Canada to deport ex-KGB officer living in British Columbia

The Canadian government has notified a former KGB officer living in Burnaby, British Columbia, that he and his family are soon to be issued with deportation orders. Mikhail Lennikov, who spent five years working for the KGB in the 1980s, has been living in Canada with his wife and 17-year-old son since 1992. But last week Canada’s Public Safety Ministry rejected Lennikov’s refugee claim and notified him that he “can be ordered deported from the country in as early as a few weeks”. Canadian government officials have refused to discuss Lennikov’s KGB ties, but Lennikov has previously stated that he voluntarily revealed his KGB background to Canadian authorities. He has also said that, if sent back to Russia, he could face imprisonment for having revealed his KGB connection to a foreign government. He and his family have now appealed the Canadian government’s deportation decision on humanitarian grounds. It is important to note that Lennikov’s deportation case is the most recent of several such instances in Canada. Two years ago, the Canadian government announced the deportation from the country of a 46-year-old former KGB agent, while in April of 2007 the Public Safety Minister issued deportation orders against Givi Abramishvili, a former KGB Lieutenant-Colonel. Abramishvili, who was a KGB operative from 1969 to 1989, had moved in Canada in 1999 and had requested political asylum in the country. Commenting on that case, a representative of Canada’s Public Safety Ministry said that “Canada […] is not a safe haven for those that may be a danger to national security”.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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