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Former British double agent George Blake, who spied on Britain for the Soviet KGB in the 1950s, has died at the age of 98 near Moscow, where he had lived for years, Russian news agencies announced on Saturday.

“The legendary intelligence officer … George Blake passed away today. He sincerely loved our country, admired the exploits of our people during World War II,” the Russian intelligence spokesman told the public press agency TASS. (SVR), Sergey Ivanov.

Former member of the Dutch resistance during World War II and agent of MI6, the British foreign intelligence services during the Cold War, George Blake proposed his services to the Soviets in the 1950s, having witnessed the American bombings against the civilians in Korea, where he was stationed.

He supplied the names of hundreds of agents to the KGB, some of them executed by Russian intelligence, and revealed the existence of a secret tunnel in East Berlin, used to spy on the Soviets.

He was denounced by a Polish double agent and was sentenced in 1961 to 42 years in prison in the United Kingdom, but managed to escape five years later with the help of a rope and the support of his cellmates.

In his bizarre flight he managed to cross the Iron Curtain and to the east. In Moscow he was considered a hero and received the rank of colonel in the Russian intelligence services. 

George Blake was the last of the great spies alive , of the “moles” that the former Soviet Union managed to recruit in the middle of the Cold War.

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