Abstract

On 24 February 1966, Ghana's first president, Kwame Nkrumah, was overthrown in a coup d’état. The coup rekindled a debate within the Soviet bloc about the prospects of socialism in Africa and about the appropriateness of certain policies. Soviet officials concluded that they would have to focus on establishing close relations with the armies and internal security forces of African countries. This article explores how Nkrumah's loyalists in exile and their sympathizers in Ghana attempted to launch a leftwing counter-coup in Accra in 1968 and the involvement of Warsaw Pact countries—notably the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia—in those events. The article sheds new light on “Operation ALEX,” a botched attempt by the Czechoslovak intelligence service to support Nkrumah loyalists in their plans for a countercoup. The article reexamines the late 1960s as an important period for the militarization of the Cold War in Africa and highlights the crucial role that African politicians themselves played in this process.

On 24 February 1966, the first president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, had only just landed in Beijing when he was informed of the coup d’état that had taken place earlier that morning in Ghana's capital, Accra. Nkrumah, who was on his way to a peace mission in North Vietnam, learned that he had been dismissed as president of Ghana and that his Convention People's Party (CPP) had been banned and replaced by a group calling itself the National Liberation Council (NLC). At the invitation of Guinea's President Sékou Touré, Nkrumah spent the rest of his life at Villa Silly in Guinea's capital, Conakry, never returning to Ghana. Nkrumah's overthrow was in many ways a key moment in Africa's postcolonial history. He was the embodiment of pan-Africanism, and his fall signified an end to African unity as an ambitious political project. The coup also ended Accra's status as a logistical hub for anti-colonial movements receiving financial assistance and training in Ghana.1

By early 1966, the Soviet Union and other countries in the Soviet bloc had established political, economic, and military ties with Nkrumah's Ghana. A radical thinker, Nkrumah believed that African sociocultural circumstances lent themselves more readily to socialism than to capitalism, a doctrine that came to be referred to as “African socialism.” Soviet officials initially saw Ghana as a showcase for the “socialist model of development,” and they provided Ghana with development assistance and attempted to break the British monopoly on the country's cocoa trade. The Soviet Union and Ghana also cooperated during the Congo crisis in the early 1960s, and Moscow agreed in 1961 to Nkrumah's request for help in establishing a single African army.2 Although substantial disagreements between the two countries had emerged by 1966, the Soviet Union had a stake in Ghana. Nkrumah became increasingly anti-American toward the end of his rule, frustrated by the U.S. role in the Congo and convinced that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was plotting to assassinate him, a belief fueled by forgeries prepared by the Soviet State Security (KGB) organs.3 In 1965, Nkrumah published Neo-colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism, in which he accused the CIA of fomenting instability and crisis around the world.4 Nkrumah's fall was thus a jarring setback for Moscow, rekindling a debate within the Warsaw Pact about the prospects for revolution in Africa.

This article analyzes the previously unknown attempts of the Czechoslovak station chief in Accra to assist members of Ghana's internal opposition to launch a countercoup, codenamed operation ALEX. The goal of restoring Nkrumah to power was never reached, and the Czechoslovak intelligence station in Accra closed in 1971. But the KGB continued to try to undermine Western security services in Ghana, with some success. After Nkrumah's downfall, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia did not lose their interest or hope in a socialist transformation in Africa. This article emphasizes the importance of African agency in the successes and failures of superpower rivalry in Ghana, thus contributing to our understanding of the Cold War in Africa. The key practical lesson the Soviet Union took from these setbacks was the importance of the army in Africa. Officials in Moscow tried to compensate by providing increasing amounts of training and equipment for the military and security service personnel of friendly regimes in Africa.

Although the coup was in many ways a key event even beyond Africa, few scholars have examined its significance or consequences in any detailed or sustained way. In a book on Soviet policy in West Africa published nearly half a century ago, Robert Legvold argued that although anticipation of progress toward socialism in such countries as Ghana, Guinea, and Mali initially encouraged a sizable Soviet economic offensive in these countries, the Soviet Union by 1968 had been disabused of its revolutionary vision of Africa. Legvold viewed Nkrumah's fall as a rupture, after which Soviet expectations of major revolutionary transformations in the region collapsed, diminishing the area's importance to the USSR.5 For many years after Legvold's book appeared, Soviet policy in West Africa was not the subject of any major historical research, perhaps because the region was considered a backwater of the Cold War. However, interest in Cold War West Africa was revived by the partial opening of Russian and Eastern European archives. Recent works by Sergey Mazov and Alessandro Iandolo show that West Africa was an arena of intense, if often unequal, competition between socialism and capitalism in the late 1950s and early 1960s.6 Numerous scholars have analyzed the policies of countries that were once seen as Moscow's junior allies, such as Cuba and the East European countries, arguing that these actors were not simply subservient to Moscow but often followed an independent course in relations with African actors in pursuit of their own interests and principles.7

These works go a long way to explain the evolution of Soviet policy in Africa under Nikita Khrushchev. However, few scholars have addressed in any detail the evolution of the USSR's policy toward Africa in the late 1960s, the half-decade that predated renewed Soviet military intervention in Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and the Horn of Africa in the 1970s. Sandwiched between the better-known histories of Khrushchev's early policies toward West Africa in the late 1950s and the early 1960s and the intensification of Soviet involvement in Africa in the mid-1970s, the late 1960s deserve more attention as a moment of transition in Moscow's policy. During this period, Moscow launched a new phase of engagement with Africa, especially in the military sphere. This is all the more intriguing considering that the late 1960s have often been depicted as a period when neither superpower deemed the region particularly important. The evidence amassed here shows that in fact this period was a crucial time in the development of the Cold War in Africa.

The analysis here draws on recently declassified documents in Russia and Eastern Europe. Until recently, the East European archives were the only source of information about Soviet policymaking in Africa. However, in August 2015 the Russian authorities declassified immense quantities of high-level documents, including reports sent to the International Department of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) from Soviet diplomats and intelligence officers on the ground, as well as country reports written by senior figures in the KGB and the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Soviet General Staff (GRU)—the political and military branches of Soviet intelligence. The archival record in Moscow is by no means complete—documents pertaining to GRU and KGB covert operations in Africa have not been released—but the East European archives partly fill the gap. In particular, the records of the Czechoslovak intelligence service reconstruct the details of Prague's involvement in Ghana and of operation ALEX. The full story remains buried in the Russian archives, but the newly available documents give us a glimpse of the most secret part of the Cold War in Africa.

