Fitin, Pavel Mikhailovich (1907-1971)

Pavel Fitin

Pavel Fitin

Code name “Victor.”  Head of the NKVD foreign intelligence from 1939 to1946. Fitin was a 1932 graduate of the engineering department of Agricultural Academy in Moscow. From 1932 to 1934 and 1936 to 1938, he worked as head of the Agricultural Publishing House [“Sel’khozgiz”], serving in the Red Army in the intervening years. In March 1938, Fitin was recruited by the Communist Party and sent to the Higher School of the NKVD, where he underwent accelerated training in foreign intelligence. At the end of 1938, he was sent to the Fifth Department of GUGB NKVD, then the name for Soviet foreign intelligence.

After the ranks of the service were devastated by Stalinist purges, Fitin became the head of foreign intelligence in 1939 and managed to reanimate its operations.

Despite Fitin’s successes in organizing Soviet intelligence operations during World War II, he was removed from his top position in June 1946 and sent to Germany that December as assistant MGB representative. In 1947, Fitin was further demoted, and in 1951, he was discharged from the service without retirement benefits. In 1953, after the court trial of Lavrentii Beria, Fitin managed to find a civilian job as director of a photo shop at the Union of Soviet Friendship Societies, where he worked until his death.