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Levchenko was born in Moscow, obtained an education at the Institute of Asia and Africa of Lomonosov Moscow State University, and pursued graduate studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences. His first KGB work came in 1968, after he had worked for the GRU for two years. He became fully employed by the agency in 1971. In 1975, he was sent undercover abroad, as a journalist working for the Russian magazine New Times (Novoye Vremya) in Tokyo, Japan.
Levchenko defected the United States in October 1979, and was instrumental in detailing the KGB's Japanese spy network to the U.S government, including in Congressional testimony in the early 1980s.
After his defection, Levchenko supplied the names of about 200 Japanese agents who had been also defecting earlier. Included in his list were a former labour minister for the Liberal Democratic Party, Hirohide Ishida (石田 博英), and Socialist Party leader Seiichi Katsumata (勝間田 清一). Takuji Yamane of the newspaper Sankei Shimbun was also mentioned.
Levchenko published his English-language autobiography, On the Wrong Side: My Life in the KGB, in 1988. A Japanese version, KGB no Mita Nihon ("The KGB's View of Japan") was published in 1985.
- Gabba or Gabber
- Ryuzo Sejima (Japanese: 瀬島 龍三). The code name "Krasnov" was Ryuzo Sejima, and was also a KGB official agent. Levchenko testified that Ryuzo Sejima was intimate with Ivan Kovalenko who was a boss of the agent activities in the Soviet Union against Japan. Ryuzo Sejima had disguised himself as the diplomatic courier called "Ryozo (良三) Sekoshi (瀬越)" and had gone to Moscow, Soviet Union from December 25, 1944 to February 24, 1945. Ryuzo Sejima moved out to Manchuria on July 1, 1945. In fact, Ryuzo Sejima had already known that the Soviet Union would attack to Manchuria and Japan at this time. Although Ryuzo Sejima was able to return to the mainland in Japan without any obstacle after World War II, he defected to and had stayed for 11 years in the Soviet Union. Yuri Rastvorov who defected from the Soviet Union to the United States by way of Japan as well as Levchenko had trained Ryuzo Sejima as an defection agent in the Soviet Union. Ivan Kovalenko made friends with Japanese of Akira Kato（加藤 昭）, Yohei Sasakawa and Buntaro Kuroi（黒井 文太郎）, etc. in Japan, and has left the report about Ryuzo Sejima's secret. After Ryuzo Sejima returned from the Soviet Union to Japan on August 18, 1956, it was confirmed by the Japanese secret police that the KGB came in contact with Ryuzo Sejima in Japan. Ryuzo Sejima took part in the Toshiba-Kongsberg scandal. Ryuzo Sejima also worked with Yoshio Kodama who was intimate with the U.S. Government and the CIA. When Yoshio Kodama died on January 17, 1984, Ryuzo Sejima was also intimate with the U.S. Government and the CIA as if Ryuzo Sejima succeeded the work of Yoshio Kodama. Therefore, the double agent theories of the United States and the Soviet Union were referred to Ryuzo Sejima.
Ivan Ivanovich Kovalenko (Russian: Иван Иванович(Ивановић) Коваленко; February 13, 1919 – July 27, 2005) was born in Vladivostok, RSFSR (now in Vladivostok, Russia), in charge of a secretary and the interpreter of Aleksandr Vasilevsky who was Marshal of the Soviet Union during World War II, and deputy director of the International Department of the CPSU Central Committee and a firm proponent of dealing with Japan from a position of strength during the Cold War (1945–91). Kovalenko had visited Japan every year since 1956 and made Japan promote a relation with the Soviet Union. Kovalenko severely criticized the ability as the espionage agent of Rastvorov and Levchenko for their defections to the United States, and helped Japanese who had come in contact with the Soviet Union side from the suspicion that was the espionage agent in the Soviet Union. Kovalenko died of chronic diseases such as gangrene and diabetes mellitus at his home in Moscow, Russia. Kovalenko published "コワレンコ (Kovalenko), イワン (Ivan) (1996). 対日工作の回想. 文藝春秋 (Bungeishunju). ISBN 978-4-16-352260-9." about his short biography and memoirs of the agent activities in the Soviet Union against Japan.
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- "Soviet journalist defects". Spokane, Washington: The Spokesman-Review. October 26, 1979. p. 6. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
- Shackley, Theodore; Finney, Richard A. (2005). Spymaster: my life in the CIA. Potomac Books. p. 91. ISBN 1-57488-915-X.
- Anderson, Jack; Van Atta, Dale (December 6, 1987). "The defector the KGB is looking for". Allegheny Times (Beaver Newspapers). pp. A6. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
- レフチェンコ・メモの中身 ワールド＆インテリジェンス ＫＧＢの対日工作⑥ 国際情報誌『ワールド・インテリジェンス』（軍事研究別冊）編集長・黒井文太郎のブログ 2007/07/13(金) 08:58:35.
- コミンテルンに嵌められた大東亜戦争 沖縄県民斯ク戦ヘリ 第19130号 國民新聞 平成１９年１２月２５日（火曜日）.
- 中川(Nakagawa), 八洋(Yatsuhiro) (2008), 連合艦隊司令長官 山本五十六の大罪―亡国の帝国海軍と太平洋戦争の真像, 弓立社, ISBN 9784896678031
- Brook-Shepherd, Cordon, The Storm Birds. Soviet Post War Defectors: The Dramatic True Stories 1945-1985 (New York: Henry Holt, 1989)
- Laffin, John, Brassey's Book of Espionage (London: Brassey's, 1996)
- KGB Today: The Hidden Hand. (New York: Reader's Digest Press, 1983). New York: Berkley Books, 1985.