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Archives: Cambridge Five spies were constantly drunk

world Updated: Jul 09, 2014 00:48 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times
Cambridge Five

Members of the infamous ‘Cambridge Five’ spy ring were ‘constantly drunk’ and were ‘not very good at keeping secrets’, according to files from the Mitrokhin Archive released at Churchill College, Cambridge, on Monday.

The archive had so far been consulted by intelligence historian Christopher Andrew, but have now been opened to the public, revealing new and less known information from the hazy world of intelligence in the erstwhile Soviet Union and its activities in Britain, India and elsewhere.

The files in Russian language, according to translator Svetlana Lokhova, reveal that Soviet handlers of the ‘Cambridge Five’ were not impressed with them.

The five recruited by the KGB while studying at the university in the 1930s were Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, ‘Kim’ Philby and Anthony Blunt. The identity of the fifth member is unconfirmed but is often speculated as John Cairncross.