(7 July 2014) KGB files from the famous Mitrokhin Archive – described by the FBI as ‘the most complete and extensive intelligence ever received from any source’ – will today open to the public for the first time.
From 1972 to 1984, Major Vasiliy Mitrokhin was a senior archivist in the KGB’s foreign intelligence archive – with unlimited access to hundreds of thousands of files from a global network of spies and intelligence gathering operations.
At the same time, having grown disillusioned with the brutal oppression of the Soviet regime, he was taking secret handwritten notes of the material and smuggling them out of the building each evening. In 1992, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, he, his family and his archive were exfiltrated by the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service.
Now, more than twenty years after his defection to the UK, Mitrokhin’s files are being opened by the Churchill Archives Centre, University of Cambridge, UK, where they sit alongside the personal papers of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.
Professor Christopher Andrew, the only historian to date allowed access to the archive, and author of two global bestsellers with Mitrokhin, said: “There are only two places in the world where you’ll find material like this. One is the KBG archive – which is not open and very difficult to get into – and the other is here at Churchill College where Mitrokhin’s own typescript notes are today being opened for all the world to see.
Much more in the announcement here.