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Dear All, I am doing researches about Soviet Espionnage during the Thirties and Forties, in Europe and in the USA, and especially about the murder of Soviet defector Ignaz REISS (it was the very beginning of my researches, three years ago). One of the most active Soviet agent in New York during WWII was probably W. S. Pravdin, officially a TASS representative. Lots of VENONA messages are quoting him under the covername "Serguei". He met all the "stars" of American soviet underground networks: J. Coplon, White (meeting in SF etc). His wife Olga Borissovna was a contact of Elisabeth Bentley. Pravdin's official biography has been published in Moscow News in September, 1995. It has probably been written from his NKVD file and we can't alas consider it as exact nor exhaustive. One example: according to this biography, Pravdin has lived in the US from 1926 to 1928, being "unemployed". Actually he was not unemployed but imprisonned in Atlanta's penitenciary. Young Pravdin has been caught by US police and juged because he was... a bootlegger ;-) He told his life long to his friends that this imprisonment period was due to a tentative of helping russian anarchist to pass the US frontier. Very glorious explanation for a more prosaic reality :-) I would like to know if any of you have info about him or could help me to find more. According to his official biography, he has played a major role in Ignaz Reiss' murder. I have the pieces of evidences showing that Pravdin's former (and real) identity was Roland Abbiate, born in London on 15st August, 1905 from Louis Abbiate and Marguerite Mandelstam. He became Pravdin only after Reiss'murder, in 1937. I have found many things about Abbiate in french and swiss archives but I have nothing (or quite nothing) about his US activities and further. After his US stay he probably worked on Yugoslavian affairs (1946-1948). He has lived in Yugoslavia for years in the beginning of the Thirties (maybe contributing indirectly to king Aleksandr Ist murder in 1934) and was dismissed from MGB in 1948, the year of the "clash" between Stalin and Tito. He belonged to Beria's men, came back between May and July, 1953, then was sacked again and committed suicide in 1970 (according to Mitrokhin's archives, but I am not sure of that point). I think he was a friend of Sudoplatov, who quotes him in his Memoirs. As a French historian, I am not familiar with US sources and archives. I think there might be lots of things about Pravdin and some of his comrades. Could you help me finding these materials? I apologize if this message does not fit the requirements of this list. In its archives I have found some debates about Elisabeth Bentley and so on, that's why I thought it could be a good place to post this humble bottle to the sea. Thank you in advance Sincerely yours Loic Damilaville