How a Double Agent Effectively Prevented World War III

Still Wanted for Treason

Oleg Gordievsky, now 81, lives in a house surrounded by a high fence on an ordinary street in a British suburb. Nowadays, even despite the pandemic, he rarely ventures out of his house. And, if he does, it’s with a cane. He spends most of his days reading, writing, listening to classical music, and keeping up with world news.


Oleg Gordievsky 1996. Photo by Mark Large / Associated Newspapers / Shutterstock

What interests him the most, though, are the events in his homeland of Russia, the place from which he fled in the trunk of a car in 1985 (thanks to a baby’s dirty diaper… you’ll see why later). Ever since he hasn’t gone back and never will. After all, if he steps foot in the country, a death sentence is waiting for him. The charge: treason. As it turns out, the name Oleg Gordievsky still disturbs veteran KGB officials.

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