UPDATE: FBI Releases Stalin's Daughter Files

UPDATED Monday, November 18, 2012 --- 11:32 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Newly declassified documents show the FBI kept close tabs on Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's only daughter after her high profile defection to the United States in 1967.

The documents show the agency was gathering details from informants on how Lana Peters' arrival was affecting international relations at that time. She was known as Svetlana Alliluyeva before her defection.

The files were released Monday to The Associated Press under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Peters died last year, aged 85, in a Wisconsin nursing home.

The FBI's file mainly contains memos and news articles from the late 1960s. One 1967 memo details a conversation with a confidential source who said Peters' defection would have a "profound effect" on anyone else considering such a move from the Soviet bloc.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


Posted Monday, November 28, 2011 --- 2:20 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's only daughter, whose defection to the West in 1967 set off an international furor and made her a best-selling author, has died. She was 85.

Richland County, Wis., Coroner Mary Turner says Lana Peters died on Nov. 22 of colon cancer.

Peters' daughter, Chrese Evans, declined comment Monday when contacted via email.

Peters defected from the Soviet Union in 1967 -- a major embarrassment to the ruling communists. The Soviet premier denounced her as "morally unstable."

Her memoir, "Twenty Letters to a Friend," later that year became a best-seller.

She later married noted architect William Wesley Peters. They had a daughter but divorced in 1973. She moved back to the Soviet Union briefly in the 1980s but returned to the West.

Her father died in 1953.

Copyright 2011. The Associated Press.