If you’re a history buff, you might be exceptionally interested in the most famous American and Russian spies during the Cold War, and you may know of a few of them already.
The Cold War is one of the strangest and most drawn out moments in US history, and was, in fact, not even a war at all. It was basically just Russia (then the Soviet Union) and the US threatening each other back and forth for about 50 years until it finally ended. There was a lot of tension during this time period between capitalism and communism. The US has always been pretty hellbent on getting everyone on the capitalist boat, but communist countries believe that communism is the better economic and government model. This led to a lot of interference by governments in other countries.
There was a lot of fear of the Soviet Union in the US during the ’40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s because the US was scared that spies were being sent in to evaluate their every move and overthrow the government in favor of a communist regime. The paranoia that existed is substantial. Some spies did exist and infiltrate the country, but a lot of the fear was displaced at people who literally didn’t even know what was going on. I’ve yet to actually watch that FX show The Americans, but I’m pretty sure the whole premise of that show is Russian spies in the US during the Cold War time period, so if you’re really interested in this whole thing you should check that out. You can also check out the world’s deadliest intelligence agencies, which also use spies to complete missions.
In order to compile this list, we searched for some reliable and reputable sources that have done a lot of research on this topic. We used CNN, Time Magazine, and History to find some examples of spies. To rank them for our list, we took their rankings on those sources and then averaged them. There isn’t necessarily a more quantitative way to rank them than that, so this is the most accurate way to do so.
Keep reading to learn more about the most famous American and Russian spies during the Cold War.