A conspirational executive element of the Czechoslovak foreign intelligence abroad, carrying out concrete intelligence and counterintelligence activities in the given country, or from that country’s territory against another country. The main activity focused on the USA and the Federal Republic of Germany as countries of the so-called “main enemy“.
Professional staff members of the 1st Directorate worked in legalisation positions mostly at the embassies, consulates, trade departments, press offices, travel agencies but also company subsidiaries, international organisations, scientific institutions, special schools etc. The functions of the professional staff members were:
A legal residentura was headed by a resident. At larger, more operationally demanding residenturas, 1-2 deputy residents were appointed who were usually staff members of the foreign counterintelligence section and the science-technological section. At smaller residenturas, a senior officer was in charge.
In procuring the legalisation of its staff members, the 1st Directorate cooperated with the Federal ministry of foreign trade, the Federal ministry of transporation and communications, the Federal ministry of finance, the Ministry of metallurgy, mechanical and electrical engineering, the Czechoslovak press agency ČTK, the Czechoslovak radio, the Czechoslovak state bank and the state companies of foreign trade.
From 1953 onward, the Czechoslovak foreign intelligence operated 18 so-called legal residenturas in 17 countries: Washington, D.C., New York, Ottawa, London, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Mexiko, Paris, Rome, Bern, Brussels, Belgrafde, West Berlin, Vienna, Istanbul, Tel Aviv (until 1967), Cairo and Helsinki. Later on, it spread into further regions (Mali, Nigeria, Ghana, Cuba, Nicaragua, Iraq, Iran, Sydney,...).
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