None of the Soviet leaders valued bodyguards as Leonid Brezhnev
9-e KGB Management: 1964 – 1982
Unlike his predecessor as secretary general of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev treated his personal guards very carefully and even sincerely to the officers. None of the guards was considered untouchable, but Leonid Ilyich really appreciated his people, moreover, understanding their role and place in his life, he patronized them in front of their leadership. The security officers of the secretary general paid him the same.
The times when the Soviet Union was headed by Leonid Brezhnev, for some reason, modern “historians” are called the era of stagnation. The country in those years lived a quiet life - at someone’s glance, perhaps even too calm. But Leonid Ilich himself only dreamed of peace. According to the researchers, Brezhnev simply attracted all sorts of dangers. He was a member of two Kremlin plots at once: in 1953, he opposed Beria, and in 1964 he led the "party coup" against Khrushchev. During the long work of Leonid Ilyich in the party leadership, his life was repeatedly endangered, and there were more than a hundred threats against him.
At the same time, since the beginning of the 60, the authorities responsible for the security of the first persons of the state have experienced very difficult times. Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, who in 1960, began a grand reduction, as one would say now, of security agencies, from the army to the state security agencies, needs to “thank”. It seems that he did not remain without “gratitude”: according to some versions, it was the discontent of the military with the Khrushchev reforms that soon became one of the reasons for his dismissal from the post of the head of state ...
Be that as it may, the cuts also affected the personnel of the Nines. First of all, the age-old officers and employees of the department were dismissed, but sometimes they did not reach retirement age. The system, whose tasks were not reduced at the same time, was forced to regroup the forces left to it. The load on the personnel increased in direct proportion to the number of dismissed officers. In order to effectively balance the post schemes, the management of the Office needed to do a lot of practical work.
Vladimir Yakovlevich Chekalov was the head of the 9 Directorate of the KGB of the USSR with the Council of Ministers from December 8 1961 to June 2 1967. The next chief of the Nines is his deputy, Sergei Nikolaevich Antonov. Interestingly, Antonov became the head of the department only 22 February 1968 of the year, and before that he performed his functions only as "acting". Unlike his predecessors, Sergey Antonov then went on promotion and headed 15-e KGB Headquarters, ex officio becoming KGB deputy chairman.
The next head of the “nine”, Yury Vasilyevich Storozhev, fell to a very bright period of the Soviet stories. He served as Chief of the 9 Directorate of the KGB from August 16 1974 of the year to March 24 of the year 1983, when he was transferred from the Nine to the same position, but in the 4 Directorate of the KGB. This was the decision of Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov.
During the leadership of Yuri Vasilyevich, the structure of the 1-th department of management has undergone a significant change. The 20 Division of the 1 Division of the 9 Division, which was engaged in operational and technical inspections of protected areas and special zones, was allocated to an independent division. In the future, this unit has received not a number, but a special name - Operational Technical Department. He was supervised by his deputy head of department, the youngest participant in the Victory Parade 1945, Hero of the Soviet Union, Major General Mikhail Stepanovich Dokuchaev.
When Yuriy Storozhev was the head of the 9 Office, a large-scale event happened, such as raising the status of the KGB. July 5 The 1978 Committee was transformed from a department within the USSR Council of Ministers into a central government body and became known as the KGB of the USSR, and not the KGB under the USSR Council of Ministers, as it was before.
We can say that the management of the "nine" adequately coped with all the tasks before it. And Leonid Ilyich himself, who headed the country in 1964, was very lucky with the bodyguards.
For many years, the head of Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev’s security was Alexander Yakovlevich Ryabenko. Their acquaintance began in the 1938 year, when a strong 20-year-old guy was put in charge of the 32-summer head of the Dnepropetrovsk regional committee of the CPSU as a driver. The war temporarily separated them, but after victory they met again and were together from 1946 of the year until Brezhnev died in 1982.
Here, too, one can see a professional peculiarity: just like Nikolai Vlasik under Stalin, Alexander Ryabenko, among other things, assumed the duties of caring for Leonid Ilyich’s children. His deputy, Vladimir Timofeevich Medvedev, also had to deal with family matters.
“Before Ryabenko appointed me as his deputy,” recalls Vladimir Medvedev in his book “The Man Behind His Back,” a curious story happened. In 1973, Brezhnev invited Lyudmila Vladimirovna, the wife of Yuri's son, to rest in Nizhnyaya Oreanda. She took with her Andrew, who was then six or seven years old. Leonid Ilyich loved his grandson very much. Moving, curious boy, exploring a large dacha territory, disappeared for long hours, the household was worried every time, he had to be searched for by security. Leonid Ilyich asked Ryabenko to single out someone so that Andrew was under constant supervision. The choice fell on me.
... Once I was a little late, and Andrew left alone. I found it in a small bamboo grove, a boy was breaking young trees. There were already very few of them.
“Andrei, you can't,” I told him.
“Well, yeah, you can't,” he answered and continued to break.
And then I slapped him in the back seat. The boy was offended:
- I will tell my grandfather, and he will expel you.
He turned and went home.
What could follow if the grandson says that he was spanked? I was a private guard. The slightest displeasure of Leonid Ilyich is enough for me not to be here anymore. But it seems that I already knew the character of this man, who not only loved his grandson madly, but also tried to be demanding of him.
As I later understood, Andrei was not only his grandfather, he didn’t tell anyone about our quarrel at all ...
... After some time, Alexander Yakovlevich Ryabenko in a rather relaxed atmosphere, by the pool, announced to me:
- You are appointed as my deputy.
“I will try to justify your trust,” I replied in a military manner.
Before that, Ryabenko had a conversation with Leonid Ilyich. The head of security, as it should be in such cases, characterized me: he knows the case, clear, sustained, does not drink, does not talk.
- This is what Volodya? - Asked Brezhnev. - Who goes with Andrei?
- Yes. He, by the way, has been replacing my deputies for two years now.
- Are you not young yet?
I was 35 years old. And Ryabenko reminded:
- And when I first waited at the regional committee for you, Leonid Ilyich, how old were you?
No more questions have arisen. I entered this family as my own. Up to the point where I collected and packed Leonid Ilyich in a suitcase all the things when we went on a business trip.
