Ion Pacepa, Cold War’s highest-ranking Soviet Bloc defector, dies of COVID-19

Ion Mihai PacepaION MIHAI PACEPA, WHO defected to the West as acting head of the Romanian intelligence service, making him the Cold War’s highest-ranking defector from the Soviet Bloc , has reportedly died in the United States of COVID-19. There has been no official announcement of Pacepa’s passing. However, a number of American and Romanian news outlets have reported his death in the past week, noting that he passed away on February 14. He reportedly died in hospital at “an undisclosed location”, having lived under protection from the Central Intelligence Agency’s National Resettlement Operations Center since his defection in 1978. He was 92.

Pacepa was born in Bucharest in 1928. He joined the Securitate, Romania’s secret police and intelligence service, in 1951, having earlier graduated with a degree in engineering from the Bucharest Polytechnic Institute. From his initial post in the Securitate’s Counter-Sabotage Directorate —a domestic assignment— Pacepa was moved to its Foreign Intelligence Directorate in 1955. He gradually reached the rank of station chief, serving in Frankfurt, West Germany. By the early 1970s Pacepa had reached the equivalent rank of a two-star general, and served as advisor to the Romanian President Nicolae Ceauşescu on matters of industrial and technological innovation. In 1978 he was appointed assistant secretary of the Ministry of the Interior and acting director of the Securitate.

But in July of that year, Pacepa defected to the United States while on assignment in Bonn, West Germany. He simply presented himself to the United States embassy there and was soon granted political asylum by Washington. Since that time, he lived under an assumed identity in a series of undisclosed locations in the United States. He reportedly had to change his living arrangements and assume new identities at least twice after his defection, in order to escape Romanian assassination squads who had been tasked with killing him. Among Pacepa’s aspiring assassins was Carlos the Jackal, who had allegedly been promised $1 million by Ceauşescu in return for killing the high-ranking defector.

Pacepa authored several books since his defection, with this first one, Red Horizons: Chronicles of a Communist Spy Chief, being the most notable. Translated from the original English into Romanian, the book was used by the prosecutors that argued in favor of the death penalty for Ceauşescu and his wife, Elena. Both were executed by firing squad in December 1989.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 17 February 2021 | Permalink

5 Responses to Ion Pacepa, Cold War’s highest-ranking Soviet Bloc defector, dies of COVID-19

  1. Emanuel Warenkopf says:

    His books are vivid testimonies to the crimes, atrocities and bestialities of the brutal security systems that operated and some continue to operate in countries that were once part of the communist bloc in Eastern Europe. I urge you to re-read the books to learn and memorize how the well-oiled system of deception, lies and murder has operated and continues to operate from the home of the KGB and its affiliates

  2. Tiberiu Chitescu says:

    Ești sigur că deabia acum? sper că înțelegi ce scriu pentru că este limba lui, a lui Pacepa, a fost trădător, a recunoscut că a fost KGBist. Ar fi trebuit să fie exceutat de Ceaușescu dar a fost folosit cum trebuie de CIA, Dumnezeu să îl ierte că a fost un jeg

  3. chukchi says:

    Rest in peace.
    Thank you 1000 times for your help!

  4. Iconoclast XIII says:

    When can we expect a book review of his last work, OPERATION DRAGON?

  5. Siana S says:

    Tiberiu Chitescu răspunsul meu este pentru tine. Da înțeleg ce scrii dar scrii numai timpenii. Se vede că ești pui de nomenclatură, mai bine taci! Politica și istoria nu sint înțelese de un creier mic. Continuă să privești desene animate, că alea le pricepi.

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