Reino Häyhänen

Reino Häyhänen (14th May 1920 – 17th February 1961) was a Bolshevik spy who defected from the Soviet Union to the United States in May 1957. Häyhänen surrendered information on Bolshevik espionage activities that led to the arrest of his KGB partner Rudold Abel real name William August Fisher and other Soviet spies in the United States and Canada. Reino Häyhänen was born on in the village of Kaskisaari in Saint Petersburg Governorate, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, into a Finnish Farming family. An Honours student he received a certificate to teach in 1939 and in the September was appointed to the faculty of a school in the village of Lipitsy. However, only two months later, Häyhänen was conscripted by the NKVD following the Bolshevik invasion of Finland starting the Winter War. Häyhänen was assigned as an interpreter for an NKVD group due to his Finnish background and fluency in the Finnish language. At the end of the Winter War in March 1940, Häyhänen was assigned to identify pro-Finnish and pro-democratic elements among the intelligentsia. Häyhänen became a respected expert in Finnish intelligence matters and in May 1943, was accepted into membership in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Following WWII Häyhänen was set the task of identifying dissidents elements to the Bolshevik regime among the local citizens. In the summer of 1948 Häyhänen learned English, receive special training in photographing documents and how to encode and decode messages. In the summer of 1949, Häyhänen entered Finland via the Soviet naval base in Porkkala as Eugene Nicolai Mäki, an American-born labourer, and would later be stationed in the United States. In May 1957, Häyhänen telephoned the United States Embassy in Paris and arrived at the Embassy for an interview. He said: “I’m an officer in the Soviet intelligence service. For the past five years, I have been operating in the United States. Now I need your help.” With Häyhänen’s help, the FBI was able to expose Mikhail Nikolaevich Svirin and William August Fisher (aka Rudolph Ivanovich Abel). In addition Häyhänen (code name “Vic”) told the FBI about Vitali G. Pavlov, one-time Soviet embassy official in Ottawa, Canada; Aleksandr Mikhailovich Korotkov; and U.S. Army Sergeant, Roy Rhodes (code name “Quebec”), who had once worked in the garage of the U.S. embassy in Moscow. Häyhänen apparently died in an auto mobile accident on 17th February 1961 only 4 years after his defection. Described as “mysterious” by author Phillip J. Bigger, it was likely an assassination committed by Bolshevik agents.

%d bloggers like this: