The Top Secrets In The History Of The USSR And Russia Found In The Chicago Public Library

   The history of Russia, from the revolutionary movements of the early 20th century to the cataclysms of the present time, raises many questions as many of its facts are still veiled and the archives are inaccessible. We all know some facts only thanks to the brave politicians (for example, Khrushchev), writers and our family ancestors that left us with their memories of what they experienced. From them, we have learned that victories in the social development of the society in the USSR were accompanied by great sacrifices.

   People died in wars, people died due to the government’s terror, and people died of hunger - many millions of people’s lives were lost both in the USSR and in Russia, which was part of it, when the Soviet regime was being established and formed. Why and how did this tragic, sacrificial chain of events develop in many generations of Russians over such a short period of time - just a little over 100 years after the revolution?

   Historians write books in an attempt to cover that entire period, but they do not have a completely clear picture, as they themselves admit. Regarding many developments, historians can only speculate about the actual events before and after the revolution. They base their assumptions on eyewitness accounts, and their testimony is sometimes contradictory. These contradictions can be understood as that entire period was indeed a contradictory time. 

   I recently read a book on a historical topic of great interest to me “The KGB and Power” written by Filipp Bobkov, a retired KGB general.

   I had bought the book at a sale at the Chicago Public Library, where they sometimes sell the most well-read copies of books, many of which had been literally read to tatters by inquisitive readers. The book “KGB and Power” had indeed been read thoroughly and it had been glued back together in many places by caring librarians. It means that Chicago’s Russian-speaking community is interested in this topic and trying to understand what was really happening between the KGB and the government. After all, their relations were very important and reflected in all aspects of their activities and lives in the USSR, and in many ways they influenced their decision to ultimately emigrate.

   This topic - the KGB and power - is not only about the past; it is also about today’s Russia because the head of the country is a former KGB officer.

   “In order to better understand the politics of today, it is sometimes useful to look back at the politics of yesterday,” - I found this quote from Lenin by accident in an old Russian language dictionary when looking up the explanation for the word “today”.

   Well, I am going to follow this piece of advice. Perhaps, it will help me understand what led to the tragedy of today’s Russia.

Putin’s power is tied very closely to the KGB (now known as the FSB); otherwise, he would not have been able to reach such heights of power in violation of the Constitution and all the canons of democracy. Surprisingly, an unknown middle-ranking officer from the KGB becomes the President of Russia. How could that happen? It would seem that for all people in the USSR, the “vaccination” against the KGB would remain effective forever, but alas, not even 50 years had passed after the closure of the Gulag when some strange “worm-holes” reappeared in the life of the society. Once again, the Russian society is threatened by the old terrible “disease”.

   The question of this unusual phenomenon of Putin, this harbinger of something ominous, greatly concerned Chicago’s Russian-speaking community after his election and was often discussed at various events and meetings. We found no answer to this question, at least, no a logical answer. The same question was asked in other communities, wherever former residents of the Soviet Union gathered. The Soviet Union had collapsed, but the human union remained uniting us through common tragedies and common victories of our ancestors.

   Still in the USSR times, professional journalists were also trying to find the answer to this fateful question when covering Putin’s dark “path” to power. There were many of them... – their memory will live forever. Their killers and those who ordered their murders were never found. But we can guess where they were most likely authorized and organized. We have no evidence because the high-ranking professionals involved knew well how to “cover their tracks” and leave no fingerprints.

   I believe that Russia now finds itself in a nightmarish cycle of history, experiencing yet another bloody period imposed on the country yet again by security agency officers.

   I hope that the book of memoirs written by a former employee and eyewitness to the work of the KGB will help us understand the actual relationship between the KGB and the USSR government, that it will show the logical chain of events that led the Russians to a dead end, where the future is no longer painted in bright, hopeful colors.

   The book “The KGB and Power” was written by Bobkov F. D. and published in Moscow in 1995.

   Let me give you a few facts from his biography: he was drafted into the Army and participated in combat operations during the Second World War. After the war ended in 1945, he was sent to study at the SMERSH counterintelligence school. After graduation, Bobkov began working in Moscow at the Lubyanka, in the MGB (known as the KGB since 1954).

   I got the impression that in his memoirs about the pre-war period in the history of the USSR, he writes in accordance with the principles taught at the SMERSH School. His work at the security agencies had definitely affected his mentality, especially regarding his understanding of the Cold War, but his book is still an interesting read.

   The author lived an interesting life and witnessed all the key stages of the history of the USSR: the construction of socialism, Stalin’s repressions, the Second World War and the restoration of the economy after the country’s victory in that war, the Cold War, perestroika, and the collapse of the USSR. He does have a lot to write about.

   In the author’s preface on page 5, I was alarmed by the following admission by the author: “At the same time, I am aware that there may be accusations that I am not saying everything there is to say. Therefore, I want to explain that this reticence does not stem from the desire to hide or avoid mentioning some facts.  It is just that there are destinies of people, events or phenomena that cannot serve as an illustration of general premises, rather they represent large independent values deserving of separate detailed analysis”.

   It is a rather mysterious and ornate expression, and there will be more of them further in the book.

   I thank the author for his honesty in admitting on the very first pages that he is not going to reveal the whole truth. I especially liked his expression “large independent values”. Who is he talking about? It can be understood in different ways. In my opinion, it is a typical trick of a KGB officer in order to avoid addressing some thorny issues.

   Well, I will try to fill this gap in his book by attempting to analyze these “large independent values” using the sources available at the Chicago Public Library.

   It should be noted that I have learned many new things from Bobkov’s book, and I now view my country’s history a new way. It was especially interesting to read about the events during the time in which I lived and witnessed many things myself; many things have become a lot clearer to me. Along with the writer’s memories, I recalled my own childhood and youth; I saw the “pitfalls” that I had never thought of before. Here are a few lines about that period from the book, on page 211: “But let’s return to the so-called “stagnant” years. The people were growing more and more dissatisfied with Brezhnev’s entourage; criticism of the state of things, irony about the Secretary General’s innumerable awards, and indignation at the rampant bribery were voiced even by the leaders of the authorities in regions and republics. There was gossip going around about all those things in the Central Committee of the CPSU (the USSR Communist Party) and other national-level institutions”. These statements lead me to ask these questions: Why was dissatisfaction growing not with Brezhnev himself, but with his entourage? Why does the author use such a vague unofficial word as “entourage” here? And he does not use any specific names either! Who were these people surrounding Brezhnev?

   The author continues on page 211: “The fate of Kosygin’s economic projects, which Brezhnev’s entourage “buried alive,” caused many to refrain from demonstrating any initiative”. Again, the author uses this informal definition of people working with him using the word “entourage”. Who were those all-powerful people capable of “burying” the economic projects of Kosygin A. N. himself, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR? Naturally, only KGB officers could have been so omnipotent. But how and when did they become so powerful; how did they infiltrate Brezhnev’s entourage? Who allowed them to be included?

   Page 211: “And so much sarcasm was expressed when discussing Brezhnev’s books!”  Yes, it was indeed so, I remember it very well. Everyone was unhappy with him. But by what miracle did this lackluster “grey” man manage to obtain such a high position and hold it for so long? He vacated his position only after he died. Why was there no attempt to remove him from the position of such power in the same way as Khrushchev was removed from all his positions?

   Page 211: “But the point was not his books, it was much more serious.  The fact is that many understood our difficulties, but there were no people who could see a way out of the impasse and lead the movement forward.”  That is absolutely untrue; there were such people but they were immediately called dissidents and the KGB got rid of them by all possible means. They had lots of ways of doing it even at that time; all the latest technologies were at their disposal. 

   I got the impression that the author is leaving something unsaid here, just as he warned us in the preface. Yes, even the KGB General Philipp Bobkov cannot reveal the whole truth as it is dangerous, even for him.

   Brezhnev was a very sick, and he often did not even show up for work. But his work had to be done; he was appointed to wisely lead the country. However, it was not he who was leading the country; in fact, the mysterious “entourage” was ruling the country behind his back, this conclusion clearly suggests itself.

   Perhaps, it was the same “entourage” that “buried alive” the idea of changing the wording of Articles 58 and 70 of the USSR Criminal Code. But why change them? They were better off with the old wording because they could hold large groups of the population accountable with an all-encompassing phrasing - anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda. Brezhnev’s notorious “entourage” were making some plans of their own, which only they knew about. The old version of the law could serve as their protection from all the dissatisfied and unacceptable citizens. 

   On page 213, I found two names of people from Brezhnev’s “entourage”. According to the author, Tsvigun S. K. and Tsinev G. K. were assigned by Brezhnev to monitor Andropov Yu. V. It seems to me that Brezhnev’sentourage” kept the KGB chairman himself under close control and prevented him from acting independently. It should be added that Tsvigun committed suicide under very strange circumstances, which gave rise to many different versions of events. Yes, something unexpected was being conceived in the KGB offices at that time, which is confirmed by the author in his memoirs on page 362. He writes about the arrival of a new type of leader, who proclaimed perestroika in the society.

   Gorbachev abolished censorship and eliminated administrative command management methods; he allowed private ownership of the means of production. On page 363, the author writes: “A new time has come, and people believed in perestroika, they believed the new leader and followed him. But few people knew that the author of perestroika was not Gorbachev at all - its strategic basis had been developed by Andropov Yu.V. Unfortunately, fate allowed him too little time; he was unable to carry out his ambitious plan.

   By and large, authorship did not really matter here; what’s important is that a new leader had emerged, and he was ready to implement progressive changes in the life of the society”. It may sound unexpected, but I think it is true. I will explain my arguments further in this article.

   “In order to better understand the politics of today, it is sometimes useful to look back at the politics of yesterday,” - wrote Lenin. I repeat this quote here as it seems correct to me.

   I will begin my analysis of the history of the USSR from the post-war period; at that time, some strange events began happening at the very top of the government, and since those “strange things” could only have been organized at the KGB’s special departments, we need to take a closer look at what was happening in those security agencies. In this regard, Bobkov’s book is of enormous historical value.

   He writes on page 99: “In 1946, the majority of the Ministry’s employees were people who joined the security agencies in 1939-1940 replacing those who had followed the path of their own victims.” Further, he writes that Abakumov, the Minister for State Security (MGB) (1946-1951), hired former front-line soldiers for both leadership and rank-and-file positions at the Ministry. Those fresh young forces changed the climate at the Ministry. “In general, the atmosphere had changed throughout the entire government, terrible fears had dissipated.

But that impression was deceptive. Repressions began in 1948, and in 1951 repressions began at the MGB - Minister Abakumov himself was arrested.” Page 126: “It can be said without exaggeration that from that day open terror began against honest and conscientious security officers. We came to work every day, not knowing what awaited us. Leaders at various levels were sent to prison one after another. It is not difficult to imagine the state the security officers were in.”

Page 127: “It was scary to think where we were headed...” This description is reminiscent of 1937...

   The author was working in such a situation when he was tasked with verifying the statement of a non-staff security agent about an impending assassination attempt on Stalin. Page 128: “The MGB received a message from a state security agent that a group of people was plotting an assassination attempt on Stalin. In the message, the agent reported the motives for the conspiracy and revealed the criminal group’s plan of action.”

   Bobkov further writes that after a long interview with that agent, he caught him in a lie when the facts included in the message did not support the facts revealed during the interview. The strangest thing in this story is that Bobkov let the agent go. On page 130, he writes: “I understood perfectly well what kind of trouble I got myself into. I decided to let the agent go, hoping that he would not decide to lie in the same way again, although I had no certainty of that. It is not difficult to imagine how much I went through, every day, expecting the worst... Fortunately, no further messages were received from the agent, and the first two sank into oblivion”... 

