Igor Gouzenko

The defection in September 1945 of Igor Gouzenko, a cipher clerk at the Soviet embassy in Ottawa, led to the round-up of an 18-strong spy ring. The extent of the Soviet spying shocked public opinion as the Russians were still widely seen as allied in the struggle against Nazi Germany. Indeed, it was not until after Gouzenko defected that the Soviet Union would be openly acknowledged as a threat to the West. The Gouzenko affair has justifiably been called the spark that ignited the Cold War. Gouzenko, who was 26 when he defected, died in 1982.

This section presents various resources related to the Gouzenko defection affair.


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Re: Canadian Intelligence during the Cold War
Canadian intelligence in the early Cold War years was compromised by the likes of Mackenzie King [Canadian PM] who wanted to turn Gouzenko back to the Russian Embassy the moment RCMP gave him sanctuary. King apologized to the Russians.
HTML | Published: 2007-12-12 | Added: 2008-01-26

A Glimpse Inside the Spy Scandal That Rocked Ottawa
Drawing on interviews, Russian sources and newly released archival material, Amy Knight provides the most complete account to date of an event that shook western governments, provoked gross violations of civil liberties and helped spark the Cold  [...]
HTML | Published: 2006-04-23 | Added: 2006-04-25

Spies, Lies and a Commission: A Case Study in the Mobilization of the Canadian Civil Liberties Movement
The commission embarked on one of the most thorough abuses of individual rights ever conducted in Canada and was armed with extensive powers to determine the extent of the Soviet spy ring in Canada revealed by the defection of Igor Gouzenko.
PDF | Published: 2001-09-01 | Added: 2006-01-22

The Royal Commission on Espionage
Detailed history of the Royal Commission on Espionage (Canada,1946) and useful links and information on the first generation rights movement in Canada (1930s to 1950s).
LINK | Published: 2001-01-01 | Added: 2006-01-22

Canada to honour defector Igor Gouzenko
A bronze plaque will be installed in a small Ottawa park across from a modest apartment house Thursday, marking what many see as the event that ushered in the Cold War.
HTML | Published: 2004-04-14 | Added: 2004-04-15

The Gouzenko Affair
On 5 Sept. 1945, a Russian cipher clerk named Igor Gouzenko fled the Soviet embassy in Ottawa with 109 documents proving the existence of a Soviet spy ring in Canada. His revelations reverberated throughout the the world and helped to ignite the Cold  [...]
LINK | Published: 2002-01-01 | Added: 2004-02-26

Andrew Kavchak honours Igor Gouzenko
Information on Andrew Kavchak's efforts to have Igor Gouzenko officially recognized by the Canadian government as a historical benefactor to Canada and its people.
LINK | Published: 2003-01-01 | Added: 2004-02-15

Igor Gouzenko's statement
I, Igor Gouzenko wish to make the following statement of my own will: Having arrived in Canada two years ago, I was surprised during the first days by the complete freedom of the individual which exists in Canada but does not exists in Russia. The false  [...]
LINK | Published: 1901-01-01 | Added: 2004-02-15

The Gouzenko Affair: The Beginnings of Canadian Counter-Espionage and Cold War Intelligence History
The Conference will be a major national event, involving distinguished scholars and researchers from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. This will provide an opportunity, for the first time, for an historical examination of the Gouzenko  [...]
LINK | Published: 2004-01-01 | Added: 2004-02-13

Release at The National Archives of further Security Service material
Eleventh Security Service release by the British Public Record Office. These files show the British reaction to Gouzenko's defection and the information he provided. The main file covering 1945-1947 is KV 2/1419. KV 2/1420 follows the development of the  [...]
LINK | Published: 2003-11-14 | Added: 2003-12-13

Fresh light on top spy Philby
Secret files made public for the first time today shed fresh light on the role played by British double agent Kim Philby in one of the biggest espionage scandals of the Cold War, showing he was entrusted with analysing the impact of a senior Soviet  [...]
HTML | Published: 2003-11-14 | Added: 2003-11-14

The Gouzenko Affair and Camp-X
Gouzenko and his family were taken from Ottawa and transported to the secret and secure Camp-X where they would remain throughout the Royal Commission Inquiry that was mandated to investigate the allegations regarding his activities.
LINK | Published: 1901-01-01 | Added: 2003-09-09

The Royal Commission on Espionage, 1946-9: A Case Study in the mobilization of the Canadian Civil Liberties Movement
The commission was formed in response to the defection of a Russian cipher clerk and investigated the existence of a Russian-led spy ring that had recruited several Canadian civil servants into disclosing secret information.
PDF | Published: 2000-09-01 | Added: 2003-08-06

Venona Decrypt: The Gouzenko Affair page 1
Page one of a Venona decrypt from Moscow to London related to Igor Gouzenko's defection and dated 21 September 1945.
GIF | Published: 2003-03-31 | Added: 2003-03-31

Venona Decrypt: The Gouzenko Affair page 2
Page two of a Venona decrypt from Moscow to London related to Igor Gouzenko's defection and dated 21 September 1945.
GIF | Published: 2003-03-31 | Added: 2003-03-31

The Gouzenko Affair Revisited: The Soviet Perspective
Thanks to archival documentation on the Gouzenko defection that has become available in Canada and the United States over the years, we have a reasonably clear (although by no means complete) picture of its repercussions in the West. But until recently  [...]
PDF | Published: 2002-11-13 | Added: 2002-11-13