Golitsyn, Anatoli Mikhailovich

(1926– )
   The most difficult and disruptive defector in the history of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Golitsyn defected to the CIA station in Helsinki, Finland, on 15 December 1961. AKGB major at the time of his defection, Golitsyn was slated for demotion for lack of performance. While he had a poor record as an operation officer, he had knowledge of KGB operations in Europe from previous tours in Vienna and Moscow. Golitsyn and his family were flown immediately to the United States for debriefing. Over the next several months, he provided the CIA with information about KGB operations in Western Europe as well as the names of several Soviet agents. He also reportedly told CIA director Allan Dulles that the KGB had not penetrated the CIA. Later, however, Golitsyn changed his story, claiming that the KGB had indeed recruited several sources inside the CIA. Golitsyn’s charges were accepted by CIA counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton and set off a “mole hunt,” which destroyed the careers of several officers and tied up operations against the Soviet target. Golitsyn’s accusations that Yuri Nosenko was a false defector and a dispatched KGB double agent convinced the CIA to illegally incarcerate him for three years.
   Golitsyn’s charges of KGB penetration were eventually proven false, but by that time he had badly damaged U.S. intelligence operations. While some analysts went so far as to declare Golitsyn a KGB plant, studies of the case suggest that the damage to the CIA was selfinflicted, that senior counterintelligence officials accepted Golitsyn’s charges out of fear that the KGB could penetrate their agencies the way it had British, French, and German intelligence.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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