British archives reveal details of famous Cold War scandal

British intelligence records released on Tuesday reveal that an osteopath at the center of a notorious Cold War sex and espionage scandal acted as a go-between for the Soviet Union during the Cuban missile crisis. The United Kingdom is investigating the possible involvement of Soviet spies in the sulphurous Profumo affair in documents previously kept secret by British intelligence agency MI5.

John Profumo, the British war minister and rising star of the Tories, was forced to resign in June 1963, in the middle of the Cold War, after admitting an affair with a foot-girl, Christine Keeler, at the same time. Affair with Soviet military aide Eugene Ivanov in London.

The scandal cost the conservatives power in the following legislative elections.

Profumo and Ivanov were introduced to Christine Keeler by the same person: Stephen Ward, a renowned orthopedic surgeon who counted Conservative MPs among his patients but was a Soviet “collaborator” according to MI5 findings.

In a report written in 1965, intelligence concluded that there was “no conclusive evidence” that the scandal was the result of a “Soviet incitement program.”

But he adds details about the protagonists of the case, and we learn that Ward served as an intermediary during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

“During the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, the Russians used Ivanov and Ward not only to elicit reactions from the “British” government, but also to “put pressure on the American government and, if possible, weaken the resolve of the West,” MI5 noted at the time.

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