The Mitrokhin Archive II reveals for the first time the full extent of the KGB's global penetration, exposing its operations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
For a quarter of a century the KGB believed that the Third World was the arena in which it could win the Cold War. 'The world,' claimed Moscow, 'was going our way.' This book discloses the KGB's secret contacts with a series of world leaders, among them Castro, Allende, Nasser, Saddam Hussein and Mengistu, as well as with terrorist hijackers and communist parties around the globe. It also shows the enormous resources devoted, with varying degrees of success, to trying to determine the course of events in countries as different as India (the main force for KGB active measures in Asia) and Afghanistan (where the KGB took the lead in the Soviet invasion). The revelations range from the shocking to the absurd - Soviet agents assessing the spread of their great rival, Chinese communism, by counting the changing number of Mao Zedong posters in Africa - and take the story all the way to the disintegration of the Eastern Bloc.
Christopher Andrew is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History and Chair of the Faculty of History at Cambridge University. His authorised history of MI5 will be published by Penguin in 2009. Vasili Mitrokhin was a former senior officer of the Soviet Foreign Intelligence service whose career spanned the period between 1948 and 1984. He defected to the United Kingdom in 1992 and died in 2004.