Counterintelligence of the KGB of the USSR arrested Penkovsky on October 22 1962, on the day of the apogee of the Caribbean crisis and the beginning of the blockade of Cuba. Three months later, even before the completion of the investigation into the Penkovsky case, General of the Army Ivan Serov was dismissed from the post of head of the GRU with the wording: “For the loss of political vigilance and unworthy deeds”. The commander of the missile troops and artillery of the Ground Forces suffered the chief artillery marshal Sergey Varentsov, who was removed from his post, degraded to major general and deprived of the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
Varentsov sins do not cause doubts. Penkovsky at the front served as his adjutant and was obliged to marshal a post-war career, including service in the GRU. As for Serov, in his notes he denies any connection with Penkovsky. According to his version, Penkovsky was a KGB agent who was deliberately set up by Western intelligence agencies to drain disinformation, which was of extreme importance in the context of the Caribbean crisis.
Dozens of volumes have been written about Penkovsky’s double or triple life. But the Penkovsky affair is not only the Caribbean crisis, it is also the most intricate, the most mysterious affair in the history of intelligence. More than 40 years have passed since then, but many questions have not been answered. The main secret remains for whom Penkovsky worked - on the British, the Americans, on the GRU or on the KGB of the USSR - and who would benefit from this treachery?
Ivan Serov claims that not to the West, but to the Soviet Union. Judge for yourselves: the third world war, for which the USSR was not ready, did not start, the United States kept its word - left Cuba alone and removed their missiles from the territory of Turkey. And now we will list the Soviet "losses": after Penkovsky was exposed, three hundred intelligence officers were withdrawn because of the cordon, which he could surrender, but not a single failure occurred and no GRU or KGB agent was injured ...
ON THEIR OWN INITIATIVE
Once upon a time there was a military intelligence officer Penkovsky, a former dashing front-line officer, who was awarded five military orders, graduated from the Military Diplomatic Academy, where his future aide was attached to the future artillery marshal Varentsov. But already after the first business trip abroad to Turkey, Penkovsky “for lack of talent” was dismissed from the army. However, under the patronage of Varentsov, they are soon restored and sent under the "roof" to the State Committee on Science and Technology. It was at this time that “offended” Penkovsky allegedly decided to “sacrifice himself for the salvation of mankind” and, on his own initiative, offers his services to the Americans and the British in turn.
12 August 1960 on Red Square, he approaches two students from the United States and asks them to convey to the CIA some kind of proposal for "technical cooperation." But overseas, such an initiative was considered a provocation by the KGB. However, Penkovsky did not calm down and made several more attempts until he turned up an English businessman Greville Winn, who had long collaborated with intelligence MI-6. From that moment on, Penkovsky began to work both for the British and for the Americans.
Western historians of the special services claim that Penkovsky was at the same time driven by the high and noble ideals of humanism. And they themselves admit that this “humanist” in all seriousness offered to install miniature warheads in the largest cities of the USSR in order to bring them into action in the hour of X. Former senior officer of the operational directorate of the CIA DL Hart literally quotes the “doctrine” of Colonel Penkovsky: “Two minutes before the start of the operation, all the main targets, such as the buildings of the General Staff, the KGB, the CPSU Central Committee, must be destroyed not by bombers, but by the charges previously placed inside buildings, in stores homes. " Indeed, a humanist ...
So what are the secrets Penkovsky actually told US and British intelligence? There is no reliable answer. And versions of darkness. The most common: Penkovsky told the Americans that the Soviet Union was deploying missiles aimed at the United States in Cuba. There are big doubts about this. To begin with, Penkovsky simply was not allowed to such sensitive information. About the operation under the code name "Anadyr" knew a few units. Another one of the "merit" of Penkovsky was told by the head of British intelligence, MI-6, Dick White. According to his version, allegedly thanks to the intelligence information received from Penkovsky, it was decided that the United States should not launch a preemptive strike on the Soviet Union, since the nuclear might of the USSR is too exaggerated. But what, I ask, could Penkowski tell the Americans if, starting from 1950, reconnaissance aircraft of the US Air Force made more than 30 unpunished flights over Soviet territory and photographed most of the missile test sites, air defense bases, including the strategic airbase in Engels and the submarine base?