Weapons for Nkrumah

Nkrumah's downfall resulted in an abrupt realignment of Ghana's foreign relations. By 1 March, the NLC had expelled at least 130 Soviet technicians and banned Aeroflot flights to Ghana. On 2 March, speaking on the radio, the NLC's head, Major General Joseph Arthur Ankrah, announced the new economic guidelines for his regime. He pledged to reassess state corporations and return some to the private sector, which would be larger than the state sector in terms of persons employed and gross output. He also promised to resume negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and associated institutions to obtain urgent financial aid. The new budget would emphasize reduced expenditure as opposed to increased taxation; abandoning Nkrumah's prestige projects and the Seven Year Development Plan.8 Within a week of the coup d’état, the new regime ousted 620 Soviet technicians, teachers, and advisers from schools, state farms, research institutes, and government ministries.9 On 24 March, General Ankrah wrote a personal message to President Lyndon Johnson explaining why he had decided to launch a coup. He said action had been necessary to prevent a Communist takeover and vowed to “remove all traces of alien ideological influence” from Ghana and improve relations with the West. He also asked for aid, food, and a credit line with the United States to avoid economic disaster.10

The NLC's policies immediately raised questions about Western complicity in the coup. Nkrumah believed the coup was a product of collusion between the United States and opposition forces within the Ghanaian army and police force, as he explained in his 1968 book Dark Days in Ghana.11 U.S. officials had good reasons to wish for Nkrumah's downfall. They were deeply concerned about Nkrumah's growing anti-Americanism and resented his inflammatory speeches against U.S. actions abroad.12 On 27 May 1965, Robert Komer of the National Security Council (NSC) staff wrote to his boss, National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy: “The plotters are keeping us briefed, and State thinks we're more on the inside than the British. While we're not directly involved (I'm told), we and other Western countries (including France) have been helping to set up the situation by ignoring Nkrumah's pleas for economic aid.”13 Although the role of the CIA's station chief in Accra, Howard T. Bane, remains unclear, U.S. officials knew about the plot and facilitated it by withholding economic assistance. On 20 November 1965, the U.S. government officially turned down Ghana's long-pending request for over $100 million in food assistance, not least because of the release of Nkrumah's book Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialsim. U.S. State Department officials believed the book was proof of “Nkrumah's fundamental anti-Western, anti-US bias.”14

Not surprisingly, U.S. policymakers were pleased about the coup and eager to support the NLC. On 12 March, Komer, writing to President Johnson, described the coup in Ghana as a “fortuitous windfall.” Nkrumah, he said, had been doing more than any other black African leader to undermine U.S. interests, whereas the new military regime was ardently pro-Western.15 On 14 April, President Johnson praised Ankrah's alertness to the “dangers of subversion from alien sources” and praised attempts to reinstate the rule of law and overcome economic difficulties.16 The honeymoon period between the United States and post-Nkrumah Ghana included a mutually beneficial exchange, with the United States shipping food aid and Ankrah providing anti-aircraft guns and ammunition of the type being used against U.S. soldiers in Vietnam.17

Earlier Soviet optimism about the possibilities of a socialist revolution in Africa was dissipated by the Ghanaian coup. In the late 1950s, Khrushchev believed that assistance to the newly independent countries in Africa offered a new frontier for socialism and that the USSR had a duty to provide assistance and thus display how Soviet socialism could compete peacefully with Western capitalism.18 These hopes quickly turned to disillusionment, as Guinea, Mali, and Ghana failed to turn into successful cases for the “socialist model of development.”19 Soviet officials became frustrated that African leaders were eager to receive assistance from Moscow but did not feel compelled to give back much in return, as when Guinea's Sékou Touré denied Moscow the use of Guinea's airfields during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.20 This negative sentiment was reflected in a report drafted by the KGB for the October 1964 plenum of the CPSU Central Committee as evidence of Khrushchev's mismanagement of foreign policy.21

Khrushchev's ouster in October 1964 did not signal an end to Moscow's interest in Africa. The officials who had been shaping Soviet policy in Africa retained their posts, including Boris Ponomarev, the head of the CPSU International Department, and Petr Manchkha, the head of the department's Africa section. Shortly after Khrushchev's ouster, the CPSU Presidium approved the construction of a special center for the training of foreign militants at the Ukrainian village of Perevalnoe and an increase in deliveries of weapons to the national liberation movements in the Portuguese colonies.22 On 19 June 1965, Soviet policy in Africa suffered yet another blow when Houari Boumédiène overthrew the first president of Algeria, Ahmed Ben Bella. Moscow was gravely concerned about the loss of a major ally in the region but soon realized the coup did not represent a drastic realignment of Algeria's foreign policy.23 A Soviet diplomat, Leonid Musatov, who witnessed the 1968 coup in Mali, later recalled that Moscow felt the episode could not compare to events in Ghana because the demise of Nkrumah's regime had been “very painful” for the Soviet Union.24 Khrushchev's successor, Leonid Brezhnev, believed in the concept of proletarian internationalism and was familiar with Nkrumah. In February 1961, Brezhnev held a series of conversations with Nkrumah in Accra about the crisis in the Congo and recommended that the Soviet Union consider supplying the opposition with light weapons and ammunition via Ghana and Morocco.25

Nkrumah's downfall therefore rekindled discussions about Soviet policy in Africa at upper levels of the Soviet bureaucracy. The Soviet Union's failure to appreciate the importance of the army was underscored by Deputy Foreign Minister Yakov Malik when he met with a Czechoslovak delegation in April 1966. Malik argued that the Soviet-bloc governments would have to make sure to treat military and police forces as powerful political players in their own right, with ambassadors already delivering the necessary reports on the issue.26 The KGB held a similar view. When meeting with a Bulgarian delegation visiting Moscow shortly after the coup, KGB Chairman Vladimir Semichastnyi said Moscow had underestimated the importance of intelligence work: “Africa should become a serious object of our attention.”27 The most comprehensive reviews of the situation in Ghana available come from the GRU chief, General Petr Ivashutin.

Ivashutin was drawing on many years of experience. Born the son of a railway worker in Brest in 1909, he worked on the railways and in a factory before completing training as a military pilot in 1933. In 1939 he went to work for Soviet military counterintelligence, rising to the rank of Lieutenant General at the end of World War II. He was elevated to the post of KGB deputy chairman in 1954 and worked there until 1963, when he replaced Ivan Serov as head of the GRU in the wake of the arrest and execution of a CIA informant, GRU Colonel Oleg Penkovsky.28 The GRU, operating within the Soviet Ministry of Defense, was responsible for training foreign guerrillas, running arms to national liberation movements, and collecting and analyzing information about the situation across the world with the help of local confidential contacts.

