|Commercial SW radio. A Spy's|
favourite tool to receive messages
Barsky's spying career lasted from 1978 until 1988, when his cover was blown. He refused KGB orders to return to East Germany, where he had a wife and son, and chose to stay with his American wife and daughter. Amazingly, the KGB bought his excuse that he had contracted AIDS and allowed him his final years in the United States (where he happily lives and works in good health since). Eventually, the FBI tracked him down thanks to information from the vast collection of documents that KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin smuggled out of the Russia in 1992. Barsky, already inactive for several years, decided to cooperate with the FBI. He was extensively debriefed on KGB spy techniques and in return has never been indicted or put on trial.
|Illegal agent's one-time pad|
booklet and microdot reader
Source: Canadian SIS
|The Americans: fiction and|
real-life spy stories interwoven
Donald Heithfield and Tracy Foley lived a seemingly ordinary life with their two sons Tim and Alex until their house was raided by the FBI in 2010. To their children's surprise, Donald and Tracy, whose real names were Andrei Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova, turned out to be members of a Russian spy ring in the United States, controlled by the illegals department of the SVR, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. Eventually, Canadian born Tim and Alex were deported with their parents to Russia in one of the biggest spy swaps ever. Their life as they knew it ended instantly. They received Russian passports and had to build a whole new life. The fascinating story of Tim and Alex was published last May in The Guardian and on McLean's you can read about their struggle to return Canada and their fight in court.
Andreas and Heidrun Anschlag, the spy couple arrested in German in 2011, also had a grown up daughter. Her life was undoubtedly also turned upside down by the spying career of her parents. But spies are not the only ones to pay a high personal price. The wives and children of defectors often suffered the same consequences. When Igor Gouzenko, a GRU officer (military intelligence) and cipher clerk at the Soviet embassy to Canada decided to defect, taking along most sensitive intelligence documents, this also changed the life of his wife and child dramatically. The interview with his wife and the story of his daughter who, as a child, never new that her father was not the man she believed him to be, are striking examples of the price for living a fabricated live. Remember, think twice before you start a spy career when you're a family man!
Further reading: numbers stations, one-time pad and Cold War signals.