This is the cleanest example of Yuri’s lecture that I can find. It is common to find clips and small pieces of this lecture all over the internet edited to insert a lot of racist, nationalist, neo-nazi and other assorted far rightwing misinformation attempting to tie the efforts of the KGB to one targeted group of supposed collaborators or another.
The most important thing to keep in mind while viewing this extremely informative and important tutorial on how the Kremlin used misinformation is that they do not discriminate on basis of race, religion or political persuasion in finding recruits.
All that matters is that people will listen to them and establish a foothold of leverage that the Kremlin wishes to exploit.
Yuri himself says more than once that their preferred proxies were motivated by greed and personal gain because those people have the least interest in conflicting ideologies. The KGB had no problem using any pre-existing bias or fanatical belief as leverage but they preferred greed and ambition because it’s easier.
They never went to another country to help communists or spread communism without also intending to use that as a delivery vehicle for ultimately establishing a puppet government usually through violent revolution. Well known examples of states that fell into revolution due to Kremlin Active measures that collectively cost the lives of many thousand American military men (including my uncle, my mom’s first husband, and undoubtedly many family members of people on this board right now) and millions of lives collectively in their victim nations:
These are the ones that most people can easily name:
Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea*, China, Cuba, Afghanistan.
Countries where lesser known Kremlin successful and unsuccessful coup attempts were made to create Russian puppet states that most people forgot about, can’t name or never even heard of:
Myanmar*, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Romania, Columbia, Nicaragua*, Somalia*, Nepal, Laos, Mongolia, Czechoslovakia, Republic of Congo*, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Iran, Poland, Spain, Hungary, Germany, Slovak Republic, Ireland, India, Bulgaria, Patagonia, South Africa, Belgium
I probably forgot some but if that list looks longer than you thought it was, you’re not alone. Many Americans think act like we caused all the fighting by ourselves. For the last 103 years the Kremlin hunger for power has been global. Everything is a zero sum game to them and their closest allies. If you think things are different now, you need to take a better look at Vladimir Putin.
They are weak militarily compared to their glory days but the military has never been their largest strength. Their most practiced skill was in overthrowing a country by means of corrupting their politicians and weakening their government until they could launch a coup at the last possible moment to set up a proxy state beholden to the Kremlin.
Failing that, the aim is to make the disaster so bad that it almost impossible to repair with the hopes that the entire region descends into chaos. At bare minimum they count that a win even if it fails as long as they managed to force the US and NATO to expend too many resources and American lives to contain the problem to the smallest area possible.
They then use those losses to criticize whichever government leaders had the good judgement to fight them with the hopes of opportunistic useful idiots seizing on an unpopular war and be more likely to let Moscow build the next proxy state.
If you think I’m paranoid, you really need to learn about what the Russians were doing in this countries and what they are presently doing in the nations that share borders with them.
They start wars in other countries and when NATO countries show up to stop the madness, they blame the war on the NATO countries and they’ve been doing it a hundred years with a few short breaks in between to deal with domestic the incompetence inherent of a corrupt executive leadership.
Before we even show up they bombard the local populace with anti-American and anti-CIA misinformation the entire time as loudly as they and in every way that they can so that by the end of the war, everyone blames the US for putting out the fire that the KGB started.
People still do their legwork today by blaming the US for Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea, Bin Laden and Afghanistan when it was the Kremlin that aimed them at the rest of the world. Bin Laden was deeply influenced by nonstop Kremlin Anti-American propaganda pushed through the Middle East but especially in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia to the point he began working with the Taliban solely to fight American and NATO influence while establishing his terrorist caliphate that was buying all of their weapons from Soviet backed sources.
Russia didn’t know that it would yield an event like 9/11 but, god damn it, they knew it would yield anti-American violence and create problems for the United States. The nature of these agitprop misinformation campaigns is that they are incredibly effective at slowly influencing opinions in ways that even hyper patriotic America loving people come to believe so that their beliefs undermine the nation and government that they profess to love. It is so easy to sow a few seeds of misinformation and yield a bright fresh crop of self loathing Americans (or any other nationality for that matter).
These activities are something they and other hostile regimes love to accuse the United States and NATO of doing because they see any attempt to aid other nations as disadvantageous to their secondary overall strategy of global destabilization.
Please enjoy this highly informative lecture on Kremlin strategy and their well studied tactics of manipulation.