Boris Yuzhin
Boris Yuzhin is a former Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

Espionage or spying involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, lest the legitimate holder of the information change plans or take other countermeasures once it...

. He was a mole
Mole (espionage)
A mole is a spy who works for an enemy nation, but whose loyalty ostensibly lies with his own nation's government. In some usage, a mole differs from a defector in that a mole is a spy before gaining access to classified information, while a defector becomes a spy only after gaining access...

 in the KGB
The KGB was the commonly used acronym for the . It was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and was the premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time.The State Security Agency of the Republic of Belarus currently uses the...

, spying for the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 in the 1970s and 1980s before being caught and imprisoned.

Yuzhin was assigned by the KGB to monitor student activities under the cover of a Tass
Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union
The Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union , was the central agency for collection and distribution of internal and international news for all Soviet newspapers, radio and television stations...

A correspondent or on-the-scene reporter is a journalist or commentator, or more general speaking, an agent who contributes reports to a newspaper, or radio or television news, or another type of company, from a remote, often distant, location. A foreign correspondent is stationed in a foreign...


In 1978 he began working for the FBI. He revealed the existence of the KGB's Group North, an "elite unit of senior Soviet intelligence officers who specialized in recruiting American and Canadian targets worldwide."
Yuzhin would take pictures of sensitive documents using a tiny CIA camera disguised as a cigarette lighter. His information led to the arrest of Arne Treholt, a Norwegian diplomat who was spying for the Soviets.

Yuzhin worked at the Soviet Consulate General in San Francisco, CA. The KGB discovered that Yuzhin was a mole in 1985, first when CIA officer Aldrich Ames
Aldrich Ames
Aldrich Hazen Ames is a former Central Intelligence Agency counter-intelligence officer and analyst, who, in 1994, was convicted of spying for the Soviet Union and Russia...

 identified him (as well as Valery F. Martinov and Sergei Motorin, KGB officers based in the Soviet embassy in Washington), and later when FBI mole Robert Hanssen
Robert Hanssen
Robert Philip Hanssen is a former American FBI agent who spied for Soviet and Russian intelligence services against the United States for 22 years from 1979 to 2001...

 confirmed that the three were working for U.S. intelligence
Intelligence (information gathering)
Intelligence assessment is the development of forecasts of behaviour or recommended courses of action to the leadership of an organization, based on a wide range of available information sources both overt and covert. Assessments are developed in response to requirements declared by the leadership...

 a few months later, in his first letter to his Soviet handlers
Agent handling
In intelligence organizations, agent handling is the management of agents, principal agents, and agent networks by intelligence officers typically known as case officers.-Human intelligence:...

 on October 1, 1985.

Martinov and Motorin, who were more junior KGB, were recalled to Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 and executed. Yuzhin had returned to Moscow for reassignment in 1982 and was arrested in 1986. He spent six years of a 15-year sentence in Perm 35, a Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

n prison. According to one of Yuzhin's former FBI handlers, Yuzhin escaped execution because he was "never in residency in the KGB offices" and was able to "convince his interrogators
Interrogation is interviewing as commonly employed by officers of the police, military, and Intelligence agencies with the goal of extracting a confession or obtaining information. Subjects of interrogation are often the suspects, victims, or witnesses of a crime...

 he knew nothing about operations and cases." He was released on February 7, 1992 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...

, when President Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of...

 issued a general amnesty
Amnesty is a legislative or executive act by which a state restores those who may have been guilty of an offense against it to the positions of innocent people, without changing the laws defining the offense. It includes more than pardon, in as much as it obliterates all legal remembrance of the...

 for political prisoners. Yuzhin immigrated to the United States
Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

, where the FBI helped him resettle in the San Francisco Bay area
San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, along with smaller urban and rural areas...


Ames was captured on February 21, 1994 — Yuzhin's birthday. The day before Hanssen's arrest
An arrest is the act of depriving a person of his or her liberty usually in relation to the purported investigation and prevention of crime and presenting into the criminal justice system or harm to oneself or others...

 on February 28, 2001, Yuzhin received "a cryptic call" from an FBI contact telling him to "watch the news tomorrow."

Described as "mild-mannered," Yuzhin currently lives in Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa, California
Santa Rosa is the county seat of Sonoma County, California, United States. The 2010 census reported a population of 167,815. Santa Rosa is the largest city in California's Wine Country and fifth largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area, after San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont and 26th...

 in northern California
Northern California
Northern California is the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. The San Francisco Bay Area , and Sacramento as well as its metropolitan area are the main population centers...

 and is supported by a "modest government stipend
A stipend is a form of salary, such as for an internship or apprenticeship. It is often distinct from a wage or a salary because it does not necessarily represent payment for work performed, instead it represents a payment that enables somebody to be exempt partly or wholly from waged or salaried...

." He lives with his wife Nadia and grown daughter Olga, an occupational therapist
Occupational therapist
An occupational therapist is trained in the practice of occupational therapy. The role of an occupational therapist is to work with a client to help them achieve a fulfilled and satisfied state in life through the use of "purposeful activity or interventions designed to achieve functional...

. According to reports his "mother, sister and a married son, an economist, with children of his own, live in Russia...Yuzhin has not been back to Russia since his release from prison in 1992, but his son and grandchildren come for visits." He "does historical research and augments his income with occasional lecture
thumb|A lecture on [[linear algebra]] at the [[Helsinki University of Technology]]A lecture is an oral presentation intended to present information or teach people about a particular subject, for example by a university or college teacher. Lectures are used to convey critical information, history,...

s," including one lecture in October 2000 to the Southern California Fraud Investigation Association in Palm Springs, California
Palm Springs, California
Palm Springs is a desert city in Riverside County, California, within the Coachella Valley. It is located approximately 37 miles east of San Bernardino, 111 miles east of Los Angeles and 136 miles northeast of San Diego...

, where Yuzhin spoke on "the Russian Mind."

Yuzhin has also worked with Susan Mesinai and the Ark Project
Ark Project
The Ark Project or Ark Project of Freedom was an organisation co-founded by Susan Mesinai in March 1991 in Waterbury, Connecticut to find out information on non-Russians taken prisoner by the former Soviet Union. These have included Raoul Wallenberg, American military POWs and others...

 on researching the cases of other former Soviet political prisoner
Political prisoner
According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, a political prisoner is ‘someone who is in prison because they have opposed or criticized the government of their own country’....

s, including Raoul Wallenberg
Raoul Wallenberg
Raoul Wallenberg was a Swedish businessman, diplomat and humanitarian. He is widely celebrated for his successful efforts to rescue thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary from the Holocaust, during the later stages of World War II...

 and NSA
National Security Agency
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, as well as protecting U.S...

Cryptanalysis is the study of methods for obtaining the meaning of encrypted information, without access to the secret information that is normally required to do so. Typically, this involves knowing how the system works and finding a secret key...

 Victor Norris Hamilton
Victor Norris Hamilton
Victor Norris Hamilton , a Palestine-born American cryptologist, defected to the Soviet Union in 1963. He was rediscovered in a mental hospital in Russia in 1992, where he had been for 20 years.-Early life:...

, who defected
In politics, a defector is a person who gives up allegiance to one state or political entity in exchange for allegiance to another. More broadly, it involves abandoning a person, cause or doctrine to whom or to which one is bound by some tie, as of allegiance or duty.This term is also applied,...

 to the Soviet Union in 1963 and was discovered in a Russian psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental hospitals, are hospitals specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders. Psychiatric hospitals vary widely in their size and grading. Some hospitals may specialise only in short-term or outpatient therapy for low-risk patients...

in 1992.
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