|Mitrokhin Dies: Stole KGB Files---Moscow's Gold a Fact
January 30, 2004
Vasily Mitrokhin, 81, Recorder of Trunkloads of K.G.B.
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
LONDON, Jan. 29 Vasily Mitrokhin, a K.G.B. archivist
whose defection opened up thousands of the agency's files to the West,
died on Jan. 23, the British Foreign Office announced Thursday. He was
He had been living in Britain under a false name and with police
protection since his defection in 1992.
Mr. Mitrokhin joined the Soviet secret service in 1948 but soon grew
disillusioned with life in the Soviet Union. "I was looking for the New
Jerusalem, but we ended up at the Wailing Wall," The Times of London
quoted him as saying in 1999.
He worked in the K.G.B.'s archives for three decades and for years
smuggled thousands of documents home in his shoes, copying them out in
He turned himself over to British agents in Latvia in 1992; the C.I.A.
had reportedly turned him down.
Mr. Mitrokhin's six aluminum trunks full of K.G.B. files formed the
basis of the 1999 book "The Mitrokhin Archive," written in
collaboration with the British scholar Christopher Andrew.
The book, which was serialized in a British newspaper, caused a
sensation by identifying several Britons including two former
lawmakers, a Scotland Yard policeman and an 87-year-old woman named
Melita Norwood as Soviet spies. Ms. Norwood said she had passed British
nuclear secrets to the K.G.B. for decades.
The Foreign Office, through its spokesman, said Mr. Mitrokhin "was a
man of the greatest personal integrity whose lifetime preoccupation was
the preservation of truth," adding, "We are pleased that he was able to
fulfill his ambition to ensure that the world, especially the Russian
people and those of the former Soviet bloc, learned the true facts
about the evil perpetrated by the intelligence services of the Soviet
Union and those in the Kremlin who directed them."
Mr. Mitrokhin is survived by a son.