In a lengthy explanation of the situation in Guinea, Congo-Brazzaville, and Somalia for the CPSU Politburo on 6 August 1966, Ivashutin argued that Nkrumah's downfall would encourage Western powers to intensify their subversion of African countries friendly to the USSR. The main goal, according to Ivashutin, was to turn them away from non-capitalist development and force them to reject close cooperation with the Soviet Union. The United States, Britain, France, and West Germany, he claimed, used members of the pro-Western African Unions—the African and Malagasy Union and the Conseil de l'Entente (Council of Understanding)—to destabilize regimes in Mali, Guinea, and Congo-Brazzaville by means of creating subversive groups and propaganda.29 In a similar analysis two months later, Ivashutin argued that the rise of African nationalism in the face of Western powers’ intensifying struggle to maintain their influence made Africa one of the most dangerous regions in the world, with Guinea, Nigeria, and Congo-Brazzaville likely to see armed anti-government uprisings and coups. As for Ghana, Ivashutin did not believe that any organized opposition to the military regime existed but did not exclude the possibility that growing disappointment with economic difficulties would in the future lead to the “unification of progressive elements inside the country.” The NLC had recently intensified propaganda against Communist countries, which showed, according to Ivashutin, that the junta feared an uprising of Nkrumah's supporters.30

The NLC were indeed moderately concerned about the threat emanating from Guinea. When Nkrumah arrived in Conakry on 2 March as a guest of Guinea's President Sékou Touré, he vowed to resume his role as the democratically elected president: “I want to say here that I am retuning to Ghana. I am en route for Ghana.”31 On 10 March, Sékou Touré made a three-hour speech declaring that he would send troops to liberate the people of Ghana.32 On 14 March, General Ankrah summoned the Canadian, Australian, and British high commissioners to discuss the threat from Guinea, asking for assurances of support.33

The British did not believe Touré’s threats were realistic. Numerous reports from British diplomatic stations in the region indicated that any regional initiative to help Nkrumah was seriously lacking. Not only would Mali's support for Touré’s scheme endanger the country's exports to Côte d'Ivoire, but it would also have put an end to French-Malian talks on Mali's reentry into the franc zone. Moreover, Guinea lacked the means to send sufficient forces to Ghana. The British Joint Intelligence Committee thus concluded that Touré’s threats were not to be taken seriously because it was “extremely improbable” that any African countries supportive of Nkrumah would get involved in the adventure.34

Although the British report does not mention the possibility of Soviet assistance as a concern, Soviet leaders were initially prepared to back Nkrumah's ambitions. The Soviet ambassador to Ghana, Aleksei Voronin, recalls that Sékou Touré invited him for a private meeting and asked for urgent military aid to facilitate Nkrumah's return to Accra. Voronin was unreceptive: “I expressed my concerns but relayed his request to the Foreign Ministry.”35 He therefore was surprised to receive a telegram from Moscow informing him that Touré’s request for aid had been considered and that a military ship would shortly arrive in Conakry, loaded with weapons and ammunition. The ship's final destination was unclear; it might have been intended to unload weapons in Conakry for Nkrumah's supporters or to continue to Accra. Voronin believed the decision was adventurist and wrote a letter to Moscow advising against dispatching the ship: “The reality was such that even if the ship had arrived in Conakry, it would not have reached Accra without conflict. It would have had to clash with the military forces of the junta that had taken power in Ghana.” Voronin later found out that the CPSU Politburo engaged in a vigorous debate over whether to send the ship to Conakry, with Brezhnev arguing in favor of dispatching the ship and Prime Minister Aleksei Kosygin speaking against.36

Voronin's arguments seem to have tipped the balance in Kosygin's favor. Moscow agreed to his recommendation and recalled the ship, which was apparently already on its way to Conakry. Shortly afterward, General Viktor Kulikov, who had previously served as the Soviet military adviser to Ghana, arrived to explain the decision to Touré and Nkrumah. Voronin remembered that he and Kulikov emphasized that it was impossible to use Soviet armed forces against the NLC, and eventually Nkrumah and then Touré agreed.37 We still do not know when this aborted mission took place, but on 12 April Nkrumah, in his only press interview to Douglas Rogers for Africa and the World, rejected any prospect of a Guinean invasion of Ghana.38

This episode shows that the Soviet Union's practical response to Nkrumah's downfall was more dramatic than previously thought. Although the possibility of a military action against the NLC seemed far-fetched to seasoned diplomats, leaders in Moscow evidently entertained the possibility of such action, spurred by Touré’s and Nkrumah's requests for support. The details of the plan with the ship are unknown, but the fact that Voronin was worried enough to write a rebuttal suggests it was going to move ahead. Only when Soviet officials concluded that their abilities to project military power in Africa were limited did they decide that the initiative for Nkrumah's restoration would have to come “from below.” However, this did not mean that Soviet intelligence and its Czechoslovakian counterpart gave up attempts to restore Nkrumah to power by covert means.

Enter Batsa

Nkrumah's public rejection of military intervention did not stop a stream of reports of covert subversion. The NLC claimed that both the Soviet Union and China were supplying Guinea with arms and instructors to enable Nkrumah and his group of supporters to carry out guerrilla raids on Ghanaian soil. Nkrumah was also reported to have been promised a shipload of arms from the Chinese government when he was in Beijing at the time of his overthrow. Rumors also circulated that Soviet arms, including T-34 tanks and armored cars, had been sent across the desert from Algeria to Mali and conveyed to a secret camp used by Nkrumah's followers as their military training ground, near Guinea's border with the Ivory Coast.39 The NLC thus remained on high alert. When the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harold Smedley, met General Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka on 28 September 1966, he expressed concern about Nkrumah's supporters surfacing once more and threatening to retaliate and to restore the former regime.40

Nkrumah never gave up the prospect of returning to Ghana. June Milne, his friend and long-time assistant, writes that only weeks after settling at Villa Silly in Conakry, Nkrumah started to receive a flow of messages from many people claiming to be organizing a countercoup in Accra to restore him to power. Milne, who maintained a regular correspondence with Nkrumah, writes that on at least one occasion he was persuaded to spend the night at Sékou Touré’s residence so that he would be ready to broadcast an address and make a quick return to Accra.41 On 17 April 1967, a group of disgruntled military officers launched an unsuccessful coup attempt in Accra, raising questions regarding political instability and disillusionment in the army.42

Ivashutin, however, believed that Nkrumah's chances were meager. In a lengthy evaluation of the situation in Ghana and Guinea dated 19 April 1967, Ivashutin outlined the situation in the country as characterized by increasing division between the faction headed by General Ankrah, who favored a long period of military rule and moderate cooperation with the USSR, and John Willie Kofi Harlley, who advocated a quick transfer of power to civilian authorities and full termination of cooperation with the USSR and other Communist states. According to Ivashutin, opposition to the NLC could come from three main sources: Kofi Abrefa Busia, Nkrumah's former chief political rival, who could unite with Harlley's faction and topple General Ankrah; a group of military officers, led by Brigadier D. C. K. Amenu, who were ready for another coup; and supporters of Kwame Nkrumah. Ivashutin concluded that even if an increasing number of nationalistically minded intelligentsia and government employees had started to speak out in favor of Nkrumah, Ghana still had no developed political organization capable of organizing mass rallies in support of the ousted leader.43

The Soviet intelligence services were not the only actors working against Western interests in Ghana. Czechoslovakia reinforced Soviet involvement in Ghana, especially in the security sphere. The Czechoslovak State Security (StB) and the KGB had cooperated with each other on security matters since 1960, when both sides endorsed a formal agreement to share operational details and cooperate on “active measures” against the secret services of Western countries, including in Africa.44 When Kwame Nkrumah turned increasingly to the Soviet Union as a result of Western actions in the Congo, Czechoslovakia offered its cash, arms, and expertise to Ghana. In 1961, Czechoslovakia started to sell arms to Accra, extended £10 million in credits, and agreed to finance and build in Ghana a training center for members of national liberation movements across Africa. In 1962, Czechoslovak experts were sent to reorganize Ghanaian counterintelligence and to investigate the Kulungugu incident, when a grenade was thrown at Nkrumah in August 1962.45 The coup in Accra spurred Prague into action: in April 1966, Prague sent 200 rifles, 100 pistols, and 20 machine guns, along with ammunition and medical supplies for Nkrumah in Conakry.46 Prague's interest in the country meant that Czechoslovakia had maintained an intelligence station in Accra throughout the early 1960s, with many contacts that could be activated in support of the Ghanaian revolution after the coup.

