6 A Story of a French Spy Who Was Secretly Photographing USSR for Years

A Story of a French Spy Who Was Secretly Photographing USSR for Years

Posted on November 2, 2018 by tim


In September 1963, fifty five years ago, french citizen Julien Galeotti came to Vienna from Kiev. He was expelled from Soviet Union that day. His story became seven years before that. For the first time he arrive to USSR from Nice, trying to look like a normal tourist and a worker of French TV. However he instantly attracted attention of KGB and was suspected to be a spy, also was nicknamed as a “The Moustache”.  Here are his photos and his story.

KGB released some documents now and it seems he was suspected for making illegal photographs to discredit life in Soviet state. He was lagging behind tourist groups and walked around by himself trying to find something bad to photograph.

One year later he came again to USSR. Now to Odessa city. Here are people standing in line in Odessa.

KGB was watching him closely. Here is a KGB report extract: “He saw an old lady sitting on the street and made a photo of her. Then he photographed a line for taxi. Then he photographed a poor man on the market. Then made a photo of a NAVY harbor. Then photographed a trash bin. Then photographed poorly dressed people”.

A Soviet tank in Odessa.

Odessa market.

He also visited other cities – Sevastopol, Yalta, Batumi etc. He was coming each year on board of tourist cruise lines.

KGB was tracking him on board the cruise ships too.

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6 Responses to “A Story of a French Spy Who Was Secretly Photographing USSR for Years”

  1. Douglas says:

    Snap-happy Julien Galeotti is to be applauded. He has left us a wealth of photos which mostly document the life of the wonderful Russian people in the Soviet era.

  2. satto says:

    This soviet era spy paranoia has consecquences till now. Try to record anything in smaller city or village with your phone and you will get people asking why are you doing this.

  3. sszzrr says:

    KGB agent seemed to be a better phorographer than the frenchman.

  4. Géraldo says:

    I’m a french guy who recently travelled to St Petersburg for work.

    Now, secret services probably consider me as a spy since, during this travel, i get to St Petersburg suburbs Kuptchino just to see how was life there, how it looks in contrast of beautiful historical center. I did dozens of photos … Please Vladimir, do not blame me … i’m not a spy ;-)

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