   What does “sank into oblivion” mean? As I understand it, General Bobkov, then Lieutenant Bobkov, simply destroyed the documents. According to my trusted source, the Russian language dictionary, “to sink into oblivion” means to disappear without a trace. In ancient Greek mythology, Lethe is the river of oblivion in the underworld. I assume that security agent also “sank into oblivion”. There were no further messages from him. But why does the author even write about that? The story is simply too incredible for those times. We know the MGB at that time had very “gullible” employees and they believed every denouncing report. Here, we have a particularly special case as it was about a conspiracy against Stalin himself. And the “protracted” interview forced the agent to admit that he had made it all up. There was no investigation in this case. Bobkov simply “believed” the repentant agent and that was it. He wasn’t even charged with perjury.

Page 130: “However, it did not ease my mind. It was difficult to comprehend how a state security officer, even a non-staff one, would dare to commit such a provocation! When interrogating the agent and seemingly in control of the situation, I could even have raised the question of his arrest, yet he had control over me. It was not the criminal who was afraid of me; I was the one afraid of his next mean trick.”  

   Well, once again I am convinced of the improbability of this whole story, if it indeed happened as described. I have a different version of this story, which is also based on the same descriptions by the author.

   Further, he clarifies the overall atmosphere in the MGB departments. On page 130, he writes that Ryumin, Deputy Minister for State Security, would probably have responded to that agent’s statement because he was a long-time and reliable agent of the security agencies and the matter was about the life of Stalin himself. Why did Philipp Bobkov take such risks? Here is another suspicious phrase from the author: “What prompted the informant to lie? Clearly, he was not acting for the sake of his career.” Or perhaps there really was a conspiracy? Did the agent somehow become aware of it and report it to the competent authorities as an honest citizen? “I come to the conclusion that such “volunteers” were generated by the atmosphere reigning in the society,” - concludes the author. Now, we are having to come up with our own version of explanation for that unusual case.

   I believe it is inappropriate to call that person a provocateur in this case. That is not a valid conclusion. The possible conspiracy against Stalin was not investigated either by Bobkov or anyone else. There is no evidence either for or against a conspiracy. The author did not investigate this matter. At such a troubling time, he acted so unprofessionally, risking his life. Why? And why was he so afraid of the “reliable” agent, according to his own words, during the interrogation? Why is Bobkov trying to convince us without any evidence that there was no conspiracy? Or is he again leaving something unsaid here, as he warned us at the beginning of his book?

   If you understand the complexity of the relations within the MGB at that time, you can assume that a conspiracy existed. I find it hard to believe that young counterintelligence officers, former front-line soldiers, who had risked their lives in combat, just sat there experiencing humiliating fear in their MGB offices expecting to be accused of anti-government activities. They were well aware of what had happened to their predecessors.

   On page 126, Bobkov writes clearly that after the arrest of Abakumov in 1951, open terror began against honest and conscientious security officers. I can assume there was a conspiracy against Stalin among some of them because they understood where all the evil was coming from.

   I can also assume that somehow a “reliable” non-staff MGB agent found out about this and honestly tried to inform the authorities. It is highly probable that Bobkov, then a young officer with wartime experience, was among those conspirators. It is the only way to explain and understand his fears and turmoil while handling that case.

   He also writes that he consulted with his superiors, but no one wanted to take responsibility for that case. Only the head of the department Byzov A. P. told him directly - on page 129: “With this report, you find yourself in a difficult situation. It is impossible to open a case for providing false testimony; this person will again accuse us of failure to prevent terror. If you let him go, he may send exactly the same report a second time, and you will be in a very difficult position. There is no choice, take on this entire case and wait to see how it ends.” What choice was his superior talking to Bobkov about, and why was there no choice? It was not his colleagues he was afraid of! They were in solidarity with him! Bobkov did not investigate this case of a conspiracy against Stalin any further; he “let go” of the provocateur, “ignoring” the advice of his superior. That agent never showed up again, and his report “sank into oblivion”.

   In the spring of 1953, Stalin died. His sudden and unexpected death may have been planned according to all the laws of conspiracy by the counterintelligence officers. And, strange as it may seem, that event could have been accomplished very easily.

   But, of course, we will never find any evidence of that. We can only speculate, but my further research convinced me that it was exactly the case. Many books have been written about Stalin’s mysterious death, which gave me a wealth of material for research and reflection. As many historical sources indicate, Beria was aware that Stalin was planning to eliminate him in the same way he had eliminated his predecessors. In the book “KGB. The Inside Story” written by historian Christopher Andrew and former KGB officer Oleg Gordievsky, I read on page 419: “The evidence suggests that Beria discovered in the winter of 1952-1953 that Stalin was planning to remove him”.

   The question arises, how was Beria aware of this, who actually did it? According to Khrushchev’s memoirs, Stalin complained in recent months that he could not trust anyone at all. I don’t think he ever talked to anyone about it. And if he did, why did he not eliminate Beria immediately, why did he wait for over a month until he died? It is possible to assume that this “discovery” was specially arranged for Beria by someone. It was set up by someone who knew all his habits very well, who could predict his reaction to such a “discovery”. Who, besides the MGB (KGB since 1954) officers, could have done such work? Nobody else! The same people whom Beria trusted may have promised to help him in his further advancement to the leadership of the USSR government. They knew what he was aiming for, and with a promise ofassistance” they were further encouraging him to kill Stalin. 

   It is not difficult to guess what kind of plan Beria was preparing. If you follow the chronology of further events in the USSR history, you can be convinced of the plausibility of my assumptions.

In January 1953, it was proudly announced that the USSR had solved the case of saboteur doctors planning to kill many members of the government. It seems to me that while preparing to poison Stalin, Beria was also preparing to protect himself. If something were to go wrong and the fact of Stalin’s murder could be proven by doctors, one could always say that it was the work of saboteur doctors. I believe, Beria was very inventive in covering his criminal tracks. I was convinced of this after reading the CIA analytical documents on the death of Stalin dated July 16, 1953 on page 1: “This then was the situation in the Soviet Union on 4 March, when Radio Moscow announced that Stalin was in critical condition as a result of a stroke on the night of 1-2 March. The continuing medical bulletins were couched in pessimistic terms. They carefully outlined

the nature of Stalin's, illness and meticulously described the measures being taken by the doctors who were treating him. These play-by-play accounts revealed concern lest listeners 'interpret this news; as meaning that either the old "doctor wreckers," or a group of new ones, had succeeded in shortening Stalin's life”.

   Well, these CIA documents convince me even further that Beria was trying to protect himself from suspicions of Stalin’s murder: firstly, by organizing the “doctors’ case” and, secondly, with the help of propaganda, manipulating the tone of reports about Stalin’s illness.

   Another source convinced me that Beria was Stalin’s actual murderer - the memoirs of Khrushchev N. S. Stalin’s last hours were described by him in great detail, and it is a very important piece of evidence.

   This is how he describes Beria’s behavior that evening, on page 318 (from Khrushchev’s memoirs “Khrushchev Remembers”): “No sooner had Stalin fallen ill that Beria started going around spewing hatred against him and mocking him. I was simply unbearable to listen to Beria. But, interesting enough, as soon as Stalin showed these signs of consciousness on his face and made us think he might recover, Beria threw himself on his knees, seizing Stalin’s hand, and started kissing it. When Stalin lost consciousness again and closed his eyes, Beria stood up and spat. This was the real Beria – treacherous even toward Stalin, whom he supposedly admired and even worshiped yet whom he was now spitting on”.

   In my opinion, Beria had a strange reaction to the signs of life that appeared on the face of the dying Stalin. He fell to his knees and began kissing his benefactor’s hand. It is the spontaneous reaction of a person guilty of something and begging for mercy, a reaction of fear of punishment for his actions. He was afraid that Stalin would not die and punish him, Beria. But punish him for what? This scene again suggests that Beria killed Stalin, most likely by poisoning him, in an attempt to prevent his own elimination. I again assume that this is how the group of MGB officers, which I mentioned earlier in this article, eliminated Stalin with Beria’s hands while “promising support” when he attained the heights of power. Beria believed them. The scene of Stalin’s last hours still looks very mysterious, which means that something was hidden from the outsiders...

   They were trying to isolate or physically eliminate all the witnesses to the last hours of Stalin’s life. All the doctors and committees of doctors that worked with Stalin in his last days were arrested and/or died quite suddenly. I read about it in a book written by historian and writer Abdurakhman Avtorkhanov “The Mystery of Stalin’s Death” 2019, on page 247.

   Increased precautions in preparing the removal of Stalin were not in vain; everything went exactly as planned. The “dark shadow” of any suspicion did not cloud anyone’s imagination. On April 4, 1953, a mere month after Stalin’s death, the case of the “saboteur doctors” was closed. The doctors were released from prison and rehabilitated. Beria admitted that “illegal methods” had been used to obtain confessions from the doctors. He promised that in the future the government would respect the constitutional rights of Soviet citizens. The “culpable” MGB officers were arrested.

   In their report, the CIA analysts emphasized that Beria was the main motivating force in the acquittal and release of the doctors. In their opinion, it made him look like a defender of law and order. It is a very smart approach to the matter; Beria was able to benefit in this case, too.

   To my surprise, I found many books in Russian on the topic of great interest to me at the Chicago Public Library.

   After reading the book called “Khrushchev, from a Shepherd to the Secretary of the Central Committee”,” by historian Emelyanov Yu. V., I was once again convinced of the correctness of my assumption. This is what he writes on page 322: “Later, Kaganovich and Molotov recalled how, while on the rostrum of the Mausoleum on May 1, 1953, Beria was talking with them and speaking sharply about Stalin. Beria said that Stalin was going to get rid of him, and Beria was ready to raise the “chekists” (secret service agents) in his defense. While talking with Molotov, Beria told him it was he who “eliminated Stalin” and thereby saved Molotov’s wife’s life. He did not specify exactly how Beria “eliminated Stalin”.

   To me, this confession by Beria sounds very plausible. He was not afraid of anyone at that time, behaving very self-confidently because he was relying on the secret services, which assured him of “their loyalty”. But Beria’s triumph was premature; he did not suspect that in the plan to eliminate Stalin there was a second part, where Beria himself would be eliminated.

   Yes, the chronology of events related to Stalin’s death is still classified in the Russian archives. We have learned many details of the last hours in his life from the memoirs of Khrushchev N. S. We thank to him for that. He risked his life making his notes, but he fulfilled his duty to the government and the people of the USSR to the end. Just like Bobkov, he doesn’t reveal everything, and that is also understandable. Perhaps he and Bobkov were participants in that conspiracy against Stalin; they knew who held the real power in the USSR, and that knowledge was dangerous.

   I think it is no coincidence that General Bobkov titled his book “The KGB and Power”; he wanted, as best he could, to convey the truth in the combination of these words, saying that power in the USSR was the power of the KGB. From the memoirs written by Khrushchev and Bobkov, one can at least guess what was actually happening in the history of the USSR at that time. At the KGB, they too saw a danger for themselves in the eyewitness accounts of their work. It is no coincidence that after Khrushchev’s death, searches were carried out in his house and his dacha, and all his records and tapes that had not yet been transported to the West, were confiscated. What were the KGB officers looking for at Khrushchev’s residences? Why were they afraid of his memories? The very fact of the seizure of documents speaks for itself - Khrushchev’s records could reveal important information the secret services were trying to hide.

