Military Review

Fate in defiance

Fate in defiancePetr Yakovlevich Zubov

In the autumn of 1939, when the German army crushed and occupied Panama Poland for several weeks, turning it into a governor-general, former intelligence intelligence resident in Berlin Colonel Stanislav Sosnovsky and wealthy Polish aristocrat Prince Janusz Radziwill, had fallen into the hands of Soviet intelligence in Berlin. circles of the British aristocracy. Both Poles, who did not have time to emigrate abroad, were brought to Lubyanka with the aim of their active development and possible recruitment.

The active intelligence officer Peter Zubov, who was arrested and imprisoned in 1938 on the personal instructions of Stalin, acted as a developer of the Poles.


Petr Yakovlevich Zubov was born on January 19 of 1898 in Tiflis in a working-class family. In 1908, he graduated from the Chuguret Primary School, in 1915, the Tiflis Mikhailovsky Technical Railway School of the Ministry of Railways. He worked as a technician-foreman on the Transcaucasian Railway, at the same time attending lectures of the Tiflis National University. In the 1918 year, when civil war was raging in the country, he made his political choice and joined the Bolshevik Party. Through a university cell, he did illegal work: he distributed Bolshevik literature, put up proclamations. He participated in the preparation of the uprising in Tiflis in November 1919, being a member of the Bolshevik fighting squad.

After the landing of the British expeditionary corps in the Transcaucasus and the seizure of power in Georgia by the Mensheviks, 22-year-old Zubov was arrested in March 1920 by a special detachment of the Menshevik government for revolutionary activities and placed in Kutaisi prison. In conclusion, he did not stay long: in accordance with the agreement between the RSFSR and Georgia, in May of the same year, Peter, together with other prisoners of Georgian nationalists, was released and sent to Russia. He, like other Bolsheviks, who received freedom, left for Vladikavkaz and went to work at the Cheka of the Mountain Republic.

In March, 1921, immediately after the liberation of Transcaucasia from the British and Turkish invaders, Peter Zubov returned to Tiflis. He worked in operational positions in the Georgian Cheka: supervised activities to defeat underground anti-Soviet centers, participated in the liquidation of the Menshevik insurgent headquarters and several underground printing houses. In 1922, Zubov headed the intelligence department, which developed contacts between the Georgian Mensheviks and their agents in Turkey. At the same time, he met Lawrence Beria, who at that time was the head of the Secret Political Department.

In the summer of 1922, Zubov reported to Beria the information received by his staff that the Georgian Mensheviks were preparing an anti-Soviet uprising. Thanks to the measures taken by the Chekists, it was suppressed at the organizational stage. Having studied the information provided by Zubov, Beria immediately reported it to the chairman of the GPU under the NKVD of the RSFSR, Dzerzhinsky. Since the information was extremely important, Dzerzhinsky prepared a special report, which was reported at the plenary session of the Central Committee of the RCP (B.), And relevant political and organizational measures were taken on it. Lavrenty Beria became deputy chief of the Transcaucasian Cheka. Before him opened a direct road to climbing the Olympus of power.

For specific results in his work in 1924, Peter Zubov was awarded the badge of "Honorary KGB officer", and a little later - nominal weapons.


As a competent KGB officer who acquired intelligence work, including abroad, Peter Zubov was transferred to work in Moscow, to the central apparatus of foreign intelligence, and in 1928 was sent to the OGPU residency in Istanbul. In Turkey, he worked under the cover of the post of employee of the consular department of the embassy of the USSR.

Readers should be reminded here that back in 1927, Soviet foreign intelligence established official contact with Turkish counterintelligence. The initiative to establish cooperation between the special services came from the Turkish side. The leadership of the Soviet intelligence service considered that such cooperation would be useful, since it was to Turkey that the remnants of Wrangel’s army, as well as numerous civilian officials from former Tsarist Russia, emigrated from Crimea in 1920. And although by that time most of the white emigration had already left Turkey, there were still a lot of White Guard and nationalist (Azerbaijani, Tatar, Crimean Tatar) organizations in the country. Their leaders did not conceal that the Soviet Union was their main enemy, and they actively cooperated with the special services of England and France.

