Oleg Penkovsky

1919 - 1963

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Oleg Vladimirovich Penkovsky (Russian: Олег Владимирович Пеньковский; 23 April 1919 – 16 May 1963), codenamed HERO, was a Soviet military intelligence (GRU) colonel during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Penkovsky informed the United States and the United Kingdom about Soviet military secrets, most importantly, the appearance and footprint of Soviet intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) installations and the weakness of the Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program. This information was decisive in allowing the US to recognize that the Soviets were placing IRBMs in Cuba before most of the missiles were operational. It also gave US President John F. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Oleg Penkovsky has received more than 1,687,952 page views. His biography is available in 26 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 25 in 2019). Oleg Penkovsky is the 3,696th most popular politician (down from 3,480th in 2019), the 373rd most popular biography from Russia (down from 342nd in 2019) and the 117th most popular Politician.

Oleg Penkovsky was a Soviet military intelligence officer who spied for the United States and Britain. He passed information to the CIA and MI6 from 1961 to 1963. His information helped the West understand Soviet military capabilities.

Memorability Metrics

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    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 26

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 3.58

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.39

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

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Among politicians, Oleg Penkovsky ranks 3,696 out of 15,577Before him are Hormizd II, Mary of Clopas, Vologases I of Parthia, Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine, Ahmad ibn Tulun, and Charibert II. After him are Nicholas Kanabos, Şah Sultan, Musa Çelebi, Marcus Claudius Marcellus, Ziusudra, and Ghazi of Iraq.

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Among people born in 1919, Oleg Penkovsky ranks 42Before him are Joseph Murray, Daniel Bell, Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado, Jackie Robinson, Hermine Braunsteiner, and Pete Seeger. After him are Iris Murdoch, César Manrique, Chavela Vargas, James Lovelock, Georges Duby, and Lauri Törni. Among people deceased in 1963, Oleg Penkovsky ranks 35Before him are Richard Baer, Jacques Hadamard, Georg-Hans Reinhardt, Richard Barthelmess, Józef Gosławski, and Kurt Zeitzler. After him are Pedro Armendáriz, Karl Bühler, Piero Manzoni, William Beveridge, Alois Hudal, and Princess Alexandra of Hanover.

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In Russia

Among people born in Russia, Oleg Penkovsky ranks 373 out of 3,262Before him are Anna Netrebko (1971), Vera Menchik (1906), Jani Beg (1300), Ivan Serov (1905), Lovis Corinth (1858), and Vasily Perov (1834). After him are Ivan Silayev (1930), Vsevolod Pudovkin (1893), Bulat Okudzhava (1924), Velimir Khlebnikov (1885), Boris Nemtsov (1959), and Leonid Andreyev (1871).


Among politicians born in Russia, Oleg Penkovsky ranks 117Before him are Andrey Bogolyubsky (1111), Princess Louise of Prussia (1808), Yakov Yurovsky (1878), Vladimir Kryuchkov (1924), Jani Beg (1300), and Ivan Serov (1905). After him are Ivan Silayev (1930), Boris Nemtsov (1959), Anna Dostoevskaya (1846), Mathilde Kschessinska (1872), Naina Yeltsina (1932), and Mengu-Timur (1235).