A family member has an awesome story about almost being recruited for Soviet military intelligence in the 1970s. She was a teenager in a soviet-aligned third world country, and (as everyone had to be) was part of the socialist youth militia. Her grades in marksmanship and such in the militia were sufficiently high was heavily pressured (even to the point of being denied entry into college for her chosen profession) to travel to the USSR to be trained by soviet military intelligence (she was able to use connections in the government to avoid it and went on to her chosen profession).
That is pretty much all we know about it.
Where would we find out more? Post cold-war are there any accounts out there of Soviet intelligence attempts to recruit from friendly third world countries? Or accounts of anyone who had actually been recruited that way?
The only book I’m aware of is The World was Going Our Way but that deals with the higher level geo-political relationship between the KGB and the third world, not individuals.
This isn’t quite what you are looking for, but it may give you a flavor of how the Soviet spy-world worked with individuals:
There’s a good book called Stasiland by Anna Funder.
It’s about Communist East Germany behind the Berlin Wall, so it’s not quite what you’re asking about third-world countries.
It describes the personal stories of people who were tracked by the secret police.
Although the stories are not about trying to recruit new agents, (like the OP) but rather about how the secret police keep track of suspicious people.
But the tactics are very similar. There’s even a story , similar to the OP’s relative, about a person who was denied a college education due to the interference of the secret police.
I would guess that the ‘awesome’ story you mention about your relative involves a lot of the same issues. Once you became a person of interest to the spy agencies, they had lots of ways to contact you,your family, your school,your employers, your neighbors, etc, and keep contacting them over and over…to convince you to join them.This book describes how it worked.
It’s a good read about private life under Communist rule.