The KGB and Finland (II) A moment of high drama involving the KGB and the CIA in Finland is the defection of KGB major Anatoli Golitsyn in 1961. Golitsyn was widely recognized by Western observers as one of the most important Soviet defectors even though his public understanding of political developments engendered heated debates and controversy. The defection influenced Finnish President Urho Kekknonen’s relationships in both the east and west direction. It also helped Supo’s counterintelligence section to learn more of the KGB’s tradecraft and goals.

In Helsinki Golitsyn was known as Anatoli Klimov, since in 1954, in Vienna he had been made by the KGB’s adversaries and had to change identity as he moved on. As a Soviet vice-consul he had diplomatic cover and immunity in Finland, while attached to the counter intelligence section of foreign intelligence (1st Chief Directorate) targeting the intelligence personnel of larger countries. Golitsyn had been on the CIA's sights for a while.


The Supo - CIA cooperation regarding Golitsyn followed the usual routine. Supo informed the CIA of the arrival of Golitsyn and others from Moscow at the Soviet embassy in Helsinki. Supo then received information about Golitsyn that the CIA possessed from other postings. (Read more: Estonian Life No. 18 2019)


Laas Leivat, Toronto