Oleg Gordievsky

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Oleg Antonovich Gordievsky (born 10 October 1938 in Moscow, Russia), was a Colonel of the KGB and KGB Resident-designate (rezident) and bureau chief in London, who defected to the United Kingdom. He became the highest-ranking KGB defector ever.

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[edit] Early career

Oleg Gordievsky attended the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and on completion of his studies, joined the foreign service where he was posted to East Berlin in August 1961, just prior to completion of the Berlin Wall. He joined the KGB in 1963, and was posted to the Soviet embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark.

[edit] Double agent

During his Danish posting, Gordievsky became disenchanted with his work and his country, particularly after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 – sentiment that did not go unnoticed by the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, who sent an officer from the British embassy to make contact with Gordievsky and request his services as an agent for British intelligence. The value of MI6's recruitment of such a highly-placed and valuable intelligence asset increased dramatically when, in 1982, Gordievsky was assigned to the Soviet embassy in London as the KGB Resident-designate ("rezident"), responsible for Soviet intelligence gathering and espionage in the UK.

Gordievsky was suddenly ordered back to Moscow on 22 May 1985 and arrested at the dacha of one of his superiors. It was not known how Gordievsky's cover was blown, but MI6 analysts later strongly suspected Aldrich Ames, an American CIA agent, who had been a double agent for the KGB.

[edit] Defection

Gordievsky was interviewed by the KGB for several weeks, and told he would never work overseas again. Although he was suspected of espionage for a foreign power, his superiors appeared to have no solid proof, and in June 1985, he was allowed to return to his Moscow flat, where he was joined by his wife and two children.

Although he almost certainly remained under KGB surveillance, Gordievsky managed to inform MI6 of his situation, and the British concocted an audacious plan to retrieve their prize asset from the heart of Moscow.

On 19 July 1985, Gordievsky went for his usual jog, but he instead managed to evade his KGB tails and boarded a train to the Finnish border, where he was met by British embassy cars and smuggled across the border into Finland, then flown to England via Norway. His wife and children – on holiday in Azerbaijan at the time – joined him in the UK six years later.

[edit] Recent times

Gordievsky's books on KGB operations and history are considered by some to be among the best sources for reliable information about the secret operations of an obsessively secretive state.

In 1990, he was consultant editor of the journal Intelligence and National Security, and he worked on television in the UK in the 1990s, including the game show Wanted.

On 26 February 2005, he was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Buckingham in recognition of his outstanding service to the security and safety of the United Kingdom.

Gordievsky had a letter published in the Daily Telegraph on 3 August 2005, accusing the BBC of being "The Red Service". He said:

"Just listen with attention to the ideological nuances on Radio 4, BBC television, and the BBC World Service, and you will realise that communism is not a dying creed."

Gordievsky was featured in the PBS documentary Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy.

[edit] Publications

  • Gordievsky, Oleg; Andrew, Christopher (1990). KGB: The Inside Story. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-48561-2.
  • Gordievsky, Oleg; Andrew, Christopher (1990). The KGB. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-016605-3.
  • Gordievsky, Oleg; Andrew, Christopher (1991). Instructions from the Centre: Top Secret Files on KGB Foreign Operations, 1975-85. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-56650-7.
  • Gordievsky, Oleg; Andrew, Christopher (1992). More Instructions from the Centre: Top Secret Files on KGB Foreign Operations, 1975-85. Frank Cass Publishers. ISBN 0-7146-3475-1.
  • Gordievsky, Oleg (1995). Next Stop Execution (autobiography). Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-62086-0.

[edit] References

[edit] External links

sr:Олег Гордијевски sv:Oleg Gordievskij

Oleg Gordievsky

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