THE LIAISON BETWEEN MI6 AND CIA WHILE HANDLING COL. OLEG PENKOVSKY

History records that Oleg Penkovsky a Russian-born was a colonel in the Soviet military intelligence between the years of 1950 to 1963 when he was executed. Born on the twenty-third day of April 1919, Penkovsky enrolled and later graduated from the then Kiev Artillery Academy, which saw him to the position of a lieutenant in 1939. Further, it is recorded that Penkovsky was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. This was after the war between Russia and Finland as well as the world war II. Latter, Penkovsky is reported to have worked as a Military attaché in Turkey. To expound on Penkovsky’s involvement with Great Britain and the United States of America intelligence officials, this essay, therefore, seeks to discuss the Penkovsky’s recruitment, the damages caused by the Russians due collaboration with the West, the planning that followed his capture and his liaisons with the Americans.

Penkovsky’s recruitment and management

Penkovsky concealed to the Russians Military the fact that his father fought with the White Russians in the civil war a fact that could ruin his career as a senior military officer if the records were ever discovered. To his secretive nature, Penkovsky was ever in trouble with the offences he committed some years back of cancelling such important information from the country he served.

As reported Penkovsky was appointed a colonel in the year 1939 to work with the Russian Military (GRU). His area of expertise was on gathering intelligence the Military activities around the world which were important for the Russian Military to carry out its operation. Due to the nature of his work, he could travel to the United Kingdom as well as the United States of America to gather intelligence overseas.

Damages Penkovsky caused Russian in liaising with the CIA and SIS

As recorded in historical books, Penkovsky as an intelligence office could visit the Soviet Bloc, which served as an entrepreneur that sought for business deals for the British Engineering companies. As an officer permitted to be in liaison with state committee in charge of scientific coordination, Penkovsky had the authority to meet the Americans as well as travel abroad for similar meetings. In addition, it is recorded that Penkovsky approached an American, Wynne Greville to discuss certain intelligence matters in connection with the Russian military activity, but Wynne did not trust the deal and went so cold on the idea. He further approached two Britons who were much receptive to Penkovsky’s ideas hence arranged for a meeting with the CIA and the SIS agent of which the CIA was on the side of America and SIS was on the side of Britain.

To arrange the meeting, it was at a time Wynne was in Moscow in a month of April and informed the British counterparts of the meeting with a Soviet technician which was Penkovsky. Wynne played Penkovsky’s intentions during the meeting by sticking to trade matters between these countries even though he knew there were some unique ideas Penkovsky was driving at.

In the morning of April 1961, six-man delegates from Soviet-made their arrival in London to where the meeting was scheduled to the place. From the first meeting of the American and the Britons to discussed trade matters, and thereafter continued to link up with the CIA and SIS to have surveillance on the actions of the Russian military activities as well as their top secrets. This was a serious crime of espionage especially for military personnel like Penkovsky.

The liaison between MI6 and CIA while handling Col. Oleg Penkovsky

The M16 was British Naval Military section that was dealing matters that pertained foreign espionage. Later in the year 1911, the secret service bureau was changed SIS. To the American side, they had the CIA in charge of intelligence matters. Russia had proved difficult nation for the two countries to have even their respective embassies in the country. It took the two countries to get the link to the Soviet activities thanks to Penkovsky’s offer.

This was time the Soviet had made great progress in military activities hence commanding the world attention including manufacturing of very dangerous war weapons like missiles. This was also a time the SIS suffered a major setback after two of its agent were abducted in Germany hence Penkovsky’s offer proved to be of importance.

On laying their trust to Penkovsky as their agent, the M16 and CIA started receiving various intelligence issues in Russia. Penkovsky provided vital documents in the form of letters, documentaries as well as the picture of the operations of the Russian military that he served. The documentaries, films and other numerous secret papers passed to the CIA and M16 by Penkovsky helped the two countries monitor the Soviet strategies of superiority ahead of the United States and the United Kingdom.

Key roles played by Penkovsky in preventing the Nuclear war

The United States had a better knowledge of developing missiles, and so it is this that the Russians wanted to attack Cuba using the nuclear missiles without the knowledge of United States. This was in the summer of 1962 when the missiles were brought secretly developed by the Soviet military. Penkovsky provided the two agencies with all the detailed plans as well as the required descriptions of the sites to be attacked in Cuba. This was a great insight to the Kennedy Administration hence launched an investigation on the Russian Missiles on the sites that they were launched, and the missiles were to go off in three days’ time. It is this reason that Penkovsky is much credited for altering the course of the then Cold War. By intervention of the United States on the nuclear attack, the Russians realized that someone had betrayed them hence their inquiry on Penkovsky

The capture, trial and execution of Penkovsky

Some sources though not very clear records that it is believed that George Blake had tipped off the KGB that Penkovsky was working with the Britain and the United States that led to the disruption on launching a nuclear attack on Cuba. It was this time that he was put on surveillance radar of KGB. Stationed around Penkovsky apartment, the KGB officers could monitor Penkovsky movements and actions as well as his communication activities. In May 1963, after a public trial on Penkovsky, he was charged with treason and espionage and was sentenced to death. On 16th May 1963, the remains of Penkovsky were dumped into a mass grave at a cemetery in Moscow.

In summary, actions of Penkovsky as a double agent caused him his death and brought to a halt the deadly attack on Cuba using nuclear missiles. Leaking important information to the CIA and M16 saved many lives as actions of the Russians were thwarted by the United States military intervention making Penkovsky be a hero in the eyes of CIA and M16.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

David G. Coleman, The Fourteenth Day: JFK and the Aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012.

Dylan, Huw, “Britain and the Missile Gap: British Estimates on the Soviet Ballistic Missile Threat, 1957–61.” Intelligence and National Security 23, no 6, (2008): 777-806

Holmes, Robert. A Spy Like no other. The Cuban Missile Crisis, The KGB and the Kennedy Assassination. London: Biteback Publishing, 2012.

Schecter, Jerrold L. and Deriabin, Peter S. The Spy Who Saved the World: How a Soviet Colonel Changed the Course of the Cold War, New York: C. Scribner’s Sonsr, 1992.

Scotta, Len, E”spionage and the cold war: Oleg Penkovsky and the Cuban missile crisis.” Intelligence and National Security 14, no.3, (1999): 26.

Westerfield H. Bradford, “America and the world of intelligence liaison.” Intelligence and National Security, 11, no. 3, (1996): 523-560.

 

 

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