace Fortuna, Amarilis-Topa Famfara, Oběh-Ohař (circulation-hound), Camel, Fanatik II (fanatic II), Imrrime, Rafael XIV, Galerie (gallery), Haté, Přítrž (suppression), Zrak (eyesight), Výročí (anniversary), Haras, Badatel (researcher), Oblouk (arch), Kalibr (caliber), Protěž (edelweis), Talár III (robe III), Rosalie, Sekce (section),
  • 1977: Hotymír, Ocílka, Letora, Pagoda, Arcadia, Toxin, Kadr (cadre), Igelit (polythene), Radikal, Wams, Inflace (inflation), Enze, Minuta (minute), Dublér (body double), Radikál (radical), Oheň (fire), Ensabla, Tarok, Odra, Janovec (Scotch broom), Habura, Kraslice (Easter egg), Palmeto III, Haras, Fading, Mobil, Homole (sugar cone), Zubr (European bison), Krajka (lace), Užovka (grass snake), Pásovec (armadillo), Jelka, Želva (tortoise), Jamka (socket), Harpuna (harpoon), Terma, Záruka (guarantee), Kyj (bludgeon), Zápočet (credit), Jesater, Obruba (hem), Kari, Otrok (slave), Vápno (quicklime), Jakošt, Imfule, Panafin, Upa, Zátoka (bay), Velur (suede), Pagoda, Jambus, Segment, Kajka (auk), Reforma (reform), Valor, Oliver, Pompa (pomp), Badatel (researcher), Tandem, Regata, Ensym (enzyme), Rukavice (glove), Horymír I, Ablegát, Obtisk (imprint), Tarif, Gevetika, Varant, Kněžna (princess), Talar IV (robe IV), Zeleneč, Důraz (stress), Obnos (sum), Kacíř (heretic), Iktus, Akvizice (acquisition), Autor (author), Zetor (Czechoslovak tractor), Jeseň (autumn), Truhlice (wooden chest), Agrese (aggression), Adrie, Akt (nude), Afekt, Vůdce (leader), Cívka (spool), Vita, Odpis, Ironie (irony), Magie (magic), Fara, Bacil (bacillus), Herec (actor), Umění (art), Hráč (player), Debata (debate), Gáza (gauze), Duna (dune), Blín (henbane), Fanatik II (fanatic II), Obtisk II (imprint II), Atlas, Pribina, Jestřáb (hawk), Recept (recipe), Pramen 2 (source II), Nářek (lament), Import, Pocit (feeling), Pogrom, Záhada (mystery), Iglu (igloo), Alois, Eruta, Mýdlo (soap), Anexe (annexation), Albín (albino), Imago, Piha (freckle),
  • 1978: Citár, Atol (atoll), Kult (cult), Piha (freckle), Jonatan, Džungle (jungle), Ebonit (ebonite), Aktér (participant), Platon (Plato), Narcis, Citera (zither), Badatel (researcher), Tornado, Ostrovský, Čaj (tea), Elan, Sup (vulture), Bolero, Migren, Humor, Juno, Kalaita, Beton (concrete), Palcát (mace), Kokos (coconut), Delta, Glosa (short comment), Průtrž II (deluge II), Jamka-2 (socket-2), Lux, Loto, Napa, Bivoj, Stehlík (goldfinch), Gaza,
  • 1979: Mink, Rosa, Angora, Ovidius, Řasa (eyelash), Kořist (prey), Uragan (hurricane), Badatel (researcher), Atol 15 (atoll 15), Snaha (attempt), Oceán – 2 (ocean-2), Problém (problem), Orion, Freska (fresco), Nektar (nectar), Epos, Urna (urn), Ovidius, Latus I, Arkýř (gazebo), Mare
  • 1980: Lux, Sbor (corps), Uran (uranium), Čmelák (bumblebee), Test, Koncert (concert), Hvězda (star), Shoda (agreement), Údaj (data), Perla (pearl), Mlha (fog), Aktiv (active), Montér (assembler), Skutek (deed), Zákop (trench), Šat (attire), Gema
