Keywords: agents of influence, active measures, espionage, operations of impact, subversion, national interests.


The article is devoted to clarifying the notion «agents of influence», using the concept in the practical activity of security institutions and the role of agents of influence in the operations of impact. The emphasis is on the fact that the use of agents of influence was an integral part of the concept of «active measures» that were being implemented by the USSR (now by the Russian Federation) against democratic countries. The approaches to defining the agents of influence used during the Cold War were analyzed. It was found the some established criteria for assigning a person to the category of agent of influence and a number of professional groups that have appropriate official opportunities for influencing have been identified: journalists; experts (in particular non-governmental organization leaders); politicians; public servants, artists and religious leaders. It was made the attempt to divide the activities of agents of influence and spies. It is noted that, unlike agents, spies can act only willfully (in the criminal codes of many European countries the «direct intent» is indicated) and are related to specific foreign organizations/services (act in accordance for their task). In addition, the purpose of the spy is the information of which collection, storage, transfer, disclosure, providing access, theft, purchase, public announcement (in particular by the media) have negatively/may harm the country, its national security, interests of the nation, etc. In contrast, the activity of agents of influence is focused on subversion and is not directly related to the collection for official use only data.


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How to Cite
Dubov, D., & Koretska, I. (2019). AGENTS OF INFLUENCE AS THE TOOL OF IMPACT OPERATIONS: TERMINOLOGICAL ASPECT. Strategic Priorities, 51(3-4), 7-14. Retrieved from