Yuri Nosenko

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Yuri Nosenko, along with Anatoly Golitsyn, remains one of the Cold War's controversies. A KGB officer, he made contact with the Central Intelligence Agency in 1962, and came over to the American side. James Jesus Angleton, head of CIA counterespionage, concluded he was a Soviet plant, meant to discredit Golitsyn, an earlier defector. Angleton had him subjected, for several years, to extrajudicial detention in solitary confinement, and under harsh conditions. While the consensus of the United States intelligence community is that he was genuine, as he insisted until his death in 2008,[1] there are still CIA officers, such as Tennent "Pete" Bagley, who insist he was not genuine.[2]

Pre-CIA history

Declassified CIA reports describe Nosenko as a member of a prominent family in Soviet officialdom, who joined naval intelligence in 1949, at the age of 22, and then transferred to the Second Chief Directorate.[3]


  1. James Cornwall (2 September 2008), "Yuri Nosenko: KGB agent whose defection to the United States was one of the Cold War's most dramatic episodes", The Independent (U.K.)
  2. Tennent Bagley (2007), Spy wars: moles, mysteries, and deadly games, Yale University Press, ISBN 9780300121988
  3. Richards Heuer Jr. (Fall 1987), "Nosenko: Five Paths to Judgment", Studies in Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency: 71-101