Queen gives ex-Soviet spy a James Bond honour

Ex-Soviet spy given James Bond honour

By Natalie Paris and agencies
Daily Mail

Oleg Gordievsky is made a Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) at Buckingham Palace by Her Majesty.

A former Russian spy has been granted the same honour that was bestowed on James Bond by the Queen for his services to Britain.

Oleg Gordievsky was the Soviet's highest-ranking defector

Oleg Gordievsky joined the fictional 007 in being made a Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) at Buckingham Palace by Her Majesty.

As Britain's greatest spy between 1982 and 1985, the double-agent was in charge of Soviet intelligence-gathering and espionage.

He operated on "Her Majesty's Secret Service" passing information to MI5 while serving in the highest reaches of the KGB and acting as bureau chief in London.

Mr Gordievsky was the highest-ranking Soviet spy to defect to the West but said he found the experience of finally meeting the Queen "nerve-wracking" and "intimidating".

Dressed in a top hat and tails he said he was grateful for the honour.

"I was excited, but I was nervous," he said afterwards.

"It was the first time the Queen met and decorated me. It's a very nice feeling because I always felt that something was not right.

"I had never met the Queen personally and here she was."

Mr Gordievsky said the Queen had been tactful in not mentioning the time that he had spent spying on the UK.

"I'm still under sentence of death," he said.

"She said 'Thank you very much for everything you've done for Britain'."

In 1985, information passed on by Mr Gordievsky led Sir Geoffrey Howe, then Foreign Secretary, to expel 25 Soviet diplomats who were all accused of being KGB spies working undercover.

At the time, Sir Geoffrey described him as "a very substantial coup for our security forces".

Mr Gordievsky has been a British citizen for many years now.

"I'm more British now than Russian," he said. "Of course, I don't have the subtlety and politeness which is typical of Britain."

First recruited as a double agent by MI6 in the 1960s, Mr Gordievsky was ordered back to the USSR by his suspicious bosses in 1985, arrested and interrogated.

He was kept under surveillance although the KGB appeared to have no evidence against him.

Eventually he managed to escape from Russia after shaking off his KGB tail while out jogging.

He fled by taking a train to the Finnish border where he was smuggled into the West in a British Embassy car.

The decision to honour Mr Gordievsky was announced in June amid revamped cold war tensions following the assassination of former spy Alexander Litvinenko in London.

Dreadful Nonsense
He looks like the guy that was the manager of frescos on corrination street...is he?

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