The Undercover Residency
The undercover residency is one of the basic forms of intelligence set-up for the GRU abroad. (It should be remembered that the undercover residency and the illegal residency are completely separate entities.) In every country where official Soviet representation exists there is a GRU undercover residency. It exists in parallel with, and is analogous to, the KGB undercover residency. Thus every overseas Soviet colony is invisibly divided into three organisations: the 'clean ones', that is the genuine diplomats and correspondents, and the representatives of external trade, civil airlines, the merchant navy, and Intourist, headed by the ambassador; the undercover residency of the GRU; and the undercover residency of the KGB.
Very often, the 'clean' personnel make no distinction between the KGB and the GRU and call them both dirty, 'savages', 'Vikings' or 'neighbours'. The more enlightened staff, like for example the ambassador, his senior diplomats and the more observant people, understand the difference between the two organisations, dividing them up as close neighbours (the KGB), who continually meddle in the day-to-day affairs of each person in the colony, and distant neighbours who take absolutely no interest at all in the day-to-day life of the Soviet colony (the GRU).
For the GRU undercover residency lives a secluded and isolated life. It contains significantly fewer employees than either of the other organisations. Normally in Soviet colonies up to 40 per cent of the people may be considered in the 'clean' category. (This of course does not prevent the majority of them, to a greater or lesser extent, from co— operation with both the KGB and the GRU; but they are not to be considered as professional intelligence officers.) Up to 40 or 45 per cent are officers of the KGB and only 15 to 20 per cent, in rare cases up to 25 per cent, are officers of the GRU. This does not however mean that the intelligence potential of the GRU apparatus is less than that of the KGB. The larger part of the KGB personnel is occupied with questions of security, that is with the collection of compromising material on Soviet people, 'clean' people including the ambassador, and their own colleagues in the KGB who have contact with foreigners and frequently with officers of the GRU. Only a small proportion, in optimum cases half of the KGB personnel, are working against foreigners. The GRU, on the other hand, directs its entire potential against foreigners. When one adds to this the unequalled financial power of the GRU, vastly in excess of that of the KGB, it becomes clear why the most outstanding operations of Soviet intelligence have been mounted not by the KGB but by the GRU.
The minimum number of staff for any GRU undercover residency is two — the resident and a combined radio/cipher officer. Such a theoretical minimum exists also for the other organisations, the KGB and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Theoretically the Soviet colony in a very small country may consist of six people, three of whom, the ambassador and two residents, are diplomats, and the other three radio/cipher officers. Each of the three branches of the Soviet colony has its own enciphering machine and completely independent channel of communication with Moscow. Equally, each has its own boss in Moscow—the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the chairman of the KGB or the head of the GRU. Supreme arbitration between them can only be carried out in the Central Committee, which in its turn has an interest in fanning the flames of discord between the three organisations. The Central Committee has the right to recall any ambassador or resident and this same Central Committee has to decide questions as to which slots, and how many, should be accorded to each of the three organisations. This is a difficult task, as the Committee must not offend the KGB on questions of security, on the shadowing of its own diplomats above all, nor must it offend the GRU, for without the acquisition of data on present-day technology the quality of the Soviet Army would remain static. Finally it must not offend the 'clean ones'. They also must have a sufficient complement to serve as a screen for the dark activities of the two residencies.
This is why Soviet embassies, consulates, trade representations and so on grow and multiply and swell. As the residency grows, the resident acquires several deputies in place of the one he had at first. The number of radio/cipher officers increases. A technical services group is organised, an operational group, a tech-ops group, a radio monitoring station on the networks of the police and counter-intelligence. The number of operational officers engaged directly in recruiting and running agents increases. In the very biggest residencies of the GRU, such as that in New York, there may be from seventy to eighty officers. Medium-sized residencies like that in Rome would contain between thirty and forty officers. All officers on the staff of a residency are divided into three categories — operational staff, technical-operational staff and technical staff. The operational staff are those officers who are directly concerned with recruiting and running agents. In the operational staff are included residents, deputy residents and operational officers. To the technical— operations staff belong those officers who are directly concerned with and responsible for the production of intelligence, but who do not have personal contact with agents, nor often with foreigners at all. These are radio/cipher officers, officers of the technical services and operational technical services and the operators of the radio monitoring post. To the technical staff belong chauffeurs, guards and accountants.