The Turkish special services, for their part, were interested in receiving information on the activities of the British and Italian intelligence services in the country, as well as anti-anti-terrorist and Dashnak organizations abroad. In 1925, the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini announced the creation of the Italian Empire and the transformation of the Mediterranean into an “Italian lake”, which could not but alarm Turkey. It was on these issues that information was organized and exchanged. In addition, the Turkish partners appealed to the representative of the ISP OGPU with a request to assist them in the organization of encryption and decryption services. The Soviet-Turkish cooperation in the special services was very fruitful for both sides, and the information received from the Turkish partners was repeatedly appreciated by the Soviet government.

Zubov was actively involved in intelligence activities. Over the years of a business trip, he was characterized as “one of the best and most responsible operational workers of the residency, who achieved high results”.

However, in July 1930, Zubov’s trip was unexpectedly interrupted. The fact is that one of his colleagues, the head of the illegal residence of the OGPU, Georgy Agabekov, took the path of treason. From Turkey, he arrived on a steamboat to France and appealed to the local authorities with a request to grant him political asylum. The traitor made a number of anti-Soviet statements that were published in the French and émigré press. Agabekov issued to the French and British counterintelligence all information known to him about the activities of Soviet foreign intelligence, including in the Middle East. As a result of his flight only in Iran, where he had previously worked, more than 400 people were arrested, four of whom were executed. In July 1931, the Iranian Mejlis made a special decision, as a result of which the Communist Party was outlawed, and the national liberation movement in the country was defeated. Peter Zubov, whom Agabekov knew well, was no longer possible to remain in the country. The Center decided to withdraw it to Moscow.

As for Turkey, contacts with it through the special services gradually ceased by 1931.


Arriving at the central office of the OGPU, Zubov immediately received a new responsible task. It was decided to send him back to work in the Transcaucasian GPU. In the Caucasus, he was engaged in the fight against banditry and organized crime. Personally participated in the elimination of gangs in Georgia and Abkhazia. For courage and heroism shown in battles with gangsters, at the end of 1930, Peter Zubov was rewarded with a weapon of honor and, in 1931, with a diploma of the OGPU college "For the merciless fight against counterrevolution."

However, Zubov did not stay long in Georgia. Already in July, 1931, he was sent to France as an operational employee of the OGPU Paris residence. In Paris, the intelligence officer was mainly engaged in the development of the anti-Soviet Georgian emigration, which had taken refuge in France and dreamed of overthrowing the Soviet power in Transcaucasia. Well aware of the situation in the emigrant circles, the psychology and mentality of the Georgian Mensheviks, and fluently in the Georgian language, Peter Zubov soon acquired a number of valuable sources in the circles of white anti-Soviet emigration, including in the immediate circle of the leader of the Georgian Mensheviks, Noah Jordania, who maintained close ties with the British and french intelligence. From these sources, the residency regularly received materials from the overseas bureau of the Menshevik Party of Georgia, information about the terrorist actions it was preparing. Based on this information, the Soviet Chekists managed to prevent a number of terrorist attacks on the territory of the USSR.

The Zubov agents' channels opened and neutralized a terrorist group created by Georgian Mensheviks to commit an assassination attempt on Stalin. They also developed other anti-Soviet emigrant groups that were sent to Georgia to organize the insurgency.

Thanks to the purposeful work of Zubov, the Paris residency opened and supervised the preparation of British intelligence to conduct a major terrorist operation in the Caucasus under the code name “Diversion”. As a result, the British plans to destabilize the situation in this region were thwarted.


It should be emphasized that the plans of Western countries to destabilize the situation in the Caucasus at that time were by no means a figment of the KGB’s imagination, as some Russian and foreign publications are trying to present. At the end of the 1916 year, that is, before the October Revolution, the British and French agreed among themselves about dividing the territory of Tsarist Russia, although she was an ally of London and Paris in the war with the countries of the Fourth Alliance. The British claimed, in particular, the whole of Transcaucasia, rich in oil. During the civil war, they occupied Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, but were driven out of there by the Red Army. Despite the defeat, the British leadership did not abandon its plans to join the British Empire in large areas of the Soviet Union, including the Transcaucasus.