   But let’s go back to the events after Stalin’s death and try to explain everything logically. My further assumptions are as follows: Beria had no idea and could not even imagine that his actions were being manipulated by conspirators from his own secret services pretending to be his supporters. The second part of the conspiracy began very soon after the end of the first part, the elimination of Stalin. Khrushchev and a group of military men carried out the second part of that plan; they eliminated Beria.

   On June 26, 1953, Beria was arrested, but the official TASS report on his arrest and dismissal from all his positions was published and announced on the radio only on July 10, 1953.

   The CIA analysts accurately defined the situation with the removal of Beria in a report dated August 17, 1954, page iii: “Realizing that unquestioned supremacy for any one of their number would soon lead to the liquidation of at least some of the remainder as potential rivals, the ruling group apparently determined to prevent the assumption of Stalin's power by any one individual. It must have appeared to the other leaders that Beria was making his bid for this power; or possibly, someone was able to convince the others is was so”.

   These assumptions from the CIA reports are consistent with my proposal about conspirators against Stalin and Beria within the MGB. Who else could have convinced the USSR ruling group to eliminate Beria too and thereby get rid of the perpetrator of Stalin’s murder?

   This is further information from the same CIA report, on page 8: “The pressing questions among Western observers at the time of Beria's arrest were: how was it actually brought about and haw could the arch-conspirator have failed to know about the plot against him? Little evidence has been unearthed on this point. However, Beria was neither omniscient nor all powerful…”     “The logic of the situation would seem to point to an "inside Job" rather than a pitched battle, and the arrest probably took place before

26 June”.

   Yes, the experienced analysts made an accurate assumption. Regarding all the complex events of the spring of 1953, conclusions suggest themselves.

   Page 9: “The actual details of Beria’s arrest and whether or not this show of force actually occurred may never be known”

   Page 14: “The charge that Beria had actually murdered to achieve his ends raised the

possibility that it someday might be alleged that Stalin himself had fallen victim to Beria. Such a charge, it must be said, has indeed never been hinted, but it is one that could be formulated without difficulty if a future need should arise. In this connection it should be

noted that the indictment is open-ended enough to provide for the "discovery" of more conspirators if necessary”

   Well, the very first assumption about the murder of Stalin by Beria was made by the CIA analysts in August 1954. That is why Bobkov did not proceed with the agent’s denunciation of the conspiracy and the impending murder of Stalin; his information about that incident is consistent with the CIA information about a possible conspiracy against Stalin.

   Page 32: “If it is true that there are important officials still in the Soviet hierarchy who had co-operated closely with Beria, it would help to explain some aspects of the case for which there is currently no other satisfactory explanation. It would explain why there was a deliverate attempt to confine the blame for Beria's activities solely to the security forces, and why those of his followers who remained in office at the time of his arrest were removed only slowly and apparently suffered no drastic retaliation for their co-operation.”

   In the book “The Mystery of Stalin’s Death” by historian Avtorkhanov, on pages 270 and 273 it says that Beria was killed immediately after his arrest. I think it was decided in advance and well thought out so that Beria could not testify during the investigation of his case as he could have revealed information about the conspiracy against Stalin. At the trial in December 1953, the person in court was his double, who was then also shot. The memoirs of Khrushchev and Svetlana Alliluyeva also indicate that Beria was killed during his arrest.

   The details of the spring of 1953, when Stalin died, are described very briefly in the book by Philipp Bobkov - there are just a few lines. Why doesn’t he write more about such important events of that time? Is he again omitting something, or is it that he doesn’t want to deceive his readers? A huge chunk of time is missing! This alone is alarming and encourages further speculation.

   Here is the advice he gives in his book on page 139: “You need to handle the past carefully, just as when doing things today, you need to understand that they cannot but have a past.”

   Yes, the past determines the future; one can hardly disagree with that. The past cannot be re-done, but it can be distorted in the interests of some people interested in power to emphasize their “greatness”. The history of Russia needs to be studied by re-reading the memoirs of eyewitnesses of important events, collecting and comparing the pieces of the “puzzle” and even using the imagination to recreate a true picture of the events that only recently constituted our lives in order to understand why Russia’s history has produced such ugly, tragic consequences. What did our predecessors and we do wrong, what is the root of the evil in the present-day Russia? These questions inspired me to look for answers by comparing events covered by different authors over 70 years, to understand their similarities and their differences.

   I found one of the truthful historical sources in the Chicago Public library in the CIA reports during the Cold War, which were declassified in 2007. These reports from the CIA can be trusted; the US intelligence agencies do not deceive their government, unlike the corrupt Russian intelligence agencies. I have learned a lot from them about the history of the USSR, which had been presented to us, citizens of the USSR, in a completely different light. Reading these reports, I am increasingly convinced that the country was ruled not by those we saw on the government rostrum on TV on holidays, but by those hiding their power behind the backs of party leaders and never showing their true faces.

   The conspiracy of 1953 against the main criminals of the country, Stalin and Beria, was organized very thoughtfully, and therefore it turned out to be a success. Its success, I imagine, was encouraging to everyone involved.

   I think the main position was intended for Malenkov after the death of Stalin, but Khrushchev, thanks to his energy and courage, seized power from a lackluster Malenkov.

   In general, both then and now, the temperaments of leaders determine the style of government. The era of Khrushchev began.

   Malenkov was higher in his government rank than Khrushchev, but his character was his shortcoming in that struggle for power; he was not decisive enough to resist Khrushchev. This is how Stalin spoke of Malenkov, according to Khrushchev’s memoirs (“Khrushchev Remembers”), on page 323: “This Malenkov is a good clerk. He can write out a resolution quickly. He is a good person for allocating responsibilities to, but he has no capacity at all independent thought or initiative”.

   Perhaps Stalin trusted him as a good executive from whom no “surprises” could be expected, so he included him into his inner circle. Stalin needed such a person as he grew older. Malenkov was always under someone’s influence.

   Further, Khrushchev writes on page 323: “Malenkov had always thought it was profitable to play up to Beria, even though he knew Beria pushed him around and mocked him. And Malenkov was quite right – it was profitable to play up to Beria. It was mainly because he was so close to Beria that Malenkov stayed in favor with Stalin despite Stalin’s low opinion of him as a leader. Now that Stalin was dead, Malenkov was sure to “come in handy” for Beria’s plans, as Beria himself had once told me he would.”

   Khrushchev had to persistently convince Malenkov to remove Beria. At first he had his doubts, but then he agreed, which surprised Khrushchev, too. Malenkov was a very indecisive person.

   Why then did Malenkov cause so much trouble to Khrushchev? Why was Malenkov demoted in 1955 and retired in 1957? I think the reason again was the differences in the characters of those two leaders. In this story of a rapid transfer of power, Khrushchev showed himself to be a courageous and proactive leader. His friendly alliance with Marshal Zhukov, who also had a strong and decisive character, seemed dangerous to the same conspirators in the KGB; perhaps, they saw in it the beginnings of a new cult of personality and new troubles for the peoples of the USSR. At that time, they were still sincere in their intentions to establish a government that would be safe for the peoples of the USSR.

   I assume they were planning to remove Khrushchev as soon as possible and replace the head of state with another person - Malenkov, who by his nature was not capable of decisive and unexpected actions while in power. He was a predictable person. But Khrushchev had anticipated them and removed Malenkov to avoid any competition. Someone may have warned Nikita Sergeevich about such a turn in the plans of the conspirators, or perhaps his decisions were intuitive.

   There was another mysterious and unexpected event in the history of the USSR - Malenkov stepped down in 1955 at his “own” request to take another lower-ranking position. After I found at the library the CIA documents on the events in the USSR after the Second World War, a lot became clearer to me about that complicated time.

This is how it is described in the CIA report in September 1955, page 7: “Several speculative points can be made regarding this letter of resignation. The first concerns the emphasis on inexperience and lack of leadership. One can legitimately ask: were these '"facts" not known when Malenkov was first made Chairman of the Council of Ministers? The implication is that Malenkov should never have received this post at all, with the suggestion that some unusual factors must have operated to elevate him to this post. This consideration provokes renewed speculation regarding the role of Beria in the period

following Stalin ‘s death”

   In the book “The Mystery of Stalin’s Death” by historian Avtorkhanov, on page 250 it says that Beria agreed to be the second person in the government in order to rule over the first person. This may meet the “unusual factors” criterion in the CIA document; they made this assumption correctly.

   Further, in the same CIA document we find this information on pages 7-8: “A second point is that these same references may be taken to signify an element of resentment, and perhaps even revenge, on the part of the older members of the Presidium, several of whom are “old Bolsheviks," against the younger “upstart” Malenkov. This would imply a certain element of personal friction and animosity between Malenkov and the senior Soviet leader.”

   “The actual circumstances of Malenkov's ouster are unknown. Yuri Zhukov, a Central Committee member and deputy editor of Pravda also played down the idea that "the military” were taking over the direction of events”.

   To me, everything looks like Malenkov was supposed to become head of state in 1953, but Khrushchev, with the help of the military, again got ahead of the conspirators’ protégé, Malenkov. Perhaps, by 1955 the conspirators had an intention to replace Khrushchev with Malenkov, but Khrushchev had been notified by someone and Malenkov demoted himself “at his own request”. I believe the documents from the CIA more than the official reports in the USSR. We all know we were manipulated and the truth about those events was kept secret.

   Page 9 from the CIA document on Malenkov: “A 31 January 1955 Central Committee Resolution: He had been under the influence of Beria”…

“The only ameliorating statement was: that when Beria's activities were exposed, Malenkov took a prominent and decisive role in denouncing and removing him.”

In the same document, it says on page 13: “Since the February 1955 changes, Khrushchev's predominant position within the Soviet leadership has been confirmed.”   “In his various public contacts, especially since Stalin's fall, Khrushchev has revealed himself as an aggressive, energetic, dynamic and demagogic personality. Khrushchev has been described as possessing inordinate ambition and confidence, not in the personal sense but rather in the sense of an executive director completely identified with his vast and complex enterprise.”

   Well, from this description of Khrushchev’s character in terms of his government activities, one can understand Bobkov when he wrote that Khrushchev exposed Stalin’s cult of personality, and immediately Khrushchev’s cult of personality began. That is how they saw Khrushchev in the KGB back then. They saw a threat to everyone and themselves. Page 163: “Loyal people from Ukraine are flocking to Moscow. As a result, an entourage personally devoted to the Secretary General is being created.”

   Yes, Khrushchev carefully selected his assistants; a lot depends on the executive agencies. That may have contributed to his economic success during the early period of his reign.

   But at the KGB they were suspicious of Khrushchev because Stalin had also achieved great economic successes. This is what General Bobkov writes on page 134 about those suspicions in the secret service agencies: “The reasons for the creation of the cult of personality, in fact, were not subjected to serious analysis; its debunking was limited to stating the phenomenon itself, which, of course, did not contribute to learning lessons that would prevent the creation of new cults of personality”.

   The situation was indeed difficult. The atmosphere of mistrust had not disappeared either in the country or in the security agencies. The implementation of reforms was hampered, according to Bobkov, but he does not write by whom exactly the reforms were hampered. The peoples of the USSR were accustomed to unquestioningly following the directives from Moscow. That means the reforms were hampered by people in Moscow. I can easily imagine that a group of conspirators from the KGB continued to secretly monitor events in the country and Khrushchev’s actions in order to prevent a new escalation of the old tragedy. This is just my supposition, and we will never find any evidence whether this was really the case. I am convinced that those people acted sincerely in their intentions at that time. I am also confident in the veracity of my theory.

