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Gen. Yuri Drozdov

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by The_Historian, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist

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    "MOSCOW — Yuri I. Drozdov, a Soviet superspy who played a role in key events of the Cold War, from Berlin to Kabul, and masterminded a mysterious network of K.G.B. operatives known as the “illegals,” died June 21 in Moscow. He was 91.

    His death was announced by Russia’s foreign intelligence service, known as the S.V.R., a successor agency of the K.G.B.

    “General Drozdov devoted his life to serving the Motherland and enhancing the country’s national security,” President Vladimir V. Putin, who was a lieutenant colonel in the K.G.B., said in a statement on the Kremlin’s website.

    At a 95th anniversary ceremony last month for a Russian foreign intelligence unit, Mr. Putin named General Drozdov a hero of what is known in Russia as illegal intelligence, which he said “helps identify and block external threats in a timely manner and protect our sovereignty and right to be a free and independent country.”

    The agents overseen by General Drozdov were planted in other countries disguised as residents and lived there while making contacts and gathering information.

    In his memoir, “No Fiction: Notes of the Chief of Illegal Intelligence” (2016), General Drozdov spoke of the psychological burden of a life of subterfuge. In an initial meeting with a Soviet illegal intelligence chief, he wrote, he was asked just one question: Would he be able to “make up” the life of another person?

    “So many years have passed since then, but I remember this question,” he wrote. “It’s possible to ‘make up’ a life, but it is so difficult, it requires such knowledge.”

    General Drozdov, who had been an artilleryman during World War II and reached Berlin with the Red Army, was fluent in German, having graduated from a military language institute in the 1950s. That skill became useful when he was offered a transfer from the military to the K.G.B. in 1956."
    Yuri Drozdov, Soviet Superspy Who Planted ‘Illegals’ in Other Countries, Dies at 91
     

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