He is the senior representative of the GRU in any given place, and answerable only to the head of the GRU and the Central Committee. He is the boss of all GRU officers and has the right to send any of them, including his own deputies, out of the country immediately. In this case he does not even have to justify his decision, even in front of the head of the GRU and the Central Committee. The resident is completely responsible for security, both as regards the work of each of his individual officers and recruited agents, and the security of the residency as a whole. He is chosen from among the most experienced officers and as a rule must have a minimum of three to five years of successful work as an operational officer and three to five years as the deputy resident before his appointment. A resident in a large residency will hold the military rank of major-general, in medium and small residencies that of colonel. This does not mean that a lieutenant-colonel cannot be appointed resident, but then, according to the GRU system, he will be paid a full colonel's or major-general's salary and, if he copes successfully, will have to fill posts commensurate with the higher rank. He is not afterwards permitted to return to a post ordinarily filled by a lieutenant-colonel.
The deputy resident serves as the resident's assistant and assumes his responsibilities when he is absent. He undertakes the duties given to him by the resident and carries on recruiting work in the same way as all other operational officers. Frequently a deputy resident heads teams of officers working in one or another specialised field. Sometimes the resident himself supervises the most experienced operational officers and the deputy residents the younger, less experienced officers. In some very large residencies, and also sometimes where there is great activity on the part of GRU illegals, there is a post called deputy resident for illegals. The undercover residency and the illegal residency are completely separate and the undercover residency has no idea how many illegals there are, or where or how they work. At the same time, on instructions from the Centre, the undercover residency continually gives them help and support, placing money and passports in dead-letter boxes, emptying dead-letter boxes for them, studying conditions and clarifying certain important questions. Very often the undercover residency is used to rescue illegals.
The military rank of any deputy resident is full colonel. At the same time the same rules apply as apply to residents. The deputy resident may be a lieutenant-colonel or even a major; however, from the administrative and financial points of view he is a full colonel with full rights.
The Operational Officer
This is a GRU officer who carries out the recruitment of agents, runs them and through them receives or acquires the secret documents and samples of weaponry and military technology. Every operational officer from the moment of his arrival in the country is obliged to recruit a minimum of one agent, as well as often having to take charge of one or two other secret agents who have previously been recruited by his predecessors. He must keep these agents and increase their productivity. An identical burden is placed on the deputy resident at the same time as he is fulfilling the obligations of a deputy. This system is applied in all small residencies. In medium-sized residencies, the resident himself may take a direct interest in recruitment or not as he wishes. The residents of very large residencies are exempted from personal recruitment.
Alongside his recruitment work, the operational officer carries on with the acquisition of intelligence material by all possible means. He converses with foreigners, travels around the country and reads the press avidly. However, the GRU's over-riding view is that recruitment work is the most important part of an officer's duty, and it calls it number one (in addition to certain other colloquial words). All other work— support and the performing of operations for others, however important— is known as zero. One may be added to zero if a 'zero' agent manages to recruit a foreigner, in which case he becomes a '10', which is clearly the best number to be. For this reason an operational officer who has been abroad for three years and not recruited a single agent, even if he has achieved outstanding success in collecting the most interesting intelligence material, is considered to be idle. According to the standards of the GRU, he has sat for three years doing absolutely nothing and therefore hardly merits consideration for another overseas posting.
The military rank of an operational officer is lieutenant-colonel or colonel but in practice he may be a major (as I was) or captain, or even a senior lieutenant. If he is successful in his recruitment work he stays on at this level receiving automatic promotion according to the length of time served. If he does not manage to recruit any agents, he is deprived of all his colonel's privileges and again becomes an ordinary senior lieutenant or captain and has to compete for promotion in the ordinary way, as automatic promotion is not granted to unsuccessful officers.
The military ranks prescribed for undercover residencies are also applicable for illegal residencies, with the sole difference that the illegal resident may be a major-general having many fewer people under his command than the resident of the undercover residency.
