Book About Armenian Legendary Spy Gevork Vartanian Presented in Russia

A book about legendary Soviet spy of Armenian descent Gevork Vartanian has been presented in Russia.

The book entitled “Agent That Outsmarted Abwehr” is the first one in the series of books dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Russian foreign intelligence, TASS reported.

Rostov-on-Don resident Khachik Khutlubyan, the author of the book, said that he had received a proposal to write the book from spokesman for Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Ivanov.

“His grandfather moved to Russia from Iran. Gevork himself was born in Don-on-Rostov. He often visited this place in the last years of his life. I knew him in person. I was always amazed at his gallantry not so typical of us, his accessibility, ease of communication and wit,” the author said.

Vartanyan for decades worked as an undercover agent for the Soviet KGB in different countries and Iran in particular.

One of Vartanian’s most famous and influential missions was in 1943, at the Tehran Conference attended by Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin.

The “big three” allied leaders of the era travelled to Iran’s capital for the meeting, which took place from November 28 to December 1, to discuss the logistics of an impending invasion on German-occupied France in the midst of World War II.

But there was a deadly plot in the works. “Operation Long Jump” was launched by a group of Nazis to assassinate Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt at the conference, with the plan allegedly backed by Adolf Hitler himself.

Gevork Vartanyan and his future wife Gohar were both agents at the time, Gevork aged 19 and Gohar just 16.

In an interview on American cable show Spotlight decades later, not long before his death, Mr. Vartanian said he did not know if the leaders were aware they were in danger ahead of the conference.

“First of all they (Nazis) thought maybe they (could) succeed in kidnapping. If not they’d just kill them,” he said in the interview.

“I had a group of seven young people like me, about 17, 18 years old at that time.”

Gevork told interviewer Al Gurnov that the group of teen spies discovered German parachutes dropping near where the conference was to be held, and tapped into radio frequencies to gain intelligence on the operation.

The operation was foiled by the group, including Gohar and Gevork Vartanyan, and the suspects arrested before any assassination attempt could be carried out.

The conference went ahead and the “big three” survived – and the rest is history.

He continued to operate for the Soviet intelligence abroad, in tandem with his wife Gohar, after World War II.

Vardanyan’s name is mentioned in the list of best 100 spies worldwide. He is also known for his Italian missions that he completed together with his wife Gohar Vardanian.



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