A KGB officer who defected in London in August 1971 after he had been recruited six months earlier by a joint MI5–Secret Intelligence Service section that had compromised him as he conducted an illicit affair with his secretary, Irina Temlyakova.
Working under Soviet Trade Delegation cover, Lyalin was a Department V sabotage expert who had prepared contingency plans for attacking certain strategic sites in the event of hostilities. In addition, he was responsible for running three agents in London, Sirioj Abdoolcader and two Cypriot tailors, all of whom were arrested upon his defection.
Lyalin’s unplanned defection took place after his arrest on drunk-driving charges and acted as the catalyst for Operation FOOT, the expulsion of the entire KGB and GRU rezidenturas, whose membership he had identified. After his defection Lyalin was resettled in England with a new identity. He died in 2002.