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Chapter Nine.

The Procurement Organs

All units of the GRU are divided in their designations into procurement, processing and support. The great majority of the procurement organs, the providers of information, are controlled by the first deputy chief of the GRU. They include the first directorate, which carries out agent intelligence on European territory, and consists of five directions, each of which carries out agent intelligence on the territories of several countries (each direction consists of sections which direct undercover residencies in one of the countries concerned); the second directorate with an analogous organisation carrying out agent intelligence in America, both North and South; the third directorate, which carries out agent intelligence in Asia; and the fourth directorate, dealing with agent intelligence in Africa, and the Middle East. Each directorate contains about 300 high-ranking officers in the Moscow centre, and about 300 abroad. Besides these four directorates, there are also four directions which undertake the same duties. These directions do not form parts of directorates but are answerable to the first deputy chief. The first GRU direction carries out agent intelligence in the Moscow area and it has its influential representatives in all Soviet official institutions used by the GRU as cover: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of External Trade, Aeroflot, the Merchant Navy, the Academy of Sciences and so forth. These representatives fit their young officers into slots in the institution serving as cover and guarantee their smooth progress in their future activities. In addition some GRU officers, on their return from overseas, continue to work in their covering organisation and not in the head office. Using these officers, the first direction recruits foreign military attaches, members of military delegations, businessmen and representatives of aviation and steamship companies. The second direction carries out agent intelligence in the area of East and West Berlin, a gigantic organisation which again does not form part of a directorate. The third direction is concerned with agent intelligence in national liberation movements and terrorist organisations. Its favourite child until recently was the Palestine Liberation Organisation. The fourth department carries out agent intelligence work from Cuban territory against many countries, including the United States. In many respects the fourth direction duplicates the activity of the second directorate. It has unlimited power in the ranks of the Cuban intelligence service and with its help actively penetrates and endeavours to direct the activities of unaligned movements.

The GRU adheres to a different principle in running its illegals from the principle adopted by the KGB. Among its procurement organs there is no separate unit for directing illegals, and the GRU does not consider such a unit necessary. Each of the directorate heads and several of the direction heads have under their command sections of illegals. This permits them to run illegals and residencies under cover at the same time in the territories of groups of countries or entire continents. The directorate or direction head may at any moment use his illegals for carrying out a secret check of the undercover residencies. The first deputy to the chief of the GRU also has an analogous section under his command. Naturally, he has very high-quality illegals. The first deputy may use his own illegals for secret checks on undercover residencies, and also the illegals under the command of directorate and direction heads. Finally, the absolute cream of the illegals are run personally by the chief of the GRU through his own illegals section. He can use his illegals for the checking of everything and everybody, including illegals under the command of the first deputy.

There is a fifth GRU directorate, which is also concerned with procurement and controlled by the first deputy. However, its functions differ from those on the four directorates and four directions listed above. The fifth directorate does not carry out independent agent intelligence work but directs the activities of the intelligence directorates of military districts, groups of forces and fleets. This directorate is a kind of controller of vassals. Directly under its control are twenty intelligence directorates belonging to the military districts, groups of forces and fleet intelligence, the latter having in its turn four more fleet intelligence directorates beneath it. The number of secret agents and diversionary agents ultimately controlled by the fifth directorate exceeds the number of all the agents controlled by the first four directorates and four directions, and these agents operate on all the same territories where illegals, undercover residencies and agents of the above-mentioned directorates and departments operate. With their help the first deputy, or indeed the chief himself, may secretly check on the activities of his directorate. This arrangement works in reverse too: with the help of agents of the first four directorates and four directions he can check the activities of the secret agents of military districts, fleets and groups of forces.

In addition to the proliferation of units outlined above, there are two more GRU directorates which are concerned with the procurement of information: the sixth directorate and the cosmic intelligence directorate. These directorates procure and partly process information, but they do not go in for agent intelligence, so they are not considered as purely procurement directorates and are not subordinate to the first deputy chief of the GRU. The chiefs of both these directorates answer to the chief of the GRU and are his deputies, but not first deputies.

The GRU sixth directorate is concerned with electronic intelligence. For this purpose its officers are posted to undercover residencies in the capitals of foreign states and there form groups which intercept and decipher transmissions on governmental and military networks. There are also many regiments of electronic intelligence on the territories of the Eastern bloc and Soviet Union, and these are integral parts of the sixth directorate. Furthermore, this directorate controls the electronic intelligence services of the military districts, groups of forces and fleets which in their turn have their own regiments, special ships, aircraft and helicopters for electronic espionage. The electronic espionage services of each military district, group and fleet correspondingly control similar services in the armies and flotillas, and these in their turn control those of the divisions. And so it goes on. All the information acquired from the electronic companies of divisions, electronic battalions of armies, regiments of military districts and groups of forces and spy ships of the fleet, is collected in the sixth directorate and analysed there.

The GRU cosmic intelligence directorate is no less powerful. It has its own cosmodromes, a number of research institutes, a co-ordinating computer centre and huge resources. It works out the technical details for spy satellites independently and prepares them in its own works. The Soviet Union has sent into orbit more than 2,000 cosmic objects for different purposes, and one in three of them belongs to the GRU. The vast majority of Soviet cosmonauts, with the exception of those who undertake only demonstration flights, work for half their time in space in the interests of the GRU. The KGB lies far behind the GRU in this respect.