   Further in his book, Bobkov does not deny the huge role of Khrushchev in debunking Stalin’s cult of personality and the construction of residential buildings using the new block method, which allowed millions of families to move into their own apartments. That is really hard to deny. But he criticizes Khrushchev for experiments in agriculture, which allegedly affected the USSR economy until the early 90s. Agricultural science is very complex, especially in Russia, a country with many climate zones. Only in this sector of the economy was it possible to introduce falsifications and blame Khrushchev for all failures in order to remove him because in agriculture the results are difficult to observe in everyday life as all reports are only on paper and easy to falsify if necessary. A group of underground KGB officers was working on it to distort any of Khrushchev’s successes in agriculture.

   And, by the way, Khrushchev was considered a good agricultural specialist in Stalin’s government. It is described in the book “Khrushchev as the Tsar” (2016) by historian Kudiy G. N. on page 345: “Based on the words of Benediktov I. A., one of the key figures in the leadership of agriculture of the USSR (1938 -1958), and many other sources confirmed by documents, the historian claims that the standard of the personnel policy under Stalin was promotion to the highest echelons of power only on the basis of political and business qualities. Under Stalin, what was valued in a person was their ability to actually change the situation for the better in the shortest possible time. Personal loyalty and so-called “blat” (cronyism) were never taken into account.”

   The fact that Stalin had transferred Khrushchev from Ukraine to work in Moscow twice speaks volumes. That speaks, first of all, to his business qualities and degree of Stalin’s trust in him.  In Stalin’s government, Khrushchev was considered an expert in agriculture.

Whatever his ill-wishers may have been saying about his “voluntarism”, working for Stalin was a sign of the high quality of his activities in agriculture. Further in his book, Kudiy writes again on page 351 based on the words of Benediktov: “Khrushchev was known in the Politburo as an agricultural specialist, and this largely corresponded to reality. In terms of knowledge and competence, Khrushchev was approaching the level of a good agronomist.”                                                                                                                                            “However, paradoxically, while leading the country, Khrushchev made incomparably more mistakes and miscalculations in the field of agriculture than Stalin”.

   Khrushchev’s reputation systematically suffered from attempts to disparage his progressive reforms. His enemies in the KGB used propaganda very effectively. Some people from that time still remember only the “corn case” associated with the name of Khrushchev, which was also concocted by the same KGB people with the aim of discrediting Khrushchev so that his removal from the very top of power would look convincing.

   In his book “Khrushchev, from a Shepherd to the Secretary of the Central Committee” Emelyanov Yu. V. wrote on page 103 that Khrushchev “idolized” Stalin and tried to imitate him in preparing for discussions and thoughtfully formulating his decisions. Under Stalin’s influence, he learned a lot about solving government issues. The book says it was witnessed by Semichastny V. E., who wrote that going to Khrushchev’s office for an appointment is a serious undertaking: “You prepare as if for a state exam! You never know in what way he will turn the question. It was later that one could appear before Brezhnev with two anecdotes - his interest never went beyond what was reported to him.”

   The nature of Khrushchev’s approach to agricultural problems is evidenced by his report at the session of the regional Council of Deputies on March 16, where he spoke about plans for sowing corn in the region; on page 276, it says: “The first experiments in growing corn in 1948-49 on small plots at some collective farms and on personal plots of collective farmers show that corn in our region is ripening and producing a high grain yield.” This report proves that Khrushchev was not so reckless regarding the issue of growing corn. First, the experiments were carried out showing good results. He was engaged in corn growing while still working in Ukraine in the 30s; he knew that agricultural crop well and he began with experiments on small plots.

   So, what happened later? Why weren’t there the same results later? This can only be explained by the fact that Khrushchev was given incorrect results after the experiments or the actual corn yield was underestimated in the official reports.

   As far as I can remember, Khrushchev’s interest in corn began after visiting the United States, as they wrote in newspapers and showed on the news at that time. It turns out it was not true and can serve as evidence of discrediting Khrushchev. In fact, Khrushchev began experiments with corn in the 30s while working in Ukraine.

   Here is what Kudiy says about Khrushchev’s time in his book “Khrushchev as the Tsar”, on page 322: “Things in the country were getting worse and worse, and his constant switching positions, especially in domestic politics, only aggravated this process. Khrushchev’s authority fell to a critically low level - essentially, no one took him seriously or was afraid of him, and people openly called him an imbecile incapable of anything worthwhile.”

   What a dramatic change since the time of Stalin in the characterization of Khrushchev! The KGB conspirators did a great job so that the “people” would have such an opinion of Khrushchev.

   I remember that people had exactly the same attitude towards Brezhnev, and I wonder why Brezhnev was not removed in the same way as Khrushchev.  The answer suggests itself: Brezhnev did not bother anyone with any progressive projects or reforms. It was easier for the same KGB conspirators to come to an agreement with him.

   In his book “Khrushchev, from a Shepherd to the Secretary of the Central Committee”, Emelyanov Yu. V. writes, on page 359: “On January 22, 1954, Khrushchev sent a note to the Presidium of the Central Committee on the development of agriculture, in which he unexpectedly announced a shortage of bread in the country. Khrushchev saw a way out in the immediate plowing of virgin lands and fallow lands in many regions of the USSR. Khrushchev’s initiative received the support of the members of the Central Committee’s Presidium. Apparently, Khrushchev’s reputation as an “agricultural specialist” also played a role here.” Brezhnev was sent to Kazakhstan; according to him, the instructions were strict: “Massive development of virgin lands... must begin this coming spring, the deadlines are very tight, the work will be difficult...”

   Page 366: “The first harvest from the virgin lands proved the possibility of their effective use. Brezhnev recalled that in 1954, for the first time in its history, Kazakhstan provided almost 250 million pounds of grain for the silos of the Motherland - 150 million more than in the most favorable years before that year.”                                            

   However, the next year the harvest was poor; the crop failure was attributed to the “weather conditions”. Khrushchev was very dissatisfied with Brezhnev when he made excuses for the poor harvest at the All-Union Conference of the leading party and Soviet workers at the end of 1955. 

   If you look at the failure of the use of the virgin lands from the point of view of my theory again, it is all quite easy to understand. Brezhnev was Khrushchev's nominee, and he trusted him. But perhaps by that time Brezhnev had other leaders - the KGB conspirators trying to get rid of Khrushchev with his help.

In my opinion, the success of the first year’s use of the virgin lands, despite the difficulties, showed the correctness of Khrushchev’s solution on this issue. The KGB did not like that, as it added to the popularity of the first secretary. And, as I assume again, Brezhnev was instructed to “take measures” to reduce the next year’s yield. Widespread propaganda of Khrushchev’s negative reputation began to work in full force. But, despite all that, Khrushchev’s closest associates were appreciative and supportive of all his endeavors and reforms.

   The second attempt to remove Khrushchev and install Malenkov as the head of the USSR government occurred in the summer of 1957, but the attempt was thwarted. This is what I learned from the CIA document about this event in June 1957, page 16: “Clearly, 18 June was a propitious moment; on that date, many of Khrushchev's supporters would be away from Moscow”.

   “Of Khrushchev's presumed supporters, this left only Furtseva and Brezhnev in Moscow. It is true that many of the leaders scheduled to be absent on 18 June were also due to return very shortly, but the anti - party group evidently expected Khrushchev to give in at once, thus presenting Khrushchev's adherents both in the presidium and in the central committee with a fait accompli and rendering them virtually helpless” .

   All that could only have been planned by the KGB specialists, I suppose, but they miscalculated. This is how it is described in the CIA document, on page 19: “Khrushchev, however, aided by Mikoyan, defended himself vigorously and categorically refused to resign. “

   Page 20: “At this point, a new development occurred which strengthened Khrushchev's hand…”     “Furtseva is generally credited with having played a major role; apparently she not only got in touch with the central committee members residing in Moscow, but also alerted the provincial party bosses and summoned them to Moscow immediately.

The provincial central committee members were urgently summoned to the capital--transported, according to one rumor, in special planes supplied by Zhukov”.       “Members of the presidium who had been absent were also returning--many of them Khrushchev supporters.”

   Page 24: “Zhukov allegedly appeared towards the end of plenum, when he reaffirmed his support for Khrushchev and his opposition to Molotov, Malenkov, and Kaganovich. This was probably the final blow.

At the same time, the four leaders were all removed from the presidium … and were released as deputy chairmen of the Council of Ministers. Shepilov was removed from the secretariat”.

   For the second time, Khrushchev prevented his own removal. And it was again Marshal Zhukov who helped him. I am certain that it became clear to all the conspirators behind Khrushchev’s back that as long as Khrushchev and Zhukov formed a strong tandem, Khrushchev would not be removed. I assume it was then that they decided to isolate Khrushchev, to deprive him of influential support. They succeeded very quickly. Perhaps, the competent authorities reported to Khrushchev some kind of “compromising material” on Marshal Zhukov concocted by the same people in the KGB, which an emotional Khrushchev very quickly believed. Marshal Zhukov was accused of “bonapartism” and relieved of his position as the USSR Minister of Defense. The fact that those charges were falsified is confirmed by the rehabilitation of Marshal Zhukov after Khrushchev’s removal from power.  Naturally, Khrushchev was blamed for the entire incident.

This is how it is covered in the CIA Report of July 8, 1959, I quote in an abbreviated version, page 1: “The removal of Marshal Georgi K. Zhukov from his post as USSR minister of defense on 26 October 1957 was unexpected. The announcement of Zhukov's release as defense minister was terse and gave no clue as to his future”.

   “On 2 November when a central committee resolution removing Zhukov from both the party presidium and central committee was made public.”

   “Speculation continued as to why Khrushchev had turned against his ally of June. Khrushchev's advancement to power since Stalin’s death had been accompanied by Zhukov's rise in the Ministry of Defense and party hierarchy. The two appeared to be on the best of personal terms. Some observers felt that Khrushchev had not taken the initiative, but that opponents of the party leader had forced the issue in order to deprive him of one of his loci of power.”  

   “The announcement of Zhukov's release as defense minister”

   I also believe it was the main reason for Zhukov’s dismissal. The underground KGB group began to fear the strong tandem and tried to separate them. It was done in a simple way: Zhukov was slandered in the eyes of Khrushchev; perhaps he was told that Marshal Zhukov wanted to remove him.

   Page 2: “The full story of the Zhukov case is not and probably never will be known

outside the Soviet hierarchy.” …

   Page 20: “In any event, Zhukov was not strong enough to stand up against the pressure mobilized by the party propaganda machine in October 1957.”

   Very soon, Khrushchev himself was unable to resist the negative propaganda in the USSR press and fell victim to it in the same way as Zhukov.

   And this is how it happened. I learned about it from the book “Memoirs” by Brezhnev L. I. in the comments by M. Lepekhin, on page 439: “In the last two years of his rule, Khrushchev alienated all the workers, peasants, military, clergy, youth, elites, intelligentsia; he brought the world to the brink of a thermonuclear war. Senseless experiments are associated with his name in the field of party and government building, agriculture, and international relations.”

   The KGB officers were trying very hard to slander him in all aspects of public life, using all possible propaganda methods. They were really afraid of his reorganization reforms and the changes associated with them. They found “the right” person in Brezhnev, he would not bother anyone with reorganization reforms and changes, his “flexible” character would guarantee it. Behind his back, it would be convenient for them to manipulate in all spheres of the USSR complex economy; they probably thought that only their help in seizing power was needed. Perhaps, that is why we do not know all the details of that coup; Brezhnev himself writes about them very briefly, literally there are only a few lines... It is even a bit strange because he loved to remember and write about his past in great detail. There are several volumes of Brezhnev’s memoirs. Such brevity in the coverage of Khrushchev’s removal from power, such an important event in the history of the USSR, is certainly thought-provoking.

