Blake, George

(1927– )
   The most important KGB penetration of British intelligence in the post-Stalin era was through George Blake, the son of a Dutch mother and a Sephardic Jewish father. He served in Nazi-occupied Holland as a British agent while an adolescent. Following the war, he joined the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) and was posted to South Korea. Following the North Korean invasion of South Korea, Blake was captured and spent the remainder of the war in a prison camp in Manchuria. He claims that he volunteered to the KGB during his captivity out of his revulsion with Allied bombing of civilians in North Korea. Whether Blake was truly an ideological recruit is not known for sure, but by the time of his repatriation to Great Britain in the summer of 1953, he was a recruited Soviet source with the code name “Diomid” (Diamond). Blake’s handler in London was Sergei Kondrashev, an experienced case officer who devised clever tradecraft to run Blake in Western Europe. Blake provided the KGB with detailed information on SIS and CIA operations, including the Berlin Tunnel.
   Blake was betrayed by a Soviet bloc defector, Michael Goleniewski, and arrested in 1961. At his semisecret trial in London, Blake was sentenced to 42 years in prison—one year, the judge asserted, for every person he betrayed and sent to his death. Blake was sprung from prison in 1966 by an IRA veteran acting without KGB direction. Blake made his way to Moscow, where he lives today. He is the author of an interesting autobiography.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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