An ace troubleshooter for the KGB describes his defection to the U. S., his touch-and-go escape with his family, and his inside information about the inner workings of the KGB gained in his role as head of security for cipher communications. Reprint.
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The suspenseful, eye-opening memoir of a Soviet spy who came in from the cold. Writing in the third person, Sheymov offers a riveting account of his upwardly mobile career with the KGB and the factors that led him to defect to the West in 1980. In 1969, after graduating with an engineering degreee from Moscow's prestigious Technical University, the author joined a Defense Ministry institute that was researching military uses of space. Recruited by the state's intelligence service in 1971, at age 25, Sheymov eventually became the Eighth Chief Directorate's principal troubleshooter. In this sensitive capacity, he traveled far afield, ensuring the security of enciphered KGB communications throughout the world: During one sojourn, for example, he was able to figure out how the technologically backward Chinese had managed to eavesdrop on the USSR's Beijing embassy. Along the way, the author also learned about his agency's penetration of the Russian Orthodox Church, its role in the plot to assassinate Pope John-Paul II, and its involvement in other unsavory projects. But the higher Sheymov climbed, the more disillusioned he became with Communism and the Kremlin elite's corruption. Resolved to inflict as much damage as he could on the system, the author, while on a Warsaw assignment, evaded his minder and made contact with the CIA. The latter third of the narrative provides a detailed briefing on how Sheymov's knowledge of KGB tradecraft, as well as the professionalism of US operatives, allowed him to slip across two closely guarded borders into Austria with his wife and young daughter. The exfiltration was so skillfully executed that the author's erstwhile masters long believed that he and his family were dead. While the story ends abruptly with Sheymov's escorted arrival in N.Y.C., it seems likely that the information he subsequently furnished American officials hastened the cold war's end. A top-level insider's dramatic, stranger-than-fiction disclosures in the great game of espionage. (Maps and photographs- -not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Sheymov was a senior manager and troubleshooter in the communications division of the KGB, a position affording him a comprehensive overview of the organization. In this suspenseful third-person narrative, he reveals how he was recruited and trained, gives details of his most interesting assignments and describes the gradual disillusionment that led to his defection. How, in 1980, the CIA smuggled him out of the Soviet Union with his wife and five-year-old daughter into the United States forms the core of this exciting story. The KGB, fooled into thinking Sheymov was dead, did not learn of his defection for 10 years. The KGB, he maintains, has not been disbanded, but, rather, has increased operations under President Boris Yeltsin. Sheymov became a U.S. citizen in 1985 and works as a business consultant. Photos.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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