Military Review

Why are spies like scientists

Why are spies like scientistsDonald Heathfield owned a consulting company in the United States, was educated at Harvard and raised two children with his wife. He was quite a successful American citizen. It is unlikely that someone of his friends and colleagues could have thought that Donald Heathfield was actually called Andrey Bezrukov and he is the leader of the Russian reconnaissance group. Bezrukov worked abroad under cover since the end of the last century and during that time he did not utter a single word in Russian. Two years ago, he was betrayed by a traitor, after which he returned to Russia

Andrey Bezrukov
born in the city of Kansk, Krasnoyarsk Territory. He studied at the Tomsk State University. Together with his wife, Elena Vavilova, for more than twenty years he was in an illegal position, doing reconnaissance work. In 2000, he graduated from the John F. Kennedy Harvard Institute of Public Administration with a master’s degree. In the summer of 2010, he was arrested in the USA. Now he works for Rosneft.

First, let's clarify how to call what you did in the United States. Espionage?
This is the same as what the American intelligence services are doing in Russia. You know, there is a difference in concepts. In English, “espionage” is translated as spying, but in Russian spy has two meanings: “spy” and “scout”. Can be understood in different ways. It was not for nothing that in the Soviet Union they called their good word “intelligence officer”, and their enemies - “spies”.

They say that for all the time you have not spoken a word in Russian. It's true?
True. This is a feature of illegal work. You cannot use your native language even at home, all the time being under strict self-control. Although after several years of work it becomes completely natural. Even dreams are in other languages. My wife and I still speak mostly English and French.

