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vasili mitrokhin’s archive. what worried paul keating?

A series of comments from Rob Nowak is reproduced below:

Hi Pete, Clive, Gordon, comrades!

While I am not entirely convinced about the spy scenario, regarding the apparent suppression & avoidance of information in the Somerton Man case, has anyone considered the suppression of the ‘Mitrokhin archive’ material relating to Australia by the Keating government? That a Labor government was in power in 1948 may be a motivation for this and other relatively recent disappearances of archival material noted by some researchers. Just a passing thought which is about as good as it gets from me. I trust everyone survived Xmas and will have an adequate New Year!

I came across some stuff about it today and found that Keating in 1992 had somehow had reference to Australia omitted from published parts of the archive..I made a more general inquiry simply /Australia, Mitrokhin. That yielded quite a few articles. I haven’t the time or skills to look deeply into it but it looked interesting & the one article I read (here: seemed to confirm that there was little in the two published volumes about Australia. This began with a little reading about Hollis – thanks to curiosity piqued right here.

One of the great mysteries of the two fat volumes on the Mitrokhin archive that Christopher Andrew authored between 1992 and 2005 is that they tell us next to nothing about KGB (to say nothing of GRU) operations in Australia. Nor has any other account about those operations surfaced, whether based on the Mitrokhin archive or any other archival sources. To the best of my knowledge, in the case of the Mitrokhin documents this is because the files on Australia were suppressed in 1992 at the request of the Keating government, and have never been released for scholarly or journalistic analysis. This speaks to a self-protectiveness on the part of the Australian Labor Party and ASIO which is every bit as dubious as that in Britain.”
This is from quadrant but seems reasonable:


The mitrokhin archives.

header pic – Mitrokhin


Cambridge University site


The Mitrokhin Archive is a collection of handwritten notes made secretly by KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin during his thirty years as a KGB archivist in the foreign intelligence service and the First Chief Directorate. When he defected to the United Kingdom in 1992 he brought the archive with him – Wikipedia.


“The Mitrokhin files range in time from the immediate aftermath of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution to the eve of the Gorbachev era,” Christopher Andrew.

From 1948, Mitrokhin worked in foreign intelligence before being assigned to the KGB foreign intelligence archives.


17 AUGUST 2011 AT 9:56 AM

I’m disappointed that the release of the Mitrokhin Archive didn’t wrap this up for us. Assuming Vasili Mitrokhin is legit, this surely should have merited a mention if there was any involvement on the part of the Soviets.

Lifted from comments. BigSky was onto it six years ago. As was Ellen just last month.


We know why Keating wanted to keep a few things quiet in 1992, and they didn’t concern anything that happened in 1948. We don’t know if anyone has searched the Mitrokhin archives for files relevant to year: 1948, and place: Australia.


3 Comments Post a comment
  1. ellen #

    According to Pincher, up to 1948 the KGB traffic to and from Canberra had used a code system that had been deciphered, “but shortly after Hollis had returned to Britain in 1948, it was changed and decipherment was never possible again.”

    Hollis didn’t want to let Australia in on the secrets. As a result, all the contribution of many patriots was lost. He didn’t want MI5 to be embarrassed by how badly they had been penetrated by spies. Could this be why the Somerton Man case has still not been solved?

    January 6, 2017
  2. A question nags at me – ‘by what measure is there assurance that the text ‘Tamam Shud’, printed on a scrap of paper supposedly torn from a copy of The Rubaiyat, would be in the same typeface as the rest of the volume?’

    It is not at all unusual for a message, especially something which is meant to be so poignant as to be printed on a page to itself, to differ from the main body.

    What I would think unusual, would be for the entire volume to have been printed in such a typeface – and whilst I’ve never even seen a copy of The Rubaiyat and the question has only been nagging at me for approximately the duration of an Army Club, I feel that it is a stink which will linger on the mind longer than the taint of cheap tobacco smoke on our well manicured fingers.

    January 31, 2017
    • Exactly Ms Winterfield – and what an attractive name for a woman who is able to match it with such silky prose, however I would suggest you turf the Army Club smokes and try a Cooban cheroot, they still stink to high heaven but there is a certain je ne sais quoi about the person seen smoking them.

      February 1, 2017

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