Go ahead. Well, Penkovsky handed over to the West five and a half thousand secret documents that were re-taped. The volume is really gigantic, but what followed? As already mentioned, not a single agent was hurt, not one illegal person “lit up,” none of the intelligence officers were expelled or arrested. But when in the 1971, KGB officer Oleg Lyalin refused to return to the USSR, the effect was completely different. 135 Soviet diplomats and employees of foreign institutions were expelled from England. There is a difference, and what a!
Another mysterious, still unrevealed page of the spy puzzle is the story of Penkovsky's exposure. It is known that Penkovsky came under the counterintelligence cap quite by accident: the surveillance officers were brought to Penkovsky by his contact, the English resident's wife Annette Chisholm. At this time, the CIA and MI-6, in case of failure of their valuable agent, continue to develop a Penkovsky escape plan. They send him a set of fake documents, and the counterintelligence of the KGB, using operational equipment, fixes the spy when he examines a new passport in his apartment.
When it becomes clear that Penkovsky will not be released abroad, new ideas arise: coherent British intelligence MI-6 Greville Winn brought to Moscow, allegedly to the exhibition, a van with a camouflaged hiding place inside, where they had to hide Penkovsky to secretly take out from Moscow to England .
But the plan didn't work. 2 November 1962, the KGB's counterintelligence, red-handedly took over the archivist of the American Embassy, Robert Jacob, at a time when he was in the entrance of a residential building emptying a spy cache, allegedly laid by Penkovsky. On the same day in Budapest, at the request of the KGB, the Hungarian intelligence officer MI-6, Greville Winn, was arrested by the Hungarian security service.
Three months later, the head of the GRU, Ivan Serov, was deprived of his position, who was not only demoted and deprived of the Golden Star obtained for the Berlin operation, but also sent to a humiliating exile - Deputy Commander of the Turkestan Military District for the universities. In 1965, Serov was fired and then expelled from the CPSU. And none of the attempts to rehabilitate failed, although Marshal of the Victory Georgy Zhukov himself was bothering for Serov.
Recall that Ivan Serov, before becoming head of the GRU, was the first chairman of the KGB of the USSR. So why is he so guilty before the motherland?
Claim one. Allegedly Serov restored the Penkovsky traitor to the GRU. However, Ivan Aleksandrovich strongly disagrees with such an accusation. Here is what he wrote: “It is known that Marshal of Artillery S. Varentsov repeatedly asked me to transfer Penkovsky from the Missile Forces again to the GRU. He called me by phone, but I refused to Varentsov and wrote to me on the certificate given to me by the head of the GRU Personnel Department: “Without changing the attestation written by the military attache General Rubenko (the head of Penkovsky in Turkey, who considered him incompetent. - N.Sh. ), it can not be used in military intelligence. " Moreover, no one else turned to me on this issue. And then the following happened. The deputy head of the GRU, General Rogov, signed an order to transfer Penkovsky to the GRU, and then the same Rogov redid the certification for Penkovsky. At a meeting of the CPC (Party Control Committee under the Central Committee of the CPSU), he himself declared this, adding that he was punished for this — a reprimand was announced. ”
In this context, there is one very important circumstance. A tense relationship developed between Serov and his deputy Rogov. Rogov was a protege of the USSR Minister of Defense Marshal Rodion Malinovsky, with whom they fought together, and the marshal hoped to seat him in the chair of the GRU chief. But the appointment of Serov confused them all the cards.