Did your wife work with you? She was undercover too?
Yes, my wife Elena is also a professional intelligence officer, and we worked together abroad from the first to the last day.
You have lived in the country for a long time, actually working against it, right?
You know, intelligence is not determined by who you work against. Intelligence is determined by who you work for. "Work against someone" - this can not be a guide, tasks can change. As a scout you work to benefit your country. The crime can be against someone, and intelligence as an activity is patriotic in nature.
And how then did you perceive people around, if not as enemies?
As the main object of study. This is a country that you should know, these are people you want to understand in order to help your country's leadership make the right decisions.
That is, a scout is something like an undercover scientist?
Yes, very often questions of knowledge are raised, questions of understanding. I would even say this: in order to win, you need to understand, in order to understand, you need to love. That is, you must love the country in which you work. Having a person who can, despite disinformation on the spot, understand what is happening, is a positive stabilizing factor. In order to prepare and defend yourself, sometimes a grain of critical information is enough. I would say this: intelligence is essentially a defense event.
Have you been able to love the USA?
I will not say that I love this country. Culturally, I lived in more interesting countries than the United States. But I, of course, respect the Americans. I really like many features of the American people, such as optimism, ingenuity, readiness for necessary changes, ability to honestly and quickly recognize and correct their mistakes.
Where do you prefer to live: after an exchange in Russia or in the USA?
Frankly, it is more interesting for me to live in Russia now. Firstly, this is my culture. But most importantly, in Russia, I am witnessing a historic moment - the process of becoming a new country is underway. This process is not easy, painful, but extremely interesting, especially for me, whose job was to understand what is really happening and what forces are behind it.
Can you clarify? Have you worked in the US since 1999, and before that?
I can not comment on this.
What business did you have in America?
I am a specialist in strategic forecasting, shaping the future. My research papers and patents relate mainly to this area. I worked with leading corporations and government agencies of several countries, including the United States. But as a consultant, I had to work in other areas: manage changes in corporations, organize the struggle for major contracts, and so on.
Scout need acting talent?
I think yes.
And you yourself never intended to become an actor?
Not. Simply, if an actor reincarnates for a certain time, and then returns to his life, then the reincarnation is gradual, but deeper, more comprehensive. You actually become a person of another nation, another language, but not other ideas.
It happened that psychological fatigue, if it was, reached a critical level, so that you were ready to give up everything?
No, it did not happen, because I really loved my work. I feel very happy person. I have been and remain a romantic at heart. Intelligence is the most romantic profession. My colleagues and colleagues - those whom I know personally and whom I heard about - people are amazing, talented, extraordinary, often humanly complex. These are people of amazing purity. On their fate, often difficult in personal terms, you can write books. And, which is pitiful and tragic, we often find out about the best of them only after their death, or even never ... You know, working in an illegal situation cleans people, communes them with something higher — there is simply no time for bustle.
What qualities are important for a scout? What is the main?
I think patriotism. This and only this is the whole point of the work. Money cannot be a sense of intelligence. Only a dedicated person can do his own thing, knowing that he can spend the rest of his life in prison. No material benefits justify this.
Does a scout job look like a James Bond movie? What is it: routine or is it a real risk?
I will say this: intelligence is not built to make it fail. That is, the risk is clear, and decisions are made so as to minimize this risk. Intelligence is not an adventurous adventure. If you act like Bond, you will have half a day, maximum a day. Even if we imagine that there is a magic safe in which all the secrets lie, half of them tomorrow will become obsolete and will not be needed by anyone. The upper class of intelligence is to understand what your opponent will think about tomorrow, and not what he was thinking yesterday.
What does the word "patriotism" mean to you?
I think patriotism is an understanding of your place in the world as part of Russia. These are my friends, these are my parents, this is my ancestry, which dates back to the days of Ermak, when my great-great-great-great-grandparents came to Siberia. For me, to forget this is to be left with nothing. As a historian for the first Russian education, the idea of ​​the great and tragic stories my country, those fractures through which it has passed, its endless, painful search for itself between East and West.
It turns out that everyone has such a national spark. But isn't it just a spice for a cold political struggle?
Not. Let's then talk about the national idea, without even touching on the political struggle. A national idea is the realization of what place your country occupies in the world, what we as a nation want, what we can allow and what we cannot. If we have a commonality and understanding of who we are, where we are going, what principles lie in the foundation, this is what unites people, what is called a national idea. Those ideas that were uniting for us before are no longer such. They are gone. Now Russia is in the process of developing new ideas. The political struggle over how Russia's future is seen is evidence of the ongoing process of crystallization of the national idea, an element of creation.
How would you characterize the current period in the history of Russia?
It seems to me that now is a very interesting stage when we are participating in the formation of a new country. This is a painful period through which many countries have passed. The main thing is not to spoil it to yourself. Not to destabilize the country, but to find a common language and decide in which direction to develop. We do not have a common opinion, but as a nation we must give such an answer so as not to turn the boat in which everyone is sitting.
Your children are now 18 and 22. They were born abroad, right?
Yes, our children were born and raised abroad. We grew up there like all normal children, naturally, not knowing a word in Russian.
They lived there all their lives. Perhaps they have more American?
