Russia names square after British double agent and defector Kim Philby

British spy Kim Philby – who notoriously defected to Russia during the Cold War – will have a square named after him in Moscow, it has been announced.

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin backed the move to honour the Brit, who died in 1988.

But it has not been universally popular in the Russian capital, with many questioning if he was the most appropriate choice.

Philby, a member of the infamous Cambridge Spy Ring – alongside Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross – supplied vital information to Moscow from within MI5.

He joined the British intelligence service in 1940, and rose to head its counter-espionage division.

But he quit in 1951 amid suspicion that he had assisted Burgess and Maclean in defecting to Moscow.

In 1963 Philby himself defected, after being given political asylum and Soviet citizenship.

Despite believing he would be a colonel in the KGB, he found himself under virtual house arrest amid fears he would return to Britain.

He was given a hero’s funeral after he died of heart failure.

Last week foreign intelligence service chief Sergei Naryshkin unveiled a portrait of Philby at a Moscow gallery, and the move comes at a time of heightened tensions between Britain and Russia following the poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.

However The Guardian reports that many in Moscow were unaware of who Philby was.

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