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Yakov Serebryansky: The Genius of Soviet Intelligence
Yakov Serebryansky: The Genius of Soviet Intelligence
Anonim

The intelligence genius and organizer of high-profile special operations, Yakov Serebryansky knew too many secrets, so he spent the rest of his life in prison.

In the early 1930s, a Soviet reconnaissance group was operating in Europe, Asia and the United States, for its people it was simply "Uncle Yasha's group." She kept in fear more than one region, on her account a number of high-profile operations - from the kidnapping of the tsarist general to the explosions of ships.

In the archives of the special services, the exact data on the affairs of the group are still classified, but, most importantly, on the personal participation of its leader Yakov Serebryansky in them. However, this personality, which has already become legendary, and almost a hundred years later, excites the imagination worse than any James Bond.

Way to Persia and back

Jewish boy Yasha Serebryansky was born in 1891 in Minsk. Like many Jews who were deprived of almost all rights in the Russian Empire, he joined the revolutionaries and managed to sit in a tsarist prison for keeping some kind of "correspondence of illegal content."

After his release, he fought in the First World War and was seriously wounded, then he was engaged in the revolutionary movement in the North Caucasus. Finally, during the Russian Civil War, he ended up in Persia. It was at this time that the Bolsheviks had a mission there - to return the ships taken away by the White Guards. Local rebels asked for more - this is how the Gilan Soviet Republic appeared in Persia.

Signing of the Soviet-Iranian Friendship Treaty (1921)

Signing of the Soviet-Iranian Friendship Treaty (1921)

In Persia, Serebryansky joined the Bolsheviks and was entrusted with reconnaissance in the new "special department" of the Red Army. True, Moscow and Tehran soon concluded an armistice, the republic was disbanded, the army went home, and with it Serebryansky.

Undercover Zionist

Yakov arrived in Moscow, joined the ranks of the Chekists, however, did not stay at home for long - in 1923 he went to Palestine, where the Soviet government placed illegal resident intelligence officers. The main task was to find out the plans of the British in this region, as well as to understand the local mood.

Here the Soviet Chekist was incredibly helped by his Jewish origin. Disguised as a true Zionist and fighter for the formation of a Jewish state, he recruited many Russian emigrants and created a whole network of agents, first in Palestine, and then among Zionists in other countries.

Serebryansky knew French, English and Hebrew, so the service sends him further to Belgium, then to France, then to China, then to Japan, then to the USA. He formed a special group that was engaged not in intelligence, but in sabotage abroad. Serebryansky personally recruited more than 200 agents, many of whom later became intelligence legends themselves.

3 most high-profile cases

One of the most famous operations of the "Uncle Yasha's group" is the kidnapping of the white general Alexander Kutepov. In 1928-30 he was the chairman of the Russian All-Military Union, a combat organization created in France. The Chekists got information that the union was preparing terrorist acts in Soviet Russia. It was necessary to neutralize their head and send them to the USSR.

Alexander Kutepov

Alexander Kutepov

In 1930, Serebryansky's officers grabbed Kutepov right in the center of Paris and wanted to push him into a car. However, the gallant general was able to fight back. He was stabbed in the back by a recruited French communist disguised as a police officer. The general died from the blow.

During the Spanish Civil War, Serebryansky carried out operations of incredible complexity, for which he received one of the main Soviet awards - the Order of Lenin. He bought weapons and shipped them to the Spanish republicans, who were supported by the Soviets.

One of the most difficult operations was the delivery of 12 military aircraft, which Serebryansky was able to deliver under the guise of flight tests to the opponents of General Franco.

Republican Soldiers of the Popular Front of Spain

Republican Soldiers of the Popular Front of Spain

In 1936, another high-profile operation of the group took place in Paris. Serebryansky introduced an agent to the entourage of Lev Sedov, the son of Stalin's main enemy, Lev Trotsky.

The special services knew that after leaving the country, an opponent in the internal party struggle and one of the main leaders of the Russian revolution took away a huge archive.

It contained Trotsky's correspondence with Lenin, including about Stalin, as well as other important documents, in the destruction of which the leader was personally interested. Under Serebryansky's leadership, the agent was able to steal and send part of this huge archive to Moscow.

Leon Trotsky (left); his son Lev Sedov

Leon Trotsky (left); his son Lev Sedov

The next task was to kidnap Lev Sedov himself, who was preparing the Congress of the International - the Soviet government feared that he would try to organize sabotage or even the seizure of power. The kidnapping plan had already been worked out, but Trotsky's son died suddenly.

Secrets and tales

“It is believed that my father worked so cleanly that until recently, both in our country and abroad, there was practically no exact information about him,” Nikolai Dolgopolov, the son of an intelligence officer, quotes Anatoly Dolgopolov in his book Legendary Intelligence Officers.

Yakov Serebryansky with his son Anatoly

Yakov Serebryansky with his son Anatoly

Even the son of Serebryansky Anatoly does not know what exactly his father did, for example, in China or in the USA: “There are so many legends about his father’s work in the States. For example this. When Serebryansky was in the United States, counterintelligence tracked him down. But the president ordered: not to jail, but to expel him, so as not to spoil relations with Soviet Russia."

This myth, for example, he considers incredible. “If America had known then that Serebryansky was a Soviet intelligence officer, he would still not have been released.”

But there are also things that he is sure of. This episode resembles a scene from the TV series "Seventeen Moments of Spring". In 1932, Serebryansky was supposed to have appendicitis cut out in the USA. He persuaded the doctor to undergo local anesthesia, so that after general he would not lose control and not betray himself by speaking Russian.

However, the doctors confused and gave general anesthesia, and after the nurse said that he clenched his jaw so hard that they even feared that he would swallow his tongue.

Passport in a false name issued to Serebryansky to work in the USA

Passport in a false name issued to Serebryansky to work in the USA

“If my father had spoken in a non-English language, the legend would have ended. And even in this state, he managed to cope, "- said Anatoly.

Fall of the legend

For intelligence activities, Serebryansky was repeatedly awarded various orders of the USSR. He was one of the few intelligence officers who twice received the highest award - the badge of the "Honorary Worker of the Cheka-GPU" (popularly called the "Honorary Chekist").

The building of the OGPU, and then the NKVD and KGB at Lubyanka

The building of the OGPU, and then the NKVD and the KGB on Lubyanka - urikkala / pastvu.com

However, at the height of the Great Stalinist terror, in 1938, Serebryansky was recalled to Moscow and taken straight from the plane to prison. They tortured him out of false testimony and sentenced him to death for espionage in favor of Great Britain and France and for preparing terrorist attacks in the USSR. The verdict, however, was not carried out - the Second World War began, employees like Serebryansky were again needed by the fatherland. He was amnestied and returned to office.

Yakov Serebryansky in 1941

Yakov Serebryansky in 1941

Throughout the war, Serebryansky carried out sabotage throughout Europe. But in 1953, after Stalin's death, he was arrested again … and the sentence was renewed, replacing the sentence with 25 years in prison. Three years later, the 65-year-old scout died of a heart attack during another interrogation.

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