MOSCOW — A former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst who committed suicide after spying for the Soviet Union was not a Soviet-born mole, the head of the KGB said today.
"He was an American. It seems he was born in Indiana," KGB chief Vladimir Kryuchkov said of Glenn Souther, whose obituary appeared in the Soviet press Tuesday.
Souther's adopted Russian name, Mikhail Y. Orlov, was used in his KGB obituary Tuesday in the Defense Ministry newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda, prompting speculation that he had been born in the Soviet Union.
Kryuchkov said Souther's parents, brother and sister had traveled to Moscow for the funeral. He said Souther was buried Monday in the military section of Kuntsevo Cemetery, the resting place of the late British traitor Kim Philby.
Born in Indiana
The FBI said Souther was born in Hammond, Ind., and went to high school in Cumberland, Me. He served in the Navy in the 1970s and then went to work as a civilian intelligence specialist in the 2nd Fleet headquarters in Norfolk, Va.
The 32-year-old Souther committed suicide because of psychological problems, Kryuchkov told foreign journalists during a break in proceedings at the Soviet Parliament, the Supreme Soviet.
Kryuchkov said Souther had been recruited by the KGB "several years" before his arrival in the Soviet Union. "We can be quite open about this," he said. "We have our spies, you have yours."
Souther disappeared from the United States in 1986 after being confronted by FBI agents on suspicion of spying. Moscow announced his defection last July.
The KGB chief said Souther left a Russian wife and daughter.