The fact that there was nothing Russian in them before coming to Russia is a fact, but I would not call them typical Americans either. Knowing how the American cultural cauldron melts everyone in a single pattern, we purposely assigned children to a French school. So that they retain a European, open, broad view of life instead of simplified cliches and empty political correctness. And, of course, they tried so that they had as many opportunities as possible to see and compare different countries, to draw conclusions themselves. Obviously, living in another country, you can not join the Russian values. But you can instill if not love, because they do not know the country, then at least respect.
How did the children survive what happened to you, in particular the arrest?
We were arrested while celebrating the birthday of our eldest son. For several minutes the children thought it was just a joke - a crowd of people in dark suits on black cars ... Of course, for them it was a shock. But getting out of this shock is helped by the fact that, as parents, we constantly maintained good spiritual contact, open dialogue in the family, mutual understanding and trust with them. After our arrest, they flew to Russia at our request, not knowing who would meet them and what awaits them ... When, after the exchange, we finally met them in Russia and they learned the truth about our profession, for the first month we spent all night talking about life and about the story. I think in the end they had an understanding of why we made a certain choice in life. Despite all the difficulties of adaptation at a mature age, in Russia they have something that they have never had before - grandparents, a family with a long history that loves them.
Did you offer them some kind of ideology?
No, we just tried to educate them with decent, honest people, open to new ideas, open to the world. That they were humanists by and large.
How is their fate now? Did they succeed in integrating into Russian society?
They are in the process of integration, which is now very complex. Russian, of course, is not the easiest to learn. In two years they managed to travel around the country, and nature, especially Siberia, made the strongest impression on them. Sons have their own plans that are not related to politics or intelligence. The older one is more interested in business, especially in the financial sphere.
Your group was revealed after being betrayed by one of the officers of the foreign intelligence service. What would you say to him if you met?
Well, I think that in any case, this type, Poteev, would try not to meet with me ...
But what if? Just imagine.
You know, I would have told him nothing. There is no need. In my opinion, he will be lousy enough for the rest of his life. Betrayal, like an ulcer: if she is in you, she will eat you. You can't keep some kind of emotional balance in life when you realize that you have betrayed or killed someone. And his father was a Hero of the Soviet Union. He betrayed not only himself - he killed the memory of his parents. Whatever money is paid to him, I agree with Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, who said that his life is hard to envy. He will either drink, or simply grieve him: wake up every morning and remember what you did. You know, in the CIA and the FBI, Poteev’s treachery is very happy, but the attitude towards the traitors themselves, as elsewhere, is vile. After two years in the US, he probably already felt it. He is already tired of them. They no longer need it. Like a squeezed lemon.
What were his motives?
I think this is the man for whom homeland and intelligence were minor things, and therefore, a bargaining chip. Add to this dissatisfied ambitions and taste for money, and he is already ready to sacrifice principles for a certain price.
Have you encountered scouts that were repurchased or recruited?
No, never encountered. I have not heard of any real professional, and even more so about the illegal who could be turned over. My impression of the traitor Poteev was that he was weak as a professional. In intelligence turned out to be a random person, and here is the result.
When you opened, tried to outbid, recruit?
Not. And from the traitor Poteeva, and from their own observations, they knew that it was useless. After my arrest, FBI agents treated me and my wife as professionals to professionals - emphasized respectfully.
Is there a little more detail about what happened after you were revealed? What did you feel at that moment?
Immediately after my arrest, I remember the state of complete internal mobilization, even purely physical. As if all the old life, all plans suddenly went into the background, into some kind of fog. The main thing was the desire to understand the reason for the failure and to find an opportunity to contact his wife and children. There was an understanding that the previous life was over and another stage began - the stage of struggle under the new rules, which could last for many years. This state of every minute full readiness for everything absolutely lasted for about ten days, until it became clear that negotiations were being held at the highest level for our release.
How do you, an expert, a historian, a person who knows the country, see America?
The United States is going through a rather difficult period, when a superpower becomes a normal strong country. Maybe a leader in certain areas, but not unconditional. In the States, this is perceived rather painfully. There are people who ask the question of what place the United States will occupy in the world. Interestingly, many of these people are military intelligentsia, a very educated stratum who can really appreciate the situation of the country. These military offer the US to take a position oriented more towards cooperation in solving global problems not only of the country, but also of the world, such as a slowdown in economic growth, instead of supporting their positions by force anywhere. But they are still in the minority. This dialogue about the future of America is just beginning, but we need to follow it, as it affects Russia, how they see us - as an adversary or, more realistically, as one of the strongest players in a multipolar world.
And how do Americans perceive Russia?
In general, in the American media and from American politicians Russia takes a marginal position. After the USSR went into non-existence, they are really concerned only with the topic of our military potential, which is still dangerous. I do not think that American politicians are interested in any other aspect. It all comes down to stamps: Russia is imperfect, plays by the wrong rules, is undemocratic. They see Russia as weak and therefore uninteresting, not deserving of a real partnership dialogue. It’s like a relationship between people: for others to respect you, you must first respect yourself.
You were born in one country, worked in the one that competed with the first, and returned to the third ...
The fact that I left the country, which was called the Soviet Union, and returned to the one that is called Russia, did not affect me in any way. For me, this is one country. My country.