   Thus began the Brezhnev era. Here are a few lines about him from A. Avtorkhanov’s book “The Power and Powerlessness of Brezhnev”, on page 9: “Not only his supporters, but also ordinary thinking citizens considered the Brezhnev regime short-lived, “transitional”, not so much because of his health but rather because of his “greyness” and “mediocrity”.

   These character traits are confirmed by the CIA analysts in a document dated December 5, 1969, on the foreword: “After the pyrotechnic Khrushchev, most anyone to

become "number one" in the Soviet Union was likely to appear grey. Brezhnev, the careful, efficient and ruthless bureaucrat who succeeded him, is not completely lacking in imagination, color or style--but almost so. The study concludes that Brezhnev does prevail among Soviet leaders and that he has made a strong impact on the direction and style of Soviet policy.”

   In my opinion, it was not Brezhnev himself who had a strong influence, but those from the KGB that had promoted him to power and were working behind his back.


   “Barring ill health, his position is not likely to be challenged, despite his general unpopularity and his lack of forceful leadership.”

   Page ii: “Brezhnev, whose political strength in the first few months of the new regime appeared somewhat weak, began maneuvering to consolidate his position.”

 The weak start of Brezhnev’s time as the leader is not at all surprising, knowing the peculiarities of his character. It is the operation to seize power from Khrushchev that is surprising. We still do not know all the details of how it happened.

This information is from the same CIA document on pages iii, iv of the introduction:     page iii: “The changes in the Secretariat in the 1964-67 period thus resulted in a net gain for Brezhnev.”

   Page iv: “In contrast to his limited success in winning the military's full support, Brezhnev has steadily increased his already considerable influence in the security organizations.

   He has done so by granting them greater prestige and material support than they had under Khrushchev, as well as by eliminating the significant influence that Politburo member Shelepin exerted in them and in the party and state apparatus controlling them.”

Well, the conspirators continued to work on their prospects. They had calculated everything correctly, including financial benefits, by promoting Brezhnev. Brezhnev immediately fulfilled all his promises. The KGB officers eliminated the party and government control with the removal of Shelepin. So, their hands were completely “untied”... We will never know how Brezhnev managed it and why he did it. Why didn’t he write about that in detail, why didn't he tell us about all the motivations of the moment in the same way as Khrushchev was able to do?


   The CIA report, page iv: “By December, small signs of a Brezhnev "cult" dramatized his preeminence over Kosygin and set the tone for the political imbalance that has prevailed between them since then. Simultaneously, Brezhnev has angled for the support of the armed forces and security organizations.”

   Again, I can’t believe that Brezhnev was able to do it all by himself.

   These are some other interesting notes I found in the same CIA document regarding his personal characteristics, on page 28: “Brezhnev has displayed a rather Russian directness

and emotionalism that add up to a projection of charm or boorishness, depending on the point of view of his audience.

   The Soviet xxxxxxxx who claimed to have worked as xxxxxxxx in the Ukraine has characterized Brezhnev as stupid, dull, and narrow-minded.”

On page 29: “British Prime Minister Wilson, during his February 1966 visit to Moscow, evidently found Brezhnev bombastic and callow.”

How can one explain that such a person remained the leader of the USSR for so many years? 

   I understand that Brezhnev was an executive “guarantor” by virtue of his character and abilities. Khrushchev needed him, with his lack of initiative; he had no reason to be afraid that Brezhnev would “push him out” because he was not a serious competitor. You can trust a person like that and make him your deputy, perhaps, that was what Khrushchev was thinking. With the weaknesses of his character, Brezhnev attracted not only Khrushchev, but also the KGB underground group; they also liked him a lot. In Brezhnev, they saw a guarantee of the impossibility of a new cult of personality in the USSR. They saw that danger in an assertive Khrushchev’s character; at that time, they were still acting sincerely in their attempts to protect the country from a new tyrant, I continue to assume.

   There is more about Brezhnev in the CIA document, on page 31: “Perhaps aware of his intellectual limitations, Brezhnev has carried out his responsibilities in a relatively cautious manner. Unlike the aggressive Khrushchev, he has given the impression--perhaps out of necessity—of working contentedly within the confines of collective leadership. He has willingly granted a hearing to the opinion of his colleagues and specialists when it does not

conflict with his overall outlook.”

   On page v: “Brezhnev's personal supervision of the police agencies was evident in the appointment of his client, Nikolay Shchelokov, to head the militia organization (MOP, later renamed MVD) in the fall of 1966. The May 1967 appointment of Yuriy Andropov, a party secretary who had helped promote Brezhnev's drive for the international Communist conference, to head the Committee of State Security (KGB) also appeared to reflect Brezhnev's will. In both instances, the officials who were removed were allies of Shelepin.”


   I will continue to follow my theory here. Brezhnev was a suitable candidate for the manipulative purposes of the underground KGB group. His lackluster “grey” character was the main reason for his appointment to such a high government office. Since 1953, they had failed in several attempts to remove Khrushchev and install an all-obedient Malenkov.

   Khrushchev managed to hold on to the highest leadership position for just over 10 years, which was called Khrushchev's glorious decade. With the arrival of Brezhnev, a “calm” was established, which 30 years later was called a “stagnant time”. During that time, the idea of perestroika and privatization was born, which General Bobkov also writes about in his book “The KGB and Power”.

  The “grey” man in power had brought the country to the brink of disaster. The lackluster Brezhnev was under the rule of uncontrolled KGB officers. They revealed their selfish goals after Brezhnev’s death.   Brezhnev turned out to be a very successful candidate in all respects, and if he were to become dissatisfied with something and try to break away from the KGB group’s control, they could have gotten rid of by a “natural” method, the same way they got rid of the aging Stalin.

   From the CIA documents, on page v: “Prospects for Brezhnev's continued rule, despite his failure to provide forceful leadership, are thus good.

   The possibility that a rival might capitalize on a crisis situation or policy failure and attempt to upset the status quo always exists, but a more serious and immediate threat to Brezhnev’s political future is his health. With a history of heart attacks, Brezhnev could find his career cut short at any time.”

Well, the CIA also assumed such an outcome of Brezhnev’s career.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Page 6: “Most of Brezhnev's political strength derives from his position as administrator of the party.”

   “Brezhnev's role as chief of the Secretariat gives him two important advantages over his colleagues in nonsecretarial positions, as well as other secretaries. First, he is better placed to benefit from the Secretariat’s right to control party organizational policy and, specifically, to propose candidates for assignment to virtually all important positions.”      “Second, because the party pervades all aspects of Soviet life , Brezhnev can interfere in the administration of every other organization in the USSR--including the governmental (ministerial ) bureaucracy, the state apparatus of councils and executive committees, the military and security forces, etc.”

   What broad possibilities for the activities of the KGB officers hiding and manipulating behind Brezhnev’s back - they had truly unlimited possibilities. It was not by chance that he held his position for so long, despite the fact that in the last years of his life he rarely appeared in his office due to bad health. They no longer needed him, anyway. Brezhnev had completely “spoiled” the state security services; they were doing whatever they wanted without any restraint or control.


   Page 6: “Just how forcefully and effectively Brezhnev can use his authority in the Secretariat to shape its composition and, in general, to assert his will is not entirely clear from the available evidence.”

   Page 12: “Brezhnev probably is responsible also for approving senior military appointments.

   Yes, Brezhnev held great power, or rather, the power was in the hands of those controlling him.

  I found one more note about the phenomenon of Brezhnev L. I. in the book by Philipp Bobkov; he writes this on page 184: “In October 1961, Shelepin became Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, and soon, concurrently, was appointed Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers. Thus, he concentrated enormous power in his hands. That immediately caused suspicion in Brezhnev’s inner circle. There was talk that some people were supporting Brezhnev, and others were on Shelepin’s side. I think with all of Shelepin’s negative qualities, his energy and erudition could have brought considerable benefit to the country; unfortunately, however, that never happened.”

   It seems to me that the book’s author sometimes uses the “Aesopian language”, which was so popular in the Soviet Union at that time, in order to convey some hidden information to us. We have to figure everything out for ourselves.

   I learned from the CIA report, page 16, that they had several signals that Shelepin was ready to remove the passive Brezhnev but he did not succeed in doing that. It is not difficult to guess who prevented that - those who did not like the energetic leaders as the head of the USSR. Shelepin did not have “Khrushchev’s luck”. The mistakes of the past were taken into account, and all necessary measures were taken to ensure that there would be no energetic leader in the USSR.

   In the same CIA report, we find this information on page 17: “In May 1967, one of Shelepin’s closest supporters, Vladimir Semichastnyy, was removed from the powerful post of KGB chairman. His replacement by a more independent party official from the Secretariat, Yuriy Andropov, was to Brezhnev's political advantage.”


   On page 18: “Finally, at the end of the chain of reassignments, Shelepin himself filled Grishin's relatively powerless trade union slot, leaving the Secretariat the following September. Since then, Brezhnev has given every indication of satisfaction with Kirilenko as second in command.”

   I cannot believe that such multi-level transfers involving party and ministerial positions could have been organized by the “passive and grey” Brezhnev. The people of my generation witnessed his methods of working. The managerial acumen of a leader was not something he possessed.


   On page 20: “It would seem unlikely, moreover, that any pretender to the top party post could turn the security forces against Brezhnev in the near future, so successful as he been in strengthening his grip on them.”

   The CIA analysts noted this very accurately. I would only correct it a little, like this... the security forces have he in strengthening their grip on Brezhnev.

That is hard to believe, I know, but it is the only way to explain his long tenure in such a high position of power.                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            More information about Shelepin from the CIA document dated December 5, 1969, on page 4: “Brezhnev was not extremely popular within the .party at the lower levels, and Shelepin had the reputation of a brilliant young "comer”. Moreover, Shelepin's responsibility in the Secretariat for supervision of the "administrative organs"--including the security forces, the lega1 apparatus, and the military—already had made him a figure to reckon with, and his promotion ( to full membership in the Politburo) had the effect of seriously impinging on Brezhnev's authority in these areas in the Politburo. Taken together, Podgornyy and Shelepin represented a real threat to Brezhnev's position.”


   On page 9: “It was, nevertheless, clear that by March (1965) the balance of power had shifted somehow in Brezhnev's favor.”   How this balance shifted even CIA did not know!

   On page 14: “By the end of summer, numerous rumors circulating in Moscow suggested that the "talented" Shelepin was about to take over from a passive and incompetent Brezhnev in a major upheaval of the top leadership. The origin of these rumors was usually obscure,”

   It is reminiscent of the power struggle between a talented Nemtsov and an incompetent Putin in the 90s. In both cases, the incompetent men won. It is an instructive trend for the future...

   On page 15:“Whatever the actual circumstances surrounding the rumored Shelepin takeover –which remain" unclear to this day - Brezhnev’s placement of' protégés in the Centra1 Committee apparatus contradicted the characterization of him as a passive figure-head.”

 Surely, those rumors were spread by the KGB in order to convince Brezhnev to get rid of Shelepin and thereby eliminate the party and government control committee, which they accomplished later. Thus, the KGB’s “hands” were finally fully and completely untied. The CIA analysts clearly noted that all those actions contradicted Brezhnev’s character as a person lacking initiative. It was all organized by people from the underground KGB group with a specific purpose, which has become clear to us only now.


