Yakov Davydov

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Yakov Davtyan in Warsaw 1935

Yakov Khristoforovich Davydov (born Davtyan, Russian: Яков Христофорович Давыдов (Давтян); 10 October 1888 – 28 July 1938) was, as head of the Cheka's Foreign Department from 1921 to 1922, the first head of Soviet foreign intelligence.

He was born in the Nakhichevan region between Russia and Iran to an Armenian family. After working in the Cheka, Davydov transferred to the diplomatic service, but continued to operate as an agent. He was a member of diplomatic corps first in Soviet republics of Lithuania (1922) and Tuva (1924), later an ambassador to Hungary (1924), aide of an ambassador to France (1925–1927), and ambassador to Persia (1927–1930), Greece (1932–1934) and finally Poland (1934–1937). In 1937, during the period of Joseph Stalin's Great Purge, he was accused of belonging to the fictitious Leon Trotsky-Grigory Zinoviev faction (see Moscow Trials) and the following year was executed.