Codename Hero - Soviet double agent Oleg Penkovsky (175)


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By Ian Sanders. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In August 1960, a Soviet colonel called Oleg Penkovsky contacted the West to offer to work as a 'soldier warrior for the free world. MI6 and the CIA ran Penkovsky jointly, in an operation that ran through the showdown over Berlin and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

He provided crucial intelligence, including photographs of rocket manuals that helped Kennedy end the Cuba crisis and avert a war. Codenamed HERO, Penkovsky is widely seen as the most important spy of the Cold War, and the CIA-MI6 operation, run as the world stood on the brink of nuclear destruction.

We speak with Jeremy Duns, the author of Dead Drop also called Codename Hero in the US which investigates exactly how did the Russians detect Penkovsky, and why did they let him continue his contact with his handlers for months afterwards? Described as thrilling, evocative and hugely controversial, the book blows apart the myths surrounding one of the Cold War's greatest spy operations.

Extra info, book details and videos are here

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