KGB bugged Profumo, Keeler to obtain nuke secrets

      Russian spy agency KGB planted bugs to eavesdrop on former British War Minister John Profumo’s pillow talk with his lover Christine Keeler. According to newly released top-secret files, the KGB persuaded Keeler to question Profumo about Britain’s nuclear arsenal. According to the Daily Mail, the files reveal that the Russians obtained ‘a lot of information’ which threatened to undermine Western security, contradicting the long-term view that the affair did not damage UK security and that no secrets were leaked to Russia. Keeler affair with Profumo and a Soviet spy caused a crisis in the British Government in 1963. The files also reveal details of society dinner parties descending into debauched orgies, with, on one occasion, a naked Government Minister acting as a waiter. Unknown to Profumo, Keeler was also involved with Yevgeni Ivanov, a naval attache at the Soviet embassy in London. The affair’s exposure in 1963 led to Profumo’s resignation and rocked Prime Minister Harold Macmillan’s Government. The FBI files, declassified under the US Freedom of Information Act, reveal Keeler confessed Ivanov asked her to obtain information about the movement of Britain’s nuclear warheads and that the operation led to Profumo being a ‘blackmail victim’. The files suggest the US, during delicate negotiations between Macmillan and President John F. Kennedy on the sale of the Polaris missile to the UK, feared defence secrets had been compromised. The US took the affair so seriously, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover hand-delivered a note to US Attorney General Robert Kennedy, JFK’s brother, warning of the risks.

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