A square in Russian capital has been re-named after Kim Philby who is a British agent whom defected to the Soviet Union in 1963.

Russia renames a square inter capital in honour of a British agent

 This happened as a result of  UK and Russia being at lows not seen since the cold war over the poisoning of the former double agent Sergei Skripal, allegedly by Russian spies.

The re-naming of the park was commissioned by the mayor of moscow, according to a decree posted on a local government website.

 A city hall spokeswoman said she could not immediately comment on the decision, while local residents expressed surprise on social networks, saying Philby had nothing to do with the neighbourhood.

 Philby, who died in Moscow in 1988, was perhaps the best-known member of the Cambridge Five spy ring, a group of British establishment figures who were recruited to work for the Soviets.

 Philby, a senior MI6 officer, was exposed after passing information to Moscow over three decades. 

Philby recided  in central Moscow after hi defection, far from the windswept square in a relatively new part of the city that is almost exclusively made up of residential towers.

The agency has maintained Philby’s legacy, with a page on its website dedicated to him and the intelligence he provided during the second world war.

 The SVR director, Sergei Naryshkin, spoke at an event last year to mark the unveiling of a portrait of the spy at a gallery in Moscow.

 At the event, intelligence veterans suggested a street should be named after the defector because he enjoyed walking around the city.

 But several residents of Yasenevo district said on a neighbourhood Facebook group they had no idea who he was and wondered whether Moscow had run out of names of Russian writers to use.

 “They should have named the ramp leading to their campus after him instead,” wrote Katerina Reatsea, referring to the intelligence agency.


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