Vasili Mitrokhin

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Vasili Mitrokhin (March 3, 1922 – January 23, 2004) is a former KGB officer who defected from Russia. He was exfiltrated from Russia in 1992 by the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). Mitrokhin was accompanied by his family and 6 cases representing twelve years of daily note taking of KGB files going back as far as 1918.


Vasili Mitrokhin was born in central Russia in 1922. He began his career as an intelligence officer in 1948 working for the Committee of Information—the temporarily combined MGB (future KGB) and GRU (Soviet military intelligence).[1] His first five years in intelligence were during the final paranoid years of Stalin's dictatorship, when intelligence agencies were enjoined to conduct investigations against usually imaginary Titoist and Zionist conspiracies.[2]

Mitrokhin tried twice to defect to the CIA, but was turned down each time because the CIA wanted to "maintain high moral ground" by not recruiting KGB defecters.[3] Subsequently, he turned to the SIS, who exfiltrated Mitrokhin from Latvia, including his family, and 6 cases of notes on KGB files.[4]

Vasili Mitrokhin died of pneumonia on January 23, 2004, at the age of 81.[5]

Mitrokhin Archive


  1. Andrew & Mitronkhin 1999, p. 1
  2. Andrew & Mitronkhin 1999, p. 1-2
  3. Trulock 2004
  4. Andrew & Mitronkhin 1999, p. 1, Trulock 2004, AP 2004
  5. Trulock 2004


  • Andrew, Christopher & Vasili Mitrokhin (1999), The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-00310-9
  • AP, Associated Press (2004-01-30), Vasili Mitrokhin dies at 81, The Guardian Retrieved on 05-18-2007
  • Trulock, Notra (2004-03-03), Vasili Mitrokhin Is Dead, Accuracy in Media Retrieved on 05-18-2007