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Evdokia Alexeevna Petrova interviewed by Robert Michael Manne [sound recording]
Bib ID 270983
Format AudioAudio [sound recording]
Author
Petrov, Evdokia, 1914-2002, Interviewee
 
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 1996 
4 digital audio tapes (ca. 316 min.) 
Summary

The interview deals with an important chapter in Australia's history during the Cold War era. Evdokia and Vladimir Petrova arrived in Australia in February 1951 to take up their positions as Secretary/Accountant and Embassy Consul at the Russian Embassy in Canberra. Both the Petrovs were secretly working for the KGB (i.e. the Russian Secret Service) from within the Embassy. The newly formed Australian Security Intelligence Organisation helped Mr Petrov to defect in early April 1954. The dramatic events later that month which led to Mrs Petrov's decision to defect were also reported worldwide. The circumstances surrounding the defection of both Mr & Mrs Petrov became known as the Petrov Affair. Mrs Petrov's knowledge of Soviet cipher codes was considered to be crucial information to not only Australian but also to British and American intelligence organisations.

In this interview Mrs Petrov recalls her early family life in Russia; her work for the Russian government in the 1930s; how she met her future husband, whom she married in 1941; their work at the Russian Embassy in Sweden from 1943 till 1947; upon their return to Moscow their continued work for the Russian government; circumstances which led to their appointment to minor positions at the Russian Embassy in Canberra in February 1951; their separate roles within the KGB organisation whilst in Australia; the defection to Australia of Mr Petrov and later that of Mrs Petrov; the Royal Commission on Espionage at which both the Petrovs consented to appear in open court; life after the Royal Commission.

Notes

Recorded on June 21 and 28, 1996; July 5 and 12, 1996 at Melbourne, Victoria.

Digital master available National Library of Australia ;

Index/Finding Aid Note Uncorrected transcript (typescript, 143 leaves) available. 
Subjects Petrov, Evdokia, 1914-2002 -- Interviews.  |  Petrov, Vladimir Mikhaĭlovich, 1907-1991.  |  Australia. Royal Commission on Espionage.  |  Espionage -- Australia.  |  Petrov affair.  |  Espionage, Soviet -- Australia.
Other authors/contributors Manne, Robert (Robert Michael), 1947-, Interviewer

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    ORAL TRC 3500
    Copy: Recording
    Special Collections Reading Room
    ORAL TRC 3500 (transcript)
    Copy: Transcript
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