An approach by a hostile intelligence officer who misrepresents himself or herself as a citizen of a friendly country or organization. The person who is approached may give up sensitive information believing that it is going to an ally, not a hostile power.
Spy book: the encyclopedia of espionage
“Krüger” was the code name for an intelligence agent at RFE/RL, possibly from 1972 to 1986. His story has an interesting twist, sometimes described as a classic “false-flag operation.” Below we will briefly look at his story.
"Krüger” was born in 1922 to Russian émigré parents living in Yugoslavia. During World War II, he went to Berlin in 1941 and studied at the Film Technical School for two years. He 1943, he became an officer of the Russian anti-Soviet army of General Vlasov. He was injured in battle and remained in a military hospital until February 1946. Afterwards, while living in various displaced persons' camps in Austria, He was able to get various jobs with the U.S. Army occupation forces as a film projectionist, until he successfully got a job with the Radio Liberty in 1955.
“Krüger” had a history of serious financial problems which ended in 1972, when that he became an agent of Division IX (counterintelligence) of the Main Administration for Intelligence (Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung--HVA) of the former East German (DDR) Ministry for State Security” (Ministerium fuer Staatssicherheit”- Stasi). This was the foreign intelligence service that would not normally have had any interest in the Radios, which did not directly broadcast to East Germany though the Russian language broadcasts of Radio Liberty, for example, could be heard in that country.
The HVA was directly involved in various activities with non-German émigré groups in the West (presumably for the KGB), including employees of RFE/RL. Also part of his tasking was reporting was on the large and active Ukrainian exile community in Munich. He used his RFE/RL employment to maintain contact with them.
HVA officer, Karl-Hermann Mueller was one HVA officer responsible for "Krüger”. Müeller later said the Soviet KGB had originally recruited "Krüger” and in the early 1970s they turned the operation over to the HVA, possibly in July 1976. The HVA earlier had been tasked by the KGB with gathering information about the CIA in Germany. The HVA then wanted to use "Krüger” to gather information about presumed CIA involvement and personnel at the Radio Liberty. "Krüger” was then given his code name. Afterwards, he provided copies of internal RFE/RL memoranda, telephone books and any other written information of interest. “Krüger” met his contacts on a monthly basis in a restaurant in the town where he lived.
Mueller said that "Krüger” was never told that his information was going to the HVA, or KGB but he believed he was providing information to British intelligence. "Kruger" was "anti-Soviet" and knowingly would have refused any known contact with the KGB. But “Krüger” was possibly originally recruited by a KGB officer, who also was at one time working with or for a British intelligence agency in World War Two. The KGB officer previously had been in "Krüger’s detachment, and the two maintained contact after the war. "Krüger" never knew about this man's Soviet connection.
The HVA used “Krüger” until February 1986, when a Soviet intelligence officer named Gundarev defected in Athens and was flown to the United States. HVA headquartersi sent a message to Moscow asking if Gundarev's defection could jeopardize the "Krüger” operation. The KGB answered that Gundarev had knowledge of the KGB's prior control of "Krüger.” The HVA thereupon stopped the "Krüger” operation.
"Krüger” was paid on the average DM 1000 per month to give his HVA control officer information about employees and supply documents from RFE/RL. Over the years, “Krüger” was paid in excess of DM 100,000 for his information, which totaled over 2,500 pages and was one meter thick and reportedly destroyed, along with all other foreign intelligence files, by the HVA in the immediate post-1989 events.
The only remaining references to agent “Krüger” are in microfilmed paper file cards that had processed before destruction and in the HVA computerized data base SIRA (System Information Recherche Aufklärung) available for research at the Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic (BStU), Berlin.
The identity and activities of “Krüger” only became fully known in 1992. Because "Krüger” was last known to have met with his HVA contacts in February 1986, the statute of limitations in these cases was 5 years, thus there was no prosecution possibility.