The Atlantic

Cold War Tactics Return to Britain

Spies, intrigue, and expulsions are back in a way not seen in decades.
Source: Toby Melville / Reuters

The last time the United Kingdom moved to expel Russian diplomats en masse, it was during the depths of the Cold War. The defection of a top KGB officer in 1971 revealed the scope of the Soviet Union’s espionage apparatus in the U.K., prompting the British government to banish 91 suspected Soviet intelligence officials, in the country as diplomats, in response. Moscow responded in furious fashion, calling the British espionage claims “,” and retaliated with its own expulsions. The moment marked a new low in Anglo-Soviet relations, which wouldn’t improve

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