Notorious British Spy George Blake Dies in Moscow Aged 98

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His senior position as the oldest spy in Russia was acknowledged as the Foreign Intelligence Service, known as the SVR, marks its centenary.
His senior position as the oldest spy in Russia was acknowledged as the Foreign Intelligence Service, known as the SVR, marks its centenary. image Russian State Media

Notorious British Spy George Blake Dies in Moscow Aged 98.

Russia’s foreign intelligence announced today that the notorious British traitor George Blake has died. Blake, 98, had been living in Moscow since he escaped from Wormwood Scrubs in 1966. He was sentenced to a record 42-year jail sentence in London in 1961 for spilling MI6 secrets to the Soviet Union, sending dozens of Western agents to their deaths. His senior position as the oldest spy in Russia was acknowledged as the Foreign Intelligence Service, known as the SVR, marked its centenary.

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“The bitter news has come – the legendary George Blake is gone,” said Sergey Ivanov, spokesman for the SVR foreign intelligence agency, formerly the KGB. “He died of old age, his heart stopped.” Blake, born in Rotterdam, was a British spy who worked as a double agent for the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

In 1966, Blake’s wife Gillian, who was the mother of his three children, began divorce proceedings, and the following March, Mr Justice Orr granted a decree nisi in his absence. Custody of their three sons was awarded to her.


In 1990, he published an autobiography, No Other Choice, having agreed a £60,000 with a British publisher before the Government stepped in to prevent him profiting from his treachery. He eventually filed a complaint accusing the UK government of human rights violation for taking nine years to decide on his case and was awarded £5,000.


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