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The former Soviet secret agent and British spy, George Blake, died in Moscow at the age of 98. News of the spy’s death broke out on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020. Blake was the last in the line of British spies who secretly work for the Soviet Union.
His work helped humiliate the British intelligence establishment when his work was discovered. The discovery happened during the height of the Cold War.
He is best known in the United Kingdom for his daring escape from London’s Wormwood Scrubs prison in 1966. That is when an Irishman named Sean Bourke helped breakout Blake from prison. Bourke helped him escape to Moscow.
According to Britain, the spy’s information exposed the identities of hundreds of Western agents all across Eastern Europe in the 1950s. Some of those exposed agents were executed due to Blake’s treason.
His case was one of the most notorious of the Cold War. The other notorious cases are those of a separate ring of British double agents known as the Cambridge Five.
When Blake was discovered as a Soviet spy in 1961, he was sentenced to 42 years in London’s prison. According to the Irish Mirror, Bourke was not alone in helping Blake escape. Two peace activists and a couple of prisoners helped smuggle him out of Britain in a camper van.
They traveled safely through Western Europe, crossing the Iron Curtain, into East Berlin. Blake spent the rest of his life in the Soviet Union and then Russia.
In an interview with Reuters in 1991, the former spy said he thought the world was on the eve of Communism at the time.
Blake was born in Rotterdam, located in the Netherlands on Nov. 11, 1922. His mother was a Dutch native and his father an Egyptian Jewish. The father was also a naturalized Briton.
His cause of death has not been released at this time.
Written by Sheena Robertson
Irish Mirror: Notorious spy George Blake dies in Moscow years after Irishman helped him escape prison; by Timothy HeritagePolina IvanovaColin Brennan
CNN: Infamous British-Soviet double agent George Blake dies in Moscow; by Zamira Rahim, Mary Ilyushina and Robert Iddiols
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