The Radio/Cipher Officer
Although he is an officer of technical operational staff, and his military rank is not usually higher than that of major, the radio/ cipher officer is the second most important person in the residency. He is not only responsible for cipher matters, the storage and use of ciphers and cipher machines, but also for the transmission and reception of enciphered cables and the storage of all secret documentation in the residency. The radio/cipher officer possesses all the secrets of the residency and since he deciphers communications from Moscow he knows the news even earlier than the resident. Nobody, including the ambassador and the KGB resident, at any time or under any pretext has the right of access to his room. They do not even have the right to know the number and types of cipher machines installed there. These restrictions also apply to GRU deputy residents. Even during periods when the resident is away and the deputy resident is acting for him he does not have the right to go into the radio/cipher operator's room or to ask him any specific questions which have a bearing on his work. Only the resident may exercise any control over the cipher officer, and he pays for the privilege because the cipher officer is the only man in the residency who is entitled to communicate with Moscow without the knowledge of the resident. He can send a cable containing an adverse report about the resident of which the resident himself will know nothing. It is the duty of the cipher officer to exercise silent watch over the behaviour of the resident, and if there is any shortcoming he must report it. In small residencies, where there is only one radio/cipher officer, only the resident may replace him should he become incapacitated for any reason. If both the resident and the cipher officer should become incapacitated at the same time then the deputy resident and the whole residency will remain completely cut off from the Centre. Naturally the ambassador's and the KGB's channels of communication can be used, but only in order to inform the GRU in a very general way. It is natural therefore that great care is taken of cipher officers (this is just as true of the KGB as the GRU). Draconian living conditions are imposed on all cipher officers. They are only allowed to live in official Soviet embassy accommodation guarded around the clock. Neither the cipher officer nor his wife is allowed to leave the guarded territory independently or unaccompanied. They are at all times led by an officer who enjoys diplomatic immunity. Neither the officer nor his wife is allowed near places where foreigners are to be found. Even if these foreigners are Bulgarians or Mongolians and are on guarded territory belonging to a Soviet embassy, the restriction remains in force. The cipher officer is not allowed in the same room with them even though he may be silent and in the company of his resident. He and his family must have a diplomatic escort on their journey out from the Soviet Union and on their return. During the time of his assignment abroad, he is forbidden all leave. It is easy to see why cipher officers are not posted abroad for longer than two years.
Of course those cipher officers who have served their whole lives on the territory of the Soviet Union deeply envy those who have had postings abroad, no matter where; and those who have been abroad will give their right arms to get another posting abroad, no matter where — Calcutta, Shanghai or Beirut. They will agree to any conditions, any climate, any restrictions on their family lives, for they have learnt with their mother's milk the rule that overseas life is always better than in the Soviet Union.
Technical Services (TS) Officer
They are concerned with electronic intelligence from the premises of official Soviet premises, embassies, consulates, and so on. Basic targets are the telecommunications apparatus of the government, diplomatic wireless communications, and military channels of communication. By monitoring radio transmissions, secret and cipher, technical services groups not only obtain interesting information but also cover the system of governmental communications, subordination of the different components of the state and the military structure.
The military ranks of technical services officers are major and lieutenant— colonel.
Radio Monitoring Station Officers
In contradistinction to TS officers, these are concerned with monitoring the radio networks of the police and security services. The technical services and the radio monitoring station are two different groups, independent of each other, both controlled by the resident. The difference between them is that the technical services work in the interests of the Centre, trying to obtain state secrets, but the monitoring station works only in the interests of the residency trying to determine where in the city police activity is at its highest at a given moment and thus where operations may be mounted and where they should not be mounted. Groups for the study of operational conditions are made up of the most junior officers who will eventually become operational officers arid be sent out on independent recruitment work. These are small groups who continually study the local press and police activities, endeavouring to obtain by means of isolated snippets a general picture of the police work in a given city and country. Besides their scanning of police reports for an ultimate overview, they also minutely study and analyse, for example, the numbers of police vehicles which appear in newspaper pictures or the surnames of police officers and detectives. Sometimes this painstaking work brings unexpected results. In one country a keen journalist on a small newspaper reported a police plan to install secret television cameras in order to survey the most highly populated parts of the city; this was enough for the GRU to become interested and to take corresponding measures. Within a month the GRU resident was able to say with conviction that he was fully informed with regard to the police system of control by television and this enabled the whole residency successfully to avoid traps laid for them for several years. The military ranks of officers of these groups are senior lieutenant and captain.
The Operational Technical Group
This is concerned with the repair and maintenance of photographic apparatus, photocopying equipment and the like. At the disposal of the group there are dead-letter boxes of all types, radio transmission stations, SW (secret writing) materials, microphoto-graphy and micropantography. The officers of this group are always on hand to give the necessary explanations to operational officers and to instruct them on the use of this or that instrument or method. These officers continually monitor television programmes and collect useful items on video tape, giving to Moscow material it could not get from any other source. The officers of the group, together with the officers of the group for the study of operational conditions, are widely used for the security of agent operations, the carrying out of counter-surveillance, signals organisation, dead-letter box operations and so on.
