Oleg Kalugin

Oleg Kalugin
Information gathered by the American Policy Roundtable


Source:  The Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies

Oleg Danilovich Kalugin is a retired Major General in the Soviet KGB. Born in Leningrad in 1934, his father was an officer in Stalin's NKVD. Oleg Kalugin attended Leningrad State University and was recruited by the KGB for foreign intelligence work, serving in the First Chief Directorate. Undercover as a journalist, he attended Columbia University in New York as a Fulbright Scholar in 1958 and then worked as a Radio Moscow correspondent at the UN in New York, conducting espionage and influence operations. From 1965 to 1970, he served as deputy resident and acting chief of the Residency at the Soviet Embassy in Washington, DC. General Kalugin rose quickly in the First Chief Directorate, becoming the youngest general in the history of the KGB, and eventually he became the head of worldwide foreign counterintelligence (Line KR). Serving at the center of some of the most important  espionage cases of his period, including the Walker spy ring, he quickly became known for his aggressive operational methodology.

General Kalugin's internal criticism of lawlessness, arbitrary rule, and cronyism within the KGB caused friction with the KGB leadership, and he was demoted to serve as first deputy chief of internal security in Leningrad from 1980 to 1987. He recalls that for the first time in his career, he saw that the KGB's internal functions had little to do with the security of the state, and everything to do with maintaining corrupt Communist Party officials in power. Kalugin retired from the KGB in 1990 and became a public critic of the Communist system.

 Kalugin's vocal attacks on the KGB won him both notoriety and a political following. In 1990, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed a decree stripping General Kalugin of his rank, decorations, and pension. General Kalugin then ran successfully for the Supreme Soviet, or "Parliament" of the USSR. From that post he continued his attacks on KGB abuses. Following the August 1991 putsch, General Kalugin became an unpaid advisor to reformist KGB Chairman Vadim Bakatin, who succeeded in the dissolution of the old state security apparatus, but had little time to reform it.

 In addition to currently teaching regularly at The Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, General Kalugin has taught at Catholic University and lectured throughout the country. He is also the Chairman of Intercon International, which provides information services for  businesses in the former Soviet Union. He contributes regularly to its Daily  Report on Russia and the former Soviet Republics, and some other US publications. Since 1998, General Kalugin has been representing in the US The Democracy Foundation, headed by Alexander Yakolev, a former politburo member and close ally of Mikhail Gorbachev.


Additional Information

Interview with Foreign Policy magazine

CNN Interview:  "Inside the KGB"

Books by Oleg Kalugin

The First Directorate:  My 32 Years in Intelligence and Espionage Against the West.

Listen to the Public Square

Interview with Oleg Kalugin - Part I

Interview with Oleg Kalugin - Part II

Interview with Oleg Kalugin - Part III

Interview with Oleg Kalugin - Part IV

Interview with Oleg Kalugin - Part V





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