Related topics

Former Soviet Agent Says 700 Still Active in Germany

January 3, 1991

BERLIN (AP) _ Up to 700 KGB agents are still active in Germany, a former KGB agent who defected to the West was quoted as saying Thursday.

Oleg Gordievsky, who created a sensation when he surfaced in Britain in 1985, was quoted in the Berliner Zeitung as saying that the KGB was less effective than its Western counterparts, but still had its successes.

″With them, it’s quantity, not effectiveness,″ he was quoted as saying. ″At the moment there are up to 700 KGB agents in Germany. They concentrate on Munich, Hamburg, West Berlin and in East Berlin. ... No one knows exactly, but there are between 500 and 700. And the other KGB nest is in Bonn and Cologne with over 100 agents.″

Soviet spying in Germany would contradict the spirit of the Soviet-German friendship treaty signed in November. After decades of Cold War tension, Moscow and Bonn now profess warm relations in the aftermath of German unification last Oct. 3.

Gordievsky was quoted as saying there had been the ″closest cooperation″ between the KGB and the now-defunct East German intelligence agency, the Ministry for State Security, known as Stasi.

Stasi agents were better able to penetrate NATO headquarters and other sensitive areas where the KGB had little success, he was quoted as saying.

Gordievsky said he began working for British intelligence in 1974 after being deeply depressed by the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Update hourly