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  1. alexng
    alexng 22 October 2012 06: 37
    These people need to learn to love their homeland!
    1. Uncle Serozha
      Uncle Serozha 22 October 2012 06: 55
      Yes, our talents haven’t been transferred yet! Handsome, handsome, what to say! smile
      1. crazyrom
        crazyrom 22 October 2012 21: 07
        Well done, good man, patriot. So much benefit could still bring the Motherland, if not for the damned sweaty traitor ...
      2. Joker
        Joker 23 October 2012 01: 33
        I will say this is the hero of our time hi God grant him health and well-being yes
    2. Kaa
      Kaa 22 October 2012 08: 52
      Quote: alexneg
      These people need to learn to love their homeland!

      And in my opinion, the most important thing is said at the end of the article: " The fact that I left the country called the Soviet Union and returned to the one called Russia did not affect me. For me, this is one country. My country"
      I join this opinion.
      1. alexng
        alexng 22 October 2012 09: 06
        That's it. The name is just a convention, and it is the homeland.
      2. tarks
        tarks 22 October 2012 09: 23
        but in my opinion, the main thing is this: to be respected by others, you must first respect yourself.
        all of these trendy rezu-like waterings of the past do not contribute at all to self-esteem.
  2. Recon
    Recon 22 October 2012 06: 53
    Exciting. This is human life, I personally envy white envy! It’s a pity that I missed my opportunities a long time ago ... oh well, everyone should do their own thing.

    ps this is the real patriot of his country. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to live in a foreign country for 20 years and not say a word in Russian. .
  3. WW3
    WW3 22 October 2012 06: 59
    Although Bezrukov worked abroad undercover since the end of the last century, and during this time he did not say a single word in Russian, but he still thought in Russian.
    1. neri73-r
      neri73-r 22 October 2012 10: 16
      It is impossible to change membership in civilization, in particular in Russian, and even if you are not ethnically Russian, but born here!
  4. Alexander Romanov
    Alexander Romanov 22 October 2012 07: 06
    What is "undercover" work, as I understand it, this is a spy who has a diplomatic passport in his pocket, and what kind of cover in this case and from which side. The names of such people, as a rule, become known after decades.
    1. Yarbay
      Yarbay 22 October 2012 07: 28
      Quote: Alexander Romanov
      . And I said too much in my interviews, it seems more like an author’s fiction than a true story. The names of such people, as a rule, become known after decades

      Hi Sanya!
      Their names became known immediately after the arrest in 2010!
      Do not forget Poteyev passed them all with patrons!
      But if their work would be successful, then it is possible that we would never know about them!
      So I do not see fiction!
    2. Gorchakov
      Gorchakov 22 October 2012 09: 08
      Quote: Alexander Romanov
      And he said too much in my interviews, more likely like the author’s fiction rather than a true story. The names of such people, as a rule, become known after decades.

      Not a single scout will tell the journalist the truth ... From his interview, it is only clear that he is a patriot of his homeland ... And that’s all .... And everything else is in a secret report that the public will never read .... Well, not it’s his fault that he was burned by a traitor and presented with an article for espionage in the USA ... Otherwise, they would really have known about his existence 25 years after his return, or maybe they would not have known at all ....
      1. 11Goor11
        11Goor11 22 October 2012 23: 53
        No less important is the fact that he was exchanged. How much work needed to be done, which is called such a simple word. So the GDP is real, not a coprador, as liberals like to bark.
    3. Kaa
      Kaa 22 October 2012 09: 25
      Quote: Alexander Romanov
      . The names of such people, as a rule, become known after decades.

      Or in the case of "exposure", which, apparently, took place ... Never mind, it will teach ... how not to light up.
  5. Magadan
    Magadan 22 October 2012 07: 12
    Thank God that we have such people. Pay attention to the KAZAKA pedigree. This is a very strong genetic memory when you simply love the Motherland for what it is. And again, again, traitors. Once again I am convinced that we are a country of not only heroes, but also traitors. And they are everywhere.
    1. Yarbay
      Yarbay 22 October 2012 07: 31
      Quote: Magadan
      Please note - the pedigree of the COSSACK.

