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9/8/09

George Koval

Nobody knew it, at least almost nobody, but a man born and bred in Sioux City, Iowa, did great damage to the United States as a spy for the Soviet Union. "Atomic spies are old stuff. But historians say Dr. Koval, who died in his 90s last year in Moscow and whose name is just coming to light publicly, was probably one of the most important spies of the 20th century." George Koval grew up in a small town, made many friends, played baseball and football, ate hot dogs, served in the United States Army in World War II, worked on the Manhattan Project, and eventually defected to the Russians after they thought his cover was blown. Worst, he provided them with key information on how to make an atomic bomb. He was recently honored by Vladimir Putin with the Russian Federation's highest medal. Hero for them, traitor for the United States.

"On November 2, 2007, some of Russia’s most senior military and intelligence officials gathered at the Kremlin to honor a Soviet spy whose name was until then completely absent from the annals of espionage history. . . .Russian president Vladimir Putin [paid] tribute to George Koval. Koval was an American citizen born in Iowa to immigrant parents from Belarus. In 1932, Koval, his parents and two brothers, all of whom were US citizens, moved back to the then rapidly developing Soviet Union to escape the effects of the Great Depression. . . . He received Soviet citizenship and returned to the US through San Francisco in October 1940. By that time, Koval was an accredited agent of the GRU, what intelligence professionals usually refer to as a sleeper agent. In 1943, Koval joined the Manhattan Project –the allied effort to develop the world’s first operational atomic bomb. More. Also read this.

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