Only the very largest residencies contain technical personnel. Drivers are only allocated to residents who hold the rank of general. However, many generals, in an effort to be indistinguishable from other diplomats, dispense with the services of drivers. The military rank of a driver is an ensign. However, sometimes an operational officer is to be found in the guise of a driver and he, of course, has a much superior rank. This is a widespread method of deception, for who would pay attention to a driver?
Some residencies, especially those in countries where attacks on the embassy cannot be excluded, have a staff of guards besides the KGB guards who are responsible for the external protection of the building. The GRU internal security guards consist of young Spetsnaz officers in the rank of lieutenant or senior lieutenant. The internal security guards of the residency may be deployed at the request of the resident in countries where KGB attempts to penetrate the GRU get out of hand. The internal security guards answer directly to the resident or his deputy. Naturally they do not take part in agent handling operations.
An accountant, in the rank of captain or major, is employed only in those residencies where the normal monthly budget exceeds one million dollars. In other cases the financial affairs are the concern of one of the deputy residents.
In our examination of the undercover residency, we have naturally to examine its cover, the official duties used by KGB and GRU officers to camouflage their secret activities. Without exaggeration it may be said that any official duty given to Soviet citizens abroad may be used to mask officers of intelligence organisations: as ambassadors and drivers, consuls and guards, dancers, writers, artists, simple tourists, guides and stewardesses, heads of delegations and simple section heads, UN employees and priests, intelligence officers conceal their true functions. Any person who has the right of official entry and exit from the Soviet Union may be used for intelligence tasks, and the vast majority of these are in fact only occupied in intelligence work. Some types of cover provide better possibilities, some worse. Some are used more by the GRU, some more by the KGB. Let us look at the basic ones.
The embassy is used to an equal extent by both organisations. Both residents and their deputies are in possession of massive amounts of information which would expose them to an un-acceptably high risk of arrest. For this reason the KGB resident and his colleague from the GRU, and usually their deputies too, are bearers of diplomatic passports, that is, they work officially in the embassies. Other officers of both organisations give themselves out as embassy diplomats too. They all prefer to concern themselves with technological and scientific questions, and questions of transport and communications; they are rarely found in cultural sections. The consulate is entirely KGB. You will almost never find officers of the GRU there and only very rarely genuine diplomats. This is because all exit and entry from and to the Soviet Union is in the hands of the KGB. KGB officers in the consulate issue visas, and the frontier forces of the KGB then control them later on. Every aspect of immigration and of flight and defection has some connection with consular affairs, which therefore rank extremely high in the KGB's sphere of interest. So it follows that the percentage of KGB officers in consulates is unusually high, even by Soviet standards. (There do exist very rare instances of GRU officers working in consulates. The KGB only agrees to this on the grounds of practical considerations, and so that it should not appear to be too one— sided an organisation.)
Aeroflot, the Soviet civil airline, is the exclusive domain of the GRU. This can be explained by the fact that aviation technology is of extreme interest to the Soviet armaments industry, and there is huge scope for any Aeroflot employee to inform himself about the progress of the West: international exhibitions, meetings with representatives of the leading aviation and space corporations, perfectly justifiable meetings with representatives of firms producing aviation electronics, oils, lubricants, fuels, high-tension materials, heat isolators and aero-engines. Usually the firms which produce civil aircraft also produce military aircraft and rockets, and in this field lie the GRU's richest pickings. Happily, those officers whom the GRU selects at advanced aviation institutes for work in Aeroflot do not need lengthy specialist instruction. Sometimes Soviet military and civil aircraft have identical parts. KGB officers are only rarely employed at Aeroflot, and then for the same reasons as the GRU in consular affairs. The merchant navy is almost identical, the only difference being that the officers there are selected to study cruisers and submarines and not strategic aviation. An organisation of exceptional importance to both services is the Trade Representation, that is the organ of the Ministry of External Trade. Literally swarming with KGB and GRU officers, this organisation provides exceptional access to business people whom both strive to exploit for their own ends. Representation in Tass, APN, Pravda and Izvestia are almost forbidden ground for the GRU. Even the KGB in this field has very narrow powers. Press matters are very carefully kept in the Central Committee's own hands, therefore KGB officers and officers of the GRU do not occupy key posts in these organisations. This does not mean of course that their secret activities suffer in any way.