      What did you mean by this, I did not understand !!
      What, apart from the Cossacks, no one loves their homeland at the genetic level ??
      What among the Cossacks there are no traitors and wasn’t ??
      1. Magadan
        Magadan 22 October 2012 10: 22
        Well, of course, I don’t say so categorically, but Cossacks can be sure of 80% - they are patriots, I would even say aggressive patriots (but not nationalists). In general, the question is interesting, it would be necessary to study it. Surely in History there will be answers how often people from the Cossacks and their descendants were traitors, in the sense such as Vlasovites, for example, or all sorts of hillers.
        1. Yarbay
          Yarbay 22 October 2012 12: 50
          Quote: Magadan
          in the sense such as the Vlasovites, for example, or every hilfer there

          Recently I met an article about Cossacks in the service of one of the fascist governments, for some reason I didn’t read it !!
          There the photo was beautiful!
    2. tambourine 2012
      tambourine 2012 22 October 2012 07: 59
      Well, traitors and heroes are not only in our country
      1. Magadan
        Magadan 22 October 2012 10: 30
        Then give me examples of Germans who fought on the side of the Red Army, shooting at other Germans! Or German hilfer who washed the footcloths of Soviet soldiers. Is there at least one platoon of such Germans ?!
        Guys, I would very carefully consider the problem of betrayal among the Russians. In fact, they have always been soooooooo good. And not only during V.O.V. Remember our scribblers such as Suvorov, Rezun, etc. Remember our crap and human rights activists like Judas Kovalev. Horseradish with two in another country, you will find the same huge percentage of scum - traitors who hate their own country, as in Russia. I wanted to puke from my own compatriots in the USA. Well, that's another topic.
        1. Yarbay
          Yarbay 22 October 2012 12: 52
          Quote: Magadan
          Arnie, I would very carefully consider the problem of betrayal among the Russians

          Dear and Russian was many times more than other nationalities !!
          Plus do not forget about the ideological difference!
          Often betrayed not for personal gain, but for ideological reasons!
    3. Recon
      Recon 22 October 2012 10: 28
      traitors everywhere always and everywhere, in any country. We can say thanks to the happy nineties for the Western values ​​introduced. For some reason, our society for some reason has learned the worst of it best. For example, everyone has a price.
  6. Pit
    Pit 22 October 2012 07: 31
    I fully support +1
  7. Sasha 19871987
    Sasha 19871987 22 October 2012 08: 27
    interesting interview, I personally thought about it ...
  8. Gorchakov
    Gorchakov 22 October 2012 08: 57
    An interesting and right person .... An interesting fate .... May God grant him and his colleagues health and no longer meet traitors in their life's journey ...
  9. tan0472
    tan0472 22 October 2012 10: 13
    Traitors will always be. But they can be minimized by the inevitability of retaliation. If the traitors will know that the state will spend a lot of effort and huge resources on sewing a wooden pea jacket to a judushka, then other potential traitors will think a thousand times - do they really need 30 pieces of silver? There are no pockets in the coffin.
    1. wax
      wax 22 October 2012 13: 49
      A traitor is a man. in which professionalism does not correspond to ambitions, i.e. self-esteem. I’m not talking about the weak.
  10. Gorchakov
    Gorchakov 22 October 2012 10: 23
    The title of the article kills ... Why do spies look like scientists? Yes, because a scout is an expensive project and it must be cost-effective ... And who needs a ignoramus - a scout? Is it for show, and even then, not as a scout, but as a liquidator ... True, this is a one-time material ...
  11. Brother Sarych
    Brother Sarych 22 October 2012 10: 25
    Something I doubt the possibility of working undercover in modern conditions!
    And the article raises great doubts, to be honest - everything somehow looks like a fairy tale for the deaf ears ...
    But that's my personal opinion...
    1. 11Goor11
      11Goor11 23 October 2012 00: 41
      But there are simple facts: Canadian-born Donald Heathfield
      He worked with leading corporations and government agencies in several countries, including the United States.
      and then the sold Poteyev merges the information that this Donald is not Heathfield at all.
      The story of the arrest and exchange is not something you can think of.
      What fairy tales can be here?
  12. Lesorub
    Lesorub 22 October 2012 10: 46
    the damage from betrayal is minimized by repeated duplication ....
    1. wax
      wax 22 October 2012 13: 52
      Bezrukov’s work could not be duplicated, just like himself.
  13. aldashckin2012
    aldashckin2012 22 October 2012 10: 52
    Man was-man and remained
  14. v53993
    v53993 22 October 2012 11: 25
    I hope that Andrei Bezrukov will be given the opportunity to train and educate our future scouts just as they trained and educated him.
  15. Legion47
    Legion47 22 October 2012 12: 38
    Damn while I read it it took a soul for as long as we have such people Our Country will live!