Before a diplomatic reception. Left - Peter Zubov. Prague, 1937 year.

As for the plans for the assassination attempt on Stalin, then, paradoxically, in those days the Georgian Mensheviks had every chance of success. It is known that in 20-e years, Stalin lived in a city apartment near the Kremlin, went to work on foot, often without any accompaniment. After Lenin's death, he received a small apartment in the Kremlin, and soon a country cottage was built for him. Stalin's guard at that time was not numerous. It grew substantially only after the assassination of Kirov, when a separate regiment of the NKVD became to guard Stalin. It was then that Stalin turned into a “Kremlin recluse”. And in the 20-s, he often appeared in public, spoke at party meetings, especially during the struggle against the Trotskyist opposition. In the summer I rested in Pitsunda or Sochi. Georgian white emigration, having numerous relatives in the Transcaucasus and actively working there, including from illegal positions, could prepare and carry out an act of terrorism against the leader of the Country of Soviets. And if such plans were not realized, then this was the merit of the Soviet Chekists, including Peter Zubov.

During the period of work in Paris, the intelligence officer also acquired a valuable source of information, from which intelligence information on Iran and Turkey came on a regular basis. For successful work in the Parisian station, Zubov was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.


In May, 1933, Peter Zubov returned to Moscow and began working in the central intelligence apparatus. In April 1937, he was appointed a resident of the NKVD in Prague.

In 1935, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia signed a secret intelligence cooperation agreement. To address practical issues of interaction, the head of the Czechoslovak intelligence, Colonel Frantisek Moravec, visited Moscow. Initially, this cooperation was supervised by the Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Red Army. In 1937, Stalin made a decision to entrust the maintenance of contacts between the intelligence services of both countries to foreign intelligence agencies of state security. The implementation of practical issues of cooperation in Prague was entrusted to Peter Zubov.

He arrived in the capital of Czechoslovakia at a time when Hitlerite Germany, which had sharply increased its armed forces and occupied the Rhineland and the Saar Basin, frankly expressed claims to the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia, where the Germans lived. The aggressive policy of Berlin naturally disturbed both Prague and Moscow, where they were aware that the West was not yet ready for war with Germany and would sacrifice Czechoslovakia and preserve it to Hitler for the sake of preserving its own security. In order to ensure its own national security, Czechoslovakia sought to forge an alliance with the USSR.

In 1938, the president of Czechoslovakia, Eduard Beneš, turned to Stalin with a request to support his actions to overthrow the government of Stojadinović in Belgrade, which pursued a hostile Prague policy. Under the special order of Stalin, the NKVD was entrusted with the task of organizing the financing of Serbian militant officers who had begun the preparation of an anti-government coup in Belgrade.

The conspirators were entrusted with the transfer of money to the resident of the NKVD in Prague, Peter Zubov. He traveled to Belgrade and met with leaders of the anti-government conspiracy. During the conversation with them, Zubov was convinced that the people selected by the Czech intelligence for the role of the leaders of the coup were adventurers who did not have serious support either in the army or in society. He refused to give them 200 thousand dollars allocated by Stalin, and returned to Prague. The corresponding encryption went to Moscow. After reading the telegram, Stalin was furious. He ordered to withdraw to Moscow and arrest a scout who dared not to carry out his confidential mission. Of course, no arguments that the intelligence leadership attempted to push on Stalin, of course, did not act.

Peter Zubov was in the Lefortovo prison, where he was immediately started to be interrogated with passion. The scout completely denied his guilt, explaining to the investigators that he had fulfilled the task of the leader, but did not transfer “the money of the workers and peasants” to a gang of adventurers.


In the autumn of 1939, when Poland was captured by the Wehrmacht, and Western Ukraine retired to the Soviet Union, the KGB found a resident of the Polish “dvuyki” (foreign intelligence) resident in Berlin in Colonel Stanislav Sosnovsky in a prison in Lvov. The wealthy Polish aristocrat Janusz Radziwill was also detained by the Chekists, who maintained contacts with Goering and representatives of the English aristocracy in the prewar period. Both Poles were taken to Moscow, to the Lubyanka, where they were placed in the NKVD internal prison and began to actively develop for recruitment as agents.

