Studia Historica Septentrionalia 58


Juho Kotakallio, The Agent Who Did Not Return.

In the autumn of 1925 a famous British agent, Sidney Reilly, travelled from New York to Paris, where he met with a Russian White General, Alexandr Kutepov, and a British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) officer, Ernest Boyce. Reilly was one of the most active anti-Bolshevik agents working worked against the Soviet regime. The men discussed a counter-revolutionary organisation, the Trust, which was operating inside the Soviet Union. They thought that the Trust could create a counter-revolution in the Soviet Union and lift anti-Bolshevik forces to power.

After the meeting Sidney Reilly continued to Finland, where he met with two couriers of Kutepov and the Trust. He was then informed that he needed to proceed to Vyborg to meet with representatives of the Trust. Vyborg was the nearest border city on the Finnish side before the Russo-Finnish border. After meeting with the representatives of the Trust, Reilly was convinced that the counter-revolutionary organisation was the solution to overthrow the Bolshevik regime. He relied on a Trust agent named Alexandr Yakushev, who promised him a safe visit to the Soviet Union. Reilly accepted the invitation to meet with the highest chiefs of the Trust in Leningrad and Moscow.

Reilly crossed the Russo-Finnish border in late September 1925. He travelled to Leningrad and Moscow, as planned, but was imprisoned by the Soviet secret police, the OGPU. It turned out that the Trust in fact was a plot created by the OGPU to destroy anti-Bolsheviks and white émigrés. Reilly was interrogated at the headquarters of the secret police and threatened with death sentence, which he had already been sentenced to in 1918. Reilly, who had survived before, could not avoid his destiny despite sharing information about his activities and accomplices, and was shot.

The fact that Reilly did not return to Finland raised questions about his destiny, which remained unanswered for years. Had he been shot at the border or had he defected to the Soviet side? Latest research has solved the mystery and undoubtedly established that agent Sidney Reilly died in Moscow 1925.

Takaisin Studia Historica Septentrionalia 58