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Around the year 2000, FBI agents discovered that there were multiple groups of Russian spies posing as Americans in the United States. According to Alan Kohler, assistant director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division, "Operation Ghost Stories was probably the largest FBI counterintelligence investigation in history."

According to FBI agents, the spies were trained in Russia to blend into everyday American life by marrying, getting jobs, and raising families while also sending encoded messages back home. The spies led two lives.

FBI agents bugged the spies' homes, followed their travels, and eventually cracked their secret communications network for more than a decade.

KGB, Russian in full Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti, is English Committee for State Security, foreign intelligence and domestic security agency of the Soviet Union. During the Soviet era the KGB’s responsibilities also included the protection of the country’s political leadership, the supervision of border troops, and the general surveillance of the population. Nowadays, there are lots of KGB spies working in the US.

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Soviet Spy

Prior to the Cold War, the primary function of Soviet espionage in the United States was to act as a listening post for the rest of the world, with the greatest emphasis placed on gathering intelligence on Japan and Germany's war plans. However, in the long tradition of Russian espionage services dating back to Peter the Great, Soviet spies in the United States did everything they could to buy or steal American secrets—scientific, technical, military, and political information—with the assistance of American agents.

They worked in an environment marked by secrecy, ignorance, and fear. Before and during the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union knew little and understood even less about one another.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), founded in 1947, did not have a station in Moscow until the early 1960s; Richard Helms, the agency's director during that decade, now jokes that there were no files on the Soviet Union in the agency's early days, and that analysts were better off doing research at the Library of Congress. After President Roosevelt granted them diplomatic recognition and allowed them to open embassies and consulates in the United States in 1933, the Soviets began compiling their files. There are spies wherever there are diplomats (including one Soviet ambassador).

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The KGB, Russian for Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti, is the English Committee for State Security, the Soviet Union's foreign intelligence and domestic security agency. During the Soviet era, the KGB was also responsible for the protection of the country's political leadership, the supervision of border troops, and general population surveillance. There are many KGB spies working in the United States today.

In this article, summarized a list of 10 most well-known Soviet spies operating within the US.

Top 10 Soviet Spies Operating Within the United States

1. Bela Gold

Bela Gold was born in Kolozsvár on January 30, 1915. (then in Austria-Hungary, now Cluj-Napoca, in Romania). His parents were Esther (born 1891), a dry goods salesman, and Leo Gold (born 1890). William Gold was his brother (born 1921). The family immigrated to the United States in 1920.

Gold began working at the Senate Subcommittee on War Mobilization in the early 1940s, while his wife Sonya also worked in government, briefly for Harry Dexter White. For a time in the 1940s, J. Edgar Hoover's Federal Bureau of Investigation spied on the Golds.

2. Elizabeth Zarubina

Elizabeth Zarubina was a Soviet spy, an MGB podpolkovnik. While in the United States, she was known as Elizabeth Zubilin. Elizaveta Gorskaya was another alias.

In 1941, the Zarubins were sent to the United States, where Vasily was to serve as the first secretary to the Soviet Union's Embassy, and Zarubina was to collect information about the development of nuclear weapons in the United States, as well as to recruit engineers working close to the Manhattan Project as their agents.

Paul Massing informed the NKVD in August 1942 that his friend, Franz Neumann, had recently joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Massing informed Moscow that Neumann had informed him that he had completed a study of the Soviet economy for the OSS's Russian Department.

Zarubina met with Neumann in April 1943 "For the first time, (Zarubina) met with (Neumann), who promised to send us all of the data that passed through his hands. According to (Neumann), he receives numerous copies of reports from American ambassadors... and has access to German-related materials."

According to Jerrold and Leona Schecter, Zarubina was "one of the most successful operators in stealing atomic bomb secrets from the United States".Together with Gregory Kheifetz (the Soviet vice-consul in San Francisco from 1941 to 1944), she supposedly set up a social ring of young communist physicists around Robert Oppenheimer at Los Alamos to transmit nuclear weapon plans to Moscow, and befriended him in order to achieve her goal, according to the memories written by Gen. Pavel Sudoplatov.

