Reino Gikman

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Reino Gikman (allegedly March 27, 1930, Ino, Terijoki, Finland[1]) was the alias used by an undercover agent for the Soviet KGB who operated in Western Europe. Gikman used a Finnish passport and spent several years in Finland developing his illegal residence cover by posing as a Finn. The KGB was able to create fake Finnish citizenships by inserting fake births into the church records with the help of a priest of the Finnish Orthodox Church.[2] Gikman's fake personality was however the result of the theft in 1952 of four registry books of church records from the Othodox repository in Kuopio.[1] He received his first Finnish passport at a Finnish embassy, before ever entering Finland. He moved to Finland in 1966,[1] and held various jobs in Helsinki in the 1960s, working among others in the Suomalainen Kirjakauppa bookstore.[3] In 1968 he married a Martta Nieminen, a holder of a Finnish passport and also a suspected Soviet spy.[1] Their son was born in Düsseldorf in 1969.[1]

From 1979[1] until his disappearance in June 1989 he was living in Vienna, Austria, and reportedly working for the United Nations in Paris[4][5][6] A wiretapped telephone conversation on April 27, 1989, between Gikman and Felix Bloch, a U.S. State Department official stationed in Vienna from 1980 to 1987, was the original cause of espionage suspicions on Bloch. [6] [7] [8] [9]

Trivia[edit]

  • The choice of the surname Gikman in the planted fake birth certificate is peculiar. He is the only Finn ever to have the surname Gikman, and maybe the only person in the world with the surname. The web site ancestry.com reports one Gikman family living in the US in 1920, in the state of Indiana[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Wise, David (13 May 1990). "The Felix Bloch Affair". The New York Times. Retrieved 05-02-2009.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ Pietiläinen, Tuomo (25 October 2000). "Finland was an auxiliary country for top Cold War spies". Helsingin Sanomat. Retrieved 05-02-2009.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ Helsingin Sanomat
  4. ^ Taliban turning to foreign suicide bombers
  5. ^ Canada arrests 'illegal' spy from Russian intelligence
  6. ^ a b Engelberg, Stephen (3 August 1989). "Soviet Agent Linked to Bloch Is Reported to Be an Employee of the U.N. in Paris". The New York Times. Retrieved 05-02-2009.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  7. ^ Spy Like Us? - Independent Weekly, March 7, 2001
  8. ^ Charge: Hanssen foiled '89 spy pursuit
  9. ^ USA v. Robert Philip Hanssen: Affidavit in Support of Criminal Complaint... PDF
  10. ^ Distribution of Gikman Families in the US in 1920