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Ex-Soviet Spy Evdokia Petrov Dies

July 26, 2002

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Evdokia Petrov, a spy for the Soviet Union who defected to Australia in 1954, has died in Melbourne. She was 88.

Petrov, who lived in Australia for 48 years under the name Maria Anna Allyson, died July 19 following an operation on her back, Australian media reported Friday.

The office of Attorney General Daryl Williams confirmed Petrov’s death and said her funeral was on Monday.

Petrov and her husband Vladimir made international headlines when they defected to Australia in 1954 at the height of the Cold War.

Vladimir Petrov was the third secretary at the Soviet embassy in Australia. He was also covertly serving as a KGB spy.

Evdokia Petrov was the embassy’s accountant and secretary, with covert responsibility for deciphering and writing coded messages exchanged between the embassy and Moscow.

But after three years, Vladimir Petrov became disillusioned with the Soviet Union and decided to defect, former Australian intelligence agent Michael Thwaites told Australian media.

A few weeks after Petrov’s defection, armed Soviet agents abducted his wife and put her on a flight bound for Moscow. She was being returned against her will to face the repercussions of her husband’s defection.

Australian police dramatically snatched her from the Soviets when the plane stopped for fuel in the northern city of Darwin.

Vladimir died in Melbourne in 1991. He was 84.

Details of surviving family members were not immediately available.

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