Alexei Botyan

MOSCOW (AP) — Alexei Botyan, a veteran of Soviet intelligence hailed for saving the Polish city of Krakow from being blown up by the Nazis during World War II, has died at 103.

Botyan died in Moscow on Thursday just three days after his 103rd birthday.

Born in 1917, Botyan grew up in Poland and took part in fighting with the Nazis as a Polish army soldier at the start of World War II. He then moved to the Soviet Union and was trained as an intelligence operative.

In January 1945, Botyan oversaw an operation to destroy a depot of explosives that the Nazis had planned to use to blow up Krakow.

After the war, Botyan continued to work as an intelligence officer until he retired from the KGB in 1989.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)


Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today