The Soviet KGB helped spark last year's revolutions in Eastern European to put pro-Gorbachev, reform communists in power, former KGB double agent Oleg Gordievsky said Friday.
But the secret agents and their Communist Party bosses never expected the outpouring of anti-communist fervor that followed, and they were helpless to stop it, he said."Here they just lost because they wanted it to stop and it was impossible to stop the momentum, it was too late," said Gordievsky, who worked as a double agent for 13 years until he defected to Britain in 1985.
Gordievsky did not say where he learned about the alleged KGB involvement in Eastern Europe's tumult. He said he regularly meets U.S. government officials and analysts and is a consultant of the journal "Intelligence and National Security."
Dressed immaculately in a dark, double-breasted suit, the bespectacled Gordievsky, who turned 52 on Wednesday, was without his red-haired wig and beard disguise, a security precaution to foil would-be KGB assassins.
In an interview at a London hotel, he talked animatedly about his defection, which sparked a tit-for-tat expulsion of 31 Soviet and 31 British diplomats, trade representatives and journalists.
Despite the goodwill of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika and glasnost, Gordievsky would still face a death sentence in the Soviet Union.
"The feelings of irritation, evil and unpleasant feelings of jealousy and revenge in the KGB and among other traditional Soviet communist apparatchiks is still the same," he said.
Gordievsky, who said his father and brother were both KGB agents, became a double agent for the British while posted in Copenhagen in the early 1970s, he said, as a result of his disillusionment over the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.
The former spy was transferred to London, becoming one of the top KGB agents in Britain until he was recalled to Moscow and questioned about his activities.
Gordievsky eluded his KGB tail and escaped to the West, where he has co-authored "KGB: The Inside Story" to be published in Britain and the United States on Oct. 19.