In the suitcase, which Ivan Serov hid until better times, was found a manuscript outlining his version of the “Penkovsky case”. The former head of the GRU, in particular, wrote: “The horns enjoyed the special patronage of comrade. Malinowski. Therefore, he often without Malinovsky visited me and received “personal” instructions, which I learned from him later or did not know at all. He often signed orders for the GRU, without informing me, for which I made comments to him more than once. (Let us clarify. The order for the restoration of Penkovsky to the GRU Rogov signed when Serov was on vacation. The party control commission established it officially. - N.Sh.) I learned about Penkovsky's work and work in the GRU several months later when I saw his surname is among the officers assigned to service the exhibition in Moscow. I asked the head of the personnel department where Penkovsky had come from, to which he replied that the cadres were dealing with him and cadres. Rogov signed an order of appointment. "
Claim two. Allegedly Penkovsky was close to the Serov family. This is perhaps the most scandalous accusation. The reason for this was the following fact: in July, 1961, his wife and daughter Serov were simultaneously in London with Penkovsky. Much has been written about the joint voyage of Serovs and Penkovsky. Up to the point that the daughter Serova Svetlana allegedly became the spy's mistress. And they wrote about this very respected authors.
V. Semichastny, “Restless Heart”: “Penkovsky tried his best to get close to Serov. He “accidentally” met with Serov abroad, when he visited England and France with his wife and daughter, and with the money of the British special services arranged for them a “beautiful life”, presented expensive gifts. ”
A. Mikhailov, “Accused of espionage”: “Penkovsky made of leather climbed to please Madame Serova and her daughter. He met them, drove shopping, spent some of his money on them. ”
N. Andreeva, “Tragic Fate”: “CIA employee G. Hozlwood wrote in his report:“ Penkovsky began to flirt with Svetlana, and I had to beg him almost on my knees at the meeting: “This girl is not for you. Do not complicate our lives. ”
Svetlana Serov's daughter, who allegedly flirted with Penkovsky, categorically denies all this. Moreover, her story, along with the records of the former head of the GRU, makes us look at the London trip in a completely different way: “In July, 1961, my mother and I went with a tourist group to London. My father escorted us to Sheremetyevo, kissed us and immediately left for service. At the airport, we queued. Suddenly, a man in the form came up to us: “Sorry, there was an overlay, they sold two extra tickets to your flight. Could you wait a couple of hours? Soon another board will go to London. ”
We were not outraged. We approached the KGB officer who accompanied our tourist group and told him everything. He shrugged his shoulders: okay, we'll meet at the airport upon arrival. And after a while they announced landing on another plane - a special flight with a ballet troupe departing on tour to England.
Next to us in the cabin was a man. He immediately tried to start a conversation: “You know, I am in the service of Ivan Alexandrovich. If you wish, I will show you London. ” Mom, as the wife of a real security officer, instantly petrified: "Thank you, we do not need anything."
This was Penkovsky. On the day after arrival he appeared at the hotel. It was after lunch. Knocking into the room: "How are you settled?" How is London? ”
The usual visit is courtesy. The next day, Penkovsky invited Serovs to walk. We sat in a street cafe, wandered around the city. The walk did not last long. Some time after the London trip, Penkovsky called Serov: "I just returned from Paris, brought some souvenirs, I would like to bring it in." And brought. Typical small things: the Eiffel Tower, some key chain. "
And further: “They sat down in the living room to drink tea. Soon the father returned from work. It seemed to me that he recognized Penkovsky. Coldly greeted and closed in his office. Penkovsky felt it and instantly disappeared. I never saw him again. I saw again only in the photographs in the newspapers, when the trial of him began ... ”
The fact that the Serov family flies to London, the British and American intelligence knew in advance. Mr. Penkovsky’s binder Mr. G. Wynn states in his book clearly: “We learned that in July Alex (Penkovsky’s pseudonym) should again arrive in London at the USSR industrial exhibition, where he would, in particular, be Madame Serova's guide.” The CIA and the UIC could learn about this only from one source - from Penkovsky himself, who, of course, had the advantage of gaining value by talking about his exceptional proximity to the head of the GRU.