How did Sosnovsky end up in Lviv prison? In the pre-war years, the Berlin residency of the NKVD was in touch with a reliable and proven source Breitenbach, an employee of one of the central departments of the Gestapo, Willy Lehmann. He supervised the development of Sosnovsky's connections when he was the last resident of Polish intelligence in Berlin, and established external surveillance of them. Breitenbach regularly transferred all materials on Sosnovsky and his connections to his supervisor from the Berlin NKVD residency station. The Polish intelligence officer had agents in many important departments of Hitler's Germany: in the General Staff, in the personal office of Alfred Rosenberg, who was the head of the foreign policy department of the National Socialist Party, in the General Directorate of Imperial Security, in the Abwehr. His mistresses were the wives of responsible Berlin officials. When Sosnowski was arrested by the Gestapo, and then exchanged for two large Abwehr agents arrested in Warsaw, the Polish authorities put him on trial, accusing embezzling public money and the failure of an intelligence agent. Prison sentence Sosnovsky served in a prison in Lviv.

After Sosnovsky was brought to Lubyanka, the leadership of the Soviet foreign intelligence agency received reliable information that the Polish intelligence officer, whose agents after the arrest had been executed in front of the German prison Plötzensee, had two unsolved sources unsolved. In this connection, an operation was developed to attract not only Sosnovsky, but also its sources to cooperation.

Later, the deputy chief of foreign intelligence and the head of the 4 department of the NKVD, General Pavel Sudoplatov, wrote about this in his memoirs:

“After my appointment as deputy chief of intelligence in March 1939, I reminded Beria about the fate of Zubov, who was still in prison for not complying with the order to finance the coup in Yugoslavia. This man, I told Beria, is a dedicated and experienced intelligence officer. Beria, who knew Zubov for 17 years, pretended not to hear anything, although it was Zubov who played a significant role in the fact that Beria managed to reach the heights of power.

For the sake of saving Zubov, I suggested that Beria put him in the same cell with Colonel Sosnovsky. Besides Georgian, Zubov was fluent in French and German. Beria agreed, and Zubov was transferred from Lefortovo, where he was mercilessly beaten by investigators working with him, to the inner prison in Lubyanka.

Being with Sosnovsky in the same cell, Zubov actively promoted his recruitment. He convinced him that cooperation with German or Polish intelligence services does not promise him any prospects, so it makes direct sense to cooperate with Soviet intelligence. "

Two agents recruited by Sosnovsky, the Soviet intelligence, managed to be recruited on the eve of the war. Information from them, including from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Third Reich, testified to the inevitability of a military clash between Germany and the USSR. Soon the development of events fully confirmed these forecasts. Work with these agents continued until the 1942 year.

After Zubov helped recruit Sosnovsky, Sudoplatov suggested that Beria use a scout for the development of Prince Radzivil. This proposal was approved by the People's Commissar. Zubov was transferred to Radzivill's cell, where he stayed for a month. Subsequently, as Pavel Sudoplatov testified, Prince Radziwill was recruited with the help of Zubov. During the war years it was planned to use it as an agent of the influence of Soviet intelligence. True, there is no information in the intelligence archives regarding successful operations.

The conditions of keeping a scout in prison have changed somewhat. However, he never left the conclusion.


The first stage of the Great Patriotic War was tragic for the Red Army. It was also unfortunate for Soviet foreign intelligence, which in the very first months lost contact with valuable sources of information both in Germany and on the territory of the countries occupied by it. In addition, due to unwarranted mass repression among foreign intelligence officers, the peak of which fell on the 1938 year, intelligence experienced an acute shortage of qualified personnel. Pavel Sudoplatov and his deputy, Naum Eitingon, offered Beria to release former intelligence officers and counterintelligence officers from prison and received consent.

General Sudoplatov requested the case for familiarization with Peter Zubov and a number of other intelligence officers, the fate of which he knew nothing. Unfortunately, Sergey Shpigelglas, Fedor Karin, Theodore Mulley and a number of other intelligence officers, who were prominent experts on Germany’s problems and could be invaluable, had already been shot by that time.

