1. Miss Fire: The Chronicle of a British Mission to Mihailovich 1943-1944 by Jasper Rootham (Chatto & Windus 1946). Petar. A King’s Heritage; The Memoirs of King Peter II of Yugoslavia (Cassell, 1955). Two Yugoslav-centred books that shaped my childhood are Lawrence Durrell’s neglected classic spy novel, White Eagles over Serbia (Faber & Faber, 1957); the masterly Sword of Honour trilogy by Evelyn Waugh (Chapman and Hall, 1955, 1951 and 1961); and Rebecca West’s Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Macmillan, 1941)
2. Smiley’s People by John le Carré (1979) Colonel Alfons Rebane, the Estonian officer who played a leading role in SIS’s Operation Jungle, was the model for le Carré’s ‘General Vladimir’ an Estonian émigré whose murder brings George Smiley back into the spy world.
3. See for example this report on the suicide of Nikolai Kuchina ‘Soviet Turmoil; New Suicide: Budget Director’ New York Times 27 August 1991 and also ‘Desperately Seeking Rubles’ by Susan Tifft and Yuri Zarakhovich, Time 4 November 1991,9171,974181-1,00.html
4. The Cheka, (formally the Vserossiyskaya Chrezvychaynaya Komissiya or All-Russian Extraordinary Commission) was itself in some senses a successor to the Tsarist-era Okhrana (Otdelenie po Okhraneniyu Obshchestvennoi Bezopasnosti i Poryadka, or Department for Protecting Public Safety and Order). Successor organisations were the OGPU (Obyedinennoye Gosudarstvennoye Politicheskoye Upravleniye, or State Political Directorate, the NKVD (Narodnyy komissariat vnutrennikh del or People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) and the KGB (Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti or Committee for State Security). The FSB (Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti or Federal Security Service) is the main successor organisation to the KGB. The SVR is the much smaller Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki or Foreign Intelligence Service. It used to be the First Chief Directorate of the Soviet-era KGB. By contrast the GRU (Glavnoye Razveditelskoye Upravleniye or Main Intelligence Directorate) is the military-intelligence service. Much diminished in recent years, it has changed neither its title nor its structure since Trotsky established it in 1918.
5. See ‘Delo Poteyeva: predatel nanes ushcherb v 50 mln dollarov no ne smog obmanut nachalstvo ukrainskoy lyubovnitsey’ (The Poteyev case: the traitor cost $50m but couldn’t fool his bosses about his Ukrainian mistress) (this and all other links accessed July 2011).
6. ‘Spying Suspects Seemed Short on Secrets’ By Scott Shane and Benjamin Weiser, New York Times, 29 June, 2010.
‘Russian Spies Too Useless, Sexy to Prosecute’ by Dan Amira, New York magazine, 7 July 2010 ‘Spy swap: Viennese Waltz’ The Guardian 10 July 10 2010
‘The Russian spy scandal that nobody much cared about’ 2 July 2010, by Alexander Chancellor
7. ‘Spy Swap’ by John le Carré, The Guardian, 9 July 2010. The ‘Harry Lime’ reference is to the 1949 film The Third Man (later a novella by Graham Greene, who wrote the screenplay) of espionage in post-war Vienna.
8. Call For The Dead by John le Carré (first published 1965 by Penguin). The first chapter is online. ‘A Brief History of George Smiley’, The Guardian, 22 May 2009,
9. 4 July 2010
10. The central character in thrillers by Robert Ludlum, later made into films such as “The Bourne Identity” (2002).
11. An excellent fictional account of this comes in Vasily Grossman’s wartime classic Life and Fate (translated by Robert Chandler, Vintage Classics, 2010). The NKVD’s wartime role through the eyes of Soviet soldiers, is well portrayed in Ivan’s War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939-1945 by Catherine Merridale (Picador, 2007).
12. The home page for this programme (in Russian) is here
13. The author Yulian Lyandres (1931-1993), under the pen name Yuliam Semyonov, published his first book Semnadtsat mgnoveniy vesni (The Seventeen Instants of Spring) in 1968. Unusually, it portrayed Nazi German officials as real people, not caricature monsters. Known as Colonel Maxim Isayev to his KGB colleagues, Stirlitz disrupts Nazi efforts to conclude a separate peace with the Western allies. After the war he hunts fugitive Nazis in Latin America, and is imprisoned at the height of the Stalinist post-war purges.
14. The New Cold War: How the Kremlin Menaces Russia and the West (Bloomsbury, London, 2008). Published in America as The New Cold War: Putin’s Russia and the Threat to the West (Palgrave, NY, 2008).
15. For details see
16. Mr Mitrokhin made contact with an SIS officer in the British embassy in Riga on 24 March 1992. The CIA had previously turned him down. SIS brought him and his family to Britain in November and later retrieved a large amount of material, said to be six aluminium trunks-full, copied from the KGB archives and hidden in his dacha garden. Some of it appeared in a series of books that he wrote with the historian Christopher Andrew: The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB (Basic Books 1999); The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World (Basic Books 2005); The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West (Gardners Books 2000). A parliamentary inquiry criticised some aspects of this:
17. Though this reflects a rise of one-third from the 3% spent in 2008/9 to 4% in 2009/10. It is a larger slice of a larger cake too: the Security Service has twice the staff and three times the budget it had in 2001.
18. SB a Lech Wałęsa. Przyczynek do biografii (The SB and Lech Wałęsa: A Biographical Contribution) by Sławomir Cenckiewicz and Piotr Gontarczyk (Institute for National Remembrance, Warsaw, 2008)

Chapter One – Looting and Murder

1. Extensive documentation on this is available at and A film telling the story is available at and (full-length rental version) at A thorough legal presentation of the Hermitage case can be found here
A much more critical account is ‘Sergei Magnitsky, Bill Browder, Hermitage Capital Management and Wondrous Metamorphoses’ Mr Browder rebuts this criticism, to my mind convincingly.
2. An accurate but unflattering account of Mr Browder’s approach comes from my successor in Moscow, Gideon Lichfield. ‘A Russian Odyssey’, Stanford Business November 2006.
5. An excellent account of this comes in Putin’s Oil: The Yukos Affair and the Struggle for Russia by Martin Sixsmith (Continuum 2010). Yukos was bankrupted by bogus tax demands and its assets handed over to Kremlin cronies; its owner was sentenced to lengthy jail terms after successive farcical court hearings, at which he has denounced the regime and the lawlessness it stokes and thrives on, for example in the statement he and his co-defendant Platon Lebedev issued during their trial, on 2 November, 2010
6. ‘Bewilderment As Browder Barred As Security Threat’ by Catherine Belton, St Petersburg Times
21 March 2006.
7. The clip can be seen here
Putin ne smog obyasnit, pochemu v Rossiyu ne puskayut samogo predannogo zarubeznnogo invevestora (Putin can’t explain why Russia won’t let in the most successful foreign investor) unsigned article, 17 July 2006
8. The attorneys’ names are Ekaterina Maltseva, and a husband and wife team: Andrei Pavlov and Yulia Mayorova. In other cases related to the same fraud, this couple has represented claimants against Hermitage. But on this occasion they were claiming to represent it.
9.A video giving an account (probably defamatory if published in the West) of Hermitage’s activities can be found (in Russian) here
11. An excellent account of Mr Magnitsky’s treatment in prison can be found here in Russian and here in English ‘Report of the public oversight commission for human rights observance in Moscow detention centers: Review of the conditions of the detention of Sergei Magnitsky in the pre-trial detention centres of the City of Moscow’
12. Ibid. Medical care in Russian prisons is generally lamentable, but high-profile prisoners seem to have a particularly bad time. A lawyer for Yukos, Vasily Aleksanyan, contracted HIV and tuberculosis while in prison, lost his sight and got cancer, before he was released thanks to a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.
15. The video is available on Mr Browder’s website or at
16. A list of all 60 can be found here The criteria for inclusion on the list is that the person signed a document associated with the case
17. These purported terrorist attacks created a climate of panic in which the then unknown new prime minister, Vladimir Putin, rapidly became the most popular politician in the country thanks to his seemingly tough response. A botched attack on an apartment block in Ryazan turned out to have been the work of the FSB, which explained its actions, deeply unconvincingly, as an anti-terrorist drill. Those brave Russians who have tried to investigate this mysterious affair have ended up dead. See The New Cold War, chapter two.

