Bridge of Spies - RUDOLF ABEL at RISK

Rudolf Abel began to worry about his fellow spy, Reino Hayhanen, when the man who was supposed to be his assistant began drinking too much alcohol. This image, by an unknown photographer, depicts Hayhanen as he appeared in 1957.


By 1954, Abel’s principal Stateside contact—an ethnic Finn named Reino Hayhanen who was also living in Brooklyn—began to worry the Russian master spy.

Hayhanen, together with his wife, frequently consumed vast quantities of alcohol. How could Abel trust a co-worker who was frequently inebriated?

Abel complained to his superiors, in Russia, that Hayhanen had to be replaced. Moscow agreed but, in the meantime, instructed Abel to exercise care:

Fisher returned to New York [from a trip to Russia] in December and learned that during his absence Hayhanen had embezzled $5,000 that was supposed to have been delivered to an agent.

Hayhanen also had shrouded the windows of the photographic shop he was supposed to be operating as a cover, thus drawing attention to the place.

Hayhanen and his wife drank such quantities of whiskey that the garbage collectors threatened to stop picking up the empty bottles. (See the CIA article, authored by Richard S. Friedman, entitled “A Stone for Willy Fisher.”)

Spies have to be careful not to actually meet each other, but Abel met Hayhanen in 1956. He told his assistant he ought to take a vacation.

Soon thereafter, the alcohol-loving spy received a message from Moscow. It ostensibly contained two pieces of good news. Not only had Hayhanen been approved for home leave, he’d been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

Hayhanen was an intelligent man who spoke three languages. He realized this was not good news at all. His insights led him to believe that he was being summoned to Moscow for something quite different than a promotion.

He was right.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Sep 22, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

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"RUDOLF ABEL at RISK" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 22, 2015. May 27, 2020.
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