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15-Jul-2017 08:04

Dudley Philby, known to friends as Tommy, is the third of the spy’s five children, all by his second wife, Aileen.

Neglected by her husband, Aileen died of respiratory failure in 1957 at the age of 47.

After a quarter of a century in the shadows, Kim Philby was finally on his way to the spiritual home he had visited only in his thoughts.

The defection of Philby to the Soviet Union on January 23 1963 is one of the great dramatic moments of the Cold War.

“I got a letter many months later when he was in Moscow,” he says.

“He kept everything secret but he was a very good father. I didn’t really enjoy Moscow – I like my whisky.” Philby’s nocturnal escape was prompted by a visit by Nicholas Elliott, who had served as MI6 station chief in Beirut and was sent to extract a confession from his old friend.

Some of those operations were no doubt doomed to failure for other reasons, but the full extent of their failure is down to Philby.” Has Tommy’s life been blighted by association with his father? “I have excellent friends, and my health.” Late 20th-century Russia did not turn out to be the socialist paradise envisaged by Philby during his gilded youth at Cambridge.The Kremlin was receiving fewer approaches from potential agents in the West and needed to show it was able to offer its moles a happy retirement.Despite being dried out, Philby was never formally appointed to the KGB.Modern England probably wouldn’t have suited him, either. He didn’t regret coming, though, and he never talked of going home.

Towards the end, he said, 'This is the golden sunset of my life.’ ” Harold Adrian Russell 'Kim’ Philby died in Moscow in 1988, aged 76, one of the most resourceful traitors of the 20th century.Philby may not have deserved salvation but he found it to a degree in his fourth wife, Rufina Pukhova, who made up for the depressing reality of his new life in Russia.“Kim didn’t regret fleeing to the Soviet Union but he was disappointed about some of what he saw here,” Rufina says from Moscow today.With his departure that night, the humiliation inflicted on Britain’s secret world by the Cambridge Spy Ring was almost complete.

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