It endeavored to achieve these imperialistic dreams by infiltrating both governments and other social institutions with undercover operatives. Once in place, these “moles” could both smuggle secrets back to Moscow, and steer policy of other countries in ways which would benefit the USSR.
Spies from various Soviet intelligence agencies were active in England, China, Mexico, and dozens of other nations. As historians Stan Evans and Herbert Romerstein write:
Further confirmed by the recent revelations is something known before but in frequent need of stressing. Communist operatives in the United States were linked in multiple ways not only to their Moscow bosses but to Reds in other countries, all parts of a far-flung global apparatus. The most conspicuous of these ties were to the Cambridge University Communist cell of England, which produced such notorious Soviet agents as Anthony Blunt, Kim Philby, and Guy Burgess. There were, in addition, North American members of this ring who attended Cambridge in the 1930s and then returned to pursue official duties on this side of the ocean. Such pro-Red operatives as Philby, Burgess, and Donald Maclean would later be dispatched to Washington by Whitehall to liaise with U.S. officials. American and British security problems accordingly crisscrossed and interacted at many places.
One example of such activity was a spy ring of Soviet agents in England and the United States who were used to influence policy regarding China. These agents, native-born Britons and Americans, nudged decisionmakers in Washington and London to reduce their support for Chiang Kai-shek, which in turn allowed Mao to overthrow China’s government and install a communist dictatorship.