  • 1981: Astra, Sbor (corps), Keram, Kov (metal), Buchara, Long, Examen, Faun, Šek (check), Mikrob (microbe), Ajva, Úlek (fright), Omega, Madathen, Sirius, Vibrace (vibration), Variace (variation), Nidba, Dohled (supervision), Unikát 35 (rarity 35), Skutek (deed), Sahara, Rozum (reason)
  • 1982: Kanopa (canopy), Markib, Integrace (integration), Asur, Gondola, Bar, Mikrob (microbe), Nálada (mood), Rata, Rano, Depro, Gott, Kardinál (cardinal), Sirius, Vánek (breeze), Bor (pine forest), First, Biogaz, Mala, Věda (science), Ker, Ostříž (small falcon), Náskok (headstart), Niko, Nimfa, Mikrob 2 (microbe 2), Ves (village), Tempo (speed), Soper, Tykev (pumpkin), Věda 3 (science 3), Zákop (trench), Zatmění (eclipse), Ogar (Moravian lad),
  • 1983: Rino, Vánek (breeze), Figura, Mráz (frost), Tempo, Maxim, Náskok (headstart), Petrica, Bor 3 (pine forest 3), Hugo, Písmo (script), Karina, Niva 35, Centur, Briz, Zákop (trench), Fog, Aspen,
  • 1984: Stop, Bor 2 (pine forest 2), Ves (village), Briz, Ipo, Písmo (script), Drip, Škodnik, Flint, Kokr, Aspen, Drotik, Studium, Epo, Kopí (spear), Pojzon, Ada, Estar, Sprint, Trok, Dva (two), Bib, Gren, Rabat, Integrace (integration), Sprint 4,6, Ves 2 (village 2), Depro, Niko, Keba, Ait, Drn (sod), Derby, Orchestr (orchestra), Terč (target), Karina, Šalamůn (Solomon), Čas (time),
  • 1985: Bor 4 (pine forest 4), Karina, Petrica, Dva (two), Ves 2 (village 2), Vot, Kredo (credo), Rabat, Taxi, Epo, Bib, Kino, Dovoz (import), Sine, Aspen, Derby VII, Dortík (tartlet), Kerim, Boháč (brožura) (rich man – brochure), Drotik, Kopí (spear), Mundo, Roh, Petrika, Dovoz (import), Atak, Integrace (integration), Krk (neck), Ada, Derby, Pot, Ata, Bango, Chalas, Bumerang, Loa, Klak, Kim Sun, Labet, Etna, Flora, Gaz,
  • 1986: Petrica, Štern, Bul, Kimsun, Max, Lon, Kino, Chalas, Aka, Ria, Derby, Smír (reconciliation), Písmo 2 (script 2), Klaka, Tlak (pressure), Dovoz (import), Anemy, Chan, Konsultace (consultation), Kliros, Mundo, Grafit, Sion, Licho, Men, Kliros, Epo II, Sorbit V, Era, Integrace (integration), Derby, Lon, Votiv, Stav (state), Liba, Pejzon, Samak, Dauša, Sako, Vele, Mit, Orden, Defensa II,
  • 1987: Geos, Oskar, Poli, Soobščniki, Defensa 4, Sako, Buklit, Štok, Foro, Sukop, Fib, Fib II, Chej, Derby XVI, Chalas, Oba, Štok 6, Bergen, Derno 2, Femina, Ente, Revi, Mit, Sbor (corps), Afri, Lima, Arak, Vitkim, Femina, Bohr 3-4, Usus, Djihad, Pon, Nar, Sako, Orden, Mundo, Geos, Servis 6, Buklit, Lon, Revue, Antro, Saga, Integrace (integration), Cepa, Rebus,
  • 1988: Baka, Chemo, Mundo 2, Chalas, Femina, Melli, Sepie, Foro 6, Arak, Poli, Ente, Viru, Pokus 2, Derby 17, Tlak (pressure), Jada 2, Bak, Back, Idos, Prokeš, Ido 5, Femina
  • 1989: Kolaps (collapse), Back IV, Máta (mint), Trak, Dada, Úrok (financial interest), Rabat III, Dada, Kladba, Muzikál (musical), Disko, Cristobal, Men II, Vitkim, Mezi, Kladba II, Rabat IV, Kolaps II, Chemo II.

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