After being released from prison, Peter Zubov was appointed head of the German branch of the Special Group, transformed in February 1942 into the 4 department of the NKVD of the USSR. During the war years he supervised the preparation and launching to the enemy's rear of special reconnaissance groups to collect information about the deployment of German troops and the strategic plans of the German command, as well as to restore the previously lost connection with the leadership of the antifascist group operating in Berlin, later called the Red Capella. He had the opportunity to take direct part in other operational activities, including operations “Monastery” and “Berezino”. Given the importance of these operations, let us describe them in a few words.

Operation Monastery began on February 17 of the year 1942. Its original purpose was to penetrate the Abwehr’s agent network with the help of the legendary underground anti-Soviet organization that allegedly operated in Moscow. Over time, it turned into an operational radio game to promote the enemy disinformation of both military and political nature. The head of the operation, General Sudoplatov, and his deputy, Colonel Eitingon, were awarded for its conduct by the orders of Suvorov's commander.

Chekist intelligence operation "Berezino" began 18 August 1944 of the year. The purpose of the operation - during a radio game with German intelligence agencies and the supreme command of the German army to call for their response to rescue allegedly in the rear of the Soviet troops of the German military group numbering more than 2000 people. As a result of the operation, the Germans made 39 sorties in the Soviet rear and dropped 22 paratroops from German intelligence, 13 radio stations, 255 cargo sites with weapons, ammunition, uniforms, medicines, food, and 1 777 000 rub. Soviet money.

Personal contribution to the victory of Colonel Zubov was awarded the Order of Lenin, the Patriotic War 1 degree, the Red Star and many medals.

In 1946, 38-year-old Lieutenant-General Viktor Abakumov became Minister of State Security. Pyotr Yakovlevich had to retire urgently for health reasons, because in the pre-war years it was Abakumov who was involved in the arrest of the scout and ill-treatment of him. However, in 1948, Zubov was again remembered. In January of that year, on the instructions of Stalin and Molotov, he traveled to Prague with Sudoplatov. Considering the close ties that Zubov had in the pre-war years with Benesh, the intelligence officer was tasked with persuading the Czechoslovak president to entrust the leader of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Clement Gottwald, to form a government. In other words, to ensure the bloodless transfer of power in the country to the Communists. This task was successfully completed.

Peter Yakovlevich Zubov died in 1952 year. His name is listed on the memorial plaque of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation.

