On This Day — Cambridge Five Member Kim Philby Vanishes from Beirut (January 23 1963) [2020]

“Tell them Jesus Christ only had twelve, and one of them was a double agent.”

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover — Upon learning that Philby was a spy for the Russians

Harold Adrian Russell “Kim” Philby (January 1 1912 – May 11 1988)

On January 23 1963, Kim Philby vanished from Beirut, failing to meet his wife for a dinner party at the home of Glencairn Balfour Paul, First Secretary at the British Embassy. On July 30 1963, Soviet officials announced that they had granted him political asylum in the USSR, along with Soviet citizenship. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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Harold Adrian Russell “Kim” Philby (January 1 1912 – May 11 1988) was a high-ranking member of British intelligence who worked as a double agent before defecting to the Soviet Union. He served as both an NKVD and KGB operative.

In 1963, Philby was revealed to be a member of the spy ring now known as the Cambridge Five, the other members of which were Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt, and John Cairncross.

The grave of British double agent Kim Philby in Kuntsevo Cemetery, Moscow. (Reuters)

Of the five, Philby is believed to have been most successful in providing secret information to the Soviet Union.

Kim Philby, as depicted on a Soviet Union stamp

Philby was an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) from 1946 to 1965, and he was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1965.

December 20 2019 — Russia honours two members of the British “Cambridge Five” spy ring

On Friday December 20 2019, Russia honoured Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean with a memorial plaque and a tribute from the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service.

The plaque reads: “In this building, from 1952-1955, lived Soviet intelligence officers, members of the ‘Cambridge Five’, Guy Francis Burgess and Donald Maclean.”

Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service, praised Burgess and Maclean for their work in a letter, posted on social media by a lawmaker in Russia’s parliament, Alexander Khinshtein, who attended the unveiling.

“The ‘Cambridge Five’, having supplied Soviet intelligence with the most important information for more than 20 years, made a significant contribution to the victory over fascism, the protection of our strategic interests and ensuring the safety of our country,” the letter said. [Moscow Times]

Philby, seen as the “Cambridge Five” ringleader, was honored with his own plaque in 2010 at the headquarters of the foreign intelligence service in Moscow.

The Spy Who Went Into The Cold (Documentary)

REFERENCES

Kim Philby — Wikipedia

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On This Day — Cambridge Five Member Kim Philby Vanishes from Beirut (January 23 1963)

On This Day — Cambridge Five Member Kim Philby Vanishes from Beirut (January 23 1963) [2020]

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