Chapter Two – The Pirate State

1. A thorough and lively account of these and other abuses is in Luke Harding’s Mafia State (Guardian Books, 2011). It also details the persistent harassment campaign mounted against him and his family.
2. World Report 2011: Russia
3. See my article ‘Licence to Loot’, The Economist, 17 September 2011
4. See ‘Frau Fixit: Germany, Central Europe and Russia’ The Economist November 18, 2010
5. The Return: Russia’s Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev by Daniel Treisman, (Simon Spotlight Entertainment, London, January 2011); published in America by Free Press.
6. ‘Neo-Feudalism Explained’ by Vladimir Inosemtsev, The American Interest March-April 2011.
9. A similarly worded but slightly different version of the cable can be found at
11. ‘The Concealed Battle to Run Russia’ by Amy Knight, New York Review of Books, 13 January, 2011
12. The New Nobility, The Restoration of Russia’s Security State and the enduring legacy of the KGB by Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan (Public Affairs Books September 2010). The authors run the website, a magpie’s nest of news and analysis, mostly in Russian, all of it well-informed, about the inner workings of the secret state.
13. Ibid p ix
14. Quoted in ibid, p 5
15. The draft ‘de-Stalinisation’ programme from the President’s Human Rights Council can be found here See for example Natsionalnoye primireniye nevozmozhna bez suda i pamyati (National Reconciliation is impossible without a trial and memory)
16. ‘Stalin against Putin’ (unsigned) Vedomosti, 28 April, 2011
17. ‘Reading Russia: The Siloviki in Charge’ By Andrei Illarionov. Journal of Democracy, Volume 20, number Two, April 2009
18. Inozemtsev, op. cit.
19. ‘The mindset of Russia’s security services’ Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan 29 December, 2010
20. An English version can be seen here
The script (in English) can be found here.
21. Soldatov and Borogan ‘The Mindset’.
22. See for example: nance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/8244470/Gazprom-held-back-by-its-corrupt-nature.html;; and
23. Mr Navalny’s site is; Mr Nemtsov’s is; Mr Milov’s is  All are in Russian only at the time of writing.
24. ‘Olga Kryshtanovskaya: Putin vernetsya kak don mafii’ (Olga Kryshtanovskaya: Putin returns like a mafia don) by Andrei Polunin, Svobodnaya pressa, 8 February 2011
25. ‘Nelzya dopustit, chtobi voini prevratilis v torgovtsev’ (We must not allow warriors to become traders) Kommersant 9 October 2007
26. The episode was well analysed here by the Jamestown Foundation’s Jonas Bernstein ‘Shvartsman’s Description of Siloviki Business Practices – Truth Or Fiction?’ Eurasia Daily Monitor, 7 December 2007 and in ‘Former Russian Spies Now Prominent in Business’ by Andrew Kramer, New York Times 18 December 2007
27. The survey is by the INDEM thinktank and available (in Russian) here: Sostoyanie bitovoi korruptsii v Rossiiskoi Federatsii (State of Domestic Corruption in the Russian Federation)
28. See for example ‘A Stain On Mr Clean’ by Christian Caryl and Mark Hosenball. Newsweek, 3 September 2001
29. Die Gangster aus dem Osten (Gangsters from the East) by Jürgen Roth (Europa Verlag 2004). It urgently needs updating and publication in English. Also worth reading is Red Mafiya: How the Russian Mob has Invaded America by Robert Friedman (Berkeley 2002).
30. In the course of another investigation, I tracked down a foreign engineer who had been involved in a commercial court case against one of the ‘four’ – in those days much less powerful – involving a broken contract. In the course of the litigation, he had uncovered compelling evidence of links between this individual and organised crime. This led to a prompt settlement of the case when he threatened to disclose it. When I approached him, he was long retired and running a provincial hotel. He said that it was more than his life was worth to share his research with me. A good example of the tangled, fascinating but inconclusive investigative reporting surrounding the regime’s business interests comes from from ‘Factories, tanks, offshore firms and neighbours’ by Roman Anin, Novaya Gazeta 22 April 2010

Chapter Three – Deadly Games and Useful Idiots

1. For example my article ‘Walk on the dark side’ about the criminal Russian IT company RBN. The Economist 30 August 2007
2. ‘Reset Regret: Moral Leadership Needed to Fix U.S.–Russian Relations’
by Ariel Cohen and Donald Jensen 30 June 2011.
3. and
4. A well-sourced account of this comes from the Jerusalem-based journalist Gil Yaron, writing (in German) in the Salzburger Nachrichten. A Finnish connection in the story remains to be investigated.
5. See for example, this speech by Jonathan Evans, director of the Security Service (MI5) here and the German Verfassungsschutz (Office for Constitutional Protection) annual reports, for example (in German) Putins Konjunkturprogramm: Russische Agenten spionieren deutsche Energie-Unternehmen aus (Putin’s growth programme – Russian agents spy on German energy companies) by Dirk Banse, Welt am Sonntag, 21 June 2009.
6. Chiefly in chapter 3.
7. Londongrad – From Russia with Cash; The Inside Story of the Oligarchs by Mark Hollingsworth and Stewart Lansley (Fourth Estate, 2009).
8. The official Air Accidents Investigation Branch report can be found here,_G-PWER.pdf with a small but interesting correction here,%20G-PWER%20Correction%209-05.pdf
9. A comprehensive summary can be found here ‘Russia’s intelligence attack: The Anna Chapman danger’, by Peter Hennessy and Richard Knight, 17 August 2010. A link on the site plays the programme.
10. In mid-2008 I became aware of this story and made persistent inquiries about it. Britain’s Ministry of Defence press office repeatedly denied that any such incident had taken place. The story was then leaked. ‘Russian Nuke Jet Buzzes Hull’ by Tom Newton-Dunn, The Sun, 30 August, 2008
11. ‘Fighter jets intercept Russian bombers after flying into Dutch airspace’ 8 June 2011
12. This Wikileaks cable gives a flavour of the subsequent discussion at NATO
13. Rosja ćwiczyła atak atomowy na Polskę (Russia practises an nuclear attack on Poland) by Michał Krzymowski, Wprost (Warsaw) 31 October 2009 See also Sõnad ja Teras (Words and Steel) by Kaarel Kaas, Postimees (Tallinn) 19 September 2009
14. See for example ‘Russian Subs Patrolling Off East Coast of U.S.’ by Mark Mazzetti and Thom Shanker, New York Times 4 August, 2009
and ‘Russian subs stalk Trident in echo of Cold War’ by Thomas Harding, Daily Telegraph 27 August 2010,
15. No documentary evidence exists for the promise. If it was made (or understood) orally, it was to a state that no longer exists, under duress and without consultation with the other countries concerned. Moreover, Russia can hardly argue both that it is no threat to its neighbours, but that it has a right to veto their security choices. See Opening NATO’s Door: How the Alliance Remade Itself for a New Era by the late Ronald Asmus (Columbia University Press 2002).
16. A Washington Post investigation in 2010 ‘Top Secret America’ highlighted the unmanageable size and complexity of the nation’s intelligence agencies.
17. ‘Polish FM in WikiLeaks: Germany is Russia’s Trojan Horse’, by Andrew Reitman, EU Observer, 16 September 2011
18. Welt am Sonntag, ibid.
19. ‘Time to Shove Off’, The Economist, 10 September 2011
20. This is actually the wrong acronym, as FAPSI has been incorporated into the FSB.
21. by P.King
22. As reported here ‘Seen from on high’ Europe.view column, The Economist 3 April, 2008 The Inmarsat satellite was repositioned in 2009. Russia could in theory have built the station in the Kaliningrad exclave – but any data sent back to the rest of Russia would have been vulnerable. Modern interception technology is able to obtain not only microwave and radio transmissions, but also data carried on seabed fibre-optic cables, by means of a ‘collar’ placed at a point where the cable curves.
Russia is now a participant in the Wassenaar Arrangement, which restricts the export of sensitive equipment to so-called rogue states.
24. This is an archaic bit of legislation dating from 1974 intended to put pressure on the Soviet Union to allow Jewish would-be émigrés to leave the country freely. It is routinely waived by the Senate, but remains an irritant. See
25. Discussion of this case is difficult for legal reasons. For some years Mr Deripaska, an aluminium tycoon, has had difficulty gaining an American visa because of what officials described as ‘concerns about his business practices and associates’. The FBI is believed to have an audio recording in which he discusses some business difficulties and a planned solution in robust terms. He recently received a visa in exchange for a lengthy interview with officials from the criminal-justice system who sought his help in areas of interest to the US government. Nothing concrete resulted. See ‘FBI Lets Barred Tycoon Visit U.S.’ by Evan Perez and Gregory White, Wall St Journal 30 October 2009 and also Mr Deripaska’s response
26. gives a flavour of the lavish nature of this event
27. Other papers which have swallowed this include European Voice (published by The Economist) where I write a weekly column; Le Figaro (France); the Economic Times and the Times of India; (India); Duma (Bulgaria); Folha de São Paulo (Brazil); la Repubblica (Italy); Clarín (Argentina) El País (Spain); Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany) and Geopolitika (Serbia). and
28. On 8 September 2007 it printed a commentary claiming that the Katyń massacre of Polish officers in 1940 was not the work of the Soviet secret police, but of the Nazis. Тhe original article is available here See also
30. Such as complaining about the language and citizenship laws in Estonia and Latvia: see for example ‘Latvia and Estonia discriminate against non-citizens’ 26 February 2010, by Yevgeny Kryshkin, The Voice of Russia Both countries have substantial, though declining, populations of Soviet-era migrants who have so far declined to learn the national languages or take the test that would entitle them to citizenship. Estonia’s non-citizen population dropped below the symbolically important 100,000 mark in April 2011; in Latvia the Russian-speaking population is better integrated socially but more active politically (partly as a result of Latvian state weakness, and partly because of Russian state interference).
31. See

