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El caso Orlov: los servicios secretos soviéticos en la guerra civil española

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The Orlov File: soviet intelligence services in the Spanish civil war, 1936-1939
Boris Volodarsky
Crítica (June 2013)

'It is probably time to start writing a new history of the Spanish Civil War', explains Boris Volodarsky who was captain of the Soviet Military Intelligence (GRU) and is a leading expert in the Soviet intelligence history.

The new documentation available today gives an opportunity to learn much more about Soviet intervention in Spain and the role played by Soviet agents: Gerö, Grigulevich, Philby (sent, first of all, to assassinate Franco), Koltsov and by the legendary figure by the name of Lev Nikolsky better known in Spain as 'Alexander M. Orlov'. The man who deceived Stalin, Hoover, and many CIA directors including Allen Dulles and Richard Helms, as well as professional historians by his writings and testimonies. From February 1937 Orlov was at the helm of the NKVD (predecessor of the KGB) in Spain and was personally responsible for the bloody terror including the assassinations of Andreu Nin and Kurt Landau.

This book, which reveals a lot of myths, falsehoods and lies that continue to be repeated until this day, is undoubtedly an indispensable reference for anyone who intends to study the Spanish Civil War.

  • Boris Volodarsky is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies at LSE.

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"The titanic effort of the author deployed during the last ten years will now become known in two major languages of the world. Future generations of scholars, historians, journalists and authors will be forced to consider a story that skilfully combines knowledge, evidence based on primary sources and professionalism. I venture to think that little can be said about the international framework of civil war without reference to this book. I also would suggest that some historians of note (Spanish, British, American, French, German, Italian, Russian and others) will have to review their contributions, many of which now become obsolete. Something, that is quite normal in historiographical progress."
Professor Angel Vinas


El caso Orlov