3. Nathan Gregory Silvermaster

Nathan Gregory Silvermaster (November 27, 1898 – October 7, 1964) was the head of a large ring of Communist spies in the United States government during World War II. The FBI Silvermaster File, which documents the Bureau's investigation into Communist penetration of the Federal government during the 1930s and 1940s, gets its name from him. Helen, his wife, and Anatole Volkov, his stepson, were both members of his ring.

In the Venona decrypts, he was identified as a Soviet agent in the WPB operating under the code names Pel, Pal, and "Paul," and as "Robert" both in Venona and independently by defecting Soviet intelligence courier Elizabeth Bentley.

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4. Elizabeth Bentley

Top 10 Well-Known Soviet Spies Operating Within the United States

Elizabeth Terrill Bentley (January 1, 1908 – December 3, 1963) was a Communist Party USA spy and member (CPUSA). She worked for the Soviet Union from 1938 to 1945, when she defected from the Communist Party and Soviet intelligence by contacting the FBI and admitting her own activities.

She rose to prominence after testifying in several trials and before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Bentley became a US informant in 1952, and the FBI compensated her for her participation in investigations and frequent appearances before Congressional committees. She exposed two spy networks, eventually naming more than 80 Americans she claimed were involved in espionage.

5. Aldrich Hazen

Aldrich Hazen, born on May 26, 1941, is a former CIA officer turned KGB double agent who was convicted of espionage in 1994. He is serving a life sentence in the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre Haute, Indiana, with no chance of parole.

Ames was a 31-year CIA counterintelligence officer who spied for the Soviet Union and Russia against the United States.

Until Robert Hanssen was arrested seven years later in 2001, Ames was known to have compromised more highly classified CIA assets than any other officer.

Donald Niven Wheeler was born in White Bluffs, Washington, on October 23, 1913.

6. Mark Zborowski

Mark Zborowski (27 January 1908 – 30 April 1990) was an anthropologist and NKVD agent (Venona codenames TULIP and KANT). During the 1930s and 1940s, he was the NKVD's most valuable mole inside the Trotskyist organization in Paris and New York.

7. Whittaker Chambers

Top 10 Well-Known Soviet Spies Operating Within the United States

Whittaker Chambers (April 1, 1901 – July 9, 1961) was an American writer-editor who, after early years as a Communist Party member (1925) and Soviet spy (1932-1938), defected from the Soviet underground (1938), worked for Time magazine (1939-1948), and then testified about the Ware Group in what became known as the Hiss case for perjury (1949-1950), all described in his 1952 memoir Witness. Following that, he worked as a senior editor at National Review (1957–1959). In 1984, US President Ronald Reagan posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

8. Theodore Alvin Hall

Theodore Alvin Hall (October 20, 1925 – November 1, 1999) was an American physicist and Soviet Union atomic spy who, while working on the Manhattan Project to develop the first and second atomic bombs during WWII, gave Soviet intelligence a detailed description of the "Fat Man" plutonium bomb and several processes for purifying plutonium.

His brother, Edward N. Hall, was a rocket scientist who led the United States Air Force's program to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile, personally designing the Minuteman missile and convincing the Pentagon and President Eisenhower to include it as a key component of the nation's strategic nuclear triad.

9. George Blake

George Blake was a double agent for the Soviet Union and a spy with Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). While imprisoned during the Korean War, he became a communist and decided to work for the MGB. He was discovered in 1961 and sentenced to 42 years in prison before escaping in 1966 from Wormwood Scrubs prison in west London and fleeing to the Soviet Union.

He was not one of the Cambridge Five spies, though after reaching the Soviet Union, he became friends with Donald Maclean and Kim Philby.

10. Harry Dexter White

Top 10 Well-Known Soviet Spies Operating Within the United States

Harry Dexter White (October 29, 1892 – August 16, 1948) was a senior Treasury Department official in the United States. Working closely with Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr., he helped shape American financial policy toward World War II Allies. Later, he was charged with espionage for passing information to the Soviet Union.

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