In his memoirs, the then chairman of the KGB Semichastny makes it clear that it was from his submission that Serov lost his post. While preparing for the Central Committee a report on the investigation of the Penkovsky case, Semichastny added a reminder of Serov’s guilt for evicting the “peaceful” Kalmyks, Ingush, Chechens, Volga Germans and made a proposal to punish Serov.
There is such a term in jurisprudence - proportionality of punishment. So, if Penkovsky’s treachery had been examined and studied according to his mind, Serov had nothing at all to punish ...
Oleg Penkovsky was arrested on October 22 of the year 1962 on his way to the service. The show trial started in May 1963. Together with Penkovsky, his contact person, Her Majesty G. Wynn, sat in the dock. But for some reason, the hearings did not last long. Despite the seemingly gigantic amount of secret documents handed over by Penkovsky to foreign intelligence services, it took only eight days to sentence a traitor to be shot. “With great approval, the Soviet people met with a fair verdict in the criminal case of a traitor, an agent of British and American intelligence services Penkovsky and a spy for the bailiff Vinn,” Pravda wrote in those days. “The Soviet people express a feeling of deep satisfaction that the state security officers have resolutely stopped the vile activities of British and American intelligence services.”
... The hype in the press, a quick consequence - such an impression that skilled conductors did everything to make the maximum impression on the West. Why not? After all, it was only after the arrest and sentence that the Americans and the British finally stopped doubting the sincerity of Penkovsky’s intentions. So, their concerns about the authenticity of its materials have disappeared. But if the alleged version has a basis, then this whole espionage whirl around Penkovsky is probably nothing more than a giant special operation of the KGB. With quite obvious goals: a) the suggestion to the West of a false sense of superiority in the arms race over the USSR; b) discredit the head of the GRU I. Serov. Both goals have been achieved.
KGB TRACK ALMOST NOT VISIBLE
Information for reflection. After returning to 1957 from a mission abroad, Penkovsky was dismissed from the GRU and was appointed head of the course to the Academy of Missile Forces solely thanks to Marshal Varentsov. It is then that the KGB calculates the discrepancy in its questionnaire. It turned out that Penkovsky’s father was not missing, but with weapons in the hands of fought against the Soviet regime. As the saying goes, the son of the father is not the defendant, but if it were not for the assistance of the Lubyanka, with such a "lineage" Penkovsky would never have recovered to the GRU.
Here is what Ivan Serov wrote about this: “If Varentsov had not dragged Penkovsky into the rocket forces, he would not have fallen into the GRU. If the KGB hadn’t “warmed” Penkovsky with this signal, he wouldn’t have been appointed head of the course to the academy. If the KGB had diverted at least one Penkovsky’s trip abroad, the issue would have been resolved immediately. However, this could not be done. Therefore, the conversations of GRU officers that Penkovsky was a KGB agent have sufficient grounds. ”
Recall that in the GRU, Penkovsky had no relation to operational work. He is seconded to the State Committee on Science and Technology - to the ministry, working closely with foreigners. Under this “roof,” Penkovsky was able to make “necessary connections with foreigners.” The case in the history of intelligence is unique: two intelligence agencies start working with Penkovsky at once - the CIA and MI-6. They were amazed at the amount of information of the newly-minted "Mole" and called it a "dream agent". For his curators, Penkovsky extracts everything he is asked for: materials on the Berlin crisis, performance characteristics on missiles, details of Cuban supplies, information from Kremlin circles. “The spectrum of Penkovsky’s knowledge was so wide, access to secret documents was so simple, and the memory turned out to be so outstanding that it was hard to believe,” writes Philip Knightley.
