MOSCOW — British double agent Harold (Kim) Philby dismissed as "complete rubbish" suggestions he had been miserable since fleeing to Moscow 24 years ago but said he would like to return to England for a visit.
Latvian Radio, in an interview broadcast by Radio Moscow's English service on Saturday, asked Philby to comment on reports that he lived in poverty in the Soviet Union.
"Well, I could first of all say an extremely rude word, but I won't," he said. "But my question is, how do the people invent this sort of information?"
He added: "How can I be unhappy? I've got a wonderful wife, work with wonderful colleagues, not only in Moscow but all over the Soviet Union."
Philby, 76 and married to a Russian, said he had a comfortable flat in Moscow, access to foreign publications and the best available medical treatment.
"So all these stories about living in poverty and longing to go back to England are complete rubbish," he said.
The former head of the British secret service's Soviet section said, however, he would like to return to England "for a month to have a look around, see how it's changed."
Commenting that he was not "quite as strong and lively as I was 10, 20 years ago," Philby said he wished to be buried in the Soviet Union because he considers it to be "my own country ever since the 1930s."
Philby has shunned publicity in Moscow where he fled from Beirut in 1963.