... I still believe that personal security is therefore called personal, because in many respects this is a family matter. ”
In June 1973, Vladimir Timofeevich accompanied Leonid Ilyich on a historic trip to the USA. The American professional organization of the security service, which was also responsible for the security of the leader of the USSR, was also the natural professional interest in him.
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev and Richard Nixon on the lawn of the White House in Washington. 1973 g. Photo: Yuri Abramochkin / RIA News
“The residence was safeguarded at Camp David by the brave Marines who lived right there,” he recalled. “Our guards are located next door to them.” It was very interesting to watch the American colleagues - and how they serve, and how they rest, and how they feed. And again - the comparison is not in our favor. Meat steaks, juices, water, vitamins. Our power from them is like heaven from the earth. By tradition, their secret service carried the guard and our secretary general ... At the end of the visit, Nixon invited Brezhnev to his ranch in San Clemente, a place near Los Angeles, on the Pacific coast ... 23 June 1973 of the year there a rare event occurred. The guard of the President of the United States gave a reception in honor of ... the KGB officers. The meeting was held in a restaurant in a relaxed, fun atmosphere. Probably, in the entire history of our relations, neither before nor after such a similar feast of the two greatest secret services happened ... ”
Continuity of professional traditions
During the time of the Politburo of the time of Nikita Khrushchev, the first officers of Leonid Ilyich’s personal security group were Ereskovsky, Ryabenko and Davydov. After the retirement of the Ereskovsky age group retired the guard group and was headed by Alexander Yakovlevich.
Among his subordinates was a hereditary bodyguard Vladimir Viktorovich Bogomolov. His father at the end of 30 began his professional career in the unit, which strengthened Stalin's security at the sites of his stay.
During the Great Patriotic War, Viktor Stepanovich Bogomolov, through the NKVD of the USSR, was attached to the legendary Soviet commander, twice the hero of the Soviet Union, the commander of the 3 Belorussian Front, Ivan Danilovich Chernyakhovsky. It was officer Bogomolov who was with Army General Chernyakhovsky at the very moment when a shell fragment fatally wounded his guard. A detailed story about the military past of the father was forever remembered by his son Vladimir. As well as the story of how, after the war, Lavrentiy Beria, attached, agitated Viktor Stepanovich to go to his bodyguard group.
It is possible that it was the professional way of the father that determined the fate of his son. Vladimir Viktorovich graduated from a special school number 401 of training the KGB of the USSR in Leningrad and, after working for several years in one of the departments of the 9 Office, and then in the 18 branch of the 1 department, in 1971, he was appointed an officer of the field guard general secretary Central Committee of the CPSU.
One of the legendary security officers of Brezhnev was Valery Gennadievich Zhukov - in those years he was just behind 30. Leonid Ilyich exclusively sincerely called him "Roly Zhukov." “Roly” did not just look like an epic warrior from the famous painting by Viktor Vasnetsov, but also possessed by nature extraordinary physical strength.
Thus, during one visit to Prague, Zhukov, as part of the duty shift, was accompanied by a general secretary in his walk with the head of Czechoslovakia on the territory of the Czech Republic residence. As required by the professional science of security personnel, the path of the protected person must be free from any foreign objects and obstacles. And when, on one of the tracks, on which the protected persons stepped out, Valery saw a stone flowerbed, which clearly could hinder the movement, he, without thinking twice, crouched deeper ... embraced this "stone flower", got up and moved it a couple of meters from the path. No one would have paid attention to this, but literally in half an hour four (!) Czechoslovak security guards, no matter how hard they tried, could not only return this flowerbed to its place, but even simply raise it.
And Valery Gennadyevich became truly legendary in his professional circle after Alexander Yakovlevich twice dismissed himself from work - and twice returned to it at the direction of Leonid Ilyich. What is called, feel the moment ...
After the death of Brezhnev, Valery Zhukov continued his work in the 3 th operational group of the 18 branch of the 1 division of the 9 Directorate of the KGB of the USSR. In 1983, Vyacheslav Naumov took over the baton from the command of this group from the legendary Mikhail Petrovich Soldatov. It was Vyacheslav Georgievich who instructed Zhukov to become a mentor to the future president of the National Association of Bodyguards (NAST) of Russia, our expert Dmitry Fonarev.
Vladimir Georgievich Peshorsky’s son Vladimir worked in the shift of Valery Zhukov’s exit guards from 1974. Viktor Georgievich began his professional career in the 1947 year at Nikolai Vlasik's State Educational Institution and worked on the routes of Joseph Stalin. From 1949 to 1953, the year Viktor Peshtersky was attached to one of the Soviet nuclear physicists until the protection was removed from all project participants. Victor Georgievich completed his career in 1973 as head of the security department of a member of the Politburo (Presidium) of the CPSU Central Committee, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR Gennady Ivanovich Voronov, with whom he worked with 1961.
Speaking about the continuity of professional traditions, of course, one should not detract from the role of fathers who brought up their worthy combat merits of their sons in their footsteps. But about any "pull" in the 9-th Office of the KGB of the USSR and could not talk. Heredity as a way of protectionism and easy career growth was categorically not welcomed by personnel services. The sons had to prove their right to be enrolled in the department where their fathers served, by personal achievements.
And it was possible to the few. Well, those young officers who reached this professional peak, always proudly carried their surname that was legendary in management, never in history without putting the honor of a family in doubt. Such officers were Evgeny Georgievich Grigoriev, Viktor Ivanovich Nemushkov, Dmitry Ivanovich Petrichenko, Vladimir Viktorovich Bogomolov, Vladimir Viktorovich Peshtersky, Alexander Mikhailovich Soldatov.
Thanks to these people, we can restore the very history of the "nine", which is not recorded in any document, protocol or online help. This story of the formation of professional traditions from their fathers is already transmitted by word of mouth to sons, and only to those whom they consider worthy of this story. To their memories, we turn again and again.
Thousands of dollars from Gaddafi
As already noted in the materials of this series, the tasks of the Nine were to ensure the security of not only the country's leadership, but also distinguished guests who visited the USSR at the invitation of the party and government. Frequent guests in the capital of the Soviet state were the leaders of the Arab states. According to their status, they were provided with a protected place of residence in state estates on the then Lenin (and now Vorobyovy) mountains. The security of this unique complex was provided by the 2-I commandant of the 7-department of the 9-th Office.