Chapter Four – Real Spies, Real Victims

1. ‘Russian Spy Has Defected to Canada’ by Jim Bronskill and Mike Trickey, National Post, 9 March 2001. Not available online directly but copied at
2. Snapshots of the site are available at for subscribers, or via the Wayback internet archive.
3. AIA listed its contributors as follows: Michel Elbaz–general coordinator; Allister Maunk – administrator and editor; Can Karpat – Turkish and Balkan section; Simon Araloff – European section; Anders Asmus – regional and international politics of Baltic States; Pavel Simonov–Russian section; Ulugbek Djuraev – Central-Asian section; Asim Oku – Turkish section; Sami Rosen – Israeli section; Alexander Petrov – webmaster.
4. One oddity was that on 13 May 2009 the privacy-protection had slipped. The registrant’s email was now listed, with an Israeli postal address Ha-Ela 16, Bene Ayish 79845). Whoever had been so keen to protect the site’s identity was now either careless or carefree.
5. ‘WikiLeaks cable: Russian leadership viewed Lieberman as “one of its own”: Message from U.S. embassy to State Department shows FM was treated as an “old friend” during a 2009 visit to Moscow’ by Barak Ravid, Haaretz, 29 November 2010
6. ‘Internal war breaks out in Israel’s Foreign Ministry’ by Joseph Fitsanakis, 20 July 2009.
7. According to the German security service p331 (in German).
8. A prominent semi-retired officer, Anton Surikov, died mysteriously in late 2009. In his last interview with a Western journalist a few weeks earlier, he said that Russia was run by ‘bandits from St Petersburg’. They, he said, were trying to push the country towards an authoritarian, Chinese-style model of political and economic development. The GRU director Valentin Korabelnikov retired in 2009 to avoid sacking, amid semi-public disagreement with his bosses over Russia’s military reforms. ‘Last Cake with a Russian Agent’ by Ben Judah, Standpoint January/February 2010
9. Viewable at
10. Polska broń w służbie gruzińskiej armii (Polish weapons in the service of the Georgian Army) by Michael Majewski and Pawel Reszka; Dziennik, Warsaw, 10 August 2008.,polska-bron-w-sluzbie-gruzinskiej-armii.html
11. An excellent account of the conflict is A Little War That Shook The World by the late Ron Asmus, (Palgrave Macmillan, New York and London, December 2009). Another is The Guns of August 2008: Russia’s War in Georgia by Svante Cornell and Frederick Starr (eds), (M.E. Sharpe 2009).
12. Georgia’s South Ossetia Conflict: Make Haste Slowly Crisis Group Europe Report N°183, 7 June 2007, page 16
13. My source for this is a Georgian government non-paper and interviews with senior Georgian and Western officials. See also ‘Tbilisi Says Evidence Links Russian Officer to Blasts’ Civil Georgia, 8 December 2010. and ‘Georgia accuses Russia of bombings, warns on talks’ by Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters 7 June, 2011

Chapter Five  – Spycraft: Fact and Fiction

1. They may have some self-defence training and will often be excellent drivers. Those who have joined after a previous career in the military, particularly in special forces, are different; so are the dodgy characters often recruited as auxiliaries. For gossipy details of CIA training, see Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy by Lindsay Moran (Putnam 2005).
2. Search warrant for 35b Trowbridge St, Cambridge MA.
3. See (in Swedish) and Sveriges hemligaste rum (Sweden’s most secret room) by Emelie Asplund and Ewa Stenberg, Dagens Nyheter 3 October 2005 Next-door Finland is even lower-profile. It has a domestic security agency (SuPo), which is part of the police, and a military intelligence agency. Any capability for foreign human intelligence is admirably hidden.
4. See ‘Factbox: Who are the spies Russia plans to swap?’ Reuters, 9 July 2010 The others were Igor Sutyagin, who had worked at a thinktank; Aleksander Zaporozhsky, a KGB colonel who spied for America and helped unmask Ames and Hanssen, but unwisely returned to Russia; and Gennady Vasilenko about whom little is known. See Stranny srok ‘shpiona’ Vasilenko’ (The strange life of the ‘spy’ Vasilenko), Rosbalt 13 July 2010
5. Sources differ on whether the man concerned was Oleg Penkovsky, the West’s highest-ranking agent-in-place in the Soviet Union, or Piotr Popov, the first GRU officer to be recruited by the West, who was betrayed by the SIS officer George Blake. The account comes from Aquarium – The Career and Defection of a Soviet Military Spy (Hamish Hamilton, 1985) by Viktor Suvorov (the pen name of Vladimir Rezun).
6. The same ‘spotlighting’ was experienced in 1996 by Norman MacSween, the then SIS station chief in Moscow, who was the case officer for Platon Obukhov a 28-year-old foreign ministry employee showm waiting vainly on a park bench in Moscow. See ‘British Diplomat Linked to Spy Case’ by Owen Matthews, The Moscow Times 31 July 1996.
7. ‘The cold war is over, but rock in a park suggests the spying game still thrives’ by Nick Paton Walsh Richard Norton-Taylor and Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian 24 January 2006 and ‘Spy-rock Russian faces 20 years’ jail’ By Mark Franchetti, Sunday Times, 29 January 2006
8. The Big Breach: from Top Secret to Maximum Security was originally published in Moscow in 2001, with the help of Russian intelligence. It is now available in the UK from Cutting Edge Press.
9. ‘Spies Among Us: Why Spies, Why Now?’ 10 July 2010 Mr Navarro can be reached through
10. His real name is still classified, according to a CIA spokesman. The document can be read at
11. ‘What’s wrong with America’s spies’ April 2003, Middle East Intelligence Bulletin Mr Carroll’s website is
Another useful primer on espionage is this course syllabus’t%20139g%20class%20notes%20fall%202006%20-%2024%20oct.pdf

Chapter Six – Spies Like Us

1. Available at and
2. ‘Russian Spy Suspects Were Suburbia Personified’ by Manny Fernandez and Fernanda Santos, New York Times, 30 June 2010;
3. Interview with author, December 2010.
4. Mr Patricof, a prominent New York-based financier, was a donor to President Bill Clinton’s campaign and a friend of Mrs Clinton’s. He admitted that he knew Mrs Murphy but insists he never discussed anything of a political or sensitive nature with her. He is believed to be the person referred to in the Department of Justice initial complaint. (section 85a, p35). Available at Complaint 1 is available at
5. ‘Busted Russian Spy Wants Old Life Back’ by Richard Boudreaux, Wall St Journal 7 August 2010
6. See Complaint 1, section 40.
7. One might start by sparing a thought for the children involved, such as the Murphys’ daughters. For them, their parents’ foray into international espionage meant a painful and bewildering upheaval, ending in a return to Russia, a country they did not know with a language they did not speak. Children trust their parents above all and find even minor deceptions upsetting. The revelation of a double life will leave deep scars. Spouses can suffer quite badly too. A whiff of the hurt and distrust caused by the affair came in February 2011 with an interview given to Caretas, a Peruvian magazine, by Ms Peláez, who insisted that she had no idea that her husband of twenty years was not who he claimed to be. ‘Not even when we fought would I hear a word in Russian . . . not even in intonation. Such was his preparation.’ Ms Peláez, who was handcuffed and put in prison uniform before the initial court hearing, shows some sympathy with her husband’s cause, suffused with the grandiloquent rhetoric of Soviet-era solidarity with the Third World. She describes him as the ‘last Soviet hero’ and an ‘unseen warrior,’ who told her: ‘I was brought up as a revolutionary, as an internationalist.’ In a column for Moscow News, contributor in August 2011, she says he is ‘sad’ about how much life has changed in the thirty years since he left the Soviet Union. Her own son from a previous relationship and her younger son Juan (fathered by Vasenkov) have remained in New York. She said her husband ‘suffers for the lack of his son, to whom he dedicated his best hours and whom he now can’t see’. She said she does not want to stay in Russia, where she is receiving a $2,000 monthly pension, but wishes to return to either Peru or Brazil eventually. Some doubt about Ms Peláez’s eloquently expressed disappointment from the criminal complaint against her husband, in which FBI eavesdroppers say they overheard him talking to her about his familiy’s wartime experiences in the Soviet Union: ‘We moved to Siberia … as soon as the war started.’ It is conceivable, if unlikely, that she believed that he was a Uruguayan (perhaps of communist parents) who had spent the war years in the Soviet Union. Perhaps she knew he was spying but thought it was for another country, such as Cuba. The Peruvian authorities queried her marriage and birth certificates: see ‘Vicky Pelaez to face corruption charges in Peru’ and ‘La “Espía” que Volvió del Frío’ (‘The “Spy” who returned from the Cold’) as well as “Mystery surrounds alleged spies’ children – with parents, kids’ lives likely in turmoil’ by Elizabeth Chuck and Ryan McCartney, 30 June, 2010,
8. and the seemingly identical, accessed 7 September 2010 (now defunct).
The website gives no clue about the number of people working at Futuremap, and blurs the distinctions between the ‘institute’ and the ‘company’. Heathfield’s name appears only once on the entire site. Both and are written in Russified English, with a notable absence of definite and indefinite articles.
10. ‘Records show alleged Russian spy graduated from York’ Ylife 5 July 2010
11. Scenarios for Success: Turning Insights in to Action (John Wiley & Sons, London, October 2007). Heathfield’s chapter can be downloaded here
12. Interview with the author, February 2011.
13. Interview with the author, February 2011. For reasons of commercial confidentiality, this source wishes to remain anonymous.
14. Another of the spies, Cindy Murphy, had a LinkedIn profile but has not updated it.
15. Interview with the author, 1 March, 2011.
16. Appendix B (p61-63) includes a couple of screenshots of the software.
17. The intern, then aged 20, was one of Leon Fuerth’s students. I have withheld his name at his request. His main job was to input data into the software, such as forecasts for China’s growth. He resigned when Heathfield declined to accept his suggestions for improving the software. Nobody from the FBI has contacted him, or Mr Glenn (who still has a copy of the software), or four of Heathfield’s other associates that I tracked down during research for this book.
18. Interview with the author, March 2011.
19. Heathfield, p19.
20. Email to the author 25/02/2011. Mr Fuerth adds: ‘Forward Engagement is in any event not a business, but a concept I have used for teaching and also for advocating a closer integration of foresight processes and public policy-making. All elements of Forward Engagement are to be found at’
21. See paras 79a and 79c in
22. Interview with the author, Feb 23 2011. For more details of Techcast, see
25. email to the author Feb 22, 2011.
26. ‘Anticipatory leadership’
28. Global Partners declined to respond to requests for comment about Heathfield’s time there.
29. Interview with the author, 1 March 2011.
30. Who wishes to remain anonymous – in itself a telling sign of the climate in Russia.
21. The best biography of Harold Adrian Russell (‘Kim’) Philby is Philby: KGB Masterspy by Philip Knightley (Andre Deutsch 2003).

