Table of contents:
When Tatyana Lioznova conceived her film about scouts, she wanted this picture to be as accurate as possible. And it would show not only the work of illegal immigrants, but also how the residents lived behind enemy lines. When the director turned to the high ranks of the KGB, she was introduced to a consultant - Anna Fedorovna Filonenko, who later became the prototype for the heroine Ekaterina Gradova, the Russian radio operator Kat.
From the loom to the scout school
Anna Kamaeva (maiden name) was born in 1918 in a simple peasant family, hardworking and large. It seemed that her life would follow a certain path: school, FZU, factory. And so it all began. Anna worked as a weaver at the Red Rose factory, was in good standing, she overfulfilled her plans and took part in public life.
She was 20 when the girl on a Komsomol ticket was sent to a new job. First, she graduated from the School of Special Purpose, where she studied Spanish, Polish and Finnish, as well as radio business and the basics of handling weapons. The girl did not work for a long time in the central apparatus of foreign intelligence, but with the outbreak of the war, she got into a special purpose group.
Here, the preparation was much more serious and a special mission was assigned to it: the elimination of Hitler, provided that Moscow was captured and the Fuhrer arrived in Russia. Anna knew that in the event of an assassination attempt, she would die. Fortunately, the Germans were stopped, and the girl was sent to the rear of the enemy as part of a sabotage group.
Then the young scout received her first government award for the successful completion of the assignment. And again I went to study. Now she had to undergo training for illegal work abroad.
Anna Kamaeva's first foreign business trip took place in 1944. She traveled to Mexico to take part in a special operation to free Ramon Mercader, who had eliminated Trotsky four years earlier. However, after the operation was curtailed, the girl returned to her homeland.
She married Mikhail Filonenko, her intelligence colleague, for love, but both of them knew that the family would become part of their work. When their son Pavel was born in 1947, they began to teach him Spanish and Czech. Then a legend was already developed for their family, according to which they were to become refugees from Czechoslovakia.
Several short trips abroad were quite successful, and in 1951 Anna, already awaiting the birth of her daughter, her husband Mikhail and little son secretly crossed the Soviet-Chinese border. The family, according to legend, fled from socialist Czechoslovakia.
Already in Harbin, Anna gave birth to a daughter, Maria. Unlike the heroine of the film "Seventeen Moments of Spring", during childbirth Anna did not allow herself to call her mother in Russian. Even during the contractions, she did not lose control of herself. The baby was subsequently baptized in a Catholic church, because according to legend, refugees from Czechoslovakia were convinced Catholics.
The couple spent three years in China, after which they were transferred to Brazil. Mikhail had to build his own business, starting from scratch. While the head of the family was trying to develop his business, which would become a cover for his intelligence activities, the family was in desperate need.
But over time, everything worked out, the business began to bear fruit, the spouses had not only money, but also the necessary connections. Among the friends of Mikhail Filonenko were quite high-ranking officials and servicemen who shared secret information with their “friend” about the activities of American military bases or strategic cargo.
Soon the couple had a third child, son Ivan. In the Brazilian maternity hospital, Anna did not lose her composure for a second and did not give herself away. Later, in the service description of Anna Filonenko, a record will appear about the great endurance and self-control of the scout, who could endure any hardships of work in the most difficult conditions.
Even when the woman was informed that the plane with her husband on board crashed and all the passengers were killed, Anna did not allow herself to relax. She stoically held on until the very moment when she found out that Mikhail had to change his plans and he was on a different flight.
Their work was filigree, for the entire time of their life abroad, no one had a shadow of doubt about the reliability of the family. Mikhail was in good standing, doing so well that he even became friends with Alfredo Stroessner, the Paraguayan dictator. They often hunted together, and Stroessner was quite frank with his friend.
After the failure of Rudolf Abel (William Fischer) in the United States, the Filonenko spouses had to master a new communication channel. Now Anna, who played the role of the businessman's wife, began to transmit her husband's encrypted messages using a radio station. They were received by Soviet ships passing along the coast of South America. Even the kids didn't know who they really were.
The Filonenko spouses could have worked for many more years, but Mikhail suffered a severe heart attack in 1960, after which further work was no longer possible. The center developed a complex operation to return their family to their homeland. Anna and Mikhail with their children could not just disappear, because in Brazil the agent network created during the work, which would be headed by other scouts, should have been preserved.
The family returned to the USSR when their eldest son was 13 years old. Once in Moscow, Pavel asked his father: "Dad, are we Russian spies?" As it turned out, he vaguely remembered how they crossed the Soviet-Chinese border, but he was not sure if his childhood memories were true.
In the Soviet Union, Anna and Mikhail retired, and the children were able to quickly adapt and accept new living conditions. However, for many years they did not know who their parents really were. During the life of the spouses, the secret of their activities was preserved, and the truth was revealed only after Anna and Mikhail were gone.
The head of the family died in 1982, Anna Filonenko lived for another 16 years and passed away in 1998. Only after Anna Fedorovna's death did the Foreign Intelligence Service make it possible to disclose a small part of the life history of the spouses-intelligence officers, but it seems that it does not know the whole truth about the activities of illegal immigrants no one.
In August 1973, for 12 consecutive evenings, strange things were happening in the Soviet Union: electricity consumption rose sharply, while water consumption decreased, and even street crime was practically zero. This fact is recorded in the police statistics. For the first time, the vast country watched Tatiana Lioznova's film "Seventeen Moments of Spring".