One of these contacts was Kofi Batsa, a Ghanaian writer and political activist who was given the code name LUPA. Batsa had been actively involved in the youth movement in the 1950s but had been expelled from the CPP, allegedly because of their affiliation with the Communist World Federation of Trade Unions. He was readmitted in 1961, and his career progressed steadily from then onward: Nkrumah appointed Batsa editor of the influential Ghanaian weekly The Spark and a member of Nkrumah's Committee on Ideology and Propaganda in 1962. Three years later he became the General Secretary of the Pan-African Union of Journalists. The Czechoslovak station chief in Accra established regular contacts with Batsa around 1963 and helped him with “publishing operations” which, according to an intelligence report of 1968, “made waves and caused official protests by some of the imperialist countries like the USA and FRG.” The station chief rejected the possibility of recruiting him as an “agent” because of his “Bohemian lifestyle” but continued cooperation because of his “positive attitude towards socialist ideas.”47 The NLC imprisoned Batsa, alongside other prominent supporters of Nkrumah's regime, shortly after the coup. After he was released in June 1967, he approached the Czechoslovak station chief in Ghana, Major Karel Hotárek, for financial assistance to organize resistance against the regime.48

The 37-year-old Hotárek (code-named “Holický”) had a rich resume by the time of his posting as station chief in Accra in June 1966. Born into a worker's family in the village of Brezi in the Brno district, Hotárek joined the StB in 1949, as a 21-year-old, following high school and a few years as a sales assistant while attending an evening school for party workers. He then worked in various posts with the StB before a one-year stint at the intelligence school in Leningrad, in 1959–1960. His first foreign assignment began in 1962, when he was dispatched as station chief in Tehran for two years. In Iran, Hotárek allegedly managed to develop a few secret contacts, worked effectively with Soviet comrades on an operation codenamed “DUHA,” and managed to avoid surveillance.49 Upon arrival as chief of the Czechoslovak station in 1966, under the cover of second secretary of the embassy in Accra, Hotárek became a person of interest for the Ghanaian counterintelligence. His main aim—to establish a net of clandestine contacts and obtain secret documents and information—was hindered by this surveillance.50

Nonetheless, the first meeting between Hotárek and Batsa on 6 September 1967 was productive. The two met at the Nungua farm, a location a few kilometers from Accra, run by Czechoslovak experts. When Hotárek arrived at the farm at 3 p.m. (under the pretext of buying eggs), Batsa was waiting with a “reliable” taxi driver.51 During a one-hour conversation, Hotárek questioned Batsa about his interactions with the Ghanaian police when he was in prison. Batsa in turn asked for financial assistance for himself and the wife of his friend Kodwo Addison, a ticket to Prague, and for Hotárek to forward a letter to Nkrumah and to journalists in Conakry and Mali. Batsa claimed his goal was to stage a countercoup in Ghana, and he informed Hotárek that he had already established contacts with former members of Nkrumah's cabinet while in prison.52 He also handed over a detailed analytical note about the situation in Ghana in which he outlined the difficulties of the Ghanaian regime, pointing to the increase in state-led repression, the dismal state of the economy and internal divisions within the NLC. He concluded that the situation was highly volatile and that the government's downfall was only a matter of who would provide the leadership—and obtain the necessary funds—for the overthrow of the NLC.53 Hotárek came out of the meeting satisfied with the answers and proposed that Batsa should be used for secret tasks, in accordance with the general plan of the station.54

Prague supported Batsa's initiative. On 5 October 1967, Josef Janouš wrote to the chief of Czechoslovak intelligence, Josef Houska, with an outline of a plan. Batsa would start, Janouš explained, by establishing an illegal organization consisting of reliable rivals of the NLC, including army officers, government functionaries, and the non-corrupt officials who had served under Nkrumah. He would simultaneously follow the situation inside the NLC and in Ghana in general, while also monitoring the activities of rightwing groups and of Western countries, especially the United States, Britain, and West Germany. Janouš believed that cooperation with Batsa was useful and recommended that the Czechoslovak station fulfill some of his requests, including the provision of financial assistance for information, but he warned that the operation was risky and that it was essential for Hotárek to establish secure communications with Batsa.55

Less than two weeks later, a senior StB officer in Prague codenamed DUB passed on the decision to Hotárek in Accra: Batsa would be used for intelligence purposes in line with the plan to establish conditions for a leftwing coup—under the condition of strict secrecy. He thus instructed Hotárek to give him a one-time cash allowance of 500 cedi (equivalent to $500) and agreed to pass on his letters, including those to Nkrumah, through a “trusted source” close to the former president. Soviet personnel, according to “DUB,” had been fully informed and consulted regarding their recommendations, criticism, or requests. The instruction to Hotárek concluded with a list of eleven questions related to practical aspects of Batsa's activities.56 The operation was codenamed ALEX.

Moscow's and Prague's initial hopes of an active role for Nkrumah in these schemes were reflected in conversations between Czechoslovak officials and Amílcar Cabral. The leader of the Partido Africano de Independência da Guiné e do Cabo Verde (PAIGC), a movement engaged in a guerrilla war against the Portuguese control of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde and based in Conakry, Cabral had received cash, weapons, and training from Czechoslovakia since 1961.57 Cabral's Czechoslovak liaisons in Conakry and Prague had a series of conversations with him about Nkrumah's plans and political ambitions in the aftermath of the coup. Cabral was a long-time friend of Nkrumah and one of the few regular guests the latter received at his residence in Conakry. Czechoslovak intelligence therefore tried to use Cabral's influence with Nkrumah to convince the former president to focus on organizing a resistance movement in Ghana.58 Initially fairly optimistic about Nkrumah's prospects, Cabral became increasingly skeptical about the Ghanaian leader's capacity for decisive action. By early 1968, Cabral argued that the ex-president knew little about the situation in Ghana, that he had become more of a philosopher than a politician, and that his plan to liberate the African continent was not realistic.59 The extent of Nkrumah's involvement in plans for a countercoup is not fully clear, but he must have been at least partly informed, given his regular communication with Cabral and representatives from Soviet-bloc countries.60

It may seem puzzling that the StB—clearly with the knowledge and approval of the KGB—decided to go ahead with operation ALEX. GRU officers did not believe Nkrumah's loyalists had much of a chance for a coup against the NLC in the foreseeable future. However, they did note that the existing situation was unstable and could lead to change in the future. Ivashutin's evaluation of the situation in Ghana was similar to a CIA estimate of July 1967 that underlined Ghana's continuous economic malaise and instability, which potentially could lead to a takeover by a new regime less friendly to the United States.61 Czechoslovak intelligence was therefore not far off the mark as far as the general situation in the country was concerned, but it would take much more time to determine whether Batsa could deliver on his promises.

