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Cold War Exiles and the CIA: Plotting to Free Russia

Cold War Exiles and the CIA: Plotting to Free Russia

Publisher

Oxford University Press, 2019

ISBN

0198840403
Cold War Exiles and the CIA: Plotting to Free Russia

Cold War Exiles and the CIA: Plotting to Free Russia

At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, the United States government unleashed covert operations intended to weaken the Soviet Union. As part of these efforts, the CIA committed to supporting Russian exiles, populations uprooted either during World War Two or by the Russian Revolution decades before. No one seemed better prepared to fight in the American secret war against communism than the uprooted Russians, whom the CIA directed to carry out propaganda,
espionage, and subversion operations from their home base in West Germany.

Yet the American engagement of Russian exiles had unpredictable outcomes. Drawing on recently declassified and previously untapped sources, Cold War Exiles and the CIA examines how the CIA's Russian operations became entangled with the internal struggles of Russia abroad and also the espionage wars of the superpowers in divided Germany. What resulted was a transnational political sphere involving different groups of Russian exiles, American and German anti-communists, and spies operating on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Inadvertently, CIA's patronage of Russian exiles forged a complex sub-front in the wider Cold War, demonstrating the ways in which the hostilities of the Cold War played out in ancillary conflicts.

About the Author

Benjamin Tromly

Benjamin Tromly

VIII Short-term Scholar;
Professor, History, University of Puget Sound
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Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, and the region though research and exchange.  Read more