General Yuri Drozdov, a legendary spymaster who was in fee of a huge community of KGB sellers abroad at some stage in the Cold War technology, died in Moscow on June 21. He became 91.

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Drozdov, become feared and exceptionally respected by means of Moscow’s allies and opponents alike and had a profession that spanned nearly 4 a long time.

After graduating from the Military Institute of Foreign Languages in 1956, he joined the intelligence service. His first undertaking changed into in East Germany, wherein he participated in numerous crucial missions. He labored in close touch with the East German secret police Stasi.


At the KGB, Drozdov becomes chargeable for operative paintings with the so-referred to as ‘illegals’ unit, which produced from undercover intelligence officials who lived and labored abroad below false names and bios.

This was taken into consideration to be one of the maximum traumatic and crucial tasks of the KGB Foreign Intelligence Directorate.

Abel-Powers alternate
Drozdov’s maximum well-known project worried the exchange of Soviet intelligence officer Rudolf Abel for U.S. Secret agent plane pilot Francis Gary Powers.

Rudolf Abel (real name William Fischer), who was running as a secret agent for Moscow within the United States from 1948, become arrested in 1957.

He refused to cooperate with the U.S. Authorities and turned into sentenced to 30 years in jail. The Soviet Union actively attempted to get him released.

From jail, Abel corresponded with undercover officers of the Soviet intelligence service. The most important of these officials changed into his “cousin” Yuri Drozdov.

Moscow and Washington eventually determined that Abel would be exchanged for Powers, who changed into captured in 1960 even as flying over Soviet territory on a U-2 spy plane that becomes shot down by means of the Soviet anti-plane forces.

The change came about in 1962 on the Glienicke Bridge, a border between East and West Germany.

Assault on Amin’s palace
In 1979, the Soviet government decided to assassinate Afghan President Hafizullah Amin, who turned into suspected of getting near ties with the CIA.

The operation became assigned to the KGB and Soviet Army special devices. Drozdov performed a chief function in what turned into referred to as Operation Storm-333.

Under this operation, Soviet Special Forces stormed Amin’s house, the Tajbeg Palace, on December 27, 1979. In his memoir years later, Drozdov recalled what Soviet leader Yuri Andropov advised him at the telephone simply before the operation: “We don’t need this, however we ought to.”

This operation turned into a part of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Birth of the KGB Spetsnaz
Inspired by using the successful assault on the Tajbeg Palace, Andropov called for the establishment of the KGB Special Forces Elite Squad. The concept become supported by using Drozdov, and in 1981, the Vympel Group changed into fashion.

The organization specialized in activities overseas. It became tasked with deep penetration into enemy territory, direct and covert action, the safety of Soviet embassies, and the activation of espionage cells in case of warfare.

Drozdov turned into widely praised through the enemies of the United states. Western media stores stated him as a “mythical spy,” while English creator and former undercover agent Frederick Forsyth stated Drozdov was one of the maximum giant Russian spymasters.

He participated in several special operations, however, most of the facts regarding his missions remains labeled. It is but regarded that Drozdov, underneath diplomatic cowl, served as the resident KGB officer in China in 1964-sixty eight, and in the United States in 1975-79.