Operation ALEX Unfolds

Operation ALEX went into full gear in early 1968. In a meeting in Accra on 21 January 1968, Batsa shared with Hotárek some details of the illegal organization, apparently consisting of 33 people serving in various government institutions and the military, and headed by a six-member Political Bureau. He asked for mercury to make explosives and ammunition for a certain type of rifle. Hotárek said that the transportation of mercury and the making of explosives were dangerous, but he promised to supply Batsa with the requested detonators, and he asked for samples so that they could find and adjust ammunition for the appropriate standard. Hotárek entertained some concerns about a lack of consistency in Batsa's information, but his assessment of Batsa was overwhelmingly positive. He saw Batsa as a suitable candidate to organize a resistance movement in Ghana, while Prague was to follow developments in the country and seek to establish the Czechoslovak role in the operation, scheduled for October 1968.62 In February, Czechoslovak intelligence services and their counterparts in the KGB convened in Moscow for consultations. The Soviet officials apparently believed the significance of the operation was high, as they pledged cooperation and assistance in the organization and delivery of materials.63

However, the StB became concerned about Batsa's progress. During several meetings with Batsa in February 1968, Hotárek grew increasingly skeptical of the planned coup's likelihood of success. He argued that the operation was quite risky and the conspirators’ capabilities minimal, with preparations likely to take a very long time. He was particularly concerned about surveillance and Batsa's carelessness in this respect.64 In March, the StB dispatched DUB to Accra to clarify the plan of action. When DUB, Hotárek, and Batsa met at the Nungua farm on 20 March, the former complained about a lack of specific information about the illegal organization and asked Batsa for details about the men involved, the security protocols of key government buildings, and group capabilities (leadership, security, military equipment, etc.).65 In another meeting on 2 April, DUB informed Batsa that General Ankrah had ordered a strengthening of security around key government buildings because of security concerns and again asked for specific information about the operation. Batsa complained about surveillance but promised to deliver on some of the requests.66

The StB's intervention had limited results. Hotárek grew increasingly hostile toward what he described as Batsa's lack of seriousness and preparation. In a series of reports to Prague, he complained that Batsa had not produced a complete note about the situation in Ghana. Moreover, Batsa had neither managed to answer any questions about the security arrangements at key locations in Accra nor presented any specific operational plans. Hotárek concluded that Batsa was not up to the task of organizing a coup. He claimed that Batsa's attitudes were superficial—“typically African,” in his words.67

Nonetheless, the StB seemed optimistic about the operation. A lengthy report from the end of May stated that the situation in Ghana remained volatile and that the NLC feared a coup attempt and thus had taken weapons away from military garrisons, storing them in the central military warehouse in Accra. This was fortunate because it would allow Nkrumah's supporters to undertake a coup with a small group of armed men. The whole operation thus hinged on two officers of the Ghanaian army, identified as Asare and Tetteh, who were supposed to lead the insulation of the NLC's leadership with the forces of the Accra garrisons and with help from students at the Teshie Military Academy. However, the report acknowledged that many problems remained. Asare had failed to give samples of weaponry with instructions on the quantity of the required ammunition, making it impossible to transfer the necessary weapons to the capital. Worse still, Batsa had not yet prepared a tactical plan for the operation. The report concluded that StB personnel in Prague would have to press him for missing information and specific plans for the coup. The Czechoslovak officers would then analyze the plan and draw up a new one if necessary.68 The plan remained active until Batsa was arrested by the Ghanaian police on 12 August 1968. Batsa writes, “There was a rumour of an attempted coup to restore Nkrumah and I was put back in jail. I was accused of concealing arms and plotting a coup, of being in touch with Kwame Nkrumah, and of running round the country organizing against the military government.”69

Batsa's arrest did not signal an end to the operation. The Soviet and Czechoslovak intelligence network clearly involved more than one person. One of the people apparently involved was Kwesi Amoako-Atta, a former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana and finance minister under Nkrumah, who had been arrested alongside Batsa in the aftermath of the coup. Upon his release in 1967, Amoako-Atta received $1,000 from Moscow in the form of “financial compensation for the purged supporters of Nkrumah.”70 Amoako-Atta was also in conversation with Hotárek, to whom he confirmed the existence of an illegal organization preparing a coup but rejected Batsa's participation because of his “loose tongue.”71 On 4 October 1968, Janouš, writing to the newly established chief of intelligence, Miloslav Čada, explained that Batsa's understanding of preparations for the coup was superficial and that he could not fulfill any of Prague's requests about the preparation of a military plan, even though he had established contacts with numerous key people. However, Janouš ruled out the possibility that Batsa was a double agent who had compromised Operation ALEX.72

The GRU, meanwhile, continued to report about the situation in Ghana. Ivashutin submitted a lengthy report in July claiming that the opposition lacked an organized force capable of replacing the NLC.73 Only on 20 August did he inform the CPSU Politburo that in June a group of Nkrumah's supporters had established an organization called the “Progressive People's Party” with the aim of winning the upcoming elections and undertaking broad socioeconomic change on the basis of scientific socialism. According to GRU data, the party was also preparing to take power by force on 31 August or 7 September 1968. The plotters apparently had several meetings to discuss the plan of a coup, drawn up by the head of Nkrumah's military intelligence, General Hassan. Ivashutin concluded that the plotters could indeed go ahead with the plan but cautioned that the participation of so many people in the discussions would compromise the operation.74 Apart from a series of events, such as the arrest of Soviet trawlers offshore near Takoradi in October on suspicion of landing mines and the arrest of Air Marshal Michael Otu, the former commander of the Ghanaian armed forces, on suspicions of a coup attempt, Nkrumah's own letter to Milne from 21 December 1968 hints that he had good reasons to believe a coup attempt was imminent:

As I write, no action has taken place at home. The whole place is rotten to the core and rotten ripe for the “ballon” [sic]. Why it has not gone up I can't understand. I was made to understand that something was going to happen around this time, and nothing has happened. I am afraid that if they keep postponing and dragging on, things might be difficult. The more confused and pressed the enemy, the more erratic, irresponsible and ruthless it becomes.75

