Petrov Affair Timeline

Main

World War II ends

1945

The Cold War and the golden age of espionage begin. Department of External Affairs
information is being leaked to Moscow.

Election and AISO

1949

Prime Minister Chifley sets up Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)
Election of new Coalition Government led by Robert Menzies

High Court rejects Communist Party Dissolution Bill

4/1/1950

Petrov Arrives in Australia

2/5/1951

Petrovs arrive in Australia to work at the Soviet Embassy in Canberra

Petrov meets part-time ASIO agent Dr Michael Bialoguskii

7/7/1951

Referendum

9/1/1951

Powers to Deal with Communists and Communism defeated

Soviet Embassy dismisses Mrs Petrov

11/20/1953

Soviet Embassy dismisses Mrs Petrov from her position as embassy
accountant, confirming for the Petrovs that they are out of favour

Soviet Union recalls Petrov permanently

1/1/1954

Vladimir Petrov defects, two days before the Petrovs must depart for Moscow

4/3/1954

Prime Minister Menzies announces Petrov’s defection in Parliament

4/13/1954

Labor supports Menzies’ Royal Commission into espionage

4/14/1954

Evdokia Petrov decides to defect and join her husband

4/20/1954

Royal Commission on Espionage commences

5/17/1954

Coalition wins close election

5/29/1954

Apperance of Evatt in the Royal Comission

8/16/1954

Evatt appears at the Royal Commission to defend his staff and prove his
conspiracy theory

Commissioners withdraw Evatt’s leave to appear at the Royal Commission

9/7/1954

Royal Commission report is released. No charges were laid.

9/14/1954

Labor splits after Evatt charges anti-communists in the party with conspiracy

10/5/1954

Royal Commission report published

8/1/1955

Evatt announces to the Parliament

10/19/1955

Evatt announces to a shocked Parliament that he has written asking Soviet
Foreign Minister Molotov if the Petrov documents were forgeries

Menzies calls an election

10/20/1955

Election victory for Menzies

12/10/1955

Sweeping election victory for Menzies when the Labor Party
(Anti-Communist) directs its second preferences against Labor

Evatt leaves politics to head the Supreme Court of NSW

2/10/1960

Menzies retires undefeated

1/26/1966

Public learns of Petrovs’ new identity and address

1/9/1974

The Berlin Wall falls symbolising the end of the Cold War

11/1/1989

Petrov dies aged 84. Evdokia outlives him by 11 years.

1/7/1991