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Attempts on Soviet General Secretaries: How conspiracies were revealed and why all attempts were unsuccessful
Attempts on Soviet General Secretaries: How conspiracies were revealed and why all attempts were unsuccessful
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Attempts on the lives of heads of state are committed all over the world. And only in the USSR, information about these attempts was hidden for various reasons. However, sooner or later, the general public became aware of the attempts to eliminate the leaders of the Land of the Soviets. For example, the preparation of one of the attempts on Nikita Khrushchev became known only in 2005, and Leonid Brezhnev was attempted repeatedly, including abroad.

Nikita Khrushchev

Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev

The first attempt to eliminate the large government delegation of the USSR, headed by Nikita Khrushchev, took place in 1956 during a visit to England. The delegation was delivered by a detachment of Soviet ships. On April 19, 1956, a swimmer was seen near the Ordzhonikidze cruiser. The underwater scout Eduard Koltsov was sent to clarify the situation, and he found a saboteur who was planting a mine under the bottom of the ship. The saboteur was eliminated, and the mine was defused.

NS. Khrushchev, N. A. Bulganin and I. V. Kurchatov on the Ordzhonikidze cruiser on the way to England 1956
NS. Khrushchev, N. A. Bulganin and I. V. Kurchatov on the Ordzhonikidze cruiser on the way to England 1956

The general public only became aware of the second attempt on Khrushchev in 2005. It was then that many materials of the Georgian special services were declassified. The assassination attempt was supposed to take place during Khrushchev's visit to Georgia in 1961. However, thanks to the active preparation of the terrorists to eliminate the leader of the country, their conspiracy was uncovered, and the failed killers themselves were arrested. The purchase of grenades and explosive devices played into the hands of the special services. Six months before Khrushchev's visit, Otari Mikvabishvili, Aleko Meladze, Abrek Batoshvili and Akaki Mdinaradze were arrested, and all the ammunition was confiscated.

READ ALSO: The ailments of the Soviet leaders: why only Khrushchev was in excellent condition, and the rest of the leaders were a mystery to doctors >>

Leonid Brezhnev

Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev and cosmonauts Vladimir Kovalenko and Alexander Ivanchenko
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev and cosmonauts Vladimir Kovalenko and Alexander Ivanchenko

It is known about three attempts on Leonid Brezhnev's life during the entire period of his reign. All Soviet newspapers wrote about the first, news stories appeared on television and radio, and the foreign press did not stand aside. When the Soviet cosmonauts arrived in Moscow on June 22, 1969, the Secretary General personally met them at the airport. The honorary cortege arrived in the Kremlin and at that time one of the policemen standing in the cordon opened fire on the second car in the convoy. In the first car, the cosmonauts were traveling, and in the second, according to the assumption of the shooter, there was Brezhnev. However, the leader's car was in the middle of the honorary cortege and was not injured, the driver was wounded in the shot car, and in the honorary cortege there was also a motorcyclist, who managed to knock the shooter down.

Victor Ilyin
Victor Ilyin

It turned out to be Junior Lieutenant Viktor Ilyin, who left the unit where he served without permission and took two pistols with him at once. He secretly put on the police uniform of a relative at whom he stopped, unnoticed joined the cordon and, seizing the moment, opened fire. After the investigative actions, Ilyin was declared insane and sent for treatment to a psychiatric clinic for a period of 20 years.

Leonid Brezhnev in Paris
Leonid Brezhnev in Paris

The second assassination attempt was prepared in Paris in 1977 and was supposed to take place during the laying of flowers at the Eternal Flame at the Arc de Triomphe. Thanks to the KGB, the plans of the criminals were revealed, and during Brezhnev's visit to France, unprecedented security measures were taken. All approaches to the surrounding streets were guarded by thousands of French police and firefighters. The sniper did not manage to get close to the place from where the fatal shot could have been fired. After laying flowers and signing important documents, Brezhnev safely left for his homeland.

General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev and Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Helmut Schmidt
General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev and Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Helmut Schmidt

When it became known about the impending assassination attempt in Outsburg in Germany in 1978, the secretary general's security service, consisting of KGB officers, simply decided to use the emergency passage. After lunch Brezhnev and Helmut Schmidt, the route of the Secretary General was changed. Until the last second, no one knew about these changes, except for the most trusted and reliable people from among the guards.

READ ALSO: What were silent about in Brezhnev times: Explosions in the Mausoleum, hijacking of planes and other non-Soviet incidents >>

Yuri Andropov

Yuri Andropov
Yuri Andropov

Historians differ on the assassination attempt on Yuri Andropov. Some are inclined to believe that there was no assassination attempt, it was invented for some purpose. However, at the beginning of 1983, the story of how Svetlana Shchelokova shot Andropov was discussed all over Moscow.

Svetlana and Nikolai Shchelokov
Svetlana and Nikolai Shchelokov

Former Interior Minister Nikolai Shchelokov was suspended from work, and an investigation was underway about numerous abuses and embezzlements in the ministry. Svetlana considered the unfolding company against her husband to be the settling of personal scores on the part of Andropov, and therefore on February 19, 1983 made an unsuccessful attempt to shoot the offender. After the failure, she returned home and committed suicide.

Mikhail Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev

An attempt to assassinate the last General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee and the first president of the USSR was made on November 7, 1990, during a demonstration on Red Square.

Alexander Shmonov shot at the secretary general from a double-barreled hunting rifle with a sawn-off butt. He loaded the barrels with different bullets: a hunting one and a bullet with high accuracy. If not for the immediate reaction of the senior police sergeant Alexander Melnikov, who was nearby, the shot could have achieved its goal.

Alexander Shmonov
Alexander Shmonov

He grabbed the sawn-off barrel with his bare hands and pulled it aside, thereby changing direction. As a result, no one was hurt, and the assailant was arrested and, after a psychiatric examination, was sent to a clinic for treatment. Was discharged in 1995. After being discharged, he published a small brochure in which he tried to explain the reasons for his act and share the details of the unsuccessful attempt on his life. Shmonov considered Gorbachev guilty of the impoverishment of ordinary people, and also of the murder of civilians in Tbilisi in 1989, when a protest demonstration was dispersed.

Repeatedly attempted and on Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin. Counterrevolutionaries, intelligence officers from different countries, their own comrades-in-arms in the struggle for the cause of the revolution, and also the special services of Nazi Germany and Japan, the father of all peoples had plenty of enemies. According to some historians, the date of March 5, 1953 can be considered the day of the successful assassination attempt on Joseph Stalin.

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