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For years KGB operative Vasili Mitrokhin risked his life hiding top-secret material from Russian secret service archives beneath his family dacha. When he was exfiltrated to the West he took with him what the FBI called ‘the most complete and extensive intelligence ever received from any source’.
Vasili Nikitich Mitrokhin (Russian: Васи́лий Ники́тич Митро́хин; March 3, 1922 – January 23, 2004) was a major and senior archivist for the Soviet Union‘s foreign intelligence service, the First Chief Directorate of the KGB, who defected to the United Kingdom in 1992 after providing the British embassy in Riga with a vast collection of his notes purporting to be written copies of KGB files. These became known as the Mitrokhin Archive. The intelligence files given by Mitrokhin to the MI6 exposed an unknown number of Soviet agents, including Melita Norwood.
He was co-author with Christopher Andrew of The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West, a massive account of Soviet intelligence operations based on copies of material from the archive. The second volume, The Mitrokhin Archive II: The KGB in the World, was published in 2005, soon after Mitrokhin’s death.