Former Russian KGB leader Nikolai Leonov dies

Former Russian KGB leader Nikolai Leonov has died at the age of 94 after a long term illness.

The death occurred the same day that the U.S. and Russia announced a prisoner swap that involved a U.S. Marine.

A long-time Russian leader

“On April 27, after a serious long-term illness in the 94th year, retired lieutenant general, veteran of the Foreign Intelligence Service Nikolai Sergeevich Leonov passed away,” Russian outlet TASS reported.

The publication noted that Leonov was connected with Cuba’s Raul Castro.

“Nikolay Leonov was born on August 22, 1928 into a peasant family. After graduating from MGIMO in 1952, he was sent to work at a foreign literature publishing house. In April 1953 he was sent to Mexico, where he entered the Faculty of Philology at the University of Mexico.

“During these years, he met the Cuban revolutionary Raul Castro and Che Guevara. From 1956 to 1958 he again worked in the publishing house of foreign literature,” the report added.

A Latin American historian

VimBuzz noted that he was, “Recalled to Moscow in November 1956, Leonov was expelled from the foreign service and began to work as a translator for the official Soviet Spanish-language publishing house, Editorial Progreso, after opting to pursue a career as a Latin American historian.”

His death was recognized by the embassy of Cuba.

A well-known communist leader in Russia and Cuba, his death marks the end of an era that continues to cause controversy today.

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