Beginning in the early 1980s, the administration of U.S. President Ronald Reagan searched for ways to reduce the Soviet intelligence presence in the United States. The “Famish” action was precipitated in September 1986 when the KGB arrested Nicholas Daniloff, an American journalist, in response to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s arrest of Gennadiy Zakharov, a KGB agent who lacked diplomatic cover. At first, Moscow sought an exchange of the Soviet spy for the American journalist, and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and President Reagan traded charges about the arrests. Reagan and his chief Soviet hand, Ambassador Jack Matlock, decided on a radical reaction to break the Soviets of hostage taking. Soviet diplomatic missions in New York and Washington were informed they had to drastically reduce their staff, and 80 KGB and GRU officers were specifically deemed persona non grata and ordered to leave the United States. The list of those expelled included all the rezidents and key intelligence personnel in the United States, including 61 from Washington, 26 from New York, and 13 from San Francisco. While Moscow retaliated by expelling some U.S. diplomats and withdrawing Soviet employees from the American embassy, the Soviet services had suffered a major defeat. Daniloff and Zakharov were later exchanged.
   See also Spy swaps.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Famish — Fam ish, v. i. 1. To die of hunger; to starve. [1913 Webster] 2. To suffer extreme hunger or thirst, so as to be exhausted in strength, or to come near to perish. [1913 Webster] You are all resolved rather to die than to famish? Shak. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Famish — Fam ish, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Famished}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Famishing}.] [OE. famen; cf. OF. afamer, L. fames. See {Famine}, and cf. {Affamish}.] 1. To starve, kill, or destroy with hunger. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To exhaust the strength or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • famish — c.1400, famyschen, alteration of famen (late 14c.), aphetic of O.Fr. afamer, from V.L. *affamare to bring to hunger, from ad famem, from L. fames hunger (see FAMINE (Cf. famine)). Ending changed mid 14c. to ish under influence of ravish, anguish …   Etymology dictionary

  • famish — [fam′ish] vt., vi. [ME famishen, altered (after verbs ending in ish : see ISH) < famen, aphetic < OFr afamer < VL * affamare < L ad, to + fames, hunger: see FAMINE] 1. to make or be very hungry; make or become weak from hunger 2. Obs …   English World dictionary

  • famish — /ˈfæmɪʃ/ (say famish) verb (i) 1. to suffer extreme hunger; starve. 2. Obsolete to starve to death. {Middle English fame(n) famish (from Latin fames hunger) + ish2} –famishment, noun …   Australian English dictionary

  • famish — verb /ˈfamɪʃ/ a) To exhaust the strength or endurance of, by hunger; to distress with hunger. Even so did Corellius Rufus, another grave senator, by the relation of Plinius Secundus, Epist. lib. 1, epist. 12, famish himself to death [...]. <!… …   Wiktionary

  • famish — verb archaic reduce or be reduced to extreme hunger. Origin ME: from obs. fame starve, famish , from OFr. afamer, based on L. fames hunger …   English new terms dictionary

  • famish — verb Etymology: Middle English, probably alteration of famen, from Anglo French afamer, from Vulgar Latin *affamare, from Latin ad + fames Date: 15th century transitive verb 1. to cause to suffer severely from hunger 2. archaic to cause to starve …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • famish — /fam ish/, v.t., v.i. Archaic. 1. to suffer or cause to suffer extreme hunger; starve. 2. to starve to death. [1350 1400; ME famisshe, equiv. to famen to starve ( < AF, MF afamer < VL *affamare, equiv. to L af AF + famare, deriv. of fames hunger) …   Universalium

  • famish — (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) v. starve, die of hunger, be hungry; pinch, exhaust. See parsimony. Ant., sate …   English dictionary for students

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