CIA documents shed light on eventful 1956 Soviet visit to Britain

Hugh Gaitskell

Hugh Gaitskell

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A batch of declassified CIA reports obtained by the BBC sheds light on the diplomatic angle of a historic and eventful Soviet high-level visit to Britain in 1956. In April of that year, First Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR, Nikita Khrushchev, and Nikolai Bulganin, Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars, arrived in Britain aboard Russian warship Ordzhonikidze, which docked at Portsmouth harbor. Their eight-day tour of Britain marked the first-ever official visit by Soviet leadership to a Western country. The tour ended badly, however, after a botched CIA/MI6 undersea operation, aiming to explore the then state-of-the-art Ordzhonikidze, ended in the disappearance of MI6 diver Lionel “Buster” Crabb. The body of Crabb, one of several MI6 agents involved in the operation, was never recovered. In 2007, Eduard Koltsov, a retired Russian military diver, said he killed a man he thinks was Crabb, as he was “trying to place a mine” on the Soviet ship. Read more of this post

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