Firstly, the world heard about him in 1951. However, the details of the life and spy career of Vladimir Petrov have been revealed recently by mass media. It was a huge scandal around this person when Britain secret service MI5 declassified information about his activity 56 years after Petrov died in 1991 in Australia. Who was this man, what did he do and why there are so many unasked questions concerning that sensation? Let us become investigators and talk about the most important moments in this detective story, especially, in Vladimir’s biography.
Vladimir Petrov and his wife Evdokia Petrova were two agents of KGB who defected in Australia after their long-term service. Both of them knew special encryption, names of many KGB’s agents and other important strategy data of the Soviet intelligence system. Such their steps compromised the activity of the main Soviet secret service and made a big influence on all the USSR’s external policy.
The real name of Vladimir was Afanasy Mikhaylovich Shorokhov. The future citizen of Australia was born in the backs of Syberia. His father and mother were farmers. After graduating from school in the age of 17 years, he joined Komsomol and changed his surname Petrov into Proletarskiy. Successful graduating from the institute allowed him to participate in training courses and become a cipher specialist. Passing recruiting tests opened for him a way to the work in secret service beginning from naval duty as a code clerk. Secret service career of a man known as Vladimir Petrov started after two years of utilization tour. Few-years’ experience on the ship service in the Baltic Sea and becoming a perfect specialist in decryption and encryption helped young man to enroll in OGPU as a cipher officer. It was a secret police of the Soviet Union in future NKVD. Management added Petrov to Foreign Department and gave him access to special sections. During work in OGPU Vladimir has also access to top-secret documents. He was able to decrypt and read them all due to the ability of his profession. There he also met Evdokia, cipher officer and his future wife. Both was assigned to work in the Soviet embassy in Sweden and since from 1940 in Australia. Working there in Soviet embassy as Third Secretary, Consul and cultural attaché, Vladimir Petrov was enlisted ASIO (Australian intelligence). In April 2, 1954, he issued a network of agents, codes, secret passwords of all USSR secret structures for 5 thousand pounds and political asylum. Balance of days one of the most notorious Soviet defectors hiding under the name of Sven Ellison in Australia. He lived in a shelter for the elderly for the last 17 years of his life. There he died.
Perhaps in due course, intelligence agencies of different countries declassify many more secrets and we have yet to learn many details that will help to better assess the past events.
Firstly, the world heard about him in 1951. However, the details of the life and spy career of Vladimir Petrov have been revealed recently by mass media. It was a huge scandal around this person when Britain secret service MI5 declassified information about his activity 56 years after Petrov died in 1991 in Australia.