* Soviet intelligence Pavel Sudoplatov

Soviet Intelligence: Pavel Sudoplatov (1907-96)

Figure 1.--Here we see Gen. Pavel Sudoplatov after World War II some time just before his arrest (1953). He was not arrestd for any of his actions, but because of his close association with Beria. His book ('Special Assignments') provides a fascinating look into the hughest levels of Soviet inteligence and politics. He was a close associate of Beria and had direct contact with Stalin. His son helped him write his book.

Lieutenant General Pavel Anatolyevich Sudoplatov (Пáвел Aнатóльевич CудоплáтовP was born in Melitopol, niw part of Ukraine (1907). He is a major source on Soviet intelligebce because he wrote a book on his experiences. Many Sovuer veterabs wrote books on their war time experiences, but not inteligence officers. Pavel ran away from ar age 12 years (1919), joined the Red Army, and fought in the Russian Civil War. Because he was ebentually assigned as a telephone and code clerk, his carrer went off into the intelligence sphere. He served with the intelligence services of the Soviet Union, including the Cheka, OGPU, NKVD, and KGB. He rose to the rank of lieutenant general. He was involved with several pre-World ar II, World War II, and Cold War. He describes in detail the extent that Stalin went to to dismiss reports of German preparations for Barbarossa -- the invasion of the Soviet Union (1941). Military and intelligence officers who reported on these preapartions were putting not only their careers, but their lives in jepordy. As a result when the Germans struck, Soviet units were ar first afraid to shoot back. Sudoplariv's assignments, included political assainations personally ordered by Stalin. Some of his most notable actions were: 1) the assassination of Leon Trotsky (1940), 2) efforts after Barbarossa to negoriate a sepatae pace with the NAZIs, 3) Operation Monastery and Scherhorn, Soviet military deception operation against the Germans (1942-44), and 4) the Soviet penetration of the American Manhattan Project (1940s). The Soviets conducted a massive intellgence operation in the United States and Sudiplatov was part of it. Thus was possible because so many Soviet personnel were involved in the American Lend Lease program during World War II. A large Soviet mission was justified because if the dimensions of Lend Kease and the fact that the Soviets were allowed to inspect American war plants and pick and choose what they wanted. Many of Sudoplatov's associates were purged and he narrowly escaped that fate. He was arrested because of his close assocition with Beria. He was not shot, but spent 15 years in Soviet prisons. Sudoplatov published his autobiography after the implosion of the Soviet Union (1994). It brought him to the attention of Western historians who did not have lot to go on when assessing Soviet inteligence. His book provided a rare look into Soviet intelligence and Soviet internal politics during World War II and the Cold War. Some of it has been quetioned and autobiographies commonly inflate the role of authors or try to inrerpret historical events to make themselves look good or important. We know that some of his book his book is factual because there are independent sources that confirm his activiities. There are a variety of factual error, understnadable becuse it cover his longblifevand was largely written from memory. One charge that has been questioned was accusing Manahattann Prohect Scientific Director Robert Opoenheimer of passing information to Soviet agents.


Soloplarov, Pavel. Special Tasks (1994). He writes, "The Soviet Union—to which I devoted every fiber of my being and for which I was willing to die; for which I averted my eyes from every brutality, finding justification in its transformation from a backward nation into a superpower; for which I spent long months on duty away from Emma and the children; whose mistakes cost me fifteen years of my life as a husband and father - was unwilling to admit its failure and take me back as a citizen. Only when there was no more Soviet Union, no more proud empire, was I reinstated and my name returned to its rightful place."

Stephan, Robert. Stalin's Secret War: Soviet Counter-Intelligence Against the NAZIs (University of Kabsas Press).


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Created: 7:05 AM 3/25/2005
Last updated: 10:09 PM 5/12/2020