Chapter Six – The New Illegals

1. It now lists him just as ‘Mikhail’ to non-subscribers.
2. Complaint 1, Para 8
3.. For an account of Semenko’s activities at a think-tank meeting, see ‘My spy story –
Washington Times writer meets Putin’s agent’ by James Robbins. 30 June 2010
4. His book on the subject is ‘Secret Empire: KGB in Russia Today’ Westview Press Inc (1994).
5. For salacious coverage of Ms Chapman, it is hard to beat the former British Sunday tabloid News of the World. Its website no longer works, but the story from 5 July 2010 called ‘Mile High Sex Games with My Spy in the Sky’ is available at
7. A rough cut of a television interview with Ms Chapman can be seen here
8. I have seen extensive email correspondence between Ms Chapman and a potential investor in her company, who has asked me not to identify him in order to uphold the implicit commercial confidentiality of the exchanges.
12. ‘Red-hot beauty Anna Chapman snared in Russia “spy” ring’ by Bruce Golding, Andy Soltis and Cathy Burke,, 29 Jun 2010.
14. An English version of the story is available at
16. 103 Gibson Gardens N16 7HD.
17. Quoted in ‘Anna Chapman: Diplomat’s daughter who partied with billionaires’ by Amelia Hill, Rajeev Syal, Luke Harding and Paul Harris. The Guardian, 1 July 2010.
18. The claim is examined here ‘Here’s The Real Role Anna Chapman Actually Had At The Hedge Fund Navigator’ by Courtney Comstock, 1 July 2010.
20. ‘Agent Anna the Man Hunter: London flatmate reveals how she and Russian spy used sex to prey on string of oligarchs who were enemies of Kremlin bosses’ by Richard Pendlebury, Daily Mail, 25 September 2010. The story implies that Ms Chapman had an intimate relationship with a fugitive Russian oligarch, and that she was separately in contact with Mr Berezovsky.
22. ‘Security services “foil plot to kill Berezovsky at the London Hilton”’ by Richard Beeston, The Times, 18 July, 2007
22.The only company Lindi Sharpe was associated with was called Nexgen Builders, dissolved in 2002. She was company secretary; the sole director was her daughter, Rychelle Sharpe.
23. Some news reports have described Southern Union as a charity. It is not registered on the UK Charity Commission website. The companies mentioned here have no connection with the Southern Union Money Transfer Ltd of Dagenham, established in 2011.
24. ‘Redhead Russian spy linked to money smuggling ring’ by Barbara Jones (pseudonym) Daily Mail 18 July, 2010.
25.I have talked extensively to Mr Sugden. For an example of the media coverage, see ‘MI5 probes link between Russian spy and Zimbabwean businessman’ by Daniel Boffey, Daily Mail 4 July, 2010.
‘Caught up in a spy ring scandal’ by Mary Harris, 9 July 2010
A possibly related company with a similar name was dissolved on 8 November 2005
26.–sugden+steven–html (defunct).In order to try to exclude him from the story, I contacted all the friends listed on the social-networking site. One replied, confirming that Sugden existed. The others did not answer.
27. (defunct).
28. Southern Union Money Transfers Limited was incorporated on 19 August 2003. It was also registered at a mis-spelled address, 3 Gold Street Muse [sic] Northampton.
29. ‘Russia’s Anna Inc’ by Owen Matthews and Anna Nemtsova, Newsweek Feb 21 2011,
30. Described as a ‘new Mercader’ in a reference to Ramon Mercader who murdered Leon Trotsky with an icepick in Mexico in 1940. See
31. Volgogradskyi musikant napisal pensyu ob Anne Chapman (Volgograd Musician writes song about Anna Chapman)

