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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

A Soviet tank in Odessa.

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

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

Odessa market.

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

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

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

KGB was tracking him on board the cruise ships too.

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

When he came again to Odessa in 1963 he was already expected there to go to a harbor – and he came.

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

So he was arrested in a harbor. Here is KGB report. He was searched but no photo film was found on him. He managed to give it to another frenchman who hid it into the bus seat.

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

Here is his photo that was made by KGB agent. “Object Moustache on a boulevard making a photo of Odessa harbor”

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

At first he tried to tell KGB he worked only for himself – no French secret service involved. But later admited that during his last trip he also was having a task from French service.

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

That year he was sent away from USSR without being accused of anything because same year two KGB under cover agents in France

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

When he returned to France it’s said he was saying “I can’t go any more to USSR but I can’t say I want to do this either”

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

And here are a few more of his photos:

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

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

People lining up before bakery

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

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

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

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

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

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

And those are photographs of him being sent away from USSR.

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

  1. 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. 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. 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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