How the Cold War Began: The Igor Gouzenko Affair and the Hunt for Soviet Spies

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On September 5, 1945, Soviet cipher clerk Igor Gouzenko severed ties with his embassy in Ottawa, Canada, reporting allegations to authorities of a Soviet espionage network in North America. His defection -- the first following the end of WWII, occurring less than a month after atomic bombs exploded over Japan -- sent shockwaves through Washington, London, and Ottawa. The three allies, who until weeks earlier had been aligned with the Soviets, feared that key atomic secrets had been given to Russian agents, affecting the ...

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