Chapter Seven – The Cockpit of Europe

1. A brief list would include the First World War, during which the front line ran through the territory of what later became Latvia, displacing around a third of the population; Bolshevik-backed insurrections in Estonia and Latvia, both put down by armed force; the Russian civil war, the rise and fall of the German Landeswehr and Freikorps, a communist insurrection in Estonia in 1924; the Soviet occupations of 1940 and 1944, the intervening Nazi invasion, and a decade-long partisan war. A definitive history has yet to be written, but I recommend The Baltic States, the Years of Dependence by Romualdas Misuanas and Rein Taagepera, (Hurst & co 1993).
2. Kremlin propaganda presents all opponents of the Soviet Union during the war and after as ipso facto ‘fascists’, ‘war criminals’, and perpetrators of the Holocaust. The vast majority of the Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians who fought the Red Army did so not as Nazi sympathisers but because they wanted their countries’ freedom. Westerners wrongly hold faraway peoples to a much higher standard than they apply to themselves. The atrocious treatment of Jews (and others) by Nazi collaborators in places like Lithuania rightly attracts condemnation. But it must be proportionate to the blame applied to (among others) Flemish, Dutch, Danish, French and Norwegian collaborators, whose countries were lucky enough not to end up in Soviet hands after the war. Hitler’s killers found willing henchmen in every occupied country and among every nationality (not least among Russians).
It is particularly unfair to argue, as did Gordon Brown, the former British prime minister, that ‘unlike in Germany, Lithuanian society has never gone through a period of reconciliation and repentance of its Nazi past’. Lithuania was not willingly part of Hitler’s monstrous empire. It suffered huge human and material losses at the hands of its German occupiers. For someone writing from the comfort and safety of a country that has not been invaded for nearly a millennium, to lecture a country that experienced hardship on a scale unimaginable to any modern British citizen is not just patronising, it is outrageous. Placed under foreign occupation, people will collaborate, either to save their own skins, or out of opportunism, or to protect family members, or perhaps because they think they are choosing the lesser of two evils.
‘Women of courage: Rachel Margolis’ by Gordon Brown The Independent 9 March, 2011
See also Nazi/Soviet Disinformation about the Holocaust in Latvia by Andrew Ezergailis (Occupation Museum, Riga, Latvia 2005).
3. The first in the series is Swallows and Amazons, set in the Lake District in northern England. Subsequent books are set in the Norfolk Broads; near Shotley in East Anglia; in the Outer Hebrides; and (in two more fancifully written books) on the coast of China and in the Caribbean. Close scrutiny of the text reveals many clues to Ransome’s past. I was rereading the entire canon (out loud to my daughter Izzy) during the writing of this book, and (I beg the indulgence of readers here) found the stories to be full of clandestine infiltrations and exfiltrations, deception operations, escapes, pursuits, surveillance, codes, disguises and what the children call ‘Indianing’ and ‘sleuthing’. A short list would include: Titty’s surveillance of the burglars in Swallows and Amazons; Nancy and Peggy’s escapes from the Great Aunt in Swallowdale; the use of Bill the cabin boy as an unwilling surveillance agent in Peter Duck; the use of codes in Winter Holiday; Tom Dudgeon’s evasion of the Hullaballoos’ pursuit in Coot Club; the use of clandestine photography and a dangle in the Big Six; the deception of the Dutch harbour pilot in We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea; the kidnapping of Bridget in Secret Water; the escape in Missee Lee; the elaborate and misguided surveillance operation against the hapless Timothy in Pigeon Post; the burglary and close cover operation in The Picts and the Martyrs; and the elaborate deception, disguise and surveillance operations mounted against the sinister Mr Jemmerling in Great Northern.
4. The best is The Red Web: MI6 and the KGB Master Coup (Aurum Press 1989) and a film of the same name, broadcast on the BBC’s ‘Inside Story’. Perhaps because the other events of that year were so dramatic, Tom Bower’s extraordinary scoop did not receive the attention that it should have done. I am deeply grateful for his exemplary and generous help, including access to his meticulous original notebooks.
5. MI6: the History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949, by Keith Jeffery (Bloomsbury 2010).
6. A microfilmed copy of the agency’s records was kept in the basement of Stig Synnergren, later head of the Swedish defence forces, in his home at Tullinge outside Stockholm, and was returned to defence ministry custody in 1997. As the researcher Jonas Öhman notes, this could be ‘perceived as symbolic in terms of the official attitude in Sweden to its post-war history’. See ‘A Review of Western Intelligence Reports Regarding The Lithuanian Resistance’, published as an afterword in a revised and updated edition of Forest Brothers, an account of an anti-Soviet Freedom Fighter by Juozas Lukša (Central European University Press Budapest, 2009), p393.
7. The original suggestion was for it to be headquartered in Oslo or Stockholm. The Swedish capital would remain important for SIS but proved too far from the action. Jeffery p135
8. Churchill’s Man of Mystery: Desmond Morton and the World of Intelligence (Government Official History Series) by Gill Bennett (Routledge 2006) p42. She also notes the development of the SIS doctrine that spying is best done from a neighbouring country to the one being spied on.
9. See Die Geschichte der baltischen Staaten (Deutsche Taschenbuch Verlag, 1990) by Georg von Rauch; in English as The Baltic States: The Years of Independence: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, 1917-1940 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995). Another warring party in Estonia and Latvia was a powerful German army marooned in the east by the collapse of the Kaiser’s empire at the end of the war, was trying to create a ‘Teutonic superstate’ in the east, in which German feudal hegemony over the region would survive. Though the northern Baltic provinces had been part of the Russian empire, they had been ruled by a powerful caste of Baltic German barons, the distant descendants of the medieval Teutonic Knights). Their rule and riches were deeply resented and they were soon to suffer the expropriation of much of their property in land reforms. The feudal era ended only in the mid 19th century; for Estonia and Latvia the era when serfs had to struggle even for literacy and the right to a surname was a bitter living memory. In Lithuania, books and newspapers in the Latin alphabet were forbidden under Czarist Russification policies.
Adding a further dimension of complexity (and vulnerability) was a fierce conflict between Poland and Lithuania over the ancient city of Vilnius (Wilno in Polish). Once the historical capital of the old Grand Duchy of Lithuania, it had become predominantly Polish in the intervening centuries. Barely had Lithuania declared independence than in 1920 a Polish military force seized Vilnius. The two countries froze relations for 20 years, and the issue plagues their ties to this day.
10. In 2005 Mr Putin, answering a question from an Estonian journalist about Russia’s unwillingness to apologise for the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states, referred to it thus:

As I see it, in 1918, Russia and Germany did a deal…under which Russia handed over part of its territories to German control. This marked the beginning of Estonian statehood. In 1939, Russia and Germany did another deal and Germany handed these territories back to Russia. In 1939, they were absorbed into the Soviet Union. Let us not talk now about whether this was good or bad. This is part of history. I think that this was a deal, and small countries and small nations were the bargaining chips in this deal. Regrettably, such was the reality of those times, just as there was the reality of European countries’ colonial past, or the use of slave labour in the United States […] If the Baltic states had already been absorbed into the Soviet Union in 1939, then the Soviet Union could not occupy them in 1945 because they had already become part of its territory.’

The video of the press conference, after the EU-Russia summit on 10 May 2005, where he responds to the Estonian journalist Astrid Kannel, can be seen here An English transcript can be found here I have slightly improved the translation.
11. ‘From being accessories to military operations in 1914, they had become major players in the survival and destruction of states.’ From Dances in Deep Shadow by Michael Occleshaw (Constable 2006), p309.
12. ibid, p7
13. The Eyes of the Navy by Admiral Sir William James (London 1956) p177
14. Judd, p434
15. The ‘intervention’, as it is known, involved 14 foreign countries in all. An Anglo-American force, with French, Canadian and White Russian elements, attacked from Archangel. A French-led force, with Polish and Greek soldiers, supported General Deniken in southern Russia. Japanese, American, Czechoslovak and other troops fought alongside the Admiral Kolchak’s forces in Siberia. ‘Dunsterforce’ comprising Australian, British, and Canadian troops under General Lionel Dunsterville (the original ‘Stalky’ from Kipling’s ‘Stalky & Co’) pushed north from Persia and occupied Baku. See among other works The Adventures of Dunsterforce (London, 1920) by Major-General L. C. Dunsterville C.B.
16. I first saw this poster in the excellent Civil War exhibition in the municipal history museum in Khabarovsk. The transliterated Russian reads as follows

Moi russkie druzya! Ya Anglichanin. Vo imya nashevo obshago soyuznago dela, proshu vas, eshche nemnogo proderzhites takimi molodtsami, kakimi vyi byili vsegda. Ya dostavlyal i eshche bezgranichno dostavlyu vse, chto vam budet nuzhno, i samoye glavnoye, dostavlyu vam noviye oruzhie, kotoroye istrebit etikh otvratitelnykh krovozhadnyikh krasnykh chudovisch

17. Iron Maze by the former British intelligence officer Gordon Brooke-Shepherd (Pan paperback edition, 1998), p103. The author draws heavily on Orlov’s then unpublished memoir. Orlov had earlier compiled an in-house history of the affair for the NKVD. Brook-Shepherd also had access to the early part of the private memoirs of Harry Carr. These are still classified and in the hands of SIS. Orlov’s book was subsequently published as The March of Time, edited by Philip Knightley (St Ermin’s Press, 2004). The same material quoted by Brooke-Shepherd is found on p124 onwards. Orlov’s reliability has been questioned by, among others, Boris Volodarsky. But I do not find it plausible that he would have invented the entire affair.
18. Memoirs of a British Agent by Robert Bruce Lockhart, (Putnam, 1932), p314 In accounts at the time his surname (depending on who is writing it) was given variously as Šmithens (in Latvian); Shmegkhen or Shmidkhen (in Russian transliteration, the former probably garbled) or ‘Smidchen’. Had he written it in Latvian, his real name was probably Janis Buikis. At any rate, he was to play a vital role in the first big British intelligence fiasco of post-imperial Russia. Lockhart was a notorious frequenter of nightclubs. During a later stint in Prague, he even had a cocktail named after him, involving hefty slugs of brandy and champagne. Sadly, by the time I moved to Prague in 1989, all memory of this heroic drink had been lost.
19. Bennett p48
20. The March of Time p129. Orlov notes: ‘Reilly fell into two major errors, ignorance and wishful thinking, which if combined with reckless courage, spell tragedy.’
21. Brooke-Shepherd p107
22. The Quest for C by Alan Judd, (Harper Press paperback edition, 2000) p426
23. Red Dusk and the Morrow by Sir Paul Dukes, p7
24. Jeffery p175
25. Brooke-Shepherd p133
26. A lively account of Dukes’s mission can be found in Operation Kronstadt (Arrow 2010) by the pseudonymous former SIS officer Harry Ferguson.
27. Brooke-Shepherd p135
28. The Last Englishman by Roland Chambers, (Faber & Faber 2010, paperback edition) p287. Shortly after Ransome returned, the Red Army defeated on the ‘White’ forces under General Nikolai Yudenich. British destroyers evacuated them to a life in exile; Estonia and Soviet Russia opened talks on a peace treaty (signed in Tartu in 1920). Admiral Cowan’s squadron went home, basking in Estonian gratitude that was still heartfelt 70 years later. Ransome noted that this result represented a rare instance of being thanked for meddling in other countries’ affairs. He left with thirty-five diamonds and three strings of pearls of questionable provenance.
29. Bennett p46
30. Jeffery p181
31. Bennett p51
32. Brook-Shepherd, p255
33. ibid, p288
34. ibid, p291; the author spells his name Deribass
35. Bennett p 43-44
36. Jeffery p186
37. Jeffery p185
38. Jeffery p218
39. For a thorough treatment of this remarkable and still puzzling affair, I recommend Gill Bennett’s monograph, ‘A most extraordinary and mysterious business: The Zinoviev Letter of 1924’
(Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London (1999)). It draws heavily on the unpublished work of Millicent Bagot, the MI5 expert on communism who was the real-life model for Connie Sachs in le Carré’s ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’.
40. Jeffery p312. In fact, the agent had the information from close friends in the East Prussian aristocracy, who had met the German negotiators on a social visit, during which they had spoken freely.
41. Jeffery pp372-3
42. Jeffery p192-3

