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British double agent George Blake dies in Russia aged 98

Russian news agencies reported Blake’s death today.

Image: PA Images

GEORGE BLAKE, A famous “mole” in British intelligence who spied for the Soviet KGB during the 1950s before fleeing across the Iron Curtain, has died.

Russian news agencies reported Blake’s death at the age of 98 today.

“The legendary intelligence officer George Blake has passed away today,” a spokesman for Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service told the TASS state news agency.

“He sincerely loved our country and admired our people’s achievements during World War II,” Ivanov added.

A former member of the Dutch resistance during World War II then an agent of the British foreign intelligence service MI6, Blake offered his services to the Soviet Union in the 1950s after witnessing US bombings against the civilian population during the Korean War.

He provided the names of hundreds of MI6 agents to the KGB and revealed the existence of a secret tunnel in East Berlin that was being used to spy on the Soviets.

In 1961, Blake was discovered as a double agent and was sentenced to a record 42 years of imprisonment in England.

Five years later, he broke out of prison using a rope ladder with the help of three cell mates.

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After the escape, Blake was smuggled across the Iron Curtain into East Germany and travelled to the Soviet Union, living in Russia until his death.

Blake received a hero’s welcome in Moscow and was awarded the rank of colonel by the Russian intelligence service.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the country to which he dedicated his life, he said he never regretted his actions.

Blake was among the last living British double-agents that the USSR recruited during the Cold War.

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AFP

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