Defiant Defectors and Rebellious Refugees

A project looking at the brave people who have defected from or been forced to flee from their home countries.

While defectors could be an important symbol for a country or a coup for an intelligence agency, they were also human beings that were forced to flee their home country. Similarly, refugees are “displaced” by everything from conflict to famine. Their stories not only provide insight into our shared histories, they shape geopolitics in profound ways. A displaced group disrupts whatever balance there was in the surrounding areas, increasing social stresses and sometimes depleting resources. Failing to deal with refugees in a proactive way enhances the tragedy of displacement, for everyone.

2 Articles

FBI file reveals numerous contradictions in the curious case of Sergei Kourdakov

FBI file reveals numerous contradictions in the curious case of Sergei Kourdakov

Shortly before he was set to testify before Congress, Soviet defector Sergei Kourdakov’s “accidentally” committed suicide with a gun the Central Intelligence Agency allegedly told him to illegally get - and the Federal Bureau of Investigation refused to investigate.

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The mysterious death of a Soviet defector with ties to alleged CIA-funded Christian group

The mysterious death of a Soviet defector with ties to alleged CIA-funded Christian group

Sergei Kourdakov’s story is controversial, unusual, and utterly unforgettable. From when the Soviet defector swam from a Russian trawler to Canada until his supposed accidental suicide with a gun a Central Intelligence Agency officer allegedly told him to illegally get shortly before he would testify before Congress, his tale is straight out of a pulp fiction spy thriller - with an evangelical twist complete with bible smugglers who may have had CIA ties of their own.

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36 Requests

Awaiting Appeal

5 files

Deriabin

Emma Best sent this request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America

Awaiting Appeal

4 files

Deriabin

Emma Best sent this request to the U.S. Department of State of the United States of America

No Responsive Documents

3 files

Donaldina Cameron

Emma Best sent this request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America

Awaiting Response

2 files

Edward Kline

Emma Best sent this request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America

No Responsive Documents

2 files

Justin Capra

Emma Best sent this request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America

Awaiting Response

2 files

Kourdakov

Emma Best sent this request to the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America

Awaiting Appeal

16 files

Kourdakov

Emma Best sent this request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America

Awaiting Response

2 files

Kravchenko

Emma Best sent this request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America

Awaiting Response

1 file

Lyalin

Emma Best sent this request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America

Awaiting Response

2 files

Mira Slovak

Emma Best sent this request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America

Awaiting Response

1 file

Mitrokhin

Emma Best sent this request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America