Petrov, Vladimir

(1907–1991); Petrova, Evdoka (1915–2002)
   Among the defectors most damaging to the KGB in the post- Stalin years were the Petrovs, who served in the rezidentura in Canberra, Australia. Between them, they had more than 30 years of experience in human intelligence and technical intelligence when they defected in 1954. The Soviets tried to prevent the defection by forcing Petrova onto an aircraft bound for Moscow, but the Australian police pried her away from her KGB escorts. The scenes of a frightened woman escaping the clutches of the KGB were caught by an Australian photographer and were on the front page of newspapers around the world. The publicity generated by the incident convinced Moscow to close its embassy in Canberra. The Petrovs’ defection compromised several Soviet intelligence operations. In the 1940s and early 1950s, Australia had been a relatively easy target, and the Soviet services had been able to operate there against American, British, and Australian targets.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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