Fedora (KGB agent)

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Fedora was the codename for Yerbas Lichi or Victor Mechislavich Lesovski (Russian: Виктор Мечиславвич Лесовский), a KGB-agent who infiltrated the United Nations during the Cold War, from where he very successfully sabotaged American intelligence agencies by supplying false information. His cover was his work as a Soviet ambassador in the United Nations' headquarters in New York. Fedora was also a close associate and special assistant of the Secretary General of the United Nations, U Thant.


The American FBI Agency regarded Fedora as one of their most important and most productive spies ever recruited, without knowing Fedora was actually a KGB-colonel spreading disinformation. As such, Fedora was among the most successful Soviet KGB-agents of the Cold War, his faulty intelligence being directly communicated to the White House. On one occasion, President Nixon and Henry Kissinger unconditionally believed Fedora's false information that a complete set of the so-called Pentagon Papers had ended up in the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C. He also played an important role in guaranteeing or denying the authenticity of other KGB-agents who claimed to be switching sides, notably Yuri Nosenko, whom he corroborated his authenticity and his allegations, specifically that he was indeed a Lt. Colonel of the KGB and that he indeed received recalling orders just before fleeing to the USA. Nosenko confessed later after failing many times to pass poly examinations that he was in reality a KGB captain, and, after NSA revealed that no recall orders ever reached Geneva Soviet embassy, he confessed that he also lied about that. Since Fedora was surely a Soviet agent and he tried to corroborate Nosenko's story, it is obvious that Nosenko was a double agent. Same way, from the time when Nosenko confessed that he lied about his grade and the recall orders, it was obvious that Fedora was also a double agent working for the Soviets. Despite these, both CIA and FBI choose for a number of reasons to ignore the obvious in either cases.


  • Brian Freemantle, De KGB, (Amsterdam 1985), Dutch translation of original title: Brian Freemantle, The KGB, (London 1982), Ch. 7: "Fedora en de Verenigde Naties" p. 154-166.