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Because Russian secret agent Alexander Eberlin has infiltrated British Intelligence, his request to be allowed back into his native country is turned down by Soviet officials who wish him to continue working in the West. At a briefing session conducted by British Intelligence Chief Fraser, Eberlin is ordered to kill a Russian double agent who is responsible for the deaths of three British spies. Although the Russian infiltrator, known to the British as Krasnevin, is Eberlin himself, the security heads believe it is Pavel, Eberlin's London contact. After first warning the drug-addicted Pavel, Eberlin later realizes that he must eliminate his contact in order to preserve his own cover; but Pavel has already been murdered by the Russians. After a London meeting with Gatiss, his ruthless arch-rival, Eberlin goes to Berlin but is prevented from escaping into East Germany. His attempt to hide out with Caroline, an Englishwoman, is thwarted when Gatiss finds him and forces him to help ambush a Russian double agent, Henderson. Eberlin shoots Henderson before the spy can reveal that Eberlin is Krasnevin, and Gatiss agrees to pay Soviet espionage chief Sobakevich $100,000 in return for the elusive Krasnevin. But Sobakevich tricks Gatiss by murdering another British agent and passing him off as Eberlin. Cheated out of taking his man alive, Gatiss shoots Sobakevich in the back rather than pay him the $100,000. His mission in Berlin over, Eberlin is ordered to return to London with Gatiss. While telephoning his Soviet chief, Eberlin suddenly realizes that Chief Fraser has known his true identity from the start and has used him to uncover the Russian network in Berlin. Now deserted by his Russian superiors as well as the British, Eberlin faces Gatiss on the West Berlin airport landing strip, and the two men kill each other.