The mayor of Moscow has decreed that a square near the headquarters of Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service be named after Kim Philby, the Briton who was the most successful Soviet double agent of the Cold War period.
Mayor Sergei Sobyanin signed the order Tuesday. The move came amid tensions between Russia and Britain over this year’s nerve agent poisoning of Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, England.
Philby joined Britain’s MI6 foreign intelligence service in 1940, eventually heading its counterespionage division and serving as intelligence liaison with the United States. He resigned in 1951 under suspicion that he had tipped off two other double agents, who fled to Moscow.
Philby defected to the Soviet Union in 1963, where he died in 1988.