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Operation Red Sox, as it was known, was one of the first covert missions of the still new Cold War. The American-trained commandos would feed intelligence back to their handlers using new radio and communications equipment, stoking nascent nationalist movements in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and the Baltics. The goal was to provide the U.S. unprecedented insight into Moscow’s designs in Eastern Europe — and, if possible, to help crack apart the Soviet empire itself.

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