The British secret service employee George Blake, who became famous as a double agent in the Cold War, is dead. He died at the age of 98, the Russian foreign intelligence service SWR announced on Saturday in Moscow to the state agency Tass.
Blake was born in Rotterdam in 1922 and was active in the resistance in the Netherlands during World War II. After the end of the war he was recruited by the British secret service and transferred to South Korea as a spy.
After the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, he was captured and offered his services to the Soviet Union. He later justified this step with the US bombing raids against the civilian population. He disclosed the identities of hundreds of agents to the Russian secret service KGB. He also revealed the existence of a secret tunnel in Berlin from which the Soviet Union was spied.
Blake was exposed as a “mole” by a Polish double agent. In 1961 a British court sentenced him to 42 years in prison. Five years later he escaped from prison. He fled to Moscow via Berlin and has lived in Russia ever since. According to the Russian newspaper “Rossiyskaya Gaseta”, Blake recently suffered from high blood pressure and malaise.
In Moscow, Blake was revered as a hero. Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin praised Blake as a “brilliant professional with extraordinary character and courage.” With his hard work he had made an invaluable contribution to “maintaining peace in the world”.