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Cold War Spies: It all started in 1944

When nation’s decide to spy they can mount incredibly well resourced efforts

The history of Cold War intelligence is fascinating. Both the Soviet Union and the USA mounted very well resourced intelligence operations, as did their many allies.

There are many motivations for spies, including those spies that decided to become traitors to their nation. Some of the most significant traitors to the US were he Atom Bomb spies.

British agents George Blake and Kim Philby passed on to the Soviet Union the identities of Western intelligence assets, and the presence of the Berlin Tunnel.

Conversely, Soviet Colonel Oleg Penkovsky gave the West vital details of Soviet nuclear vulnerabilities. Intelligence services are also used to silence dissent, in particular in East Germany.

After the Cold War an investigation revealed the Soviet Union had been aware of a number of double agents operating in its midst from information provided by a CIA mole, Aldrich Ames. One such agent, Oleg Gordievsky, managed to flee the Soviet Union, but Adolf Tolkachev and Dmitri Polyakov were arrested, tried and executed.

This video dives deep into these many other elements of this fascinating time. Interviewees include Markus Wolf, Ted Hall, Oleg Kalugin, George Blake, Yuri Modin and Aldrich Ames (who was serving a life sentence).

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