Vladimir Mikhaylovich Petrov (; 15 February 1907 – 14 June 1991) was a member of the Soviet Union's clandestine services who became famous in 1954 for his defection to Australia.
He was born Afanasy Mikhaylovich Shorokhov (), into a peasant family in the village of Larikha, in central Siberia.
He joined the Komsomol in 1923, using his Communist Party affiliation to gain an education, which would greatly benefit him. Through this education he was able to do well enough on his naval recruiting tests to become specially selected for the cipher-work training course. After the two-year technical course which qualified him as a cipher specialist, he was posted to a ship in the Baltic Sea to encrypt and decrypt the secret signals.
According to his recently released secret British MI5 file, Petrov stated during his post-defection interviewing that his intelligence career was as follows:
1929-1933 Cypher clerk Soviet Navy.
1933-1938 N.K.V.D. Moscow dealing with overseas cypher communications.
1939 N.K.V.D. cypher clerk attached to Soviet Army Western China.
1940-1942 N.K.V.D. cypher clerk Moscow dealing with Internal communications.
1942-1947 N.K.V.D. cypher clerk Sweden with additional Internal Security duties.
1947-1951 M.G.B. Moscow dealing with seamen on the Danube.
1951-1954 M.G.B. controller in Australia.
Petrov also gave information about the defection of Burgess and Mclean. Their escape had been handled by Kislitsyn... Read More