The Spy and the Traitor

The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War

For the KGB’s counterintelligence section, Directorate K, this was a routine bugging job.

It took less than a minute to spring the locks on the front door of the flat on the eighth floor of 103 Leninsky Prospekt, a Moscow tower block occupied by KGB officers and their families. While two men in gloves and overalls set about methodically searching the apartment, two technicians wired the place, swiftly and invisibly, implanting eavesdropping devices behind the wallpaper and baseboards, inserting a live microphone into the telephone mouthpiece and video cameras in the light fixtures in the sitting room, bedroom, and kitchen. By the time they had finished, an hour later, there was barely a corner in the flat where the KGB did not have eyes and ears. Finally, they put on face masks and sprinkled radioactive dust on the clothes and shoes in the closet, sufficiently low in concentration to avoid poisoning, but enough to enable the KGB’s Geiger counters to track the wearer’s movements. Then they left, and carefully locked the front door behind them.

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