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Document Creation Date: 
December 15, 2016
Document Release Date: 
July 1, 2004
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Publication Date: 
May 22, 1978
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ARTICLE APPEARED THE BALTIMORE SUN ON PAGE_?.N 64-Approved For Release 2a /0W IA-RDP81 M00980R002000100.023-4 What Did Take with i in from the Cold?\ Washington. ONE of the most mysterious spy stories circulating around here is that of Nikolai Shadrin, the Soviet naval officer who defected to the By Stanley Karnow United States in 1959 and evaporated in Vienna nearly three years ago. The general assumption is that Shadrin, who had become a double agent, was abducted by the Russians after they learned he was operating for the Central Intelligence Agency while pretending to work for the KGB, the Soviet secret service. That assumption prompted Presi- dent Ford to query Leonid Brszhnev, the Soviet Communist party leader, for information on Shadrin, and Hen- ry Kissinger, when secretary of state, also raised the case with Andrei Gro- myko, the Russian foreign minister. Both Mr. Ford and ' Mr. Kissinger 'drew blanks. But sources familiar with the af- fair now submit that Shadrin was really a Communist agent all along, and though some senior CIA officia6 had good reason to suspect him. oth- ers insisted on pushing through his 1 clearance because he served their own purposes. As these sources tell it, warnings about Shadrin were issued on at least two separate occasions by the CIA's counterintelligence section, which had interrogated him intensively But the warnings were either ignored or overruled by the agency's Soviet Bloc department, which desperately need- ed data and thus wanted to believe that Shadrin could be trusted. These disclosures suggest that ele- ments inside the CIA are often so anxious to score points that they are willing to court security. risks. That the CIA has frequently suffered from an excess of zeal has also been seen in its eagerness to engage in assassina- tion plots and other dubious ven- tures. This thesis is disputed by other in- formants with intimate CIA connec- tions. They assert that Shadrin would never have been cleared by the agen- cy had, there been misgivings about him. In their estimation, Shadrin was a genuine defector who was overex- posed by the CIA and ended up being trapped by the Russians. Substantiation- for this thesis is contained in the report the other day that Shadrin had been reluctant to accept the double agent assignment, but was persuaded by the CIA to take it in order to bolster the position of a real KGB operative who sought to work secretly on behalf of the United 'Jtates. Whatever the truth in all this, it is clear that the Shadrin business is still a focus of enormous controversy, and is likely to remain so until harder ev- idence is forthcoming-which may be never. In the absence of such evi- dence, I think it is worthwhile to pre- sent a new version of the story, even though it cannot be entirely validat- ed. . , Shadrin, whose name was original- ly Nikolai F. Artamonov, fled from Poland to Sweden in June, 1959, ac- companied by a young Polish woman who later became his wife. They were flown by the CIA to West Germany, and were grilled at length by Rus- sian-speaking agency interrogators. Sources here rbcall that Shadrin failed the lie-detector tests given him at the time. As a result, counterintel- ligence specialists expressed doubts about his credibility and even cau- tioned that he might be a Soviet "plant." Nevertheless, he was transferred to Washington and not long after- ward put to work in the Office of Na- val Intelligence as an evaluator of So- viet naval data. But doubts persisted and in 1964, the sources recollect, Shadrin was again subjected to interrogations and lie-detector tests. Again it was con- cluded that he was untrustworthy. Once again, though, that judgment, was rejected. Shadrin not only con- tinued at his post. but was soon shift- ed to the Defense Intelligence Agen- cy, where he translated Russian mili- tary literature. It was in the summer of 1966 that Shadrin became a double agent. The standard version of his metamorpho- sis is that he was contacted by the K(;B with an offer to spy for Mos- cow, reported the approach to the. Federal Bureau of Investigation, and was told to play the game. Sources who have monitored him for years, however, have a different account. They say the KGB, which was really employing Shadrin, was then beginning-to worry about his safety. Therefore, the KGB devised the "double agent" ruse with two motives in mind. - First, by. volunteering to deceive the KGB by covertly serving U. S. in- telligence, Shadrin would restore the faith that his CIA mentors had initi- ally placed in him. Moreover, by revealing the KGB offer to the FBI, which would hence- forth make him its protege, he was reinforcing his bureaucratic protec- tion within the American intelligence community and might eventually be able to play one agency off against another. One major question, of course, is why the KGB went to all this trouble, i since Shadrin was never privy to the most' classified material. But accord- I ing to sources who tracked him, it was enough that he mingled with high Pentagon officers and perhaps picked up bits of information. Shad- tin's prominent friends included Ad-. miral Rufus L. Taylor, the director of naval intelligence. CONY 19U~D Approved For Release 2004/07/08 : CIA-RDP81 M00980R002000100023-4 Approved For ReleaselgQ9 A;Y gjA7WFI?OIMLl 980R002000100023-4 size, the KGB is a bureaucracy whose busses regard it as quite an achieve- ment to penetrate one of their men deep into the enemy camp, even if he produces little of value. In his purported pose as double agent, Shadrin went through the mo- tions of encountering his KGB coun- terparts in Washington and in such cities abroad as Montreal and Vien- na. The guess is that, after almost a decade of shadowy maneuvers, he de. cided to return home-or "come in from the cold," as spies would put it. ! interestingly enough, it was h rather than the CIA or FBI who pro- posed to meet the.KGB in Vienna in late . 1975-the rendezvous from which he vanished. Vienna is only a' short drive from the Czechoslovak-, frontier, and hardly the spot he would have selected had he consi"` dered himself in danger of a KGB"- kidnaping. The Shadrin mystery has inspired other interpretations, including the], official Kremlin theory that he was" murdered by the CIA as he attempt. ed to go back to the Soviet Union In the view of some experts, the Fluff:', sians made the extraordinary move'ot-~ publishing their account in order to obfuscate the case. It is impossible, as I have said, to document the version that Shadri'i was secretly representing the KGB.,It is equally impossible,, however, to verify the tale that he was snatched" away by Soviet agents. Plainly. though, the CIA bungled --either by failing to check out his bona fides thoroughly or by failing to-' prevent his abduction. But then, it hasn't been the first time that the; CIA has bungled. Approved For Release 2004/07/08 : CIA-RDP81 M00980R002000100023-4