How the KGB Used Kids to Plant a Bug in the U.S. Embassy

A few weeks before the end of World War II, a delegation of youngsters from the Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization presented Ambassador W. Averell Harriman, the U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, with a carved wooden plaque of the Great Seal of the United States.

A sign of friendship in the closing days of the “Great Patriotic War,” as Russian history refers to the struggle against the Axis powers, the carved wooden replica of the great seal was an acknowledgment of American-Soviet friendship, presented by youths from an organization that was somewhat similar to America’s Boy Scouts. It seemed like an important step toward easing the already-rising tensions between the two powerful nations.

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