The activism of the Czechoslovak station in Accra ebbed after 1968. Hotárek continued to meet with various contacts over the next few years, but this seems mostly to have been for gathering information rather than engaging in new operations.76 Hotárek met with Batsa again in August 1969 following the latter's release. This time, Hotárek did not conceal his irritation, apparently telling Batsa he was not serious and would just speak about socialism and progress while doing nothing to make it happen.77 A year later, the StB decided to terminate all contacts with Batsa. The overall cost of the failed Operation ALEX was 1,500 Ghanaian cedi (equivalent to $1,500), plus 800 cedi for Batsa's personal use.78

In October 1971, the StB decided to close its station in Ghana and transfer all local contacts to the KGB. The reason for the decision is not fully clear. One explanation is that the station was in a difficult situation, as its contacts were constantly under surveillance and were periodically arrested—a potential security threat to both Czechoslovak and Soviet operations.79 Another possible explanation is Czechoslovakia's gradual withdrawal from active intelligence operations, except for a few key areas, after a turn inward in the aftermath of the Prague Spring and Warsaw Pact military intervention in August 1968.80

The failure of the coup in Accra and the Prague Spring did not affect Hotárek's career. At the end of his four-year stint in May 1970, he returned home with a good record, according to his senior officer, Luděk Rivet. Although Hotárek had been initially slow to develop contacts and engage in analytical work, he overcame these deficiencies and showed good results. Over a four-year period, he engaged, developed, and recruited six people in “various categories” who proved very useful in the task of finding secret documents and information at Prague's request. In addition, argued Rivet, Hotárek stayed committed to the principles of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism and cooperated closely with his Soviet colleagues, with whom he would participate in ten “active operations,” including a particularly important one against the CIA.81 The story of Batsa and Operation ALEX gives us only a small window into the kind of plots that the StB and the KGB were engaged with in post-revolutionary Ghana and their real—and imagined—competition with the Western intelligence services.

The Soviet station did not give up hope of exerting influence on the ruling regime through secret intelligence. After General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong took power in another coup on 13 January 1972, a Soviet intelligence officer served as an unofficial security adviser to Acheampong, and the KGB's contacts included individuals working for Acheampong's administration in various capacities.82 The KGB also recruited several Ghanaians who successfully managed to identify CIA officers working under the cover of the U.S. embassy in Accra and to install special recording equipment.83

Conclusion

The full story of Soviet and Czechoslovakian plans for postcoup Ghana are not yet fully known, but new evidence shows that Moscow did not give up its ambitions in West Africa in the late 1960s. Although most scholars point to the early 1960s as the key period when Soviet leaders became disillusioned with the prospects of socialism in Africa, the story of failed attempts to launch a countercoup in Accra after Nkrumah's fall shows the event was particularly painful for Moscow, perhaps the largest single blow to Soviet policy in the region since the coup that had deposed the first democratically elected prime minister of the Congo, Patrice Lumumba, in 1960. This was due to the clearly pro-Western stance of the new Ghanaian regime and the importance of Nkrumah, who had been increasingly moving toward the Soviet vision of the world and of American power. One clear indication of this is the decision to dispatch a ship to Conakry at Nkrumah's request, despite diverging opinions among the members of the CPSU Politburo. Even though that decision was later cancelled, the Soviet-bloc intelligence services in Accra persevered with their plan to launch a leftwing countercoup with the support of Nkrumah's loyalists and disaffected members of the Ghanaian military. The story therefore shows that the Soviet presence in postcolonial African states was not always a construction of Western propaganda or imagination, even if this influence was fairly limited, as in the post-1966 Ghanaian case.

Operation ALEX attests to this active Soviet involvement. The Czechoslovak station in Accra welcomed Batsa's plans to stage a coup, even in the extremely risky conditions existing in postcoup Ghana. Most likely, the StB originally envisioned Nkrumah playing an active role as leader of an underground resistance movement and prepared his return to Ghana. By 1970, however, the StB became increasingly skeptical of Nkrumah's potential for a comeback and focused on trying to work from inside the Ghanaian military and security apparatus. The extent of KGB and GRU involvement in the schemes is not fully clear, but the Czechoslovak documents make clear that their Soviet colleagues were fully informed and involved at both the operational and policy levels. The Czechoslovak station in Conakry was closed in 1971, but the KGB and GRU continued their intelligence work, with some success following Acheampong's coup in 1972.

The story of Soviet and Czechoslovak involvement in post-Operation ALEX Ghana also highlights the importance of local agency in the story of the Cold War in Africa. The Soviet and Czechoslovak plans hinged on Ghanaians such as Batsa, who was meant to be the driving force behind the coup. His inability to come up with a cohesive military plan and his eventual arrest resulted in little that either the KGB or the StB was able and willing to do to reverse the situation in Ghana. The Soviet security services—notably the GRU—were also well aware of their limited capabilities to project power at such a great distance and that support for the coup had to come from locals.

A major consequence of the Ghanaian coup was the militarization of Soviet relations with the African countries. Nkrumah's downfall yet again confirmed that Soviet leaders had mistakenly neglected to engage with the armed and police forces of the newly independent nation-states. In the late 1960s, the Soviet Union extended its network of relations with the military and intelligence elites of African countries by providing weapons, sending military technicians, and offering military training in the USSR. In addition to traditional allies such as Guinea and Congo-Brazzaville, the Soviet Union provided substantial military aid to Somalia, Ethiopia, and Nigeria.84 The same was true of clandestine intelligence operations. The KGB did not have an active presence in the region until 1961, but by 1966 an intense competition between secret agencies, fueled by internal rivalries, had become the norm, contributing to the polarization of politics on the continent and the demise of African unity as a political project. Soviet activism in Africa in the 1970s cannot be fully understood without a thorough reexamination of the late 1960s as a decade of often under-the-surface militarization of the Cold War in sub-Saharan Africa.

Acknowledgments

I am grateful to Richard Aldrich, Calder Walton, Rui Lopes, and anonymous reviewers for comments on earlier drafts of this article.

Notes

1. 

Jean Allman, “Kwame Nkrumah, African Studies, and the Politics of Knowledge Production in the Black Star of Africa,” The International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 46, No. 2 (2013), pp. 113–137; and Jeffrey S. Ahlman, “Road to Ghana: Nkrumah, Southern Africa and the Eclipse of a Decolonizing Africa,” Kronos, No. 37 (November 2011), pp. 23–40.

2. 

“Iz dnevnika Marshala V. I. Kulikova,” 1 July 1961, available online at http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/2288946. See also Alessandro Iandolo, “The Rise and Fall of the `Soviet Model of Development' in West Africa, 1957–64,” Cold War History, Vol. 12, No. 4 (November 2012), pp. 683–704.

3. 

Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The KGB and the World: The Mitrokhin Archive II (London: Penguin Books, 2004), pp. 434–435.

4. 

Kwame Nkrumah, Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism (London: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1965), p. 251.

5. 

Robert Legvold, Soviet Policy in West Africa (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970), pp. 335–344.

6. 