In 1976, at the invitation of the government of the USSR, the chairman of the Libyan Revolutionary Command Council, Muammar Gaddafi, was on an official visit to our country for the first time. The security of the distinguished guest, in addition to the “nine”, was also provided by the “related agencies” - the “seven” (the 7 department of the KGB under the Council of Ministers of the USSR, at that time served as secret surveillance and protection of the diplomatic corps), intelligence service, counterintelligence, police and other specialized bodies.
The official visit of Muammar Gaddafi to Moscow. Photo: Imperial War Museum
The Gaddafi guard group, appointed by the management of the Nine, was pre-oriented to its hot temperament and extravagance. But what happened, surprised even seasoned officers of the Nines.
Gaddafi lived on the Lenin Hills in the state houses number 8. The standard state estate was invariably a two-story house with a well-groomed, but cramped area with trees and bushes, a guard booth at the gate and mirror-paved paths. All this was protected from prying eyes by a nearly three-meter fence with an alarm.
According to the established procedure for ensuring security visits, a duty officer from the 18 branch of the 1 division was in the mansion around the clock. In this case, it was Vyacheslav Georgievich Naumov.
A feature of official visits has always been the accuracy of compliance with the prescribed protocol. Not only the security group, but also the whole KGB mechanism involved in ensuring the security of the visit, always focused on this official schedule, like on the Polar Star. The main car rut at the mansion did not remain. The duty officer had an accelerating Volga, but both of these vehicles were in instant readiness at night protocol time, but in the Kremlin. That was the order. Upon the call of the duty officer, the cars could be in place literally in ten minutes.
On the second evening after arriving, young Gadhafi - and at that time he was 35 – 36 years old (he never advertised his birthday) - became incomparably boring in a close mansion, not at all like his palace or his favorite Bedouin tent. Apparently, realizing that there was no car under his windows, about two o'clock in the morning, having phoned his Moscow embassy, he asked that an embassy car be sent to his mansion. The car, of course, came, but who will let him into the protected area?
Muammar Gaddafi, who was not accustomed to waiting and completely impatient with the slightest restriction of personal freedom, simply found a place where the fence was low and ... climbed over it. This is the official version of the story from the "nine" for colleagues in the shop. But here it is important to imagine the situation. Vyacheslav Georgievich is sure that, most likely, Gaddafi simply opened the gate at the gate himself, and the employee of the commandant's office, who was on duty, did not report this to the duty room. When clarifying the circumstances, the ensign stubbornly stood on the fact that he didn’t go out to the gate and how he was on the street he (the ensign) doesn’t know ... Therefore, so that everything looked decent, the version of the “gymnastic exercises” of the Arab guest was reported.
A car waiting on a deserted street drove him across the night Moscow to the embassy. Naturally, the all-seeing "seven" traced the route of the car of the Libyan embassy.
In the morning, Senior Lieutenant Naumov, on the rights of a “majordom” (of course, at the direction of the management board), asked for an official audience with a distinguished guest on the second floor of the government. The guest has already woken up and, judging by the fact that there were no problems with the organization of the conversation on his part, he was in a very good mood. A young KGB officer, extremely politely, in that way, probably, even in English style, noticed the Libyan leader that nightly walks in Moscow were very romantic moments, and to make them better, he would just like to ask the distinguished guest to report this in advance his protocol service to the first floor. Those who understand the specifics of Gaddafi’s behavior at the “everyday” level can imagine that Vyacheslav Georgievich could hear in response to his request ... But the story itself does not end there.
Since time immemorial, in the field of international protocol, official foreign delegations have developed a tradition of expressing gratitude to the guest for their warm welcome. As a rule, the officers of the protocol service sent gifts for the security on behalf of the head of the delegation. This procedure was very entertaining and had an uncountable number of "pitfalls" for officers of the "nine".
Leonid Brezhnev and Muammar Gaddafi (in the foreground). Photo: AFP
Gaddafi, despite his youth, apparently, already knew about it. Or, more likely, at the very last moment he was prompted to him by his embassy assistants. Otherwise it was very difficult to explain the fact that before leaving for Vnukovo-2, Muammar Gaddafi summoned Vyacheslav Naumov, the chief of the mansion, and handed him a suspiciously thick envelope. Through a translator, he explained that this is 21 one thousand (no more and no less) American dollars, for which the KGB "can buy anything they want." In the courtyard, we recall, 1976 year. For the younger generation, it would not be superfluous to clarify that there were no exchangers in the USSR. And not even all the cherished shops of "Birch" took the currency as payment for foreign goods.
It was strictly forbidden to take the currency as gifts to the officers of the “nine”. Everyone understood this, although nowhere, in any instructions such a ban was not written.
As soon as the motorcade departed to the airport, Vyacheslav Georgievich phoned to the deputy head of the department, Viktor Petrovich Samodurov, and arrived at his office in the Kremlin’s 14 building. Putting an envelope in front of him, Vyacheslav Naumov in a few words outlined the wish of the Arab guest.
And here what happened is called a vocational school in personal protection. Major-General Viktor Samodurov, the most experienced, smartest, but the broadest soul man, in a fatherly manner addressed the young officer in a confidential manner: “Listen, Slava, because no one saw how he gave you this envelope?” - “Nobody” - “So , and why didn’t you divide it all in two: 11 to me as a general and 10 for yourself? ”Everyone who went through this school knew that at that very moment and this question Vyacheslav Naumov had one short answer:“ It’s not okay ". This is a challenge. The most sophisticated, complex and difficult in the "nine" - the test of conscience. Or, as the veterans said, "check on the" sandpaper "."
Vyacheslav Georgievich replied to Viktor Petrovich a little differently: “I cannot”. But the intonation of the spoken (and this is what is not taught: this comes only from the inside of the person, from the officer’s moral core) and dry facial expressions meant exactly the proper answer: “Not allowed”.
“This is what I love you for,” answered the head father and scooped up the green papers back into the envelope.
