Oleg Penkovsky

code name " Hero"


The GRU Colonel Oleg Penkovsky provided information to US and British intelligence for 17 critical months during 1961-1962. Penkovsky passed photographs of approx. 5,000 secret Soviet documents.

Col. Penkovsky’s information was a key element in resolving the so-called missile gap of the late 1950s and early 1960s and played a vital role during the Berlin crisis of 1961 and the Cuban missile crisis a year later.

He was called the "spy who saved the world" and considered the CIA’s most important source during the Cold War.

Soviet counterintelligence officers photographed Penkovsky meeting with the wife of a British intelligence officer in Moscow in January 1962.

KGB arrested Penkovsky on  October 20, 1962. He was executed on May 16, 1963.


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