Spy Handler: Memoir of a KGB Officer - The True Story of the Man Who Recruited Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames

By Victor Cherkashin, Gregory Feifer

In his 4 a long time as a KGB officer, Victor Cherkashin used to be a principal participant within the shadowy global of chilly battle espionage. From his rigorous education in Soviet intelligence within the early Fifties to his major spot because the KGB's head of counterintelligence on the Soviet embassy in Washington, Cherkashin's profession used to be wealthy in episode and drama. In a riveting memoir, Cherkashin presents a extraordinary insider's view of the KGB's lengthy clash with the CIA. taking part in a big position in international espionage for many of the chilly battle, Cherkashin used to be published to stations within the usa, Australia, India, and Lebanon. He tracked down U.S. and British spies worldwide. however it used to be in 1985 that Cherkashin scored of the KGB's biggest-ever coups. In April of that yr, he recruited disgruntled CIA officer Aldrich Ames and have become his imperative handler. Six months later, FBI certain agent Robert Hanssen contacted Cherkashin without delay, ultimately changing into a bigger asset than Ames. In Spy Handler, Cherkashin bargains the full account of ways and why either americans grew to become opposed to their kingdom, and addresses the rumors of an undiscovered KGB spy-another Hanssen or Ames-still at huge within the U.S. intelligence group. choked with vibrant element and dramatic bills that shed stark new gentle at the internal workings of the KGB, Spy Handler is a huge addition to chilly conflict heritage, informed by way of considered one of its significant players.

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I used to be sitting within the places of work of the hot, swank Actyor Gallery company heart on Tverskaya (formerly Gorky) road, Moscow’s brightly lit major drag and advertisement exhibit of the hot capitalism. The workplace belonged to my Swiss associate, with whom I’d got to work after leaving the financial institution to establish my very own safety corporation. My pal Nikolai, or Kolya, used to be at the different finish. He requested if I’d obvious the newest factor of Voprosy razvedkii i kontrarazvedkii (Intelligence and Counterintelligence Issues). “Did you spot what Kirpichenko stated approximately you? ” Nikolai endured. Vadim Kirpichenko, a best adviser to the SVR, have been my more advantageous while he was once first deputy of the FCD. “Bozhe [God almighty]! Go—get a replica! ” I hadn’t an inkling of what might be vital sufficient for me to enterprise outdoor onto the wet, muddy sidewalks. The ex-deputy intelligence leader used to be an established best friend of Vladimir Kryuchkov, the previous KGB leader who helped lead the 1991 coup d’état opposed to Mikhail Gorbachev. What may Kirpichenko be asserting approximately me now? I’d by no means labored with him without delay. accordingly between others, he by no means quite knew me. “So what's it, Kolya? ” “You’d larger see for yourself,” Nikolai stated, refusing to intricate. His urging appeared atypical. every body knew Kirpichenko spoke mainly for himself and, regardless of his excessive rank, definitely didn’t symbolize the perspectives of the intelligence carrier. however the trouble in Nikolai’s voice triggered me to snatch my coat. I ducked open air to a newspaper kiosk on Pushkin sq., web site of the poet’s statue in addition to Russia’s first McDonald’s, the place company nonetheless boomed, if no longer as wildly as in the course of its first years. i purchased the paper and taken it upstairs. Nikolai hadn’t been kidding. The airborne dirt and dust got here in a piece of writing via Kirpichenko accusing my former pal Oleg Kalugin of betraying Ames to the american citizens. The allegation may were extra surprising if Kirpichenko hadn’t made a convention of accusing Kalugin—who had years prior to denounced the KGB and moved to the United States—of spying for the american citizens. apart from the recent twist approximately Ames, there has been little new. Kalugin had graduated on the most sensible of his category earlier than zooming as much as turn into the youngest KGB basic ever, at 41, and head of the FCD counterintelligence division. Then rumors started to stream that he used to be an American agent. Kryuchkov quickly demoted Kalugin, which helped set my previous pal on a direction that may lead him, ten years later, to denounce the KGB. the choice introduced the wrath of his former colleagues. Convicted of treason in absentia in June 2002, Kalugin used to be categorized a traitor by means of at the least that recognized ex-KGB officer, President Vladimir Putin. Kalugin then made his critics much more furious whilst he took U. S. citizenship the next yr. I learn on approximately how Kalugin had received his information regarding Ames from a “friend. ” not only any good friend, yet anyone whose profile was once tremendous common, all the way down to the very identify “Victor,” which occurred to be mine (the surname was once passed over) and the declare that he’d been secretly presented for dealing with Ames.

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