MI5 concealed report on Soviet penetration from CIA

Kim Philby

Kim Philby

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
British counterintelligence officials decided to conceal from their American counterparts a report detailing Soviet spy penetration of the UK, because it showed London’s permissive attitude towards intelligence infiltration. The secret report, entitled “Survey of Russian Espionage in the UK 1935-1955”, was authored by the D Branch of MI5, which was tasked with countering Soviet intelligence operations on British soil. It was declassified on Monday by Britain’s National Archives, 55 years after it was initially authored. The survey was apparently commissioned following the embarrassing defections of Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, MI5 and MI6 officers respectively, who escaped to Moscow in 1951, after several years of spying for the Soviet Union. Its pages detail the cases of over 50 Soviet intelligence operatives and double agents who were believed at the time to be mostly at large in the UK or abroad. But senior MI5 officials decided to limit the report’s distribution, fearing that it revealed too many weaknesses in Britain’s counterintelligence posture. Instead, they decided to print only about 25 copies of the report, which were to be distributed strictly within MI5. Read more of this post

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Cambridge spy ring member’s memoir reveals motives behind actions

Anthony Blunt

Anthony Blunt

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The British Library kept its promise and released yesterday the closely guarded, incomplete autobiographical manuscript of Anthony Blunt, fourth member of the Cambridge spy ring. The group of British spies, which worked secretly for the Soviet Union from the 1930s until the 1960s, included Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean and H.A.R. “Kim” Philby, all of whom eventually defected to the Soviet Union. In his 30,000-word memoir, Blunt, an art history professor who in 1945 became Surveyor of the King’s Pictures and was knighted in 1954, describes his recruitment to spy for the Soviets as “the most important decision of my life”. Read more of this post