   On page 15: “' In this highly fluid situation, when Shelepin appeared to be pressing for advantage, Brezhnev became increasingly assertive in establishing the authority of the General Secretary.” This is yet another characteristic unusual for Brezhnev that was recorded by the CIA analysts. 

   On page 17: “The December 1965 Central Committee plenum signaled a major breakthrough for Brezhnev in his drive for total control of the Secretariat. It abolished Shelepin’s Party-State Control Committee in circumstances suggesting a rubber-stamp approval of a fait accompli. Thus Brezhnev delivered an informational report ("soobshcheniye") rather than the normal report for discussion ("doklad"), and the plenum communiqué listed no one as having spoken on it.”


   “A Supreme Soviet session subsequently tidied up the organizational picture , of which the plenum's dissolution of the Party-State Control Committee had been only one part. Podgornyy's replacement of the semi-retiring Mikoyan, whose departure from the presidency a number...of sources had predicted since late 1964, meant giving up his "second in command" position on the Secretariat.”


   That was the procedure for the transfer of all power in the USSR into Brezhnev’s hands, but one needs to understand that it was actually into the hands of the “underground” KGB officers that power was transferred.

   I am even more convinced in my assumptions about the actual mechanism of ruling the USSR by the KGB. Perhaps to prevent any such speculation, the Russian government archives from the post-war period are still classified. 

   Here is what Bobkov writes in his book “The KGB and Power”, on page 163: “Actions of the leader’s entourage are one of the prerequisites for the cult of personality. If we further analyze the reasons for the emergence of the cult of personality, the harmful role of the inner circle, which sometimes replaced the party and government leaders, will become even more obvious.”  That is, here Bobkov explains who he considers the leader’s “entourage” - it is definitely not the party and government leaders themselves, it is those who replace them... In my opinion, he writes about the harmful influence of the KGB underground - only they could have been the influential “leader’s entourage”. We thank him for this honest truth; although he doesn’t say nearly enough here, we can understand everything.

   “Brezhnev’s” next steps, according to the CIA reports, are described on page 22: “Semichastnyy was removed without any forewarning on 18 May 1967 (he was Shelepin’s client. Andropov took this position then.)”

   On page 24: “The important point regarding power relations among the senior secretaries is that the disciplinary action taken against Brezhnev's critic, Yegorychev, began a chain of

events ending in Shelepin's ouster from the Secretariat.”

   On page 25: “Shelepin’s official dismissal from the Secretariat at the September 1967 Central Committee plenum was a foregone conclusion.”

   On page 24: “Brezhnev probably has given his full backing to the increased emphasis on counterintelligence which has characterized the KGB's activities under its new chief, Politburo

candidate member Yuriy Andropov.”

   On page 29: “Kosygin continued to stay in the background in December 1966, failing even to speak at the Supreme Soviet session’ which approved the 1967 plan and budget…

Whatever the reasons for Kosygin's eclipse in late 1966, Brezhnev took advantage of his own ascendancy in their relationship to exert more vigorous leadership of the collective.”

   That’s not a bad job for a slow-witted Brezhnev. I doubt he was capable of such progress; everyone who saw Brezhnev will certainly agree with me. Others did everything for him, even his memoirs were not written by him. Those who wrote his memoirs did not want to cover the process of Brezhnev’s seizure of power from Khrushchev. Why is that?

   I believe the same forces in the KGB - “Brezhnev’s entourage” - were hindering Kosygin’s economic reforms. Bobkov wrote about this in his book “KGB and Power”. I also think that it was done intentionally. It was back then that “perestroika” was planned within the KGB, Bobkov also wrote about that. They set out to seize not only power, but also all the wealth of the country; power alone was no longer enough for them. They developed the “old woman syndrome”, do you remember it from the fairy tale “The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish” so brilliantly described by Pushpin? That is how the uncontrolled power of the KGB resulted in lawlessness in all spheres of life in the USSR.

   There was unrelenting internal struggle for unlimited power in the party. Why did Brezhnev need such unlimited power? Rather, the power was needed by those acting behind Brezhnev’s back. Their goal was not yet apparent at that time, but they fully revealed it at a later time - in the 90s, when they began to take over the government property using the services of the criminal elements. Even during Brezhnev’s time, they began to intimidate those who would not obey them.

   Here is more information from the CIA document dated July 5, 1968, on page 12:

“During the first few months of 1968, t h e atmosphere of threat and repression grew still more menacing. Intellectuals were prosecuted for "anti-Soviet” activities; liberal articles and anti-Stalin references disappeared from publication.”

Similar tactics were used during Putin’s time, a very similar style is obviously apparent.

   It is now becoming clearer why “Brezhnev’s entourage” were hindering Kosygin’s economic reforms, as Bobkov testified in his book. It was done intentionally; the ground was being prepared for privatization. Unprofitable, bankrupt enterprises could be bought very cheaply in the future, which was what actually happened later.

   From the CIA report dated December 5, 1969, page 31:“An important factor in Brezhnev's assumption of power and a necessary condition of his continued rule has been the support of two main instruments of power in the Soviet Union--the security police (KGB) and militia (MVD, formerly MOOP), and the military (Ministry of Defense).Through their benign influence, Brezhnev achieved Khrushchev's ouster with a maximum of efficiency and a minimum of danger to the plotters. For a while after the coup, however, his hold over them was tenuous due to the strong influence Shelepin exerted.”

We still do not know who was involved in the conspiracy against Khrushchev with Brezhnev.


   On page 36: “The assignment of Andropov as KGB chief in May 1967 was, of course, an essential move to strengthen Brezhnev's position.”

   On page 37: “Andropov probably had Brezhnev's full backing for the organizational changes he introduced in the KGB soon after taking over. The main emphasis of the reorganization was an expansion of the counterintelligence effort.”

On page 38: “…..association with Tsinev dates back as early as the 195Os, when Tsinev served in military counterintelligence in Berlin, as a subordinate to N.R. Mironov, the then chief of the KGB 3d (Military Counterintelligence) Directorate who later served Brezhnev well in the coup against Khrushchev.”

   “Control over the security forces through the Central Committee apparatus apparently remains in Brezhnev's hands, despite conflicting indications since Andropov became KGB chief that Kirilenko, Suslov, or Ustinov might have some supervisory responsibilities.”

   It seems Brezhnev did not fully trust the KGB at that time, despite the fact that they had helped him in the coup against Khrushchev. Perhaps he was wondering why they did it. That is how the Brezhnev era began; later that time was called a “stagnant” period.

   From the CIA report dated July 5, 1968, on page 4: “In the three years since Khrushchev's ouster, the regime's warnings, threats, and outright repression have intensified….   the intellectuals have responded with demonstrations, petitions, and letters

of protest. These, in turn, have resulted in even stronger measures by the regime--including expulsion from the party, arrests, commitments to mental institutions, and incarceration in labor camps. The result has been a spiraling cycle of action and reaction resulting in increasingly harsh measures”.

   Something similar happened after the fall of the Gorbachev and Yeltsin regime, when Putin came to power. The spirit of optimism and freedom did not last very long; the country was again plunged into a long period of repressions. In my opinion, it is now the KGB’s well-developed technology or mechanism for seizing power.

In general, Putin resembles Brezhnev in many ways. He has the same unremarkable “grey” personality as Brezhnev. It is no coincidence that his friends called him a “pale moth” in his youth; it is a well-known fact. It is an accurate visual comparison. He is not capable of anything progressive or outstanding. He is simply a “guarantor” by nature, just like Brezhnev.

   On page 13: “While the current atmosphere is less restrictive than that of the Stalin years, when terror and repression were the order of the day, it is much more stifling than that which existed during Khrushchev's tenure”.

   History repeated itself once again. The same tactics were repeated by the “government authorities” during perestroika. Just a little relaxation in ideology, and the spirit of optimism and freedom was again revived in society, and vigilance in popular thinking weakened. Remember the times of Khrushchev?... Gorbachev’s economic reforms were hindered, just as the reforms of Kosygin and Khrushchev were previously hindered. Later, they helped Yeltsin with the coup, now we all know why... It ultimately brought Putin to power, confusing all Russians with such a choice. Later, Putin, or rather those acting behind his back - a new generation of underground KGB officers - “tightened the screws” of repressions in the public life of Russia. They intimidated everyone with the help of bandits and stole public money openly while carrying out “privatization”. That is how the KGB conspirators came to directly control the government, installing their representative, namely Putin, as President.

   Putin’s rise to power also needs to be analyzed in detail, just like Khrushchev’s and Brezhnev’s rise to power. This is a quote from Avtorkhanov’s book “The Power and Powerless of Brezhnev”, page 36: “Every critically thinking citizen of the USSR knows that Brezhnev as a revolutionary was a fiction, as a theorist - he was a zero, as a speaker - he was a reader of other people’s works, but as a technologist of power - he was in a class of his own. The Soviet press is silent about what it is he is so great at.”   I very much doubt the greatness the author claims he had. In the technology of power transfer, he is also a conductor of other people’s intentions and plans, which were very carefully hidden, and therefore the author attributes all that to Brezhnev out of ignorance. That was the work of the same link carefully hidden in the bowels of the KGB, monitoring the supreme power and “keeping the USSR” from a new dictator. In that regard, their choice of Brezhnev was a success for them; naturally, he never contradicted them and certainly was not planning any reforms. But age does not spare anyone; in the late 80s, it was clear the time had come to find a new “safe” and convenient leader of the USSR; a new generation of officers had also joined the KGB. The new generations in the KGB were more pragmatic and already “spoiled” by their uncontrollable actions behind Brezhnev’s back. But it was difficult to find the same “uniquely grey” person among the new generation of party officials.

   Brezhnev had “spoiled” the security officers with his perfect obedience; they were doing whatever they wanted, they did not need any reorganizations or innovations in their structures. It was good and easy for them both in their official and financial situations, as to everything else... it was just a minor inconvenience that could always be isolated so that they did not cause too much trouble because of their discontent...

   I think it was at the end of the 80s that the idea arose to install “their own personal leader” of the government in order to continue implementing their plans in the same manner. They had ambitious plans, as we realized later. Brezhnev’s “entourage” decided to seize power openly, and not hide behind the leaders’ backs. Their plan had been designed for a period of several years, and the plan was grandiose in scope. In addition to power, the KGB group was planning to pocket all of the government property; only a person in power personally interested in that could show no resistance to such a turn of events. They followed the same chain of events; they used the same technology for the transfer of power...

   The first step was to give society some freedom, to let everyone believe that freedom was there to stay. This feeling of freedom would create optimism in society thus dulling people’s vigilance. It was the case after the revolution in 1917 and after the exposure of Stalin’s cult of personality in 1953. Later came the replacement of the leaders and the repressive “tightening of the screws” so that they would not relax any more... They took the lessons of the USSR history well into account.

   Gorbachev suited that plan perfectly. Perestroika and glasnost were announced in the USSR. People rejoiced and believed that the changes were there to remain, and the “reign” of the KGB was supposedly over. Then everything happened according to a well-tested plan, the same plan that was implemented during Khrushchev’s removal from power. They made sure the reforms were sabotaged; perestroika slowed down, which reduced the leader’s popularity. That served as a “natural justification” for the coup. That was how Yeltsin came to power. The euphoria of freedom played a cruel joke on the peoples of the USSR.

   I think Gorbachev’s leadership in the USSR had been planned by the new generation of KGB conspirators many years earlier than his “turn” actually came.