Sergey Mazov, A Distant Front in the Cold War: The USSR in West Africa and the Congo, 1956–1964 (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2010); and Alessandro Iandolo, “The Rise and Fall of the ‘Soviet Model of Development’ in West Africa, 1957–64,” Cold War History, Vol. 12, No. 4 (November 2012), pp. 683–704.

7. 

Piero Gleijeses, Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959–1976 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002), pp. 373–396; Klaus Storkmann, Geheime Solidarität: Militärbeziehungen und Militärhilfen der DDR in die “Dritte Welt” (Berlin: Ch. Links, 2012), pp. 6–33; and Philip Muehlenbeck, Czechoslovakia in Africa, 1945–1968 (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 1–17.

8. 

“News in Brief,” Africa Report, Vol. 11, No. 4 (1966), p. 36.

9. 

Legvold, Soviet Policy in West Africa, p. 263.

10. 

“Letter from Chairman of the National Liberation Council Lieutenant General Ankrah to President Johnson,” Accra, 24 March 1966, in U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968, Vol. XXIV, Doc. 261, p. 459 (hereinafter referred to as FRUS, with appropriate year and volume numbers).

11. 

Kwame Nkrumah, Dark Days in Ghana (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1968), pp. 49–51.

12. 

“Telegram from the Embassy in Ghana to the Department of State,” Accra, 2 April 1965, 6 p.m., in FRUS, 1964–1968, Vol. XXIV, pp. 445–446.

13. 

“Memorandum from Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)” in FRUS, 1964–1968, Vol. XXIV, p. 447.

14. 

“Circular Telegram from the Department of State to Embassies in Africa,” Washington, 23 November 1965, 7:26 p.m., in FRUS, 1964–1968, Vol. XXIV, p. 451.

15. 

“Memorandum from the President's Acting Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Komer) to President Johnson,” Washington, 12 March 1966, in FRUS, 1964–1968, Vol. XXIV, p. 457.

16. 

“Letter from President Johnson to Chairman of the National Liberation Council Lieutenant General Ankrah,” Washington, 14 April 1966, in FRUS, 1964–1968, Vol. XXIV, Doc. 262, p. 462.

17. 

“Memorandum from the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson,” Washington, 8 July 1966, 7:15 p.m., in FRUS, 1964–1968, Vol. XXIV, Doc. 263, p. 463. Also, see David Rooney, Kwame Nkrumah: Vision and Tragedy (Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2007), p. 34.

18. 

See Sergey Khrushchev, Nikita Khrushchev: Creation of a Superpower (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000), p. 436; and Georgii Mirskii, “Na znamenatel'nom ruubezhe,” Vostok, Vol. 6 (1996), p. 131.

19. 

Iandolo, “Rise and Fall,” pp. 683–704.

20. 

For a detailed discussion, see Mazov, A Distant Front.

21. 

“Doklad Prezidiuma TsK KPSS na oktyabr'skom Plenume TsK KPSS (Variant),” n.d., available online at http://on-island.net/History/1964.htm.

22. 

Natalia Telepneva, “Our Sacred Duty: The Soviet Union, the Liberation Movements in the Portuguese Colonies, and the Cold War, 1961–1975,” Ph.D. Diss., London School of Economics, 2015, pp. 103–140.

23. 

“Notatka dotyczy: Aktualnej sytuacji w Algierii, na podstawie rozmowy z tow. Rumiancewem, Kierownikiem Sekcji Arabskiej Wydziali Mirdzynarodowego KC KPZR,” Antoni Kuzba (Polish First Secretary, Moscow) to Warsaw, 28 July 1965, in Archiwum Ministerstwa Spraw Zagranicznych, 58.70.W1, Llisty (Ll.) 2–6.

24. 

Leonid Musatov, “Afrikanskie marshruty,” in Igor Vasil'ev, ed., Afrika v vospominaniyakh veteranov diplomaticheskoi sluzhby (Moscow: Institut Afriki RAN, 2000), p. 12.

25. 

Sergey Mazov, Kholodnaya voina v “Serdze Afriki”: SSSR i Kongolezskii krizis, 1960–1964 (Moscow: Russkii Fond Sodeistviya Obrazovaniyu i Nauke, 2015), p. 135.

26. 

Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Vaclav David to President Antonin Novotný, Prague, 7 May 1966, in Národní Archiv ČR, KSČ-ÚV-ANII, F. 1261/0/44, Inv. Č. 2, Ka. 3.

27. 

Information given to Angel Solakov on the visit of a Bulgarian CSS delegation to the Soviet Union and their meetings with the leadership of the KGB First Chief Directorate, 18 March 1966, in Tatyana Kiryakova, ed., The KGB and the Bulgarian State Security Service—Connections and Dependences (Sofia: COMDOS, 2009), p. 130.

28. 

Alexandr Kolpakidi and Mikhail Seryakov, Shchit i mech: Rukovoditeli organoz Gos. Bezopasnosti: Rukovoditeli Organov Bezopasnosti Moskovskoi Rusi, Rossiiskoi Imperii, Sovetskogo Soyuza i Rossiiskoi Federatsii: Entsiklopedicheskii Spravochnik (Moscow: Olma-Press, 2002), p. 504.

29. 

Petr Ivashutin to CPSU Politburo, 6 August 1966, in Rossiiskii Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv Noveishei Istorii (RGANI), Fond (F.) 5, Opis’ (Op.) 58, Delo (D.) 302, Ll. 162–170.

30. 

Petr Ivashutin to CPSU Politburo, 20 October 1966, in RGANI, F. 58, D. 302, pp. 289–300.

31. 

“News in Brief,” p. 37.

32. 

From Dakar to Foreign Office, 11 March 1955, in The National Archive of the United Kingdom (TNAUK), DO195/219, p. 9.

33. 

“Threat from Ghana,” Miles to Foreign Office, Telegram No. 375, 17 March 1966, in TNAUK, DO 153/39, p. 10.

34. 

UK Joint Intelligence Committee, “Review of Current Intelligence as at 15th March, 1966,” in TNAUK, DO 195/219.

35. 

Aleksey Voronin, “Korabl vozvratilsya v Port,” Diplomaticheskii vestnik, Nos. 7–12 (1995), p. 79.

36. 

Ibid.

37. 

Ibid. Kulikov served as chief of the Soviet General Staff from 1971 to 1977 and as commander-in-chief of the Warsaw Pact Joint Armed Forces from 1977 to 1989.

38. 

June Milne, Kwame Nkrumah: The Conakry Years—His Life and Letters (London: Atlantic Highlands, 2009), p. 13.

39. 

“More Arms for Nkrumah,” The Economist, 21 July 1966, in TNAUK, DO 195/219, p. 91.

40. 

H. Smedley to London, 29 September 1966, in TNAUK, DO 195/218, p.103.

41. 

Milne, Kwame Nkrumah, p. 11.

42. 

“Special Memorandum Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency,” Washington, 19 July 1967, in FRUS, 1964–1968, Vol. XXIV, pp. 467–471.

43. 

