Kopatzky, Aleksandr Grigoryevich
- (1923–1982)One of the most intriguing counterintelligence cases of the Cold War involved “Sasha” Kopatzky. Captured by the Germans while serving as a Red Army officer, Kopatzky elected to remain behind after the war. In 1946 he was invited to join the American-supervised German intelligence service, and two years later he married the daughter of a German army officer. In 1949 Kopatzky, for reasons never satisfactorily explained, volunteered to the Soviet intelligence service and began a long career as a double agent.Kopatzky was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1951 in Germany to work against the Soviet target. In 1957 he immigrated to the United States as “Igor Orlov” and continued to work for the CIA. In the early 1960s he came under scrutiny by the CIA and left intelligence work to open an art store in a suburb of Washington. In late 1961 Anatoli Golitsyn defected to the United States and stated that a CIA employee with the code name “Sasha” was an important KGB penetration of the CIA. The CIA spent a great deal of money and time over the next decade looking for Sasha. Kopatzky was never prosecuted. He died in 1982, after he was identified by name in a press article. His art store, run by his widow, was reportedly a hangout for espionage writers for many years.
Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. Robert W. Pringle. 2014.