   The underground KGB group monitoring the power in the USSR had big plans; they were preparing to actually seize power in the USSR directly. They were preparing “democratic” transformations. They needed Gorbachev M.S. to start these transformations; they needed a person whom everyone would trust.

   Then, they planned another coup according to the scenario already proven effective in practice: discrediting the leader and performing a coup with the help of the KGB. At that first stage, the KGB was helping Gorbachev, and frequent meetings with them are proof of this, as Bobkov testified in his book.

Further, according to my assumption, they were planning to seize power by helping Yeltsin. Yeltsin, in my opinion, was also part of their plan far in advance; the KGB always selected candidates very carefully; a really important “operation in the society” lay ahead.

   Yeltsin was suitable for the conspirators for two reasons: firstly, due to his personal character traits with his ability to be liked by the ordinary people, which helped him gain popularity among many segments of the Russian population. And, secondly, he had a bad heart, which was very convenient for complex manipulations... A bad heart, just like Brezhnev’s, was the most important element in the activities of the underground group. Yeltsin’s health could have been “impaired” at any moment without any suspicion. And at that moment, convenient for them, of the leader’s “ill health”, full power would go to the KGB. Their protégé Putin would be ready for such a moment, working in Yeltsin’s “entourage”.

   Well, the plan worked perfectly, everything went very smoothly. Yeltsin, the newly elected President of the USSR, could not work for a single day, the conspirators did not give him a single minute to gain any foothold in his new position, they were no longer afraid of him. The next day it was reported that Yeltsin was unable to fulfill his duties due to health reasons, and he handed over this position “temporarily” to Vladimir Putin.

   This is another quote from Bobkov’s book “The KGB and Power”, on page 370: “From the very beginning of perestroika, everything was done thoughtfully and slowly. Our leaders understood well: if they immediately announced their ultimate goal - to replace the socialist system and dissolve the Communist Party - it would not be difficult to imagine what indignation that would cause in the people of the country.                     Those plotting the coup, namely perestroika, took that into account. They decided that, first of all, it was necessary to remove the Communist Party from power, from the Moscow level to the local leadership, and discredit it in the eyes of all people”...

   As I wrote earlier in this article, discrediting someone was an important tool in seizing power in the USSR.

   On page 363, the author writes about those who had actually planned perestroika: “A new time has come, and people believed in perestroika, they believed the new leader and followed him. Few people knew that the author of perestroika was not Gorbachev at all - its strategic basis was developed by Andropov Yu. V. Unfortunately, fate allowed him too little time; he was unable to carry out his ambitious plan.”

   Judging by the person in power in Russia now, we can say that strategic plan was a success. So in this regard, it could not have happened without “experts” from the KGB. The author laid everything out very clearly. Why did he shift all responsibility for the failures of perestroika to someone else though? Who deliberately undermined the government with false guidelines during the process of perestroika? Who were the hypocrites in the vanguard of perestroika he writes about on page 367: “Could we have thought that hypocrites would be in the vanguard of perestroika?”

   Yes, the older generation of conspirators did not expect such a turn in their secret affairs of ruling the country. The author is not even trying to veil his regret. That is what their good intentions led to... The new generation of conspirators decided to take advantage of the situation for their own more selfish purposes than their predecessors, who were more concerned about the security of the peoples of the USSR...

   Here is another important concept consistent with my theory about the “underground group” in the KGB: Vitaly Bondarenko writes in his book “The Struggle for Power” (2007), on page 220: “Recognizing the statement that Andropov Yu. V. was by nature a very intelligent person, and at the same time, knowing about his truly incomplete education, one has to reasonably doubt that his understanding of behavior, choice of goal and means of achieving them were taken personally, and that they did not represent an externally controlled implementation of external attitudes; apparently, at the beginning he confidentially collaborated with the Soviet security agencies, and then, having come to the attention of competing intelligence services, as a candidate with a suitable biography and inclinations, he became the object of their targeted development and promotion:

- on this “theoretical basis” he proclaimed that the existing social and political system was doomed, and formulated the goals of the so-called improvement of socialism, which became the basis for the practical activities of his protégé Gorbachev M. S. (with a delay of one year, for the duration of Chernenko’s tenure as General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee).”

   I am not the first person to conceive an assumption as to the behind-the-scenes actions of the KGB among the country’s leaders, but I am glad that I came to this conclusion on my own. I am certain there are many more people with such doubts who have the same assumptions, we just don’t know about each other yet.

This information from Bondarenko’s book also coincides with the information from the book written by Bobkov that the idea of perestroika was presented and promoted to Gorbachev by Andropov and “his team”.

At that time, the KGB needed a person like Gorbachev. He was a leader capable of implementing difficult reforms, a leader who was easy to trust for millions of USSR citizens tired of his predecessors’ vague commands. Later, at the right moment, Gorbachev’s reforms were slowed down by the same forces in the KGB, propaganda was spreading, and the “dissatisfied people” that had believed in their freedom “supported” Yeltsin in removing Gorbachev from power.

   That is how another strong leader came to power in the USSR - Yeltsin B. N. And, as we already know, reformers in the USSR and then in Russia do not remain in power for long; they are always replaced by individuals that are “grey and lacking initiative” and, to everyone’s surprise, such people remain in power for a very long time.

Indeed, as General Bobkov writes, everything was done “thoughtfully and slowly”. The underground KGB officers were cautious as the prospect was very tempting. They were no longer worried about a possible cult of personality in the country; they were now more concerned about the prospect of huge financial profits through privatization, there was a lot there that they could achieve. Perhaps, Bobkov did not know the details of the “strategic plan” developed at the KGB. He was going to retire and enjoy well-deserved rest after a long career in the security agencies. The new generation of employees that had joined the security agencies in the 70s gradually concentrated all power in their hands. We now know that they were pragmatic and cynical people; they had “evaluated” all the possibilities while still in “Brezhnev’s entourage”. The logic in all the events during that period was very simple: the desire to gain power and money. The socialist system could not rid humanity of this eternal vice, which brings people nothing but grief.

   Page 370: “The worldwide excitement around the name “Gorby” has clouded the heads of many sensible people in our country. However, there were also those who soberly assessed what benefits “Gorbachev’s course” could mean for them.”

   In my opinion, it would be more accurate to say that it was the KGB course headed by Andropov Yu. V.

   Page 371: “It would be possible to understand and find some logic in the actions of our leaders if outspoken opponents of the socialist system, staunch anti-communists, came to power, but power ended up in the hands of those who cursed capitalism and extolled socialism for decades.”

Page 367: “I had to speak more than once both before KGB officers and outside the agency. I did not hide the threat of the party’s collapse and the government’s collapse, but at the same time I felt completely powerless: it was no longer possible to prevent or stop that process. The system was not only undermined by the ulcers I have already mentioned, but it had also been constantly undermined deliberately. It is not a secret anymore.”

   I will repeat the author’s words that the system was undermined by “ulcers” and was constantly undermined deliberately. Bobkov witnessed all of that; he knows what he is talking about. That system was carefully guarded by the government security agencies; then how could those “ulcers” appear, and how could it have been undermined “deliberately”? Here, the author is clearly not saying everything he knows, as he promised at the beginning of his book, but now we know why the system was deliberately undermined, and why the KGB did not act to stop this “deliberate undermining” of the system.

   Page 369: “One after another, plans for economic revival were implemented and just as easily they fell through. More and more opposing agencies and movements, associations and parties were created, which in their struggle for power often resorted to completely unworthy methods!”

   We all knew from the press and TV news that the industrial collapse was being deliberately carried out, as General Bobkov writes. In many sectors of the economy, there were sudden disruptions in the supply of component materials required for the manufacture of various products. Many factories stopped their conveyors, and no one could explain what was really happening, what the reason was for such supply disruptions. Where were the KGB officers then, since it was their responsibility to fight against such sabotage in industrial production? The answer may be quite simple - it was organized by them because they knew in advance about the impending privatization of the state-owned enterprises. In that way, they had brought those enterprises to bankruptcy in order to devalue them and buy them up for mere pennies. But at that time no one could understand anything...

Then, I assume again, the second stage in the KGB’s “strategic plan” began, with the goal of seizing power in Russia and the collapse of the USSR. In the KGB, they understood perfectly well that through the legal method of a general election, not one of them would become the leader of the country; the competitors in the young democratic movement in the USSR were too strong - they were smart and ambitious. They needed a person of the same type as Brezhnev, a good executive of the KGB’s and its underground group’s will. They managed to find such a “unique” person in their own ranks.

   Colonel Putin is a rare mediocrity in everything. But who in Russia would vote for such a presidential candidate - an unknown KGB colonel? Nobody!!!

   They had to develop yet another multi-stage plan for the transfer of power from Gorbachev to Yeltsin, and after that - from Yeltsin to Putin.

   The KGB propagandists made Yeltsin a hero. “He proved his superiority to Gorbachev,” - Bobkov writes on page 370 in his memoirs, with the help of the same underground KGB officers, it should be added.

   The legally elected President of the USSR, Gorbachev M. S., had his powers taken away. The newly elected democratic government of the USSR, trying to control the power of President Yeltsin, of course, did not suit the underground KGB officers.

   Under that Parliament, Putin would never have been nominated for President.

   On October 4, 1993, troops entered Moscow and began shelling the government building on the Krymskaya Embankment, demanding the surrender of the Parliament and the dissolution of the State Duma. Could that have happened in the USSR without the encouragement of the KGB? No! And thus, Brezhnev’s former “entourage” and all the subsequent leaders of the USSR alternating after him for a short period of time became “Yeltsin’s entourage”. Again, they got away with a coup, just like during the removal of Khrushchev.

   Gorbachev, just like Khrushchev, left quietly and without any resistance; they understood all the “mechanisms” of power in the USSR perfectly.

   After reading General Bobkov’s entire book “The KGB and Power”, I could not get rid of the impression that he was trying to justify all the KGB’s actions in the post-war period, and that the book was written under an order from these agencies, which even angered me. But after thinking about it, I changed my mind. It is possible that the author, describing the methods of the secret services, was not afraid to risk his reputation in order to convey the truth to future generations. In his book, he gave us guidelines so that we would take the right path in understanding our history. He, of course, could not describe all the “underground manipulations” in those agencies; he was not free either.

   Counterintelligence officer Bobkov chose his own way to talk about the conspiracy against Stalin and the long-term consequences of those actions. In any case, the book helped me in rethinking a lot of things... It is clear that he is worried about the miscalculations in the economic transformations that led to the collapse of the USSR. It was not the outcomes his generation dreamed of after the victory in the Great Patriotic War, and after the liberation from Stalin’s repressions. I think Bobkov realized the mistakes they made when acting behind the scenes. But it was too late, and nothing could be changed. It once again proves the danger of a country being ruled by uncontrolled agencies, when mistakes are carefully hidden and correction is impossible as it is not analyzed by the society in order to avoid the same mistakes in the future.

   Now, as to Putin...

   Putin is a mediocrity in everything: in his appearance and behavior, in his interviews and speeches to the public, and in his leadership of Russia. There is nothing special or memorable about him. That is probably why I cannot remember the first time I saw him on TV. The first impression of him, which I remember only because it greatly shocked me, was when he was talking about “killing in the outhouse” using obscene criminal jargon. I don’t remember exactly when he said that, and it’s not as important, but I do remember how my consciousness was pierced by the feeling of shame for my country. That first lasting impression of a person with a killer’s mentality turned out to be accurate. Later, I heard other gangster expressions from him in his public speeches, but it was no longer shocking, it was already organically intertwined with his personality and his grinning face of a criminal.

