Secret Servant: My Life with the KGB and the Soviet Elite

Llya Dzhirkvelov, Author, Ilya Dzhirvelov, Author, Ilya Dzhirkvelov, Author HarperCollins Publishers $22.5 (398p) ISBN 978-0-06-015912-2
Dzhirkvelov writes that although he never opposed the Soviet regime, he was disturbed by the increasing corruption of the privileged elite, the fierce power struggles at the top, the heavy drinking and immoral ways of the ideological leaders ""and their utter contempt for the ordinary people.'' He was especially disturbed when his spy masters began treating him with contempt; he defected to the West in 1980. A 30-year veteran of the KGB, Dzhirkvelov's descriptions of organizational structures at various levels along with operational techniquesincluding activities he took part inrepresent a rare insider's look at the Soviet security system. On the other hand, this defector claims that the 1953 ``doctor's plot'' against Stalin was nothing more than ``an amusing idea'' of the Western media, that the KGB is not as powerful as is generally thought in the West, and that stories of religious persecution in the Soviet Union are greatly exaggerated. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
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