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Britain declassifies documents brought by Soviet defector Mitrokhin

The British authorities have declassified some of the documents that were brought to the country by former Soviet KGB officer Vasily Mitrokhin whose defection to the West is still covered by a veil of secrecy.

He is said to have been copying by hand Soviet intelligence documents for many years. The notes made by Mitrokhin provided the basis for several books on the Soviet security services which were published in the West. The notes are now available in the Churchill Archives Centre at the University of Cambridge.

Local mass media say that Mitrokhin made his notes between 1972 and 1984 when he was watching the transfer of the KGB archives to its new headquarters in Moscow. He stealthily carried his notes out of the building, typed them at his country house and then hid them under the floorboards.

Media reports say that as soon as Mitrokhin set his foot on the threshold of the British Embassy in Riga he asked for the information he had provided to the MI6 to be published. It took 20 years for the British authorities to declassify the first 2,000 pages of his notes.

In 2004, Mitrokhin died in Britain. His notes made there are still classified, a part of the information was edited and 19 of 33 volumes of a reprinted version of his notes in Russian were made available at the Cambridge Archives Centre.

Mitrokhin was a rank-and-file employee in the KGB archival department and had no access to information on current operations. He quite service in 1984.

[Source: Itar Tass, Londond, 07Jul14]

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