Chapter Eight – Between the Hammer and the Anvil

1. It involved tens of thousands of fighters, pitched battles, networks of underground bunkers, elaborate command structures, education and welfare systems, propaganda newspapers and a parallel justice system. The historian Joseph Pajaujis-Javis lists the Lithuanian partisans’ goals as: 1) To prevent Sovietisation of the country by annihilating Communist activists and the KGB forces in the countryside; (2) to safeguard the public order, to protect the population from robberies, either by civilians, or by Red soldiers; (3) to free political prisoners from detention wherever circumstances allowed it; (4) to enforce the boycott of the ‘elections’ to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR or to the leadership of the puppet state, and thus to prevent the falsification of the will of the Lithuanian nation and the creation of a false base for the legality of the Soviet-imposed regime; (5) to disrupt the draft of Lithuanian youth into the Red Army; (6) to obstruct the nationalisation of landed property and collectivisation of agriculture; (7) to prevent the settling of Russian colonists on the land and in the homesteads of the Lithuanian farmers deported to Siberia. From Soviet Genocide in Lithuania (Manyland Books, New York, 1980) p95, quoted (p24) in Forest Brothers from the West by Darius Razgaitis, (Boston University thesis 2002) available at
2. A Tangled Web: The memoirs of an Estonian who fell into the clutches of MI6 and the KGB by Mart Männik, translated and introduced by The Earl of Carlisle, (Greif Grenader Publishing, Tallinn 2008) p50.
3. Quoted in The Last Ambassador by Tina Tamman (Rodopi 2011) p176.
4. See Laar, p207.
5. The partisan leader was Algirdas Vokietaitis; the intermediary was the Lithuanian diplomat and later SIS agent Vladas ‘Walter’ Žilinskas. See Pavargęs herojus, Jonas Deksnys trijų žvalgybų tarnyboje (The Weary Hero: Jonas Deksnys in the Service of Three Intelligence Agencies) by Liūtas Mockūnas, (Baltos Lankos, Vilnius 1997) p138. See also Razgaitis, p17. This is earlier than the 1947 date given by Jeffery. Mart Laar’s book states (p208) that contact was re-established between SIS and the Lithuanian partisan movement in the ‘spring of 1945’ See The War in the Woods (Compass Press 1992). A lengthy KGB history written by Lukaševičs in 1986 gives the date as March 1943.
6. See Toomas Hellat ja KGB (Toomas Hellat and the KGB) by Tõnis Ritson,
7. Having originally felt themselves buttressed by a British naval presence in the Baltic Sea and by the League of Nations’ pledge to protect small countries, the Baltic states found they had to look out for themselves. France and America were far away; Britain, having pulled out of the Baltic under a deal with Germany in 1935, was no longer to be trusted. The three small countries tried permutations of friendship with Poland, Sweden, Germany and the Soviet Union, as well as an abortive Baltic entente. None of it worked.
8. Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin (Basic Book/Bodley Head 2010) is an incomparable account of the wider picture of mass murder.
9. A shortlived Estonian government under the lawyer Otto Tief, for example, took power as the Nazis withdrew in 1944. Those of its members who could not escape were jailed. One, Arnold Susi, befriended Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in a prison camp. In The Gulag Archipelago, Solzhenitsyn writes:

[Susi] breathed a completely different sort of air. And he would tell me passionately about his own interests, and these were Estonia and democracy. And although I had never expected to become interested in Estonia, much less bourgeois democracy, I nevertheless kept listening to his loving stories of twenty free years in that modest, work-loving, small nation of big men whose ways were slow and set. I listened to the principles of the Estonian constitution, which had been borrowed from the best of European experience, and to how their hundred-member, one-house parliament had worked. And, though the ‘why’ of it wasn’t clear, I began to like it all and store it all away in my experience.
I listened willingly to their fatal history: the tiny Estonian anvil had, from way, way back, been caught between two hammers, the Teutons and the Slavs. Blows showered on it from East and West in turn; there was no end to it, and there still isn’t. p242 (Harper & Row edition 1974).

