Monday, November 10, 2014

CIA Spy David Chavchavadze Dies

From The Washington Post:
David Chavchavadze, who died Oct. 5 at 90, was an American spy and a great-great-grandson of Czar Nicholas I of Imperial Russia. As a CIA case officer, he specialized in clandestine communications and surveillance in matters affecting his ancestral homeland. He did much of his work in Berlin in the years after World War II and at the start of the Cold War. His assignments included recruitment of Soviet agents.

By blood, he was connected to the Romanov dynasty that ruled Russia for 300 years. His mother, Nina, was a Russian princess and a great-granddaughter of Nicholas I, who was czar from 1825 to 1855. His father was Prince Paul of Georgia, a direct descendant of the former Caucasian kingdom’s last monarch, George XII, who died in 1801.

At the CIA, Mr. Chavchavadze fought the political heirs of the Bolshevik revolution that brought down the Romanovs in 1917. In 1918, the Bolsheviks executed Czar Nicholas II, his wife and their five children by firing squad in the cellar of a house at Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains.
Mr. Chavchavadze’s grandfather Prince Alexander Chavchavadze, a regimental commander in the czar’s army during World War I, was shot in a Georgian prison in 1931 by the Bolsheviks, who more than a decade earlier had overrun Georgia. His maternal grandfather, Grand Duke George Mikhailovich, a grandson of Czar Nicholas I, was shot in 1919 at the Fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul in Leningrad. His espionage career, he wrote in a memoir called “Crowns and Trenchcoats,” was spurred by a desire to “do something about the dangers of international communism.”

David Paul Chavchavadze was born on May 20, 1924, in London, where his parents, as members of the Russian nobility, had sought refuge from the revolution. (Read more.)

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