Saddam Hussein's Pistol
Continuing to follow the logic of continuity in the “nine”, we note that at that time Vyacheslav Georgievich Naumov worked in the 3 th operational group of the 18 branch, which was commanded by Mikhail Petrovich Soldatov. Because of a long history of history, Mikhail Petrovich made himself the most dangerous enemy in the person of the KGB Chairman Vladimir Semichastny. Imagine the rank and consequences ... And after Nikita Khrushchev was removed from power, he fell into severe disgrace, but his professional management skills were not forgotten. It's time to return to the department.
“My father was transferred to another unit - the commandant’s office (to ensure the protection of state dachas), - recalls Alexander Soldatov, son of Mikhail Petrovich, retired KGB major, member of NAST Russia. - It is the same as the head physician of the main hospital of the city to transfer as a junior nurse to a rural hospital. For my father it was a big blow, but the Major stars still left him. After some time, one of his long-time acquaintance, a large leader with the rank of general, arrived there. He recognized his father and asked: "What are you doing here ?!" Father told everything. “And if you have to return to your unit with a big drop, will you go?” My father agreed to at least an ordinary one. He was really returned to the personal guard division with a fall: the major was placed in a lieutenant position.
In the majors his father passed 20 for years, but in the end he waited for a well-deserved promotion. In one of the missions, he met with Alexander Ryabenko. He decided to gossip for his father and once asked Brezhnev: "Do you remember Misha-gypsy, who had Khrushchev? He had the richest experience." It was Khrushchev who called his father Gypsy: he was dark-haired, his hair was wavy, “Black Eyes” sang ... And for Brezhnev, a trip to Livadia was scheduled for a state dacha. Here Ryabenko suggested that Soldatov go first to the training. Father was given a task, he put everything in order at the dacha. After this, business trips began with Brezhnev throughout the Union, and most often to Yalta.
There were overseas trips, for example, a very serious strategic business trip to India. My father went there in two weeks. It was necessary to rewrite the entire protocol, rework the entire system of organizing meetings. It was originally planned, for example, that Brezhnev would be greeted by a guard of honor - well done with axes bald. These axes alarmed the father, and he agreed with the Indian side to replace the armed guard with girls in national dress and with garlands. Brezhnev was very pleased, after the trip he personally invited his father, thanked him for the excellent organization of the visit and awarded him the rank of lieutenant colonel. Father is very appreciated. Here, he said, Khrushchev gave me a major, and Lieutenant Colonel Brezhnev gave me one. ”
Thanks to his completely unique approach to fulfilling the tasks, Mikhail Soldatov was attracted to work not only with Leonid Ilyich. It was he who, more than other worthy officers of the department, was entrusted with working with the heads of foreign delegations. The history of his relationship (no more and no less) with the then young Iraqi politician Saddam Hussein is especially remarkable. Already during the first visit of Hussein to Moscow, mutual trust arose between them. Soon the guest from Iraq flew back to the USSR, and again Mikhail Soldatov worked with him.
Leonid Brezhnev and Saddam Hussein. Photo: allmystery.de
“When Hussein flew away, he gave his father an expensive golden watch,” recalls Alexander Soldatov. “At that time, security officers were forbidden to accept expensive gifts.” And they said to my father: it’s necessary to surrender this watch. But there were clever people who objected that Hussein could fly again at any time, and if he saw that the Soldiers did not carry his gift, there would be a lot of resentment. It was decided: "To leave the soldier's clock." A couple of months later, Father meets Hussein at the ramp, and the first one really asks: "What time is it in Moscow?" Father gets a clock, shows. Everything is good".
It is absolutely certain that 1 February 1977 of the year, when Saddam Hussein, at the invitation of the Central Committee of the CPSU, flew to Moscow, he refused to leave the plane because ... he was not met by the officer of the KGB of the USSR Mikhail Soldatov. Foreign Ministry translators translated the question of Hussein literally like: “Where is Misha?”. And “Misha” had a legal day off, in which, as people say, he had every right to relax. What a surprise management was when the distinguished guest said that without “Misha” he would not leave the plane! The character of Saddam was already well known, and therefore for an unsuspecting "Misha" the operational machine literally flew out. As the officers from that remarkable outfit at Vnukovo-2 told, the Iraqi leader was sitting on the plane for about an hour and a half ... Delivered to the Soldiers' ramp, he was immediately attached to the distinguished guest.
But this is not the whole story of Hussein’s visit to the USSR in February 1977. The next day after his arrival, the program provided time for “possible meetings and conversations”. This is the time Leonid Ilyich chose to talk with an Arab friend face to face.
And the real problem of the “nine” on this visit was ... personal weapon dear to the USSR friend. Saddam, seeing nothing extraordinary in this, brought a combat pistol with him and defiantly never parted with him, about which the management of the Nine was immediately informed. Alexander Yakovlevich was well aware of the inventiveness and ability of Mikhail Petrovich Soldatov to non-standard, but extremely effective operational solutions. Therefore, in the morning Ryabenko called the attached Hussein and, as deputy head of the 1 department, he ordered (he ordered, rather than asked) literally “to do anything, but not to let Saddam go to the general with this gun”. It is easy to say, but how can a proud and hot-tempered Arab agree to give up his weapon?
It is possible that the plan for Mikhail Petrovich matured along the road, and maybe at the entrance. Anyway, at the door of the reception of General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Mikhail Soldatov, through an interpreter, unexpectedly asked his unsuspecting guarded:
- Saddam, are you an officer?
“Yes,” answered Hussein, a little puzzled.
“I, too,” continued Mikhail Petrovich, “and you trust me?”
“Yes,” said the high guest, surprised by the direction of the conversation.
“Can you see my gun?” I leave it here. Leonid Ilyich also does not have a pistol, and if you believe me, then leave yours next to mine, but somehow it turns out to be impolite ...
With these words, "Misha" resolutely put his "Makarov" on the desk duty officer at the reception. From Soldatov it was an insane risk. But, according to the stories of Mikhail Petrovich himself, Saddam was both literally and figuratively disarmed. Without thinking, he took out his pistol and put it next.
Then all the 18 units thought-wondered, but what would the Soldiers do if Saddam had not agreed to leave his gun? But no one decided to ask this question to Mikhail Petrovich himself. Everyone knew that in response it was possible to get a referral to a well-known address for every Russian person ...
Work on anticipation
What did Brezhnev save his security officers from? Perhaps it would be easier to talk about something from which they did not have to save him ...
The most famous attempt on Brezhnev in the USSR occurred in 1969 year. This incident is mentioned in many memoirs, about kilometers of film shot. The antihero of this story is the junior lieutenant of the Soviet army, schizophrenic Viktor Ilyin. His conviction matured in his head that by killing the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, he would change the course of Soviet history. Ilyin left his military unit near Leningrad, taking with him two Makarov pistols with a full set of cartridges, and January 21 1969, on the eve of the solemn meeting of the cosmonauts of the crews of the Soyuz-4 and Soyuz-5 ships, flew to Moscow. Recall that there were no inspections at the airports of the USSR at that time. In the capital, Ilyin stopped at his retired uncle, a former police officer.
On the morning of January 22, having stolen a police overcoat from his uncle, Ilyin went to the Kremlin. By virtue of the monstrous confluence of circumstances for the “nine”, Ilyin was near the Borovitsky gate inside the Kremlin. When the government motorcade began to enter the gate, the attacker missed the first car (for some reason he thought that Brezhnev would follow the second one) and ... opened fire with both hands on the windshield of the second car. As it turned out, cosmonauts Georgy Beregovoi, Alexey Leonov, Andrian Nikolaev and his spouse Valentina Nikolayev-Tereshkova were traveling in it (their “cosmic wedding” was widely reported in the Soviet press). Attached in this car was an officer of the 1-department of the "nine" captain German Anatolyevich Romanenko. In 1980, he will become the head of the legendary 18 division of the 1 division.
The driver of the car GON officer Ilya Zharkov was mortally wounded. The car began to roll back to the gate. German Anatolyevich jumped out of the car and held a huge ZIL, while the astronauts were transferred to another.
According to the meeting protocol, the main car in which Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev and Alexander Ryabenko left the motorcade on the Bolshoy Kamenny Bridge, right in front of the Borovitsky Gate, and went to the Kremlin Embankment so that, having stopped in the Kremlin through the Spassky Gate, to meet in the Big Kremlin Palace conquerors of space.
Attempt on L.I. Brezhnev in 1969 year. Photo: warfiles.ru
According to the memoirs of the Nine veterans, Alexander Yakovlevich took the decision to “reorganize on the bridge” in accordance with the protocol. The office received a signal about the situation early in the morning, but by the time the government motorcade entered the Kremlin, operational measures to search for Ilyin and focus on him did not give any results.
In the booth of the internal post at the Borovitsky gate, an officer of the 1 section of the 5 section of the 9 office was serving Igor Ivanovich Bokov. Mikhail Nikolayevich Yagodkin worked at the observation post for the Borovitsky entrance to the Kremlin.
NAST Russia President Dmitry Fonarev, a long time former officer of the Nine headquarters, said that in 1988 about everything that happened on the day of the assassination, he was told in confidence by the senior operative officer of the 9 of the KGB of the USSR Igor Bokov:
“... in the winter, we stepped on posts in bekesh and boots. In the morning, people began to gather at Borovichi's patch. I see a policeman has appeared nearby. Those who worked in this post knew that the police officers of the 80 police station, who kept order and admission to the Diamond Fund and the Armory Chamber, held posts alongside. I look, and he hides his hands in his overcoat. I told him: "On mittens, warm up", and he "Yes, I do not have long left." Well, when he began to shoot with two hands, from me to him it was about six meters. Bullets even got into my booth. Immediately, Mishka Yagodkin jumped up to him and knocked him out with his fist. ”
You need to understand that eight shots from the already-ready Makarov take two to three seconds ... In total, 16 got into the car from 11 bullets, one of them went through Alexei Leonov's overcoat, leaving a noticeable mark on it. Of the remaining five, one bullet hit the motorcycle rider’s escort of the Kremlin regiment Vasily Alekseevich Zatsepilov. His jacket with a bullet hole still takes its place in the Hall of Fame and History of the Federal Security Service of Russia, which is located in the Arsenal of the Moscow Kremlin.
Being in prostration Ilyin was taken to Arsenal. The first to interrogate him was the legendary “nine” Vladimir Stepanovich Redborod. Then Ilyin was brought to the conversation to the KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov. According to the results of a medical examination, Ilyin was declared insane. In essence, while plotting a crime, Ilyin was guided by about the same logic that was inherent to the terrorist murderers of the second half of the 19th century: the main “totalitarian” figure in the state must be eliminated, and the system would collapse. For the second half of the 20th century, such a logic could not be called otherwise flawed. However, people obsessed with maniacal ideas occur at all times and pose a threat to the lives of public figures. And therefore their timely detection is one of the key tasks for analysts of the state personal protection service of the first persons of any country.
The very next day after the attempt on Leonid Brezhnev, by order of the chief of the 9-th Directorate, field security was attached to the three top leaders of the USSR. In addition to the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, the “leading three” included the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Alexei Nikolayevich Kosygin, and the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council, Nikolai Viktorovich Podgorny. The Stalinist traditions of the “governing center” of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Party remained dominant until the disappearance of the USSR ... The field guard was obliged to accompany the guarded person around the clock and everywhere.
In addition to measures to enhance the security of the three guarded on the road, after the attempt at the Borovitsky Gate, the Nine leadership decided to maximize the mobility of medical personnel of the IV Main Directorate under the USSR Ministry of Health. At the beginning of 70, this department was equipped with special “sanitary” ZILs: two specialized ZIL-118А, two resuscitation ZIL-118KA, three sanitary ZIL-118KS and two cardiological ZIL-118KE.
Attempts to attempt on the life of Leonid Brezhnev were repeatedly recorded abroad. So, in 1977, in Paris, the management of the Nine received a reliable signal about a sniper shot being prepared at the Arc de Triomphe. The visit was very significant, and protocol changes were not allowed. In this situation, the security team decided to use the designated rain umbrellas at the indicated location ...
In fact, this is the plot of the Anglo-French film "The Day of the Jackal" (premiered in 1973 year), based on the novel of the same name by Frederick Forsythe. The book was based on the real events of one of the attempts on French President Charles de Gaulle at the beginning of the 60s. It is possible that the idea of killing the Soviet leader in someone's inflamed brain was born just after watching a sensational film ...
A similar case occurred with the protection of Leonid Ilyich in Germany in early May 1978. Just as in France, the Nines were promptly informed that during the visit of the Soviet leader an assassination attempt was being prepared on him. It should have happened in the castle Augsburg after the ceremonial dinner, which the German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt was going to give in honor of the Soviet guest.
Leonid Brezhnev (second left) and Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Helmut Schmidt (second right), after the completion of negotiations during the visit of L.I. Brezhnev in Germany. Photo: Yury Abramochkin // RIA News
With Schmidt, Brezhnev had a good relationship. Photographer Leonid Ilyich Vladimir Musaelian recalled how, in Augsburg, the general showed the German Chancellor his photo from the 1945 parade of the year and said: “Look, Helmut, how young I am in the Victory Parade!”. Schmidt paused and asked: “And on what front did you fight, Mr. Brezhnev?” - “On the Ukrainian 4!” - “This is good. I was at a friend. So we did not shoot each other ... "
On that May day in Germany, the shots didn’t sound either. It is also possible that the security group of the Soviet leader had experience in this situation.
In December 1980 of the year, the Nine received information on the preparation of a terrorist act against the head of the USSR already during a visit to India. In such situations, when the so-called signals come in, the guards can only rely on their experience and understanding of the operational environment. None of those responsible for the operational support of the KGB services would risk giving unverified or approximate information about the assassination attempt on the first person. Behind the shortest certificate is the work of a huge number of specialists who are responsible for reporting back to the top.
In preparing for the visit, the advance team reported that, according to the established order of the meeting in Delhi, the last one and a half kilometers to the meeting place with the leadership of India, the main car would have to move almost "on foot". Details were not reported, but the exit knew about it, and therefore it was decided that the officers would accompany the main "ZIL" on foot. And just before the visit, the security services informed the “nine” that three months before Leonid Ilyich’s visit to Delhi, a cobra had been thrown into the open windows of a car of the foreign minister of a European country passing by the meeting Indians. It was a supplement to the main information note. On this trip a special board was sent to Delhi armored "Mercedes 600" as a backup vehicle.
Armed with not only weapons of service, but also with proactive information, the N-9 team performed its work at the proper level. According to the analytics, the terrorists who are preparing the attack on the protected person primarily rely on guard errors. And if the guard admits even the slightest inaccuracies, then the chances of realizing what was intended by the terrorists increase. But if security, on the contrary, strengthens the normal mode of operation, then the chances of terrorists simply do not arise. In the professional world, this is called “work on pre-emption,” and not “on opposition.”
It was at the end of 70 in the “nine” at the level of the bodyguard officers that a technological sequence of operational priorities was formed: predict the threat, avoid the threat and only as a last resort, when all the forces and means were used to prevent the manifestation of the threat, to resist it.
Safety on water and on land
In addition to external threats, Leonid Ilyich himself delivered great efforts to protection. First of all, their passion for driving cars. He learned to drive cars of different brands at the front and drove them desperately. Moreover, the passages of the protected persons were provided not only by the special unit of the State Traffic Inspectorate, but also by the entire 2 branch of the 5 division of the Nine. Therefore, operational "ZILs" responsibly plowed free from any interference, including trails pressed to the side of the car.
In the entire history of the state guards in the Soviet period, except for Leonid Ilyich, none of the protected persons was noticed in the desire to steer his car. All the interested people were well aware of this habit of the general and, most importantly, the peculiarities of his driving, since not all of these passages of Leonid Ilyich were always harmless.
Brezhnev continued to drive until one day on the way to Zavidovo he almost got into an accident, almost falling asleep at the wheel after taking a sedative. And only the reaction of the driver Boris Andreev, whom Alexander Ryabenko planted on his usual place (front near the driver’s one), helped to avoid the tragedy.
In addition to driving, another passion of Leonid Brezhnev was hunting. When he hunted boars from the tower, after a successful shot, he loved to go down and walk up to the dead beast. One day he knocked down a huge boar, went down and headed for him.
“It remains twenty meters,” recalls Vladimir Medvedev, “the boar suddenly jumped up and rushed at Brezhnev. The huntsman had a carbine in his hands, he instantly, offhand, shot twice and ... did not hit. The beast recoiled and ran in a circle. The bodyguard that day was Gennady Fedotov, he had a carbine in his left hand, a long knife in his right. He quickly stuck a knife into the ground, threw a carbine on his right hand, but did not have time to shoot - the boar rushed at him, hit the knife in a knife, bent the knife and rushed on. Boris Davydov, deputy head of personal security, backed away, caught his foot on a bump and fell into a swamp - the boar jumped over it and went into the forest. Leonid Ilyich was standing nearby and did not even lift an eyebrow. Boris, with a revolver in his hand, rose from the swamp slush, dirty water runs down, all covered in algae. Brezhnev asked: "What did you do there, Boris?" - "I defended you."
Growing up on the banks of the Dnieper, Leonid Ilyich was a great swimmer. Swimming gave him a special pleasure, and not in the pool, but certainly in the sea. Water temperature did not matter. And this circumstance also set certain tasks for the group of his guard, since Leonid Ilyich had been swimming for a long time. According to the memoirs of Vladimir Bogomolov, the longest swim in the Black Sea was four hours (!). Next to the guarded, either an attached or field security officer always swam. At a distance of several meters behind them on the boat floated, as a rule, officers of the field guard. Under the water, the group was involved, as they were called in the department, “divers” from the officers of the 18 division.
Leonid Brezhnev on the Black Sea. Photo: historicaldis.ru
A special group of underwater swimmers was created in the 9 Office of the KGB of the USSR soon after December 17 1967 in Melbourne 59 Australian Prime Minister Harold Edward Holt disappeared in the eyes of friends. Premier swam great, sharks in those places are not met. In Australian English, the phrase “make Harold Holt” (“to do the Harold Holt”) even appeared, which means disappearing without a trace. As it turned out, two days before the tragedy, the premier’s security service noticed suspicious divers and reported it to their management, but they didn’t deliver the guarded one, and no additional security measures were taken.
The first swimmers of the special group were employees of the 18 division of the 1 division of Nine, since they already had experience working with protected persons on vacation. The pioneers of underwater posts were VS Redbreed, N.N. Ivanov, V.I. Nemushkov, V.N. Filonenko, D.I. Petrichenko, A.A. Osipov, A.N. Rybkin, N.G. Veselov, A.I. Verzhbitsky and others. Every year, this group underwent professional underwater certification in one of the capital's military centers. Vladimir Stepanovich Redbreed was responsible for this.
Special mention should be made of the role of sleeping pills in the life of Brezhnev. He began to take him after the death of his mother, whom he loved very much, and, experiencing this loss, Brezhnev practically lost sleep. Medics headed by the head of the 4-th Main Directorate of the USSR Ministry of Health Evgeny Ivanovich Chazov, naturally, prescribed him sedatives.
From a certain moment, Alexander Ryabenko began literally hiding these pills, trying to reasonably limit the consumption of the sedative, which had an effect at the most unexpected time. Finding no medicine, Leonid Ilyich began asking sleeping pills even from members of the Politburo. Then Alexander Yakovlevich began to give the General Secretary pills.
In the last years of his life, Leonid Ilyich felt weak and tired. He consciously and voluntarily wanted to resign. As Vladimir Medvedev recalled, the secretary-general’s spouse, Victoria Petrovna, when she saw her husband’s speech with a stray language in the next Vremya program, said: “So, Lyonya, she can’t continue.” He replied: "I said, do not let go." In fact, on this issue the Politburo veiled, but firmly said "no," motivating its decision by saying that "the people need Leonid Ilyich." In fact, the old, in every sense of the word, the guard of the political leadership of the country understood that as soon as Brezhnev left, their turn would immediately come. Therefore, members of the Politburo assigned him new orders and said that it was too early for him to rest ...
The nobles have not been noticed
For all the 18 years of his tenure, Leonid Ilyich has not changed almost any of his security personnel. He even stood up for those who had committed seemingly unpardonable offenses. We already talked about how he twice returned officer Valery Zhukov to work. But there was such a characteristic case. In the GON group, which met the needs of the security department of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, there was one young driver who liked to indulge in alcohol at his leisure. Once he “hit in” before he started catching some non-existent spy on the street - he made a big noise, he alarmed everyone.
The drunk driver was taken to the police, and from there, as was customary in Soviet times, they reported the incident at the place of work. The authorities of GON did not stand on ceremony: the officer was fired, and Brezhnev was appointed another driver. Here is a story about what happened next, attributed to Alexander Yakovlevich Ryabenko:
- And where is Boris?
I had to tell. Brezhnev paused for a moment, then asked:
- Apart from catching a spy, there was nothing behind him?
Checked - nothing.
Leonid Ilyich ordered:
- We must return Boria.
- But he can sit behind the wheel drunk. After all, you carry ...
- Nothing, tell me to return.
After that, Boris literally idolized his boss: this is necessary, he stood up! And for whom? For a simple chauffeur ... What, with what, and the lordship Leonid Ilyich did not suffer. ”
And this is just one example of the attitude of Brezhnev to his protection, there were quite a few such cases. None of the USSR protected leaders showed such concern for the security group employees.
On the shoulders of bodyguards
At the end of 1974, Brezhnev’s health deteriorated greatly and from that point onwards only deteriorated. His guard began a very difficult life. Here is what Vladimir Medvedev writes about this in his book:
“When we were engaged in shooting, hand-to-hand fighting, pumped up muscles, when swimming, running crosses, playing football and volleyball, even when for a formal tick we, obeying the state plan, ridiculously spanked skiing in the spring water, we prepared ourselves for the protection of the leaders. And even when we were hatching out at empty party meetings or official meetings, and then they prepared us, albeit formally, not always cleverly, but prepared everything for the same thing - to protect the leaders of the country.
According to the instructions, I leave the doorway - in front of the chief, I assess the situation; on the street - from people or bushes, or lanes; down the corridor - from the side of the door, so that someone doesn’t fly out or simply don’t knock the chief off the door; on the stairs - a little behind. But we are contrary to the instructions, when our aged leaders go down, go a little ahead, when they rise - a little behind.
As a result, it turned out that they should not be protected from external threats, but from themselves; they are not taught anywhere. The theory of escorting a guarded exists to protect normal, healthy leaders, we take care of helpless old people, our task is to prevent them from collapsing and sliding down the stairs ...
In the GDR, in Berlin, our government procession was celebrated festively, with flowers and banners. In an open car, welcoming Berliners, stand next to Honecker and Brezhnev. Photographers, television and cameramen, no one knows, does not see that I lay flat on the bottom of the car, stretched my arms and on the move, at the speed I hold by the sides, almost on weight, heavy Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev ...
Where, in what civilized country of the world, the personal guard of the country's leader is engaged in this? ”
However, as practice shows, the most important thing for security officers is not what they have to do for the protected officer, but how he treats them. Does he appreciate their hard work, see if they are people, sympathizes with them, is ready to intervene for them, and so on. If yes, then the guard will endure anything and fulfill any order, even if it looks ridiculous.
Leonid Brezhnev accompanied by personal protection in the pool Photo: rusarchives.ru
24 March 1982, an incident that, in the conventional wisdom, had a fatal effect on the already weakened health of the 76-year-old general secretary, was an accident at the Chkalov Tashkent Aircraft Building Plant. In March, Leonid Brezhnev went to Uzbekistan for festive events on the occasion of assigning the Order of Lenin to the Republic. At the aircraft factory, at first it was decided not to go, so as not to overwork Leonid Ilyich. But it turned out that the previous event passed easily and quickly, and the Secretary General decided that it was necessary to go to the plant: not well, they say, people are waiting ...
Since the trip to this plant was initially canceled, the proper order of placing the object under protection was not respected. There was no time left for full-scale carrying out of regular security measures. Well, the workers, of course, could not miss the opportunity to see the first person of the state. When the delegation entered the assembly shop, a huge crowd followed. People began to climb the woods over the planes under construction.
“We were passing under the wing of the plane,” recalls Vladimir Medvedev, “the people who filled the forests also began to move. The ring of workers around us was shrinking, and the guards joined hands to hold in the crowd. Leonid Ilyich almost got out from under the plane when suddenly there was a screech. The rafters could not stand it, and a large wooden platform - the entire length of the plane and four meters wide - collapsed under the uneven weight of the people moving! People slant down on us. Forests crushed many. I looked around and did not see either Brezhnev or Rashidov. Together with the accompanying they were covered with a collapsed platform. We, four of the guards, barely lifted it up, even the local guards jumped up and, experiencing tremendous tension, for two minutes kept the area with people on weight ”.
They would not have kept — many would have been crushed there, including Leonid Ilyich ... Together with Vladimir Timofeevich Vladimir Sobachenkov, who received a severe bloody trauma, and the very “Vanka” Valery Zhukov kept the forests. It was as if the providence itself forced Leonid Ilyich to return to the group of this particular security officer twice ... The chief guard of the falling stocks was taken by the field guard officer Igor Kurpich.
In order to avoid a crush, Alexander Ryabenko used a weapon - the shots were directed upwards so that in a rising panic the main car, which had already entered the workshop, could drive to the wounded guarded. In the hands of the security officers brought into it Leonid Ilyich.
Fortunately, nobody died that day. Brezhnev himself suffered a concussion and a fracture of the right clavicle. After that, the secretary general's health was undermined completely, and literally six months later, on November 10, Leonid Ilyich was gone.
Shortly before the death of Brezhnev, a tragedy occurred, the causes of which were later debated for many years. October 4 1980, the result of a car crash on the Moscow-Brest highway, killed the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Byelorussian SSR, Pyotr Masharov. Some researchers felt that his death was the result of a conspiracy against him in higher party circles. But, according to Dmitry Fonarev, the inconsistency of the 9 department of the Republican KGB of Belarus, which did not directly comply with the 9 Office of the USSR KGB, led to the death of Peter Masherov. So, the driver of the main car was not in the state of the republican KGB and did not undergo special emergency response training. A detailed analysis of the 4 October 1980 tragedy of the year can be found on the NAST website.
After the death of Brezhnev, his guards were transferred to the 18-i (back-up) branch of the 1-department of the "nine". According to the status, who replaced him in the post of general secretary, Yury Vladimirovich Andropov, was also allocated a special security group.
This may seem strange to some: why change security officers who have proven themselves in the best way? But here it is important to clarify that not a single protected in the USSR, even the leader of the country, had the right to choose for himself protection, including the attached ones. This was not part of his authority and was solely the task of the management of the Nine.
So, before Yury Vladimirovich assumed the post of General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, the head of his security group was Yevgeny Kalgin, who began his career in GON as Andropov’s personal driver. And then the management of the department, and not the order of the protected person, was entrusted to him to lead the security group of the chairman of the KGB of the USSR, who was a member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee. After Yuri Andropov took the post of General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, Viktor Aleksandrovich Ivanov became the head of his guard.
General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Yuri Andropov. Photo by Vladimir Musaelyan and Eduard Pesov / TASS photo chronicle
The guarded person, however, could withdraw a candidate proposed for him as the head of the security or an officer-attached officer. If this did not happen, then, in agreement with the approved team leader — the senior officer-attached officer — his deputies-attached ones were selected, and in special cases, field guard officers. Therefore, the entire group of guards in full force never passed from the previous secretary general to the “inheritance” of his successor. This was the unspoken rule of the Nine.
Under Yuri Andropov, the role of the 9 Office in the structure of the KGB was significantly strengthened. At the KGB board already in the post of general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, he paid special attention to the importance of control in the state security system. He also asked to assist in every possible way the work of the Nine and its newly appointed chief - Lieutenant-General Yury Sergeevich Plekhanov, who became a key figure in the USSR State Guard right up to the events of the State Emergency Committee in 1991 year.
24 March 1983, Yury Sergeevich headed the 9-e Office of the KGB of the USSR, and from 27 in February 1990 of the year to the 22 of August 1991, was the head of the security service of the KGB of the USSR. Thus, the State Security Directorate, which is responsible for the personal security of the country's leadership and never having the status of chief, gained a special position in the hierarchy of the KGB of the USSR.
Note that in the measures taken by Yuri Andropov, there is a clear logic. As already mentioned, in his 1978 year, on his initiative, the KGB became one of the central government bodies in the Soviet Union, to whose leadership, five years later, he indicated the special status of the Nines. Yuri Vladimirovich was fully aware of all the realities of the life of the country, including the dangerous processes of consciousness transformation in the party leadership, first of all the capital. And he was well aware that it was possible to cope with all the consequences of these processes only with a sterile KGB instrument at hand.
Such aspirations also explain the personnel changes made by Andropov at the end of 1982. December 17 Leonid Brezhnev’s appointee Vitaly Fedorchuk from the post of Chairman of the KGB of the USSR 1982 was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs of the USSR. In this post, he replaced Nikolai Shelokov, against whom a criminal case was opened. The position of the chairman of the KGB of the USSR was taken by a worthy man in all senses of the word - Viktor Mikhailovich Chebrikov, the “right hand” of Yuri Vladimirovich, a participant in the Great Patriotic War, a laureate of the USSR State Prize, Hero of Socialist Labor. Firmly continuing his line, Yuri Andropov initiated serious mass measures to strengthen law and order, which affected not only corrupt officials, but also simple undisciplined citizens.
The further professional fate of the staff of the Leonid Brezhnev guard group was different. Valery Zhukov died in 1983 year. Alexander Ryabenko, with an understanding of the situation, was transferred to the protection of the reserve dachas in which former members of the Politburo lived, and were sent to retire in 1987. He died in 1993, at the age of 77.
Vladimir Redkorodogo was sent to the representative office of the KGB of the USSR in Afghanistan, where he worked in 1980 – 1984. And the top of his professional career were the posts of the head of the Security Department under the President of the USSR (from August 31 to December 14 1991 of the year) and then head of the RSFSR Main Guard Department (until May 5 of the 1992 year).
Vladimir Medvedev in the 1985 year, led by the protection of Mikhail Gorbachev, and under his command, some officers of the field guard Brezhnev worked there.
On the features of the organization and security of the last Soviet leader, we will talk in the next article in this series.