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  1. Igarr
    Igarr 12 July 2012 11: 50
    Here were interesting people.
    He is in prison, he is being pressed - and he, along the way, is, so to speak, recruiting more agents.
    So, this whole revolution has awakened something in people that we cannot understand now.
    So, we mess in our warm, slimy ... shells.
    Is there a revolution to organize again?
    Shake .... people?
  2. neri73-r
    neri73-r 12 July 2012 16: 59
    I beg you, do not shake, that's enough !!! Let's shake someone better, fuck ........ oh, well, for example, the Anglo-Saxons !!!
    1. Igarr
      Igarr 12 July 2012 20: 03
      Well, here I agree - let's fuck together ... oh, ..tibidoch, arrogant Saxons.
      And - revolution - it’s like that, a figure of speech.
      Shake is needed. But not revolutionary.
      I re-read the first line. And remembered.
      These best friends of these arrogant Saxons - psychoanalysts (although psychiatrists cry for all of them there, for a long time) from the works of such a nutty Freud - made long ago practical conclusions:
      Well, for example ... (I say in my own words) ...
      increased aggressiveness - HIDDEN desire to surrender into the hands of the rapist, i.e. syndrome of unconditional subordination;
      pushing of their slogans - HIDDEN recognition of the inferiority of their psyche, i.e. syndrome of subordination to the leader, the search for a Strong Person;
      unwillingness to reckon with other opinions - HID admitting one’s wrongness, inferiority, disguised as secret creeps to sadism;
      Just start reading ... and it feels like scabs crawling all over your body. Immediately in the bath, steamed, pulls.
      That's all they have .... hidden. They have something ... disguised.
      And in plain sight - the boy in the period of puberty proves his superiority - and the pussy is longer but thinner, and the muscles are thicker, but shorter, and the brains are smarter but smaller. And the eyes are two, but both are multi-colored.
      Satan. I have already met this designation of the United States. Correct designation .. Especially if - t- flip.
  3. Argonaut
    Argonaut 12 July 2012 17: 08
    Sudoplatov and Eitigon are also those Chekist terrorists ... In general, a fun company.
  4. Stasi.
    Stasi. 12 July 2012 19: 58
    Probably this is the highest service to their country - they beat you, they groan, they spit in your face and humiliate you, and in spite of everything you remain faithful and betray nobody. These were our scouts. Sudoplatov and Eitigon are professionals, the pride of our intelligence services. It is precisely these people who are now lacking in the FSB and the SVR. About Poland. Few people know that in the event of Hitler’s attack on the USSR, Poland was preparing to participate in the attack, and Marshal Pilsudski was to command German-Polish forces.
    1. Igarr
      Igarr 12 July 2012 20: 18
      I'm not that little ...
      I know, I remember. and about Poland. I read Bystroletov (Tolstoy).
      The golden time of our intelligence.
      Only now .... I think that people do not change.
      Or change, but very slowly.
      And, the dominance of the lads, coupled with the "new Russian" - does not mean anything, except for the strange position of the leadership.
      Russia (USSR) - handed over the leadership.
      Why - just guesses to build.
      Is someone going to live forever?
      Conspiracy theory, world government - good, of course.
      Only there is still - NOOSPHERE (according to Vernadsky).
      The general psychoemotional field of mankind, which acts for reasons that are inaccessible to a simple person. But, in general, not to his detriment.
      This is what is sometimes called God.
      This is what is meant by nirvana.
      This is what physicists call the Big Bang Theory.
      The principle is simple - do what you must, and be what happens.
      I’m standing on that.
  5. Dimitr
    Dimitr 12 July 2012 20: 47
    Anglo-Saxons have come!
    1. Igarr
      Igarr 12 July 2012 20: 57
      Naglosaksov, I emphasize, Naglosaks.
      For the most part, Americans ... well, typical Ellie with Totoshka, on a track with a yellow brick.
      As long as there is an opportunity - respectable burghers with not the slightest creeps to the side.
      Only touch, show the inability of the authorities - what kind of Taliban are there, what kind of Basmachi are there, what are there ... Sioux Indians ... - WILL GRAVE their rights from the throat ... they will forget about their duties.
      Yes, anyone here will forget.
      Therefore, they have such power - they constantly show their readiness to grab the throat for ANYONE-who does not think in American way.
      I like it affffigitably. Anyone will start firing from a shotgun ... until Sheriff Sam pulls up and says, are you, Dirk, ofigel, or?
      And so that Dirk does not start, Obama begins, McCain begins, McFoyle begins.
      When will we start? Living in Russia?
  6. Kostya pedestrian
    Kostya pedestrian 15 July 2012 14: 19
    By the way, you just say, but such talented people as Kostyushka, along with Washington and other heroes, the warriors of 1770 brought it to life, forcing England to capitulate, and the British king Henry with such a number to sign a peace treaty and abandon the American colonies.

    Do not forget that Khrushchev, Gorbachev and others have already made a beautiful British revolution in Russia - they collected money from local Aboriginal people and took them to London, so you were late, sirs - drowning the country in tribal conflicts, when we were given a democratic set to replace one leader!

    Remains Ukraine, gentlemen - make a revolution and return Sevostopol to its rightful owner of Russia, and convince the Ukrainian Ukrainians in the advantage of Russian capital over Western (like gold versus bonds, and many bonds, try to feed them all)

    And the power should be this: threw a piece of paper at the Eternal Flame - three years for setting fire, threw a plastic bottle at the reservoir to them. Fighters of the Revolution - a year for the poisoning of the reservoir, made slogans for the roar in Russia - right there 10 years to study how ore is mined!

    For information - Radzivils are one of the few polished princes of Lithuania who invested at home, building castles, palaces and parks in modern Belarus and Lithuania, and not in the west.
    Thanks to the author for the article, a lot of interesting and previously not heard.