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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ‘was Soviet spy’

Documents smuggled to London from Moscow by former KGB archivist and defector Vasili Mitrokhin list the Palestinian Authority President as being a KGB agent in Damascus in 1983; researcher: ‘the documents are very reliable.’

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas holds a


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was an agent in Soviet-era, working for the Russian Secret Intelligence Service (KGB) in Syria in 1983, Israel’s Channel 1 published Wednesday.

Foreign news editor of Channel 1, Oren Nahari reported on Twitter that documents from the Mitrokhin Archive, reveals that abbas was once a Soviet spy.

The documents, in an archive at Cambridge University, were observed by Israeli researchers from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez. The researches reportedly reveal that Abbas had the code name Krotov or “mole”. He allegedly worked for Vladimir Putin’s current envoy to the Middle East, Mikhail Bogdanov, who also was stationed in Damascus in 1983, the Times of Israel reported.

Assas’ spokesman told the BBC that the claims are an absurd Israeli “smear”. He suggested it was made to “derail attempts to re-start Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.”




The documents smuggled to the West by Vasili Mitrokhin,  a defector against the Soviet regime, who was a major and senior archivist for the KGB. Mitrokhin eventually smuggled many documents which the University of Cambridge’s Churchill Archives Centre confirmed was authentic.

Mitrokhin’s documents reveal the identities of more than one thousand spies and collaborators who worked for the KGB. Mahmoud Abbas is listed not as a collaborator, but categorically as a KGB agent. The document does not say whether he was paid, and how long he might have worked for the KGB.

Remez said: “The full archive of Mitrokhin was opened to researchers only last year and we ordered the entire file on the Middle East numbered 24. It was sent to us from Cambridge University and we read it point by point. The source is extremely reliable when not all the details are known.”

The preliminary conclusion of the research is that Abbas was recruited to the KGB when he was a student in Moscow. Abbas wrote a doctoral dissertation in which he understates the crimes of the Holocaust.

Palestinian officials also told The BBC the PLO was openly working with Moscow in the early 1980s. Mr Abbas, they added, did not need to be a Soviet agent to liaise with it.



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