Yakov Davydov

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Jakow Dawtian.jpg
Jakow Dawtian.jpg
Yakov Davtyan in Warsaw 1935
Head of the Cheka's Foreign Department
In office
First head of Soviet foreign intelligence
Personal details
Born Yakov Khristoforovich Davtyan (Davydov)
(1888-10-10)October 10, 1888
Nakhichivan Autonomous Republic,
Died July 28, 1938(1938-07-28) (aged 49)
Nationality Armenian

Yakov Khristoforovich Davtyan (Davydov) (Armenian: Յակով Դավթյան (Դավիդով), Russian: Яков Христофорович Давтян (Давыдов); 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.