Intourist is in the KGB's hands, so much so that it is not just an organisation strongly influenced by the KGB, but an actual branch of the KGB. Beginning with the construction of hotels and the putting of advertisements in the papers, and ending with the recruitment of foreigners in those same hotels, it is all run entirely by the KGB. GRU officers are found in Intourist, but rarely. There does exist, however, one rule which admits of no exceptions. Anything to do with the military attaches is staffed exclusively by officers of the GRU. Here there are no genuine diplomats, nor KGB. The naval, military and air attaches are regarded by the GRU as its particular brand of cover. In the West one is accustomed to see in these people not spies but military diplomats, and one assumes that this has spread to one's Soviet colleagues. This deep misapprehension is fully exploited by the GRU. Whenever you talk to a Soviet military attache, remember always that before you stands at the very least an operational officer of an undercover residency who is faced with the problem of recruiting foreigners and who, if he does not recruit a single foreigner, sees all his other work become insignificant and all his hopes of a shining career crash to the ground. Look into his eyes and ask him how much longer he has to serve in this hospitable country and if in his answer you perceive a note of anguish, then be on your guard, for he will recruit you if he can. But perhaps he is happy with life and his eyes express pleasure. This means he has recruited one of your fellow— countrymen. Possibly there even stands in front of you a deputy resident or the GRU resident himself. Fear him and be careful of him. He is dangerous. He is experienced and cunning like an old hand should be. This is not his first time abroad, and that means he has already chalked up a significant number of successful recruits.
Every GRU officer in an undercover residency, whatever his official duties may be, and under whatever cover he masquerades, has his place in the general structure of the secret hierarchy. What we see in daily life is only the performance the GRU wishes to show us. Internal relations in an undercover residency have no bearing whatsoever on external, official ranks. Military ranks play an insignificant role. The important role is the actual job of the officer in the residency. There have been cases where residents with an eye to cover have occupied completely insignificant posts within embassies. At the same time the resident remains the resident and his authority is unshakeable. Within the residency he remains the strict, tyrannical, frequently wilful boss who during his briefings will frequently attack the military attaches — even though in his life as seen by the outside world he plays the part of doorman for those same attaches. The second most important person, the deputy resident, may only be a lieutenant-colonel with operational officers who are colonels but this does not prevent him from talking to them as he would to captains or lieutenants. They are only operational officers, while the GRU has decreed that he, a lieutenant-colonel, is better than them, full colonels though they may be, and has given him full powers to dispose of them and order them about. Official cover again plays absolutely no part. An operational officer may assume the official duty of assistant to a military attache or military attache himself, but still have the deputy resident as his own personal driver. The deputy resident is no way suffers from this. His situation is analogous to that of the Sicilian waiter who, off duty, is senior in rank to the restaurant owner within the Mafia hierarchy.
All operational officers are legal equals, from senior lieutenants to full colonels. Their seniority in the residency, however, is established by the resident exclusively on the basis of the quantity and quality of their recruitments. Recruitment work is the sole criterion for all GRU officers, regardless of age, rank or official duties. Their relations with each other in the residency might be compared with the relationships existing between fighter pilots in time of war. They also, in their own circle, pay little attention to length of service or military rank. Their criterion of respect for a man is the number of enemy aircraft he has shot down, and a lieutenant who has shot down ten aircraft may patronisingly slap on the shoulder a major who has not shot down a single aircraft. The attitude of the operational staff engaged in recruitment work to other officers may be summed up by comparison with the attitude of the fliers and the ground staff at a fighter base: 'I fly in the sky and you shovel shit.' The only exception to this attitude is the radio/cipher officer, to whom all show the greatest respect, because he knows much more about intelligence matters concerning the residency than the deputy resident.
Let us take a typically large residency as an example and examine it. Everything is factual. The resident is a Major-General A and his official cover (relatively unimportant), is First Secretary, Embassy. Directly beneath him are a group of five radio/cipher officers, three very experienced operational officers (one of whom runs an agent group, and two others who run especially valuable agent-sources), and four deputy residents. They are:
Colonel B, cover Deputy Trade Representative. He has twelve GRU officers below him, all working in the Trade Representation. He is in contact with one agent. One of his officers runs an agent group of three agents. Another is in contact with two agents and a third officer has one agent. The remaining officers have as yet no agents.
