Moscow square named after British double agent Kim Philby

AP

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FILE - In this file photo dated Nov. 8, 1955, Former British diplomat and journalist Harold "Kim" Philby faces the media at his parents' London house. The Mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin on Tuesday Nov. 6, 2018, decreed that a square near the headquarters of Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service be named after Kim Philby, the Briton who was the most successful Soviet double agent of the Cold war period. (AP Photo)

MOSCOW (AP) — The mayor of Moscow has decreed that a square near the headquarters of Russia's SVR foreign intelligence service be named after Kim Philby, the Briton who was the most successful Soviet double agent of the Cold War period.

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin signed the order on Tuesday. The move comes amid tensions between Russia and Britain over this year's nerve agent poisoning of Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.

Philby joined Britain's MI6 foreign intelligence service in 1940, eventually heading its counterespionage division and serving as intelligence liaison with the United States. He resigned in 1951 under suspicion that he had tipped off two other double agents, who fled to Moscow.

Philby defected to the Soviet Union in 1963, where he died in 1988.

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