Practically there is no doubt that Penkovsky received all these materials from his curators from the KGB. Carefully selected, sifted through a sieve of counterintelligence, they were a clever symbiosis of disinformation and truth. But the insignificant bits of truth that reached him from the West could not cause any serious damage. For example, what was the use of hiding the locations of the missile bases, if American spy planes had already photographed them from all angles?
Penkovsky’s main task was different - to convince the West that the Soviet Union was lagging behind in the missile program. The Soviet leadership feared the pace at which the States mastered missile technology. In just three years, the Pentagon, for example, was able to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles "Thor", which in 1958 year and placed on the eastern coast of Britain and aimed at Moscow.
If the Americans could be assured that they do not have time for them in the USSR, and therefore are forced to rely on other types of weapons, the expenditures of the main enemy on missile programs would drop sharply, and this time-out would allow the USSR to finally get ahead. What actually happened.
It must be said that Penkovsky was far from being the only participant in this operationally refined operation. Almost simultaneously with his recruitment, the FBI officers detained red-handed Soviet intelligence officer Vadim Isakov. With the same ostentatious zeal with which Penkovsky recruited spies, Isakov tried to buy secret components for intercontinental ballistic missiles - accelerometers. An amazing thing: even feeling the tail behind him, Isakov still didn’t slow down, almost consciously allowed himself to be drawn into contact with a frank setup and at the time of making the deal, as if caught ...
A small educational program. Accelerometers are precision gyroscopes that determine the acceleration of an object. They allow the computer to accurately calculate the location and speed of separation of the warhead from the rocket. The capture of Isakov convinced the Americans that Soviet scientists had not yet developed their accelerometers. And if so, the conclusion followed: the Soviet missiles do not differ in accuracy and can not hit point targets, for example, the missile mines of a potential enemy.
In addition to this, the head of the USSR department of the BND (intelligence of Germany), Heinz Felfe, as commissioned, transmitted to the CIA information that the Kremlin prefers more strategic aviationthan intercontinental missiles. But then the Americans did not yet know that Felfe was working for the KGB. It will be exposed only in 1961.
So what type of weapons - medium-range missiles or ICBMs - did the main stake in the USSR? The main thing that depended on the answer to this question was that first of all it was necessary to develop the Americans themselves, where and in what they are inferior to Moscow. Penkovsky convinced his overseas owners that the USSR was betting on the RSD, specifically on the P-12. He gave the tactical-technical data of these missiles to the Americans (albeit with minor inaccuracies, which the United States will learn many years later). But when the Caribbean crisis struck and American reconnaissance aircraft confirmed the presence of Soviet P-12 missiles on Cuban territory, Penkovsky’s information seemed to be confirmed ...
For many years, the West continued to believe in the sincerity of its “dream agent”. So far, at the beginning of 1970, the Americans did not accidentally find out that all this time they were simply being led around, that the Soviet ICBMs are in no way inferior to their American counterparts. It turned out that the SS-9 (Р-36) missile put into service by the Strategic Missile Forces is capable of delivering a 25 megaton charge over a distance of 13 thousand km and placing it on the target with an “accuracy” of 4 miles.
If John Kennedy during the Caribbean crisis probably knew that the USSR had more accurate ICBMs, his reaction could have been completely different. But then he was piously convinced that Khrushchev was bluffing, that Moscow did not have the ability to adequately respond to the West, that 5 to thousands of American nuclear missiles are opposed to all Soviet 300, and even then - poorly controlled, unable to hit point targets. And if so, Khrushchev will certainly go on negotiations. Moscow is not going anywhere.
But it turned out that the USSR has intercontinental ballistic missiles, the error of which does not exceed 200 m. That is, at least 10 for years, the American missile mines were completely defenseless.
