1981: Ronald Reagan’s inauguration marks a new escalation in the United States’ Cold War with the USSR. Months later, François Mitterrand is elected president of France with the support of the French Communist Party. The predicted tension between these two men, however, is immediately defused when Mitterrand gives Reagan the Farewell dossier, a file he would later call “one of the greatest spy cases of the twentieth century.”
Vladimir Ippolitovich Vetrov, a promising technical student, joins the KGB to work as a spy. Following a couple of murky incidents, however, Vetrov is removed from the field and placed at a desk as an analyst. Soon, burdened by a troubled marriage and frustrated at a failing career, Vetrov turns to alcohol. Desperate and in need of redemption, in 1980 he offers his services to the DST, the French counterintelligence service. Thus Agent Farewell is born. Soon he is sneaking files and photographing sensitive documents, keeping the West informed of the USSR’s plans—right in the heart of KGB headquarters.
The most complete account of these dramatic events ever recorded, Kostin and Raynaud’s thorough investigation is a fascinating tour de force. Probing further into Vetrov’s psychological profile than ever before, they provide groundbreaking insight into the man whose life helped hasten the end of the Cold War.
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