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Author Topic: Russian Revolution > Spies and Spymasters > Vasili Mitrokhin  (Read 2672 times)

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Vasili Mitrokhin

Towards the end of the Second World War, he took a job in the military procurator's office at Kharkiv in the Ukraine. A member of the Soviet Communist Party he entered  the Higher Diplomatic Academy in Moscow and, in 1948, was recruited into the KI (the Committee of Information). 

According to Christopher Andrew: "By the time Mitrokhin was sent on his first foreign posting in 1952, the Committee had disintegrated and the MGB had resumed its traditional rivalry with the GRU. His first five years in intelligence were spent in the paranoid atmosphere generated by the final phase of Stalin's dictatorship, when the intelligence agencies were ordered to conduct witch-hunts throughout the Soviet Bloc against mostly imaginary Titoist and Zionist conspiracies."

 The Guardian has pointed out "His first five years (of working for the MGB) were overshadowed by the paranoid, final phase of the Stalin era, when he and his colleagues were ordered to devote much of their energy to tracking down the so-called Zionist and Titoist conspirators, whose mostly non-existent plots throughout the Soviet bloc obsessed the disturbed mind of the ageing dictator."

During this period Mitrokhin became aware that secret files were being removed. For example, he discovered that Nikita Khrushchev had ordered Beria's personal archive to be destroyed so as to leave no trace of the compromising material he had collected on his former colleagues. Ivan Serov, chairman of the KGB, reported to Khrushchev that the files had contained much "provocative and libellous" material. In 1958 Serov was replaced by Aleksandr Shelepin, who began a campaign to give the KGB a new image.

...he arrived at the American embassy in Riga and asked if he could defect. "CIA officials at the embassy, struggling to cope with hundreds of Russian exiles trying to flee the crumbling Soviet Union, were not interested. They reasoned that Mitrokhin was not a spy, just a librarian, and the handwritten documents were probably fakes.

Full article..............................


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