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Ex-KGB Officer’s Book Is Evidence

June 15, 2000

MIAMI (AP) _ Six years before George Trofimoff was arrested as a suspected Soviet agent, an ex-KGB spymaster wrote of an operative whose work closely matches accusations against the retired U.S. intelligence officer.

In the book ``The First Directorate,″ Oleg Kalugin described a German-born American recruited to spy for Moscow during most of the Cold War years.

Kalugin, former chief of counterintelligence for the former Soviet secret police and intelligence agency, said a Russian priest was used to obtain the services of a top U.S. officer based in West Germany.

And he said the agent’s motives to hand over secret documents to the Soviets were ``strictly financial.″

Trofimoff was not mentioned by name in the 1994 book, but those details run parallel to those released Wednesday by the U.S. government following the retired Army colonel’s arrest in Florida on espionage charges.

He was born in Germany of Russian emigre parents, and worked in Nuremberg as U.S. chief of an interrogation center where Soviet-bloc defectors were questioned to get military information.

Federal prosecutors said Trofimoff, alleged to have worked for Moscow from 1969 to 1994, is the highest ranking U.S. military officer ever charged with spying.

A federal law-enforcement officer in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Kalugin wrote about the Trofimoff spy case in the book, but left out the names. Kalugin didn’t return a message left for him Thursday at his home in suburban Washington.

In a chapter titled ``The Spy Game,″ Kalugin wrote about recruiting Americans and others as spies, and meeting them often in Austria.

``It was also in Vienna that I met another valuable American source _ this one from U.S. Military Intelligence. The man was a high-ranking officer stationed with American forces in West Germany, and we successfully recruited him after one of our informers in Germany told us the officer might be open to a KGB approach.

``On several occasions I traveled to Vienna to meet the American, who handed us classified documents that contained, among other things, battle plans for NATO forces.″

The American was paid $5,000 each time he passed something along.

``As far as I know, the intelligence officer was never caught by the Americans,″ Kalugin wrote.

Wednesday’s federal indictment in Tampa said Trofimoff passed along large quantities of secret information, including documents produced by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency and plans detailing what the West knew of Soviet and Warsaw Pact military capabilities.

Kalugin’s book said the American’s recruitment was initiated by a friend who was a Russian Orthodox priest.

That detail lines up with the indictment, which said Trofimoff was recruited by a priest, Igor Vladimirovich Susemihl, son of Russian parents who grew up with Trofimoff in Germany and remained close to him as an adult.

Susemihl died in 1999 after rising to become the highest Russian Orthodox official in Austria, the indictment said.

``The priest’s help in spotting a potential recruit is precisely the reason we in the KGB wanted agents inside the church,″ wrote Kalugin.


EDITOR’S NOTE: AP Writer Michael J. Sniffen contributed to this report from Washington.

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