10. Laiškai Mylimosioms (Letters to Loved Ones), (American Foundation for Lithuanian Research, 1993) p10; quoted in Razgaitis, p20. Some had until recently been in German uniform: many Estonians and Latvians had joined (or were conscripted into) the Third Reich’s military. In a perverse bit of branding (non-Germans were not allowed to join the ‘real’ German army, the Wehrmacht), these were enlisted under the Waffen-SS logo. Though some had previously been in police and other units involved in the Holocaust, others were guilty only of being on the wrong side of history. The units have been confused with Hitler’s gruesome Schutzstaffel, originally the paramilitary wing of the Nazi party. The US Displaced Persons Commission in September 1950 declared that ‘The Baltic Waffen SS Units (Baltic Legions) are to be considered as separate and distinct in purpose, ideology, activities, and qualifications for membership from the German SS, and therefore the Commission holds them not to be a movement hostile to the Government of the United States.’
As the post-war Stalinist terror intensified, the regime’s tactics became ever more cynical and brutal. The authorities repeatedly offered amnesties, but those who tried to take advantage of them were imprisoned, tortured, deported or forced to fight on the other side. Staying on the sidelines was all but impossible. Those who refused to inform on their colleagues, families and friends were themselves suspect. Taking up arms offered at least the chance of a more glorious death.
12. Bower p59-60. The later cover for the operation was the ‘British Baltic Fishery Protection Service’, based in Kiel in the British zone of Germany, and using two souped-up German Lursen E-Boats. The crew were German; the captain, Hans Helmut Klose, later became the commander-in-chief of the West German navy.
13. The genuine movement was called VLIK – Vyriausiasis Lietuvos išlaisvinimo komitetas (Supreme Committee for the Liberation of Lithuania). The Soviet-sponsored one was VLAK – Vyriausiasis Lietuvos atstatymo komitetas (Supreme Committee for the Restoration of Lithuania). Many working for VLAK initially did not realise that it was bogus. The KGB provided flawless forged papers for its unwitting emissaries when they visited the West. Genuine partisans later made three attempts to kill the VLAK leader Markulis, until the KGB took him to a safe house in Leningrad
Partizanai Apie Pasaulį, Politiką ir Save (Partisans on the World, Politics and Themselves) by Nijolė Gaškaitė-Žemaitienė (ed.). (Genocide and Resistance Studies Center, Vilnius 1998) p95, quoted in Razgaitis, p30. The men and women involved in the struggle displayed a determination and optimism that can seem almost delusional to the outsider. Perhaps naively, few in the region imagined the West and the Kremlin would let the countries snuffed out by the dictators’ pact of 1939 be the biggest losers of the post-war settlement. They took at face value the words of the Atlantic Charter: self-determination for all, and that ‘territorial adjustments must be in accord with the wishes of the peoples concerned’
14. ‘Management of Covert Actions in the Truman Presidency’
15. According to a fragment of declassified material, CIA operations in the region included:
•    AEBALCONY (1960-62) was designed to use U.S. citizens with Baltic language fluency in ‘mounted’ and ‘piggy-back’ legal traveller operations into Soviet-occupied Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
•    AECOB, approved in 1950, was a vehicle for foreign intelligence operations into and within Soviet Latvia and involved infiltration and exfiltration of black agents and the recruitment of legally resident agents in the USSR, especially Latvia.
•    AEASTER was a program in near east areas to spot, recruit, and train Circassians and other Russian émigrés and send them back into the USSR.
•    AEFREEMAN (1953-64), which included AEBASIN/AEROOT (1953-60), AEFLAG (1955-62), and AEPOLE (formerly AECHAMP (1949-59)), was designed to strengthen resistance to communism and harass the Soviet regime in the Baltic countries.
•    AEBASIN/AEROOT supported Estonian émigrés and émigré activities against the Estonian SSR.
•    AEFLAG was aimed at people of the Latvian SSR.
•    AEMARSH (1953-59) involved collecting foreign intelligence on the Soviet regime in Latvia through sources residing in the Latvian SSR, legal travellers, and all possible legal means.
•    The Institute for Latvian Culture (AEMINX) was established as a cover facility engaged in the preservation and development of Latvian national culture, collection of information on Latvian national life, and the safeguarding and preserving of physical, spiritual, and moral conditions of Latvians who were separated from their homeland.
•    AEPOLE (formerly AECHAMP (formerly BGLAPIN)) targeted the Lithuanian SSR. These projects provided intelligence and operational data from Baltic countries through radio broadcasts, mailing operations, liaison with émigré organizations, political and psychological briefings for legal travellers and exploitation of other media such as demonstrations.
•    AEGEAN (formerly CAPSTAN) provided FI (foreign intelligence) from the Baltic States and USSR using support bases developed in the Lithuanian SSR as transit points. AEGEAN/CAPSTAN work continued under Project AECHAMP. AEMANNER (1955-58) was an operation to collect intelligence on the Lithuanian SSR by spotting, recruiting, and training Lithuanians who planned to return to Lithuania; spotting, recruiting, and training Lithuanian merchant seamen who would be on vessels calling at Lithuanian SSR ports; exploiting existing postal channels between Lithuanian SSR and the West; and interrogating persons coming out of the Lithuanian SSR.
•    ZRLYNCH was approved in 1950 for use of the Latvian Resistance Movement, which had been formed in 1944, as a vehicle for clandestine activities within the USSR. ZRLYNCH was renewed in 1952 as a part of AECOB, which then provided both FI and political and psychological activities.
See and (both accessed July 2011).
16. ‘How to be a spy’ by Anthony Cavendish, Sydney Morning Herald 17 December, 1988. A broadly similar account appears in a book by the same author, Inside Intelligence, published amidst intense official disapproval in 1988
17. My Silent War by Kim Philby, Panther (1969) p146.
18. Freds Launags, in the film ‘Red Web’.
19. The CIA’s Secret Operations by Harry Rositzke, (Readers Digest Press, New York, 1977) p20
20. ibid, p17
21. Recruited in Operation Bloodstone. For details see Blowback by Christopher Simpson (Collier Books/Macmillan, August 1989).
22. Bower p153
23. Lithuania: The Outposts of Freedom by Constantine Jurgela (The National Guard of Lithuania in Exile and Valkyrie Press, 1976) p232. Quoted in Razgaitis, p40.
24. Männik p 57
25. ‘A Review of Western Intelligence Reports Regarding The Lithuanian Resistance’, Jonas Öhman, published an afterward (p.393) in a revised and updated edition of Forest Brothers, an Account of an Anti-Soviet Freedom Fighter by Juozas Lukša (Central European University Press, Budapest, 2009). ‘Swedish espionage in the Baltics 1943-1957 A study of a fiasco?’ by Peteris Ininbergs (accessed July 2011). It includes an abstract in English; the rest is in Swedish.
26. Linksmakalnis was the last Russian military installation to be decommissioned in Lithuania. Construction started in 1946, with, according to Luksa’s report, the use of Italian or Hungarian POWs (he noted that they spoke a’language that the local visitors did not understand.’) It included deep bunkers and a huge array of antennas, with a colossal satellite dish towering over the village. Access to outsiders was strictly forbidden. Staff there joked to locals, in its dying days, that they could connect a telephone to Fidel Castro’s private line. Pictures of the ruins can be found here
27. I draw heavily here on Bower, pp158ff, who gives an excellent account of this.
28. Bower p164
29. Readers may wish to seek out a copy of the haunting and neglected Russian Hide and Seek by Kingsley Amis (Hutchison 1980) for an idea of what Britain would be like after decades of Soviet occupation and ‘denationing’. Pages 49-53 in the Penguin edition are strongly recommended. I am indebted to my friend Peter Hitchens for this suggestion. An excellent fictional treatment of the psychological torment caused by the failure of the resistance can be found in Purge, a novel by the Finnish-Estonian writer Sofi Oksanen (Black Cat, London, 2010).
30. Remeikis, p278.
31. The Unknown War: Armed Anti-Soviet Resistance in Lithuania in 1944–1953 by Dalia Kuodytė and Rokas Tracevskis, (Genocide and Resistance Museum, Lithuania 2004).
32. He died in 2002. ‘Pēdējā pasaules kara pēdējais mežabrālis’ (Last Forest Brother of the Last World War) by Māra Grīnberga, published in Diena (Riga, Latvia) 18 May, 1995
33. I am indebted to Ritvars Jansons of the Occupation Museum in Riga for this information, based on Latvian émigrés’ unpublished correspondence.
34. Tamman, p182. I would be delighted to hear from any of Capt Nelberg’s surviving relatives.
35. Hans Toomla and Kaljo Kukk were parachuted into Estonia on 7 May 1954. They carried, according to a KGB report, ‘a machine gun with ammunition, four revolvers, two portable transmitters, ciphers and codes…topographical maps, cameras, blank Soviet passports, military identity cards and certificates, counterfeit seals of Soviet institutions, Swedish and Norwegian crowns and 80,000 roubles’ A KGB statement reported in the Soviet media gives details of their capture and can be accessed in English (for a fee) here
36. A Secret Life by Benjamin Weiser (Public Affairs, 2004) See also
37. He was interviewed by Bower ‘Red Web’ documentary. Algirdas Vokietaitis, the Lithuanian émigré who made the first contact with the Western secret services in Stockholm in 1943, moved to America, where he was a notable instructor in photography.
38. Two lengthy KGB archive documents (in Estonian) give a thorough picture of the activities of American, British, French, German and Swedish espionage in the Baltics. Dated 4 January 1956 and 20 February 1957
39. ‘Spies caught and exposed’, Izvestia 7 March, 1957
40. This link (in Swedish) gives an account of the story and of a filmed version of Hallisk’s life.
41. Ininbergs gives an excellent account of this little-known history.
42. The mission was dogged by bad luck. The three men were dropped 100 miles from their supposed destination. One of their supply containers was found by a peasant who gave it to what he thought were real partisans, but who were in fact a phoney group run by the KGB (what happened to the peasant is not known, but can be imagined). ‘Broken promises reward Lithuania’s forgotten heroes’ by Edward Lucas, The Independent (London) 9 September 1991.
43. Interviewed in the ‘Red Web’ documentary.
44. Interviewed by Tom Bower, The Independent Saturday Magazine, 22 September 1990.
45. A partial account of this remarkable story (in Czech) is in Československo-britské Zpravodajské Soupeřen (Czechoslovak-British Intelligence Rivalry) by Dr Prokop Tomek, Úřad dokumentace a vyšetřování zločinů komunismu (Institute for the Documentation and Research of The Crimes Of Communism) 2006
46. Along with Hallisk, van Jung and others, they featured in an Estonian documentary, Külalised (The Visitors) in 2002. I am grateful to the producers for providing me with a copy of their film, which deserved a wider audience.

Chapter Nine – The Upside Down World

1. I draw heavily here on The Main Enemy: the Inside Story of the CIA’s final showdown with the KGB by Milt Bearden and James Risen (Random House 2003). The ‘Gavrilov’ backchannel is discussed on p184.
2. Battleground Berlin: CIA vs. KGB in the Cold War by David Murphy and Sergei Kondrashev (Yale University Press 1999).
3. ‘Death of a Perfect Spy’ by Elaine Shannon, Time, 24 June 2001,8816,164863,00.html
4. This article gives a good indication of what the West was trying to buy – and by implication what it would obtain by other means if necessary. ‘U.S. Is Shopping as Soviets Offer To Sell Once-Secret Technology’ by William Broad, New York Times, 4 November, 1991
5. The KGB cannily tried to revive the story of ‘Red Web’ to derail the Baltic independence movements in the late 1980s. The aim was to contrast the frankness of Gorbachev’s approach to history with the silence of the West about its use of fascist collaborators in the post-war era, and the cynical and incompetent behaviour of the CIA and SIS. In November 1987 the KGB brought its greatest trophy, Kim Philby, to Riga, and filmed him in a meeting with Lukaševičs, purportedly (and quite possibly truly) the first time that the two men had met. Philby’s lizard-like face lights up as he discusses Operation Jungle with his host (who spoke fluent English, having been posted to London, under a pseudonym, as a reward for his efforts). The initial aim was to demoralise the Baltic independence movements by highlighting the past. The Soviet authorities then made the material, and former KGB officers, and surviving partisans, available to Mr Bower. In the West, SIS – never before the subject of an unauthorised and unflattering expose – was furious, telling retired officers that they risked their pensions if they talked to Mr Bower. He short-circuited the ban by talking to CIA veterans and pensionless émigrés. But the tide of history was running too strongly, and Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians were in no mood to believe Soviet propaganda of any kind, even when it was true. Mr Bower, quite unfairly, was assumed to be a Kremlin stooge.
An early example of KGB propaganda is Polymany s polichnim: sbornik faktov spionazhom protiv SSSR (Caught red-handed: a collection of facts about espionage against the USSR), State Publishing House for Political Literature, Moscow, 1963. See also KGB, Stasi ja Eesti luureajalugu (KGB, Stasi and Estonian intelligence history) by Ivo Juurvee
6. The Friends: Britain’s post-war secret intelligence operations by Nigel West, (Weidenfeld and Nicholson 1988).
7. A gripping account of his defection comes in his autobiographical Tower of Secrets (Naval Institute Press, 1993).
8. The journalist David Satter, then the Moscow correspondent of the Financial Times, gives a vivid account of his attempt to meet dissidents in Estonia in 1977.

