Secrecy News

Covert Action Against the Soviet Union, 1969-1970 (FRUS)

The Nixon Administration gave high priority to covert action against the Soviet Union and its interests around the world, according to newly published declassified records (pdf).

“With respect to black operations, the President enjoined me to hit the Soviets, and hit them hard, any place we can in the world,” wrote CIA director Richard Helms in a March 25, 1970 memorandum for the record.

“He said to ‘just go ahead,’ to keep Henry Kissinger informed, and to be as imaginative as we could. He was as emphatic on this as I have ever heard him on anything,” Mr. Helms wrote.

The Helms memorandum and other records on U.S. covert action against the Soviet Union were published this week in a new volume of Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS).

“The total cost of this program is $766,000,” one document noted, in a departure from previous CIA practice of redacting almost all intelligence budget expenditures.

The newly published documents on covert action against the Soviet Union are collected and posted here.

The full text of the source volume of Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969-1976, volume XII (Soviet Union, January 1969-October 1970), may be found here.

A companion volume FRUS volume, volume XIV (Soviet Union, October 1971-May 1972), also newly published, is here.

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