Putin expresses deep condolences to the family, friends of veteran intelligence officer Alexei Botyan

President Putin and Intelligence officer Alexei Botyan
Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his deep condolences to the family and friends of intelligence officer Alexei Botyan “, a veteran of Soviet intelligence hailed for saving the Polish city of Krakow from being blown up by the Nazis during World War II, has died at 103.

Alexei Botyan, a legendary intelligence officer & strong person passed away. He led and took part in outstanding special operations that made an important contribution to the Great Victory”

President  Putin hailed Botyan as a “legendary intelligence officer” and a “true patriot” in a telegram of condolences.

Botyan died in Moscow on Thursday just three days after his 103rd birthday. He was born in 1917, 

The legendary intelligence officer grew up in Poland and took part in fighting with the Nazis as a Polish army soldier at the start of World War II. 

He then moved to the Soviet Union and was trained as an intelligence operative. When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, Botyan was sent behind enemy lines to join Soviet guerrilla groups in Ukraine and Belarus.

 In 1944, when the Soviet Red Army pushed the Nazis back beyond the Soviet border, Botyan was dispatched to Poland. In January 1945, Botyan oversaw an operation to destroy a depot of explosives that the Nazis had planned to use to blow up Krakow. 

The operation was later featured in a popular Soviet spy novel and a movie.

After the war, Botyan continued to work as an intelligence officer until he retired from the KGB in 1989. In recent years, he gave numerous interviews to Russian television and other media to describe his Krakow actions.

President Putin, in 2007 awarded Botyan Russia's highest honor, the Hero of Russia medal.

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