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Ex-British double agent says Russian spies must save world

George Blake, a former British spy and double agent in service of the Soviet Union, seen in Moscow on Nov. 15, 2006.

AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: November 10, 2017

MOSCOW — A former British intelligence officer who worked as a double agent for the Soviet Union said Russian spies now have "the difficult and critical mission" of saving the world, according to a statement released Friday.

George Blake has lived in Russia since his escape from a British prison in 1966. He turns 95 on Saturday.

Blake said in a statement that the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service must "save the world in a situation when the danger of nuclear war and the resulting self-destruction of humankind again have been put on the agenda by irresponsible politicians."

"It's a true battle between good and evil," he said in a statement released by the intelligence service, or SVR, and carried by Russian news agencies.

Blake also said that terrorism has "left bloody traces in many corners of the world."

SVR chief Sergei Naryshkin congratulated Blake on his birthday, saying Blake had been a role model for the agency's officers.

As a double agent, Blake passed some of the most coveted British secrets to the Soviet Union, including a Western plan to eavesdrop on Soviet communications from an underground tunnel into East Berlin.

A Polish defector exposed Blake as a spy for Russia in 1961. He was convicted on spying charges in Britain and sentenced to 42 years in prison. In October 1966, he made a dashing escape with help from several people he met while in custody.

Blake spent two months hiding at his assistant's place and was then driven across Europe to East Berlin inside a wooden box attached under a car.

Blake said in a 2012 interview with the Russian government daily newspaper that he adapted well to life in Russia and once joked at a meeting with Russian intelligence officers that he's like a "foreign-made car that adapted well to Russian roads."
 

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