P. Ivashutin to CPSU Politburo, 19 April 1967, in RGANI, F. 5, Op. 59, D. 388, Ll. 73–80.

44. 

Pavel Žáček, “Czechoslovak and Soviet State Security against the West before 1968,” paper presented at the Contours of Legitimacy in Central Europe: New Approaches in Graduate Studies conference, European Studies Centre, St. Antony's College, Oxford University, 2002. Also see “Record of Proceedings between the Soviet KGB and the Interior Ministry of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic on the Expansion of Intelligence Cooperation,” June 1961, in History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113217, p. 4.

45. 

Muehlenbeck, Czechoslovakia in Africa, pp. 75–76.

46. 

Ibid., p. 104.

47. 

There is no direct evidence that Kofi Batsa was ever an official “agent.” Most likely, the Czechoslovak foreign intelligence service regarded him as a “trusted person,” a category that allowed a relationship to be forged on an informal basis. For a detailed explanation of this category, see Viktor Chebrikov et al., Istoriya sovetskikh organov gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti: Uchebnik (Moscow: Vysshaya Krasnoznamennaya Shkola KGB, 1977), pp. 558–559, http://www.fas.harvard.edu/∼hpcws/documents.htm.

48. 

“Kofi Batsa,” 9 February 1968, in Archiv Bezpečnostních Složek (ABS), 45044_020, pp. 92–96.

49. 

“Věc Zhodnocení práce s. Hotárka v Zahraničí,” Josef Janous (Afro-Asian department chief) to Josef Houska, 1 October 1964, in ABS, Personální Depozitář (P.D.) 4172.

50. 

“Pracovní Hodnocení z Pobytu v Zarhniči,” Luděk Rivet to Čestmír Podremný, 19 May 1970, in ABS, P.D. 4172, pp. 171–173.

51. 

“Batsa,” Hotárek to Prague, 16 September 1967, in ABS, 45044_020, pp. 4–6.

52. 

“Akce BAČA - Návrh,” Josef Janous to Josef Houska, 5 October 1967, in ABS, 45044_020.

53. 

“Poznámkz k Současné Situaci (září 1967) v Ghaně,” 5 October 1967, in ABS, 45044_020.

54. 

Holický to Prague, 16 September 1967, in ABS, 45044_020, pp. 4–6.

55. 

Josef Janous to Josef Houska, “Akce BAČA—návrh,” 5 October 1967, in ABS, 45044_020.

56. 

Dub (Prague), 18 October 1967, in ABS, 45044_020, pp. 44–48.

57. 

Telepneva, “Our Sacred Duty,” pp. 81–90.

58. 

Josef Janouš (Fourth department of the StB First Directorate, chief), Prague, 25 November 1966, in ABS, 43197/020; and Josef Janouš (chief of the Fourth Department of the StB First Directorate), Prague, “Zpráva o Jednání s Amilcarem Cabralem,” 13 February 1967, in ABS, 43197_020.

59. 

“Zpráva o Jednání s Amilcarem Cabralem,” Josef Janouš to Prague, 13 February 1967, in ABS, 43197/020; and “Sekretář—Schůzka s Nkrumahem,” Peták (Conakry) to Prague, 26 February 1968, in ABS, 43197_020.

60. 

Milne, Kwame Nkrumah, pp. 3–20.

61. 

“Special Memorandum Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency,” Washington, 19 July 1967, in FRUS, 1964–1968, Vol. XXIV, Doc. 268, pp. 467–471.

62. 

“Kofi Batsa,” 9 February 1968, pp. 91–96.

63. 

Petr Zídek and Karel Sieber, Československo a Subsaharská Afrika v Letech 1948–1989 (Prague: Ústav Mezinárodních Vztahů, 2007), pp. 73–74.

64. 

“Schůzky s Typem LUPOU ve Dnech: 1.2.68, 4.2.68, 18.2.68, 25.2.67,” 1 March 1968, in ABS, 45044_020, pp. 107–108.

65. 

“LUPA—záznam o schůzce,” Dub (Accra), 20 March 1968, in ABS, 45044_020, pp. 114–115.

66. 

“LUPA—Záznam o schůzce,” Dub (Accra), 4 April 1968, in ABS, 45044_020, pp. 115–117.

67. 

“Věc: Schůzky typem LUPOU ve dnech 3.5.68, 18.5.68, 28.5.68,” 30 May 1968, in ABS, 45044_020, pp. 122–123.

68. 

“Stav akce ALEX ke konci května 1968,” ABS, 45044_020, pp. 11–14.

69. 

Kofi Batsa, The Spark: Times behind Me: From Kwame Nkrumah to Hilla Limann (London: Collins, 1985), pp. 44–45.

70. 

“The Papers of Vasiliy Mitrokhin,” in Churchill Archives Centre (CAC), Churchill College, Cambridge, GBR/0014/MITN 2/15, N 545, p. 122.

71. 

“Agent LUPA s Souvislosti s Akcí ALEX,” Josef Janouš to Miloslav Čada, 4 October 1968, in ABS, 4544_020.

72. 

“LUPA Záznam o Kontaktu,” Holicky, 4 September 1969, in ABS, 45044_020, pp. 164–166.

73. 

P. Ivashutin to CPSU Politburo, in RGANI, F. 5, Op. 60, D. 454, Ll. 173–183.

74. 

Ibid., Ll. 184–186.

75. 

Milne, Kwame Nkrumah, p. 27.

76. 

“Hodnocení Rozvědného Zpravodajství Rezidentury v GHANE zy Období od 1.7.1969 do 31.10.1970,” in ABS, 81105_013, pp. 51–56.

77. 

“LUPA Záznam o Kontaktu,” Holicky, 4 September 1969, in ABS, 45044_020, pp. 164–166.

78. 

“Rozhodnutí o Uložení Operativního Svážky,” Prague, 12 November 1970, in ABS, 45044_000.

79. 

“Organizační dopis,” 18 January 1971, in ABS, 81105_014, p. 2; and “Agent LUBA—Návrh Napředán Sovětským Přátelům,” 22 August 1971, in ABS, 81105_014, pp. 51–52.

80. 

Žáček, “Czechoslovak and Soviet State Security,” p. 5.

81. 

Zarhniči, 19 May 1970, pp. 171–173.

82. 

“The Papers of Vasiliy Mitrokhin,” in CAC, GBR/0014/MITH 2/15, N544, p. 121; and “The Papers of Vasiliy Mitrokhin,” GBR/0014/MITH 2/15, N750, p. 166.

83. 

“The Papers of Vasiliy Mitrokhin,” in CAC, GBR/0014/MITH 3/4, p. 142.

84. 

CIA, “The Soviets and Black Africa: New Approaches and the African Response,” Central Intelligence Agency Report, Office of National Estimates Memorandum, Washington, 13 March 1969, in FRUS, 1969–1976, Vol. E-5, pt. 1, Documents on Sub-Saharan Africa, pp. 1–12.