Other than the CIA, there’s another three-letter secret service entity that holds a legendary status. If you read history books, you’ll know that there was once a nation that competed with U.S.A. toe to toe in just about everything. We’re talking about the Soviet Union, or the U.S.S.R., the former identity of what is now the Russian Federation, or Russia. And the CIA of the Soviet Union is known as KGB.
KGB, or Komitet Gosudarstvennoi Bezopanosti, started as a state security committee in 1994. It ran its operations with greater independence compared to other Soviet offices. At its height, the KGB I the largest espionage and state security agency in the world.
They are the watchers in the shadows of the Soviet nation, monitoring and manipulating the Soviet citizen’s lives either subtly or blatantly. The workforce of KGB peaked at around 500,000 employees plus thousands of agents deployed abroad. But for an organization this huge, KGB is extremely secretive and reclusive.
They are much like the Russian CIA that functions as intel agents, keepers of national security, and as enforcers of the Soviet propaganda. Before the fall of the Soviet Union, the KGB was one of the two baddest secret service agencies in the planet but since they are made up of humans, the agency is still subject to human error and they did have a share of blunders and ridiculous misfortune. Below are three of their most famous fails that should be as famous as their success.
3. KGB tried to buy U.S. Banks to access advanced American tech companies
The Soviet Union attempted to buy three banks in California, and had a plan to acquire a fourth one. They wanted to use these banks to access advanced tech companies in the US to gain high-tech secrets. The ultimate goal of Soviet Russia was to acquire the technology for war and economic development. KGB’s activity was discovered when CIA noticed a pattern in the financial lending actions of a Soviet bank’s Singapore branch. The plan was foiled officially in the mid-1970s.
The cunning of the Soviet financial scheme had institutions, including the government, the military, and the banking sector, question the protection American laws offer against a national threat this crafty. It was implied that had the Soviets successfully acquired an U.S. bank, they could’ve gotten their hands on confidential information on these tech companies’ finances that will enable them to commence hostile takeovers.
The takeover plan was legal but aborted after a down payment of more than a million bucks was made on the banks. The banks that were paid for were the Peninsula National Bank in Burlingame, the First National Bank of Freson, and the Tahoe National bank of South Lake Tahoe. The Soviets also had interest in the Camino California Bank of San Francisco. The banks, spearheaded by the Peninsula National, offered loans to many high-tech companies, including employees as clients.
The Soviet plan was innovative that time. Just when everyone’s expecting the Soviets to steal information, they tried to buy it legally. The Soviet Embassy that time denied their involvement in the financial espionage and claimed that they have zero interactions with the U.S. finance sector. The big men of the Moscow Norodny Bank, which funded the attempt to purchase the banks, insisted that the loans were conventional business transactions and nothing more.
The U.S. intel, the military, banks, and some government officials acknowledge that the Soviets found a way to take advantage of a strong weakness of a country that welcomes foreign investors. Foreign investors, who may have interests that conflict with the United States, are allowed to have access to highly classified information only by bidding the highest price. The foreign nature of the capital used made it hard for investigators to fish out real principal numbers and track money that has been transferred beneath under a sea of transactions.
The incident showed a standing conflict between free trade and national security. An official from the U.S. Department of Defense attests that it’s part of national security to stop Soviets from gaining financial leverage in U.S. markets. Breach of security is a consequence of having an open society. “Is an open society better?” is not the proper question anymore. The more appropriate question is “Until when can we continue being an open society?”
The KGB really did the United States of America a number this time. Although they eventually failed to complete their operation, they did make the American leaders that they are not an impenetrable bastion. How may countries can actually do that to the United States, bar China?
2. KGB’s Failed Blackmail on former Indonesian president Sukarno
The first special services that trained the most sophisticated female spies trained to seduce men was Russia’s KGB. KGB was so good with their female spies that the Russian femme fatale spy became the archetype for the female spy in movies. Ever heard of Black Widow? You’re damn right, you heard.
A book about sex espionage and KGB was actually published years ago. A woman by the name Vera narrated the book’s story about KGB and how they enlisted beautiful Russian women, offering them the highest level of welfare benefits Soviet Russia can offer in exchange of offering their loyalty and patriotic spirit to Mother Russia by becoming KGB’s most prized sex spies. They were trained to divest all of their sense of shame and modesty, taught a myriad of sex techniques, and shown porn regularly. One of these KGB female spies’ most famous victim is the former Indonesian President Sukarno.
Sukarno was famous for his sexual fire, making him an easy target for the KGB. They sent a number of young women to escort him when he visited Moscow. The girls, who disguised as flight attendants, met Sukarno and were invited by the Indonesian statesman into his hotel room for a massive orgy. The orgy was shot by KGB using two video-recording cameras behind one-way mirrors. The scene was filmed, hook, line, and sinker. Sukarno was invited by the KGB, eventually, in a small movie theater and saw a video of his reality TV porn, which he apparently starred.
The whole plan turned into a pile of fail when Sukarno, instead of fearing for his career as a politician, enjoyed the film that he thought the movie was a gift to him by the Soviets. Sukarno asked for more copies of the video because he’s planning to have the movie shown in Indonesian theaters. Sukarno was so excited because he thought the Indonesian people will love seeing their President laying pipe on Russian women. This incident taught KGB the value of cultural intel and the fact that there’s a big chance that every man out there would actually brag about screwing Soviet snatch.
1. KGB’s way of making Josip Tito look badass by failing to assassinate him
Josip Broz Tito and Iosif Vissarionovic Jugashvili, a.k.a. Joseph Stalin, are both Slavic dictators. Although a Communist like Stalin, the Yugoslavian head of state incited the fury of the Soviet Union and of the Soviet Dictator himself. Tito wanted Yugoslavia to stand alone and and develop as a nation independently from the Soviet influence. It’s obvious that Stalin did not like Tito’s vision and actions. Tito knew this so he started drifting away from the United States and the Soviet Union, sealing the Tito-Stalin Split deal.
Stalin wanted Tito dead, of course. He called and availed the services of MGB, the predecessor of the KGB, to assassinate the Yugoslavian revolutionary. The Soviet Union’s top agent and assassin was sent to accomplish the assassination of Tito. This assassin was the one who killed Leon Trotsky, who is another person who attracted the anger of Stalin.
Tito must have had cat genes because he cleanly survived all assassination attempts the Stalin regime threw at him. How many lives does this big shot have? The miracle man Tito even sent back a message to Stalin’s camp, telling him to stop trying to assassinate him because they’ve already captured five assassins that include a bomber and a rifleman, all sent to kill him.
Pissed and frustrated, Tito sent another message threatening Stalin that he’ll send one assassin to Moscow and that he won’t need to send a second one. MGB’s traditional assassination tactics eventually failed to deliver, some twisted idea appeared in their minds. They formulated a lethal bacteria strain and planned to release a plague in a diplomatic meeting where Tito will be. The plan is to kill everyone in the room while the KGB agent, immune to the plague, survives.
KGB also plotted to send a poisoned jewelry box to Tito as a Trojan horse gift. The box will release a deadly gas and kill the one who opened it after doing so. The two psychopathic plans were never carried out. Because of that, Tito had the chance to live up to 1980 at age 87. Stalin, on the other hand, had to die 30 years earlier, due to heart attack. Former premier Vyacheslav Molotov stated in a memoir that interior minister Lavrentiy Beria bragged that he killed Stalin using poison, ironically.