Who was British spy George Blake and how did he escape from prison?

GEORGE Blake was a British spy knowns for handing over some of the most classified western secrets to Moscow – He died today aged 98.

Most know about his infamous escape from a London prison in 1966, but here's all the other details you might have missed.

Who was spy George Blake?

George Blake was a British spy who worked as a double agent for the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War.

He was born with the surname Behar in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 1922.

He had a Dutch mother and an Egyptian Jewish father who was a naturalised Briton.

As a Cambridge university student, he read Russian before being sent on a mission to gather intelligence in Seoul, North Korea, which changed his life.

Blake became a communist after being captured and imprisoned by North Korean troops.

He was released in 1953 and returned to the UK.

In 1955, he was sent by MI6 to Berlin, where he collected information on Soviet spies but also passed secrets to Moscow about British and US operations.

Blake exposed a crucial plan to spy on Soviet communications from an underground tunnel into East Berlin.

He also revealed undercover British agents in Soviet bloc countries in Eastern Europe, some of whom were executed.

After 9 years of selling western information, Blake was caught out as a mole and sentenced to 14 years in prison on three counts – a 42-year term.

When did he escape from prison?

Blake never completed the full 42 years in Wormwood Scrubs prison in London.

He famously escaped in 1966, with the help of two peace activists and other inmates.

He escaped to Russia where he was made a KGB colonel and given a pension and an apartment in Moscow.

In 2007,he was awarded an award by Vladimir Putin.

How did he die?

His cause of death has not been confirmed.

However, Russia's SVR foreign intelligence agency confirmed the news.

Aa spokesman said: "We received some bitter news – the legendary George Blake passed away."

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