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What secrets of work in intelligence were discovered by a Soviet spy in the USA
What secrets of work in intelligence were discovered by a Soviet spy in the USA

In 2010, an FBI special operation destroyed the measured life of an ordinary, seemingly, family of French Canadian origin. In front of two frightened teenagers, their parents, Donald Howard Heathfield and Tracy Lee Ann Foley, were handcuffed. And soon the newspapers exploded with headlines: the FBI took Soviet spies! At least, Andrei Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova were introduced back in Soviet times.

The exposed scouts were exchanged. The rest is typical for the twenty-first century. In America, they immediately shot a series, the main characters of which were copied from Andrei and Elena. It is simply called “The Americans”. Elena herself wrote a book about how she lived for twenty-three years under a false name in a foreign country ("A woman who knows how to keep secrets"), and after its release she gave an interview to the journalist of the Spanish edition El mundo, in which she told how life looks like and features the work of a spy who has infiltrated a foreign country.

Photo: Aspasie Yoko

Spies were not raised in a special way in closed KGB schools

Elena Vavilova had an ordinary childhood. She was born in Tomskva in 1962 and went to school where there was no special spyware. The most unusual thing about her school was the in-depth study of the German language. After school, she studied at the Tomsk State University at the Faculty of History. Already there, the KGB drew attention to her.

Scouts really have to know and be able to do a lot

Before ending up in America, Elena had to perfectly learn English and French (the second - to write off any accent on her French Canadian origin), learn Morse code, karate, the ability to detect surveillance, shooting a pistol, knife fighting. And she also had to master a profession that became her cover - in the United States, Elena was a real estate agent.

Shot from the TV series Americans of the FX channel

The fact that married couples prefer in intelligence is not a myth

It is risky to rely on the fact that the intelligence officer will do his entire service without his personal life. Allow emotional and intimate communication with strangers as well. Elena and Andrey were a couple even before they were thrown into Canada. There, by the way, they first had to portray acquaintance and courtship, because the documents that were obtained for them did not imply biographies in which they would already be husband and wife. In general, Elena and Andrey were a real family. By the way, they had two sons in marriage, Tim and Alex. At the time of their parents' arrest, they were sixteen and less than twenty years old.

A spy needs to be incredibly boring

Sons often reproached spouses-scouts for being terribly dull. But a spy has to be boring to give as few leads as possible for anyone's memory. They must be very simple guys. By the way, one of the reasons why Elena and Andrey were selected for the mission is their incredibly ordinary appearance. For the Sean Connery-looking James Bond, it is difficult to scout.

Shot from the TV series Americans of the FX channel

Always afraid of being punctured by little things

Soviet and then Russian spies constantly had to avoid seemingly banal situations. For example, a French professor lived not far from them. Naturally, he was very attracted to talk with Elena and Andrey in his native language. But they were afraid that he would see through them by pronunciation, and spent a lot of energy to avoid this unexpected acquaintance.

When Elena took her son to school, where he could realize his talent in mathematics, but where, as she knew, Soviet emigrants teach, she never even got out of the car in the parking lot - she was afraid to be identified. You never know what the emigres will find in her family! And, of course, even at home Elena and Andrey did not speak Russian. Someone can always read the wrong words on the lips.

Shot from the series Americans of the FX channel

Your family feelings are respected, and you learn to respect them too

With encrypted messages, Elena received not only instructions. Sometimes it was news of one of her relatives - usually death. In separation from her family, Elena generally learned to appreciate the family. She created virtual family ties for her children. So, the sons constantly received gifts from their grandparents for the holidays, although, according to the official version, they were too old to come by themselves. Mom and Dad replaced their childhood photos with their childhood memories. So their children had a sense of roots, although they were cut off from their real families.

Not everything that is shown in the cinema is true

Spies do not burn recorded encryption messages - they prefer to flush them down the toilet. And the smoke attracts attention. Spies do not detect surveillance in shop windows. They are taught to go through intersections so that they can look around without arousing suspicion. Moreover, it is still impossible to look directly back - it is worth training peripheral vision. Spies do not obtain information by engaging in an intimate relationship - this is only practiced to collect compromising evidence. But the easiest way to hide is through the shopping center, where there are many exits.

The scouts don't think they've done anything bad

They rubbed into trust and then used that trust to get information. But Elena never “eliminated” anyone and is sure that she fought for peace, preventing possible aggression. To avoid a real war, a secret war is needed - this is her position.

At least in the middle of the twentieth century, intelligence officers were definitely working to bring peace: 5 bravest spies to kill Nazis during World War II.

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