An ex-KGB superspy and a retired American espionage expert team up to run a bus tour in Washington, D.C. Some zany new sitcom named My Favorite Russian? No, just SpyDrive, a trip to the capital’s cloak-and-dagger landmarks hosted by former-enemies-turned-partners Oleg Kalugin and David Major. “Yes, we were adversaries in the old days,” says Kalugin, 66, who as a top Soviet officer stationed in D.C. in the late ’60s supervised some of the very spies that Major, an FBI counterintelligence agent, tried to ferret out. But, adds Kalugin, given their common background, “I feel as if we worked for the same cause.”
The two ex-snoops charge $55 a head to share tales of treachery while pointing out some 40 infamous sites, including the mailbox on which CIA turncoat Aldrich Ames scratched coded signals to his Soviet handlers and the fence near the Russian embassy over which spy Edwin Moore tossed classified documents. “Espionage isn’t something that comes out of Hollywood; it goes on right in your backyard,” says Major, 57, whose biggest case was the 1985 arrest of John Walker, a naval warrant officer turned spy who was monitored by Kalugin. Retired in 1994 after 24 years at the FBI, Major co-founded a counterespionage training firm and began taking clients on informal tours of his old haunts. “And they would just go, ‘Wow!’ ” he recalls. “I thought, why not make this available to the public?”
He recruited Kalugin, a lecturer at his firm, and together they launched the nearly three-hour, semimonthly tour. One thing they don’t worry about: finding new sites to add to the itinerary. “Spying is alive and well,” says Major, who worked with but never suspected recently nabbed FBI spy Robert Hanssen. “As we speak, someone somewhere is passing information.” And looking over their shoulder for a big tour bus.