Oleg Kalugin, a man some credit with helping to foil the hard-line coup attempt against Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991—and others, including Vladimir Putin, have dubbed a traitor—did not appear to partake of the catered spread on Wednesday afternoon in the basement meeting room at the Discovery Times Square exhibit space. The occasion was a press luncheon pegged to the launch of SPY: The Secret World of Espionage, a traveling exhibition of Cold War memorabilia, and Major General Kalugin, now a professor with the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies in Alexandria, Virginia, was there to offer support—and perhaps to serve as something of a living relic himself.
Actually, maybe he wolfed down a turkey sandwich when we turned away. We can’t be sure, which is why we are not in the espionage game. But Maj. Gen. Kalugin has good reason to be careful. The former head of foreign counterintelligence for the KGB, he publicly denounced the agency, spoke up against corruption and vilified Mr. Putin as a war criminal over the war in Chechnya.