Lt-Colonel C, cover Assistant to the Naval Attache. He has many operational officers beneath him, two of whom work in the Merchant Navy Representation, three in Aeroflot, five in the Embassy and ten in the departments of the Military, Naval and Air Attaches. All three of the military departments are considered to be a diplomatic unit independent from each other and from the Embassy. However, in this case, all officers entering the three military departments including the three attaches are beneath one assistant military attache. The deputy resident is in contact with one agent. Twelve other operational officers subordinate to him have one agent each. The remainder have acquaintances who are to be recruited within one to two years. In addition to his agent-running work, this deputy resident is responsible for information work in the whole residency.
Colonel D, cover First Secretary, Embassy (deputy resident for illegals). This deputy resident has no agent and does not carry out recruitment work. He has no officers beneath him, but when he is carrying out operations in the interests of illegals, he can make use of any of the best officers of the first and second groups.
Lt-Colonel E, cover Second Secretary, Embassy. He is in contact with one agent. One operational officer is subordinate to him, disguised as the military attache's driver, and this officer runs an agent group. In addition, this deputy resident controls the following: one technical service group (six officers), one group for the study of operational conditions (four officers), one group of operational technique (two officers), the radio monitoring station (three officers), five officers of the internal security guards for the residency and one accounts officer.
In all there are sixty-seven officers in the residency, of whom forty-one are operational staff, twenty operational technological staff and six technical staff. The residency has thirty-six agents, of whom twenty-five work independently of each other.
In some cases part of the undercover residency, under the command of one of the deputy residents, functions in another city permanently detached from the basic forces of the main residency. This is true, for example, of Holland, where the undercover residency is located in The Hague but part of the residency is in Amsterdam. Such an arrangement complicates work to a considerable degree but in the opinion of the GRU it is better to have two small residencies than one big one. In this case any failure in one of the residencies does not reflect on the activities of the other. Everywhere it is possible, the GRU endeavours to organise new, independent residencies. For this it has to observe two basic conditions: the presence of official Soviet diplomatic representation — an embassy, consulate, military attache's department, military communications mission or a permanent UN mission; and the presence of an officially registered radio station in direct contact with Moscow. Where these two conditions obtain, residencies can be quickly organised, even the very smallest possible, consisting of two men but independent and self-contained.
Apart from the security angle, this practice also ensures parallelism, as the GRU can control one resident by means of another. Such possibilities are open to Soviet intelligence in many countries. For example, in Paris there is one of the most expansionist undercover residencies of the GRU. Independent of it in Marseilles there is another, smaller residency. Their performance is vastly enhanced by the fierce competition between them. In West Germany the GRU has been able to create five residencies. Wherever there is official Soviet diplomatic representation with radio transmission, there is also an undercover residency of the GRU. In many cases there is also an undercover residency of the KGB. But while the residencies of the GRU are organised in any official mission — civil, military or mixed — those of the KGB are not. In Marseilles, New York, Amsterdam, Geneva and Montreal the Soviet missions are clearly civil, and in all these cities there are undercover residencies of both KGB and GRU. But where the mission is clearly military, as for example the Soviet observation mission in West Germany, the KGB may not have a residency. This also applies to the numerous missions of Soviet military advisers in developing countries. The KGB presence there is only for the maintenance of security among the genuine military advisers.
In speaking about the undercover residency we must not forget to mention another category of people participating in espionage activities — co-opted personnel. These are Soviet citizens abroad who are not officers of the GRU or the KGB, but fulfil a number of tasks set them by these organisations. The co-opted person may be of any rank from doorman to ambassador and he carries out very different tasks, from studies of the foreigners surrounding him to clearing dead-letter boxes. The KGB has always been interested in the exploitation of co-opted persons; following the principle of 'don't stick your own neck out if you can get somebody else to stick it out for you'. The GRU is not so keen, using co-opted persons only in exceptional cases. Its guiding principle is: 'don't trust even your best friend with your motor car, girlfriend — or agent'. The rewards for a co-opted person are monetary ones which, unlike the basic salary, are not subject to tax. Usually in every embassy, consulate and trade representation, out of every ten 'clean' officials, seven are co-opted onto the KGB staff, one onto the GRU staff; only the remaining two are clean. Either they are complete idiots, or the sons of members of the Central Committee whom wild horses could not force to have anything to do with intelligence. In other words, in Soviet official institutions, it is a very, very tricky matter indeed to meet a man who has no connections with intelligence.