   The history of the USSR has many mysteries that even distinguished historians cannot solve. Putin’s rise to power added yet another such mystery. How could such a random person end up in power in Russia? Everyone is asking this question, yet no one can find an answer.

   It seems Putin himself doesn’t know it either. Do you remember Putin’s answer in an interview with the American director Oliver Stone as to why Yeltsin nominated him as his successor to be President when he could no longer remain in power due to his poor health? Putin answered very briefly: “I don’t know why Yeltsin chose me”.

   Generally speaking, his monosyllabic answers to very important questions reveal a lot about his mental abilities, or rather his mental inability. Putin, through his stupidity, missed a huge opportunity to tell the world (or rather to lie) about his advantages over other presidential candidates in Yeltsin’s eyes and show significant evidence of Yeltsin’s “correct” choice. But Putin did not have such evidence and at that time he answered truthfully, which is a very rare occasion with him. There was nothing to choose him for, he did not have any exceptional abilities that he could show off or be proud of. He did not have a vision of the future of the country - it was the same “I don’t know” answer; yet he could have developed his vision if he ever had it.

   He did not expect such a question, it seems, so he did not prepare an answer in advance. Answers like “I don’t know” score the lowest grade at all schools. This question was unexpected; his “entourage” from the KGB had not prepared an answer for him to such a simple question. I can only assume that his “entourage” is as “savvy” as Putin himself. In Russia, such questions are simply not asked. He could not come up with an answer to such a question on his own.

   The second time I saw Putin acting like a D-student was in February 2022, when the leaders of European countries arrived in Moscow to meet with him to convince him that war was an evil that should not exist in the 21st century. Sitting at a funnily long table with Putin, they were looking at him with such longing it made me laugh. It reminded me of a conversation between a teacher and a hopeless student, when the teacher understands that talking to such a student will not help in any way, but will only take up the teacher’s time. The hopeless student has heard it all many times, but still he is acting in the same old way.

   Since then, I have this mental image of Putin as a D-student whenever I see his face on the Internet. And it is this D-student Putin that is ruling Russia just as he wishes.

   He also reminds me greatly of Gogol’s Khlestakov, a man accepted in the society not for who he really was.

   It causes grave concerns for the people of Russia.

   If you follow Putin’s path to the very top of political power, you will note many unusual facts. Everyone knows that after his dismissal from the KGB, Putin “accidentally” met his former professor Anatoly Sobchak in the corridor of St. Petersburg University. It is not clear what brought Putin to the university building. It is possible that the meeting with Sobchak had been carefully orchestrated.

   At that time, Anatoly Sobchak was forming his cabinet to nominate his candidacy for Mayor of St. Petersburg. Seeing his former student, he immediately invited him to work in his office. Sobchak understood that he couldn’t do without the KGB, as he himself later explained that decision, and he would certainly need this “harmless” lackluster security officer, a “guarantor” by nature. That is how the first step to the Olympus of power was taken. The “pale moth,” as Putin was nicknamed by his fellow students for his mediocrity in every way, suddenly soared to dizzying heights and began to claim an important role in Russian history.

   But was it really so very unexpected? It was unexpected for people who knew him, but not for himself. The pragmatic new generation of the underground group in the KGB had placed their bets on Putin. It was difficult to find another man of such unique “greyness” of human character - something like Brezhnev - in his generation, to easily manipulate things behind his back without any objections on his part. The previous generation of underground KGB officers working behind Brezhnev’s back convinced them of the advantages of having an obedient “guarantor” as the head of the USSR and later Russia. So, he was gradually promoted in his career, he was financially rewarded, and compromising material was being prepared about him, just in case...

   And so, walking along this “path” laid out for him by the underground group, he ended up in Moscow and was introduced to the Russian President Yeltsin. Thinking of Yeltsin during that period, it is worthwhile recalling two decisions, fateful and unexpected for Russia, which he made shortly after his election: the appointment of Colonel Putin as Director of the FSB and the dissolution of the USSR. It also noteworthy that those extremely important decisions that determined Russian’ fate were made when Yeltsin was “on vacation”, far away from Moscow.

   When he made the decision about Putin, he was on vacation in Karelia. Sergei Kiriyenko brought him a decree signed by Yeltsin appointing Putin to the highest position in the FSB and congratulated Putin, who met him at the train station.

   And the “dissolution” of the USSR was formalized in Belovezhskaya Pushcha by three “resting” leaders of the republics, almost between fishing and sauna. If you go back in time a little, you can remember that in the initial period of his term, the USSR President Yeltsin was going to preserve the union of the republics. He and the leaders of the other republics were going to sign a new union treaty on terms satisfactory to all the republics. What actually forced him and the presidents of the other two republics to change their minds? We don’t know for sure! But we know that Yeltsin himself had changed a lot because of his Moscow “entourage”. People who had worked with him in Yekaterinburg argued that the Moscow Yeltsin was very different from the Yekaterinburg Yeltsin.

   And yet, why did Yeltsin make his extremely important decisions while far away from Moscow?

   I can assume that Yeltsin did not really want to nominate Putin, an inconspicuous mediocrity with a murky past, to the top position in the FSB, but those “underground officers” forced him to do so.

   Does it seem impossible to you? It is very possible because they had helped him remove Gorbachev from power, and he probably accepted all their conditions. Far away from the capital, he was isolated, and technically could not ask anyone for help; he was in fact their hostage. I have already mentioned that Yeltsin was a very convenient candidate for achieving the selfish goals of the underground KGB group. His heart disease would have justified all their actions if Yeltsin had not been so accommodating. It was very convenient for a peaceful removal of Yeltsin himself. He, in fact, was a hostage in the hands of the criminal FSB. Putin’s choice for the presidency, unexpected for everyone, was also forced; Yeltsin by that time had fully realized, I think, what he had gotten himself into.

   Let me remind you once again of Putin’s interview with Oliver Stone, when he said that he did not know why Yeltsin chose him as his successor to be President of Russia. Was there really no “man-to-man” conversation between Yeltsin and Putin beforehand? Were there really no parting words, in accordance with all human traditions, from the old president to the new one?

   After all, even in a simple job interview, the employer usually explains what attracted them in the applicant for the position and what they expect from the potential future employee. It turns out Putin did not have any interview with Yeltsin, and Yeltsin never told him what work experience stood out to him when choosing him for the position of the Russian President. Putin himself testified that he did not know why he was chosen. Would he have had such an answer if he had had a serious conversation with Yeltsin? Perhaps, he was chosen in absentia under pressure from his friends - the “underground officers” from the FSB. I think that in such a situation Yeltsin had no one to ask for help; criminals had taken over the government security agencies. They manipulated him with the aim of seizing power and installing “their man” in the upper echelon of power with all the predictable consequences.

   Galina Starovoitova, an adviser to President Yeltsin, advised him from the very beginning that the dissolution and transformation of the KGB was necessary, but it had to be done carefully. She pointed out directly where they had to start working in order to cultivate stable democracy in the USSR at that time. But he started by renouncing the Communist Party. Historians claim that it became clear to Starovoitova that Yeltsin was relying on the KGB. Of course, he dismissed her. Later, Galina Starovoitova was assassinated in St. Petersburg. Perhaps, her position on the KGB was the reason behind her assassination. We need to once again review the cases of all the elected members of the government that died in the 90s as to their attitude to reforms in the KGB. Perhaps, the real reason for their murders lies there.

   In the meantime, I have to use my imagination to unravel the charades of the past.

   Here is one more piece of advice for future generations of Russians: remember the technology of the transition of power to those controlled by the FSB. In general, this is how it works:

1. A popular politician at the head of the government begins democratic and economic reforms, which raises hopes for the best in the society and people’s enthusiasm, which in turn lowers everyone’s vigilance; they do not believe that this will not last forever.

2. Slowing down transformations by underground KGB (or now the FSB) officers, which reduces the popularity of the reformer politician.

3. Organizing the “discontent” among the people through false propaganda and discrediting the formerly popular politician.

4. A coup and seizure of power by another person with a “grey” and lackluster mentality with the help of “underground men” from the FSB for a very long time in order to keep the President’s “entourage” untouchable. It will allow the “entourage” to illegally enrich themselves even more.

5. “Tightening the screws” of repressions in the society and intimidating those dissatisfied.

That was the case with the era of Brezhnev, and it was also the case with the era of Putin in the end. Now the time has come for a new third generation of underground officers from the KGB-FSB to “take over power”.

   Be careful as they are holding on to their power with their very teeth, especially since now they have a huge financial interest in it. So, they simply need “grey mice” and “pale moths”...

   I can also assume that the “underground group” in the FSB pass on their power by right of inheritance to their young relatives - this way they can more reliably preserve their incognito and capital so that no one can do anything to them in the hidden labyrinths of the secret services...

   They do not understand the laws of social development. They do not understand that reforms are needed very often... This is the only way to change life for the better, following the wishes and needs of the society... But these “grey men” only know how to “tighten the screws” of repressions and intimidation... They do not believe in their people and are afraid of them...

   I hope I have convinced you that my theory is quite plausible. In any case, it is the only way I can explain the third decade of man in power in Russia that is incapable of achieving anything........

   Right now, the second generation of conspirators from the KGB-FSB is gradually leaving to enjoy their “well-deserved” rest. They need a strong and bright reformer to organize the second “perestroika”, to create the illusion of the advent of “eternal” freedom and democracy. Then, they will carry out their plan according to the old scheme...

   Perhaps Yavlinsky, with his anti-war views, is suitable for this, and his negotiations with Putin were precisely about this. Yavlinsky does not want to say who initiated that meeting, but it is quite clear. Yavlinsky doesn’t need Putin at all; everything he advises and desires could be stated on social networks or in an open letter in the press, it would be a more meaningful way to do it. But if he wanted to insult Putin, then, of course, it was necessary to organize a “personal” meeting.

   It is clear that Putin and his “entourage” need Yavlinsky for another imitation of “liberation” from a tyrant in order to please the people and generate the euphoria of seeming freedom...

   Yavlinsky did not disclose the details of his recent meeting with Putin, calling it a “private” meeting. But this “private” meeting took place in the Russian President’s office in the Kremlin. There should be no “private” meetings there during the President’s working hours. For a private meeting, Putin could have invited Yavlinsky to some other place, to his residence, for example. And all meetings of the Russian President in his Kremlin office must be recorded in accordance with the law. But the law never applied to Putin and his “entourage” for a long time, and they do whatever they want in the Kremlin.

   I assume Yavlinsky was offered “assistance” by Putin’s “entourage” in the presidential elections. At the moment, they really need an imitation of democracy. The aging Yavlinsky is very suitable for the role of a strong reformer. All the young reformers capable of posing any serious threat to the “underground group” in the FSB have been thrown into prisons and labor camps.

   Then, after a sham “election” of an aging reformer to be President of Russia, it is not difficult to imagine what will come - a slowdown of all reforms, negative propaganda and discrediting... And then, a new “grey” man will be appointed President for the next 30 years, so as not to disturb the new generation of underground security officers as long as possible.

   The war in Ukraine, not too long before the “elections”, was launched precisely for this purpose. The new leader will stop the war to the great joy of all Russians for a short time.., and then in the next 30 years the Russians will again be controlled by the “underground men” of the KGB-FSB behind the back of another “grey and pale”... through threats and repressions.

   Well, it remains to be seen if my predictions will come true; we won’t have long to wait for such changes “for the better”, and then we will have to endure for a long, long time until the next cycles of changes “for the better”...

   One more top secret political affair is coming soon in Russia ….

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