The Spy Who Returned to the Cold

Defecting back to an uncertain future, Yurchenko spooks the CIA

He looked rather like a businessman in a hurry, clad in a tan trench coat and bounding up the stairs of the plane. As he neared the top, he turned and gave a wide wave, as if bidding farewell to friends. Though his behavior seemed unexceptional, even banal, that was no ordinary traveler boarding the Aeroflot jet at Dulles Airport last week. He was Vitaly Yurchenko, the Soviet KGB agent who had disappeared from a Rome street one sunny day last summer and turned up several weeks later as a defector in CIA hands. Identified initially as the fifth-highest official in...

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