‘So,’ I said, ‘you are trying to tell me that someone arranged for you to meet me in Tallinn?’ Several of them nodded their heads yes. ‘Show me some identification,’ I said. ‘No, we don’t show any identification,’ said the sandy-haired man, shaking his head firmly. ‘I’m glad to hear that,’ I said, ‘because for a moment it occurred to me that you might actually be the dissidents, but if you won’t identify yourselves, it only proves to me that you’re the KGB.’ The superficial politeness that had prevailed up until that point disappeared. The tall, solemn member of the group leaned over the table. ‘I spent twelve years in the camps,’ he said. ‘My friends have spent six, seven, and eight years in the camps. You’re not going to treat us like a bunch of niggers.’

Stung by the rebuke, Satter resolved to trust his hosts, who gave every appearance of being terrified by KGB surveillance and of making elaborate precautions to avoid it. Only when he returned to Moscow did he find out that the entire meeting had indeed been a charade staged to find out more about his own views and contacts. The real Estonian dissidents had waited in vain for their visitor.  ‘Never Speak to Strangers: A memoir of journalism, the Cold War, and the KGB’ by David Satter, The Weekly Standard August 6 2007 (vol. 12, no. 44). Satter’s article ‘The Ghost in the Machine’ in the Financial Times on 5 April 1977 was nonetheless a remarkable event, which not only shocked Western Sovietologists who thought the Baltic struggle for independence was over, but also boosted spirits in the region.
9. See Penkovsky passed his messages in a park to a British diplomat’s wife wheeling a pram.
10. Next Stop Execution (Macmillan 1995) is one of Mr Gordievsky’s many books.
11. ‘Cold War Spy Tale Came to Life on the Streets of Moscow’ by Matt Schudel
Washington Post 20 April 2008
12. Bearden p382
13. Paul Goble, then at the CIA, deserves special mention here. His blog (in abeyance at the time of writing) has been essential reading
14. ‘Transitional Justice in the former Yugoslavia’
15. Entitled Lähtealused Eesti eriteenistuste väljaarendamiseks (Guidelines on the development of Estonia’s special services), it is still classified and my requests to view it have been politely rejected. See Eesti nähtamatud mehed (Estonia’s invisible men) by Toomas Sildam and Kaarel Tarand, Postimees 20 January 1997
16. Interview with the author.
17. ‘Riigikogu (Estonian Parliament) Committee of Investigation to Ascertain the Circumstances Related to the Export of Military Equipment from the Territory of the Republic of Estonia on the Ferry Estonia in 1994, Final Report.’ Available at
18. See ‘Death in the Baltic, the MI6 Connection’ by Stephen Davis, New Statesman 23 May 2005 and this report (in Swedish) by the judge Johan Hirschfeldt ‘Transport of military material on the M/V Estonia in September 1994’.
19. In der Bermuda Dreieck der Ostsea (In the Bermuda Triangle of the Baltic Sea), Der Spiegel, 23 December 1999.,1518,57520,00.html I am grateful to Jutta Rabe for her help.
20. I was the managing editor and major shareholder of the Baltic Independent which in late 1994 merged with the Baltic Observer to become the Baltic Times.
21. A particular puzzle concerns the fate of the captain, Arvo Piht, and several other survivors. They include Lembit Leiger (chief engineer) Viktor Bogdanov, (ship’s doctor), Kaimar Kikas, (navigation officer), Agur Targama (fourth engineer) Tiina Müür (manager of the duty free shop) and Hannely Veid and Hanka-Hannika Veide (dancers). All eight were seen by multiple witnesses leaving the vessel on the same life raft and were recorded as rescued in multiple lists compiled on shore. In several cases (including Captain Piht and the twins) their families received phone calls informing them that their relatives were safe—in the twins’ case using a nickname known only to close friends and family. The twins’ parents say they have received phone calls from their daughters; they believe they were until recently living in San Diego. Captain Piht’s rescue was also reported in the New York Times, in an article by Richard Stevenson on 1 October 1994
In the confusing aftermath of a disaster, many mistakes happen, not least in record-keeping; bereaved parents’ grief can render them delusional. The idea that eight people could be abducted from Sweden as part of an international cover-up of a botched smuggling operation will strike many as outrageously implausible. I am not endorsing any particular theory and I am aware that some of people speculating about the ‘real’ story of the Estonia are bigots and nutcases. Among the many sites dealing with the tragedy are and Interviews with the Veide parents (in Estonian) can be found here (in which one of the supposedly dead twin daughters is said to have phoned) and (with the San Diego reference).

Chapter Ten – The Traitor’s Tale

1. I cannot find independent confirmation of this but Bo Kragh, a banker and government adviser at the time, terms the claim ‘very plausible’. Suitcases of cash crossing the Baltic Sea in those days were not unusual.
2. This and some other quotes come from Riigereetur (State Traitor) a film about the Simm case, originally in Estonian. It is available with English subtitles here as ‘The Spy Inside’
3. In the 1990s, even Russian course members (from the GRU) took part in courses there. However this has ceased due to some clumsy attempts by those invited to spy. The museum at Chicksands is well worth visiting.
4. Its full name is the Kaitsepolitseiamet.
5. A brief account of Scott’s meetings with Simm comes in Spionimängud (Spy Games) by Virkko Lepassalu (Pegasus, Tallinn, 2009), pp106-109.
6. These and other details come from discussions with serving officials who prefer not to be mentioned in print.
7. Interview with Mr Savisaar.
8. Other documents such as give his 2003 annual salary of 233715.95 Estonian kroons (in those days about £10,000); another shows him as one of the participants on the ‘Higher National Defence Course’
9. He has been bankrupted by a lawsuit brought by the Estonian state to recover some of the costs of his betrayal. The sum involved, €1.28m (around $1.8m at the then exchange rate) is to pay for new cryptographic equipment and other security fittings. After some haggling, I agreed to pay his wife €2,000 for the exclusive rights to her side of the story. My original plan was to use this as a personal appendix to a book wholly devoted to her husband’s betrayal and arrest. In the event, I decided that her story was not sufficiently distinctive to deserve special treatment and that the Simm case was best covered in a wider geographical and historical context. But I have paid her nonetheless.
10. ‘New Documents Reveal Truth on NATO’s “Most Damaging” Spy’ by Fidelius Schmid and Andreas Ulrich, Der Spiegel 30 April 2010.,1518,691817-3,00.html
11. Details of this base, and another one in Poland, were leaked in 2009, with the accusation that they had been secret prisons for terrorism suspects. In 2002 America did press all three Baltic states to cooperate in the extraordinary rendition of terrorists, saying that their NATO chances would be blighted if they declined. Estonia said no, arguing that the torture, deportation and illegal imprisonment in its own history made it impossible to compromise in such a way. Estonian officials also worried, in retrospect rightly, that any such cooperation would not remain secret for long. The American presence in Lithuania, which dated from 2004, was remarkably conspicuous. The location was known to Vilnius taxi drivers and the supposedly secret building had been rewired at 110 volts.
12. This is by Simm’s account: I presume it is a detail he gleaned during his interrogation.
14. See for example ‘Russian top spy was paid also by the BND’ Der Spiegel 12 December 2008.; and ‘Spion für Russland: Es ist ein Dauerritt auf Messers Schneide’ (A Spy for Russia: It is a Long Ride on a Knife-Edge);,1518,704117,00.html; and Weisser Ritter (White Knight)
15. Poteyevi shpionili vsei semyei (The whole family spied on Poteyev) 16 November 2010
16. See Deshevniy predatel (Cheap Traitor) 4 May 2011, by Yelena Ovcharenko and Basil Voropaev, originally from Izvestiya, but available at
17. A lively account of his life and defection comes in Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia’s Master Spy in America After the End of the Cold War (Penguin 2007). Like all defectors’ books, it should be taken with a degree of scepticism.


1. Quoted in The United States and Germany in the era of the Cold War, 1945 to 1990, A Handbook: Volume 1: 1945-1968 Detlef Junker (ed) (Cambridge University Press, 2004), p98; Dulles’s book War or Peace (1950) is available online
2. Committee on Banking and Financial Services, Hearing on Russian Money Laundering, 21 September, 1999, testimony by R. James Woolsey
3. ‘No more Western hugs for Russia’s rulers’ By Mikhail Kasyanov, Vladimir Milov, Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Ryzhkov, Washington Post, 20 February 2011;
4. Cohen and Jensen ‘Reset regret’.