Gevork Vartanian, Soviet intelligence agent, Hero of the Soviet Union, died he was 87
(Russian: Гево́рк Андре́евич Вартаня́н; Armenian: Գևորգ Անդրեևիչ Վարդանյան; February 17, 1924 – January 10, 2012)
Vartanian was born to Armenian parents in Nor Nakhichevan, USSR. His father was a Soviet intelligence agent as well who was sent to Persia
in 1930, where he worked for 23 years under a cover of a wealthy
merchant. Gevork Vartanian was not even 16 when he went into
intelligence. In 1955, he graduated from the Institute of Foreign Languages, Yerevan. He is primarily responsible for thwarting Operation Long Jump, concocted by Adolf Hitler, headed by Ernst Kaltenbrunner, and led by Otto Skorzeny, which was an attempt to assassinate Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt at the Tehran conference in 1943.
Operation Long Jump
In 1942, Adolf Hitler decided to set the operation in motion. After
careful planning and deliberation under the personal supervision of
Security Police Chief Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Hitler sent his special
commando agent, Otto Skorzeny, along with six other men to rendezvous at
and spearhead the operation. The plan entailed the capture and/or
assassination of Josef Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin
The first tip-off about the planned attempt came from Soviet intelligence agent Nikolai Kuznetsov, under the alias of Wehrmacht Oberleutnant Paul Siebert, from Nazi-occupied Ukraine. Kuznetsov got a drunk SS
officer named Ulrich von Ortel to tell him about the attempt. Although
the scheduled date of the operation was not known, the fact that it
would take place was confirmed.
According to Vartanian, he had been assigned to recruit agents
beginning in 1940. He and his seven recruits had identified Nazi spies.
However, in the autumn of 1943, they were given a different task,
security for the upcoming conference. Six German radio operators had
been sent to Tehran as an advance team for the assassination.
Eventually, Vartanian and his men managed to find where the commando
unit was hiding.
From then on, the radio messages to Berlin were intercepted by Soviet
and British intelligence. However, one of the Germans managed to send a
coded message “we are under surveillance”. The operation was getting
off track and the main group led by Skorzeny never went to Tehran.
Vartanian was awarded with the Hero of the Soviet Union
medal. He met with Churchill’s granddaughter and was congratulated for
his great service to the Allies. Vartanian has been interviewed many
times. Al Gurnov of Russia Today
interviewed Vartanian on the eve of the Victory Day parade, which was
broadcast on May 9, 2008. It was revealed that Vartanian’s identity was
kept secret until the year 2000, when he finally received full credit
for putting a stop to the assassination plot.
Gevork Vartanian died at the age of 87 at Botkin hospital in Moscow on January 10, 2012.   
Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin attended the funeral and paid his respects to Vartanian’s widow Gohar.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
expressed his condolences to Vartanian’s friends and relatives. He
described Vartanian as “a legendary intelligence agent, a genuine
patriot of his country, a bright and extraordinary person… He took
part in splendid operations, which went down in the history of the
Russian foreign intelligence service. His death is an irretrievable loss
to his family and all those who knew and highly appreciated the
Condolences were also expressed by the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, Prime Minister of Armenia Tigran Sargsyan, President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Bako Sahakyan. 
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