But Penkovsky not only supplied the West with disinformation. With his hands, the Lubyanka managed to realize another “strategic” task: remove the head of the GRU, Ivan Serov, who for the then leadership of the KGB posed a certain threat. He was not a man of their circle at all, he shied away from party friendship and hunting spree, but at the same time he rigidly bent his line. And most importantly - was personally devoted to Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev. Before the war, Khrushchev was the first secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine, while Serov was with him the people's commissar of internal affairs of the Ukrainian SSR. It is no coincidence that by creating a new department on the fragments of the Beriev NKVD, Khrushchev appointed Ivan Serov as chairman of the KGB — it was deadly to entrust such a “farm” to a random person.
However, Khrushchev, tempted in Kremlin intrigues, eventually also ceased to trust "trusted comrades." And the old guard also went under the knife. At first, George Zhukov, Marshal of the Soviet Union, four times Hero of the Soviet Union, lost his job as Defense Minister. In December, 1958, the turn of Ivan Serov. A dashing Komsomol team entered the house on Lubyanka: first Shelepin, then Sevenfold. But finally, Khrushchev Serova did not pass. I put it on another, albeit not so important, but also not the last place - the head of the GRU. And this is not only foreign residencies and radio centers. In direct subordination of the head of the GRU - special purpose brigade scattered throughout the country, capable of starting the task at any moment.
And when clouds began to thicken over Khrushchev's head, when comrades began to think about a conspiracy to overthrow him, they first remembered Serov, who is not like Shelepin and the Sevenfolds, Komsomol of the entire war, and political instructor Leonid Brezhnev, the hero of the then unknown land, possessed a real combat experience. In short, without removing Serov, planning a plot against Khrushchev was useless. Then, in a very timely manner, the case of the traitor Penkovsky arose. Therefore, in the autumn of 1964, when Brezhnev, Shelepin, Semichastny and those who joined them took on Khrushchev, there were no longer loyal people from the first secretary of the CPSU Central Committee.
THE PRISONERS ARE PERFORMED
According to the official data, Oleg Penkovsky was shot 16 May 1963. Only two days after the end of the trial. This haste has sown many in the West with doubts about the veracity of this information; Artem Gorny, the chief military prosecutor, even had to publicly, through the press, to come up with a refutation of the rumors that appeared on the pages of foreign publications. For example, Sunday Telegraf claimed that Oleg Penkovsky’s death sentence was a pure lime, that Penkovsky’s execution “was that his passport had been destroyed and that he was given another in return”. But other rumors followed: allegedly Penkovsky was not just shot, but for the edification of others burned alive in the crematorium. Another defector from the GRU, Vladimir Rezun, better known under the pseudonym Viktor Suvorov, made a significant contribution to the creation of such a legend.
In the book “Aquarium” he described Penkovsky’s execution allegedly imprinted on a film: “Close-up camera shows the face of a living person. The face is sweaty. It's hot in the firebox ... The man is tightly screwed with steel wire to the medical stretcher, and the stretcher is placed on the handles on the wall so that the person can see the firebox ... The firebox doors went apart, illuminating the soles of varnished shoes with white light. The man tries to bend his knees to increase the distance between the soles and the roaring fire. But even this he fails ... Here the lacquered shoes caught fire. The first two stokers bounce off to the side, the last two forcefully push the stretcher into the depths of an angry firebox ... ”
However, it was worthless to imitate Penkovsky’s execution, if he was an unofficial KGB officer, they gave out new documents, concocted a phony certificate of enforcement of the sentence, and the matter was over ...
But, in any case, the trial of Penkovsky and Vinny was a significant blow to the CIA and MI-6. And in order to somehow rehabilitate, in 1955, the CIA concocted a fake called "Penkovsky's Notes." And the opinion about this opus of a professional intelligence officer - the former CIA employee Paul Plaxton, published in the Weekly Review magazine: “The statement of the publishers of“ Notes ... ”that Penkovsky handed over the manuscript to the West in the fall of 1962 of the year sounds ridiculous, since knowing that he was being watched closely, I would not put myself in danger. ” And on this in the "Penkovsky case" so far you can put an end. But a comma is better, because the KGB archives have not yet said the last word.