The drive of Cambridge Five
Today, in the period of global instability, experts and politicians look at historical experience, hoping that it will help to stop global war. Meanwhile, the intelligence services influenced and still influence the course of history to a much greater extent, than it may seem to average people. One of the most successful groups in the history of Soviet Union's intelligence services is the Cambridge Five. "As a result of a series of brilliant operations in the early and mid 1930s, we managed to recruit a certain number of graduates of the Cambridge University, the upper classes of British society. We call it five, but there were other members," historian Mikhail Bogdanov said.
According to him, the USSR received a huge help from Kim Philby, who reached very high positions in the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI-6; Donald Maclean, who reached high positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross. "Nuclear secrets are associated with their names. They made a huge contribution to the Battle of Kursk with their information," he noted. According to Bogdanov, "in a situation when British authorities started to flirt with Hitler, trying to direct him to the East, they [members of this group] knew that the only force that can crush fascism is the Soviet Union. It gave them energy, strength, it made them enter the ranks of fighters against fascism, inspired them to become our helpers, Soviet agents."
Political analyst, associate professor of MGIMO, Andrey Bezrukov, said that each member of the Cambridge Five represented intellectual elite of Britain. "When they are referred to as agents, I think people just underestimate their drive, their desire to change the world. Those were people, born somewhere around 1910, who saw the First World War when they were little boys, and realized that this injustice may reach their home. At that time, the division of classes was deeper than ever. 1% of the British elites owned almost 90% of the country. They chose justice, followed the path of anti-fascism. And Soviet Union was the stronghold of this social justice at the time. They were young, but they were highest professionals, who went through a war, through the instability of postwar Europe. They were convinced humanists, who fought for peace."
He compared this situation to the present, expressing opinion that "right now we return to the same world, to the same flagrant social division, when in Western Europe, and especially in the United States, 1% of the population owned 90% of the wealth."
In this regard, he mentioned the figure of Bernie Sanders, who, along with Hillary Clinton, was the main contender for the role of candidate from the Democratic Party at the US presidential election. Sanders has received more than 10 million votes during primaries and won in 23 states, but announced his withdrawal from the presidential race, supporting Clinton. "The fact that Sanders' phenomenon caused such a response indicates that the Western, American world, which is quite prosperous materially, wants justice. But we return to the time when international system is full of conflicts. There are great powers, which are once again fighting for a place under the sun, and the system can't hold them back. There are no more rules. 100 years later we are back to the same situation. Let's see how our world will respond. Then, the Cambridge Five responded by fighting for the idea through self-sacrifice. But they were the most educated people of Britain, the elite of elites," he stressed.