The Konnov/Mikhailov/Bakourskii espionage crises of July–August 1947 and the Vyshinskii note on Raoul Wallenberg

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Abstract

This article addresses the causes and motives behind the Soviet decision to hand over the Vyshinskii note to the Swedish government in August 1947. In this note, signed by Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Ia. Vyshinskii, it was falsely claimed that the whereabouts of the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who had been arrested by the Soviet military counterespionage death to the spies (Smersh) on 17 January 1945, were unknown to the Soviet government. Wallenberg had presumably, the note laid down, died during the battle of Budapest in January 1945. On the basis of Soviet and Swedish documents, including recently declassified Soviet encrypted cables, this article examines the chain of events that preceded the decision to hand over the note. New findings among the Soviet encrypted cables suggest that the note may have had no link whatsoever to Wallenberg’s purported death on 17 July 1947. Instead a series of incidents, in particular a crisis in the relations between Sweden and the USSR following the disclosure in late July and early August 1947 of two cases of suspected Soviet military espionage in Sweden, may have been of critical importance for the decision to hand over the note.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History

Keywords

  • Raoul Wallenberg, Soviet foreign intelligence, Soviet foreign policy, Swedish foreign policy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-51
JournalJournal of Intelligence History
Volume17
Issue number1
Early online date2017 Nov 2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 2
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes