Plot World History with Andrey Sidorchik
On the politicians of the late 1980s — In the early 1990s, the term “traitors” was often used. But if “betrayal” Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin— this is a cumulative subjective assessment of the activities of the last president of the USSR and the first president of Russia, then in the case of the last head of the KGB of the Soviet Union, we are talking about a very specific act.
How Soviet secrets were handed over at the US Embassy
Employees of domestic intelligence agencies still cringe when it comes to transferring the eavesdropping circuitry in the new building of the US Embassy in Moscow.
In December 1991, the country flew into hell, but even for those days it was an amazing act : Vadim Bakatin, head of the Inter-Republican State Security Service, which was renamed the KGB, presented the US Ambassador to the USSR James Collins with technical documentation on the listening system installed in the building on Novinsky Boulevard.
Viktor Ivanenko, who headed the special service under the President of the RSFSR Boris Yeltsin in 1991, twenty years later recalled this as follows: “For the KGB, it was a blow. To hand over the holy of holies — eavesdropping technique in the embassy, if not the enemy, then the competitor! Bakatin justified himself: they say, the Americans knew about it anyway. Nothing like this! There was applied a completely new technology. The elements of the sound-conducting system were immured in bricks. We received them from foreign suppliers. It was know-how».
American diplomats made no secret of the fact that they did not count on such a level of openness. And the United States did not even think of making such reciprocal steps. Bakatin himself explained — he secured the approval of both Yeltsin and Gorbachev, and did this “to increase trust between the two countries.”
In Washington, they rubbed their hands with pleasure when they saw that all Soviet secrets would come to them for nothing.
Bakatin was not a regular member of the special services and first got into the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and then into the KGB as a person who was supposed to become a counterbalance to the generals who were disillusioned with Gorbachev .
A native of the Novosibirsk region, Bakatin, with a diploma in civil engineering, rose in a decade and a half from a foreman to the chief engineer of the Kemerovo house-building plant. It is quite possible that he could have been useful in the construction industry for many years to come, but his superior comrades decided to nominate him along the party line.
Bakatin can be considered another big mistake of the legendary Yegor Ligachev. It was the author of the phrase “Boris, you're wrong” attracted the secretary of the Kemerovo Regional Committee to work in the capital. Then, after graduating from the Academy of Social Sciences under the Central Committee of the CPSU, Bakatin became the head of the Kirov region, becoming the first appointee of the Gorbachev period.
As a “Gorbachev's man”, Bakatin came to the post of head of the USSR years later, Mikhail Sergeevich dismissed him, deciding that he could not cope. However, Bakatin did not lose Gorbachev's favor.
In August 1991, during the period of the State Emergency Committee, Bakatin thanked the chief in full. He refused to join the leaders who removed Gorbachev and actually took the side of the opponents of the State Emergency Committee. Despite the fact that he personally announced his position to the head of the GKChP, Vice-President of the USSR Yanaev, no one began to arrest him. Such were the realities of this brief August “dictatorship.”
In gratitude for this, the winners appointed Bakatin head of the KGB of the USSR to replace the arrested General Kryuchkov. Russian leader Boris Yeltsin made no secret of the fact that Bakatin was given the task of dismantling the Committee, and he tried his best. The unified structure was divided, many highly qualified employees resigned themselves, someone from the “disloyal” Bakatin helped.
Someone was more lucky — foreign intelligence, separated into a separate structure, was headed by Yevgeny Primakov, who preserved the best personnel from defeat and betrayal. However, in general, the state security system was destroyed. And when on December 5, 1991, Bakatin handed over the wiretapping documents to the American ambassador, it became a clear demonstration of the bottom we had fallen into. Therefore, one should not be surprised that Bakatin's department, a few days later, calmly watched the signing of the Belovezhskaya Accords in Viskuli.
He had everything to meet his old age with dignity
On January 15, 1992, Yeltsin signed decree on the release of Bakatin from his post. As they say, the Moor has done his job, the Moor can leave. In fact, Bakatin stopped performing his duties at the end of December 1991.
Already in 1992, he published a book with the loud title “Getting rid of the KGB”. However, over time, Vadim Viktorovich began to evaluate his activities in 1991 much more modestly, because it became bad manners to brag about such things.
Leaving the field of public attention, Bakatin worked in various business structures and felt quite comfortable. After all, negative opinion — this is not a court verdict, so Vadim Viktorovich ended his days at large and with a clear conscience.
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