Oleg Gordievsky: The MI6 Spy is Now a Published Author

Netflix’s ‘Spy Ops’ is a documentary series where each episode focuses on one of the most well-known spy operations that have taken place across the world and have helped change the course of history. One of the most notable spies mentioned in the show is Oleg Gordievsky, who worked for the British while spying on the Soviet Union, and his work is well-detailed in the episode titled ‘Operation Pimlico.’ As such, many people are curious about where the highly daring man is these days.

Who is Oleg Gordievsky?

Born on October 10, 1938, Oleg Gordievsky was a Soviet citizen by birth who studied at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. He then trained at Narodny Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del (NKVD) or the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (PCIA), where he not only honed his espionage skills but also became fluent in Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian, having already known German.

Not long before the Berlin Wall was erected, Gordievsky joined the foreign service of the Soviet Union and was posted in East Berlin in August 1961. Seeing the wall going up apparently started to disillusion him about the belief that he had held towards the Soviet system. In 1963, he joined the KGB (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti), the security agency of the Soviet Union. This soon led him to be employed at the Soviet Union embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1966.

The final straw for Gordievsky was apparently the Soviet’s actions in Prague, the capital of the present-day Czech Republic, which was then the capital of Czechoslovakia. This prompted the former KGB member to start leaving breadcrumbs for foreign intelligence agencies to hopefully pick up and realize that he was willing to spy against the Soviet Union. The intel was picked up by Jorn Christoffersen Bro, a former member of Danish Intelligence, and it was decided that Gordievsky’s information would be better suited for MI6, the British Intelligence Agency dedicated to foreign matters.

Under the codename SUNBEAM, Gordievsky started to pass information to MI6 in 1974. The spy’s time in Denmark ended in 1978 after he was recalled to Moscow, the capital of the Soviet Union, for having divorced his then-wife and married another woman he had been having an affair with, as such actions were something the KGB was not highly impressed with. Though he was not able to send much information to MI6 while in the Soviet Union, Gordievsky started to learn English and worked towards possibly getting posted in London, England, which was realized in June of 1982.

Thanks to the actions of MI6 and Gordievsky himself, he started to rise in ranks, becoming the KGB station chief in London’s Soviet embassy in Late April 1985. However, not long afterward, he was summoned back to Moscow, likely due to the information leaked to the Soviets by CIA officer Aldrich Ames. Though the MI6 was given the option to stay back in London and avoid possible charges laid against him by the Soviets, he decided to go back in case he was able to find something vital.

After he was drugged and heavily interrogated in Moscow, Gordievsky decided to take up the British intelligence Agency on their plan of him escaping the Soviet Union. Under Operation Pimlico, the steps to retrieve him started in July 1985. Though the task was far from simple and employed unconventional tactics, the former KGB member was able to flee to Finland in the trunk of a car and was then transported to the United Kingdom, where he received much appreciation for all the work he had done for the country.

Where is Oleg Gordievsky Now?

Following his escape from the Soviet Union, Oleg Gordievsky became a persona non grata in his home country. He was constantly worried about his wife and kids, whom he had to leave behind in the Soviet Union, as he had not even told his wife of his espionage work in order to not implicate her in possible treason. Six years after his escape, Oleg was reunited with his family, a development that filled him with joy.

Since his time as an MI6 agent, Gordievsky has built a life for himself in the United Kingdom, where he presently resides. The former spy has written several books about his experience with the KGB and often appears in the media. It is believed that the former Soviet citizen had been poisoned sometime in November 2007. Gordievsky claimed that he suspected that someone affiliated with Russia had been behind his possible poisoning and accused MI6 of possibly trying to hush up the crime. Following the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March 2018, Gordievsky was reportedly shifted into a home with even tighter security, though it is believed that he lives in a safe house in one of the counties surrounding the capital city of London.

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