News Curwen: Oleg Gordievsky called him and his colleagues 'the real defenders of democracy'

Head of MI6 whose achievements included bringing the double agent Oleg Gordievsky out of the Soviet Union

Lies covered whale slaughter

RUSSIAN and Japanese whalers slaughtered almost 10 times more sperm whales than they admitted officially before the practice was banned in 1986, according to new figures.

Books: The trade of treason

Jana Howlett interrogates the KGB's motive for its latest leak: The Crown Jewels: the British secrets at the heart of the KGB archives by Nigel West and Oleg Tsarev HarperCollins, pounds 19.95

Obituary: Arkady Shevchenko

DEFECTIONS are mostly stealthy affairs, hushed up if possible by both winners and losers, albeit for very different reasons. Not so, however, the sensational passage from East to West of Arkady Shevchenko, Under Secretary-General at the United Nations for Political and Security Council Affairs, the highest-ranking Soviet diplomat ever to change sides during the Cold War.

Yeltsin bolsters security

President Boris Yeltsin has expanded the powers of the Federal Security Service, the main successor to the KGB, by bringing Russia's border guards under its control. Under the new arrangement, the Federal Security Service, or FSB, will now have a broader mandate in dealing with issues involving counter-intelligence and domestic security issues.

Did the fifth man hand the A-bomb secret to Russia?

John Cairncross, the fifth man in the Cambridge spy ring, gave Britain's atomic secrets to the Russians, it was claimed yesterday. Ian Burrell notes that the KGB played an active role in making the revelation public.

Spies: Philby's widow tells of an Englishman's life in exile

As spies queue up to write memoirs, the life of a Cold War master- spy remains intriguing. Now the widow of Kim Philby, Independent reader and double agent, has written a memoir of life with the `Third Man'. Helen Womack interviewed Rufina Ivanovna Pukhova about her version of events.

KGB loses to Peter the Great

Moscow (Reuters) - President Boris Yeltsin decided yesterday that one of Russia's biggest military academies, named after the founder of the communist secret police, would instead carry the name of Tsar Peter the Great.

Feud - and it's a scorcher!

Right-wing controversialist Paul Johnson and the Guardian are natural enemies. But now mere enmity has turned into a vendetta.

A spymaster recalls the twists of the game

This man, who may have been le Carres Karla, has some surprises to share about the heights of Cold War espionage

Russian minister suspended over bath-house film scandal al

Russia's Justice Minister, Valentin Kovalyov, was yesterday temporarily removed from office while an inquiry is held into a secretly shot videotape which purports to show him with two naked women in a Mafia-frequented banya (baths).

`KGB' takes over MI5 phone service

Would-be spies who replied to an overt advert for covert agents were surprised to be greeted at the other end of a phoneline yesterday by a message from Colonel Botch saying "MI5 are crap. This is the KGB".

KGB's fight to counter the cunning chaps in smart suits

In the latest of our series, a former spymaster tells Helen Womack that old espionage habits die hard

Post-KGB spies keep the old flag flying

It is smaller and more discreet than in its Cold War heyday, but Russia's replacement for the KGB, broken up in 1991, is still very much in business, and has an estimated tens of thousands of employees to prove it.

Whatever happened to... Spies and spying?

1963 Christine Keeler is found cavorting with a Russian naval officer and a member of the British cabinet. James Bond, via detours for liaisons with scantily clad women, is chased by villains with funny foreign accents, and spies, counter spies, and counter, counter spies.

Le Carre dines out with Karla

The creator of spymaster George Smiley last night sat down to dinner with the man who, in 1991, became the real-life version of Smiley's arch- enemy, Karla.
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