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Boris Bazarov was born Boris Iakovlevich Shpak in 1893 in Kovno gubernia, Lithuania, which was then part of the Russian Empire. In addition to Russian, he spoke German, Bulgarian, French and Serbo-Croatian.
Bazarov joined the Soviet secret police (OGPU) in 1921 and began working on espionage operations in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia in 1924. From 1924 to 1927, he worked in the Soviet embassy in Vienna, simultaneously supervising Austrian, Bulgarian, Yugoslavian and Romanian agents. In 1927, Bazarov returned to Moscow and supervised the Balkan sector. In 1928, he moved to Berlin and ran the "illegal resident" operations which included France, while continuing to work on the Balkan line. In Paris, the rezidentura had eleven agents, in Bucharest six, Sofia two, Zagreb two, and one for Belgrad and Istanbul.
From Berlin, Bazarov pioneered the infiltration of covertly-established Soviet agents in the United Kingdom. In 1930, he supervised the penetration of the Foreign Office, by recruiting the code clerk Ernest Holloway Oldham.
Death and legacy
- Hede Massing, This Deception (New York, NY: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1951).
- Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America—the Stalin Era. New York: Random House, 1999.
- Nigel West and Oleg Tsarev, The Crown Jewels: The British Secrets at the Heart of the KGB Archives. London: HarperCollins, 1998; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999).
- (Russian) Bazarov on the official site of the Russian Intelligence Service
- "Gorsky's List", at The Alger Hiss Story.