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The strong-arm men tactic of evacuating defecting Soviet citizens back to the Soviet Union had also been applied to Evdokia Petrov, the wife of Vladimir Petrov, 3rd secretary and Consul at the Soviet embassy in Canberra. He defected in and to Australia on April 2, 1954. When two weeks later Evdokia attempted to join her husband, she was forcefully accompanied by 2 Soviet bullies to the airplane leaving for Moscow. Australian police rescued her from forceful repatriation when the plane arrived on the tarmac in Darwin (81).

The Barzov

Pirogov Defection and its Mysterious Ending.

Disillusioned with life under communism and encouraged by broadcasts of Voice of America, Peter Pirogov and Anatoly Barzov decided to flee to the West. On October 9, 1948, their twin-engine bomber landed at Linz in the American occupied zone of Austria. Pirogov, a navigator and Barzov, a pilot, had been stationed as lieutenants in the Soviet Air Force at Kolomaya in the


After requesting and obtaining political asylum from the United States, both came to this country in February 1949. But Barzov returned to the Soviet Union in August 1949. Several factors can explain his reaction. Barzov had defected to the West leaving his wife and 4-year old son behind. Obviously less able and skilled to adapt to the American way of life, he drifted from one job to another, nursing a growing homesickness on alchohol. Part of his problem seems also to stem from his difficulties in learning


English. And finally, once in the US he definitely had been softened up by Soviet agents.

Barzov tried to convince Pirigov to return with him, saying that if he returned alone, he would get 2 years in jail; if he managed to return with Pirogov, neither one of them would be punished at all. This was an official promise transmitted to Barzov (the Soviet ambassador to Washington, Panyushkin (82). This sentence was completely at odds with the one the 'resuscitated' Barzov mentioned during a press conference held in Moscow on May 15, 1957 (83), where he declared that he had been treated humanely after his return and had only received an insignificant term of 5 years in Siberian corrective labor camps (Omsk & Vorkuta ). The whole press conference, including the 5 year term in labor camps seems to have been a complete hoax since several subsequent defectors confirmed that Barzov had been executed in 1950, after having been milked because he had so much interesting information to supply and because so many senior MVD officers wanted to check up on various points in his story (84). In fact, Vladimir Petrov, the MVD head in Australia until his defection in April 1954, pointed out that no one told Barzov, while he was still in the US, that he had already been sentenced to death (85).

But this was not the end of the story for Pirigov. Pirogov, who always had been intersted in discovering what had really happened to Barzov, got the opportunity in 1955 when a Soviet Agricultural delegation was visiting the United States. While speaking with his wife in Russian, a representative of the Soviet embassy, by the name of Zigal (86) approached them and started a talk. Pirogov described this encounter to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Internal Security as follows:

"[ ] He asserted that after Stalin's death everything has changed
for the better in the Soviet Union. But I decided to ask him the


main question about Barzov.

He told me that he knew about the case, and that he is sure that
Barzov is still alive, although he doesn't know where he lives.
In order to prove his statements, he has given me the following
example. He said that in 1946 he met a man, a former Soviet cit-
izen, who killed a Soviet officer and went to the Germans during
the war.
In spite of this, he met him 2 years later in 1948 in
Riga, where this man has married and is living happily. He told
if this man who killed a Soviet officer during the war and went
over to the Germans was pardoned for these crimes, what reasons
do you have to doubt that Barzov, who didn't commit such a crime,
was pardoned too? [...] (87)."

Now the wagon was rolling as Pirogov would discover on March 8, 1957. Pirogov, who had just moved into a new home the day before, got a phone call from a man who was speaking as a Soviet embassy official and who had some business to discuss with him. When visiting the Pirogovs on March 11, the official introduced himself as Gennadi Mashkantzev, 2nd secretary of the Soviet embassy. Mashkantzev seems to have been well informed about Pirogov's problems. Pirogov had just been refused naturalization because of his former membership in the Communist party. Consequently he had lost his job at the Library of Congress. In order to survive, Pirogov made a precarious living as a house painter, later started to build and refurbish houses on his own. Apparently Pirogov's wife was ill at the time of the first meeting. This was the background Mashkantsev had chosen to hand over a letter from Barzov to Pirogov describing his new life in Southern Siberia and asking Pirogov to come back and share it with him. Moreover, all travel expenses of the Pirogov family would be paid for.

The letter turned out to be forged. Although the handwriting was similar to Barzov's, the prose style was not. Worse, Barzov's name had been spelt Borzov (with an o instead of an a).

Mashkantzev visited the Pirogovs a second time on March 22, 1957 and reassured them of the guarantees he gave during his first visit. He was


even ready to put them in writing. Before leaving, the Soviet diplomat hinted that the American security agencies knew of his visits and that therefore, being compromised Pirogov had no other alternative but to return to the Soviet Union (88).

On April 17, the State Department sent a note to the Soviet embassy stating that Gennadi Mashkantzev "had engaged in highly improper activities and that his continued presence in the United States was no longer considered acceptable." It also added that, without further precising, Mashkantzev had not only tried to lure Pirogov back, but also had been involved in other attempts (89).

The Soviet embassy reacted vehemently to the expulsion and denied the version of the State Department by stating that it "does not persuade" any one to return but "just explains" to them (90). Moreover, the Soviets organized a press conference on May 15, 1957 in the Moscow House of Journal

ism where Anatoly Barzov appeared telling everyone that he was very


much alive, that the American press which reported him as executed had indulged in anti-Soviet propaganda and that he had merely served a 5 year sentence in Soviet labor camps and that his term had expired in September 1954.

Barzov, whom the American press introduced as the man who had been shot said that Pirogov had planned the escape and had lured him into desertion with liquor and stories about the unfaithfulness of his wife. After a few months in the US, Barzov said he had seen enough unemployment and dependence on wealthy bosses.

his repatriation (91).

Therefore he had asked the Soviet embassy for

The main purpose of this show-off seems to have been multiple: to denounce the expilsion of Mashkantzev as 'an unfriendly act against the Soviet Union' and to defend him against charges of having abused

his diplomatic status. Furthermore, to knock down reports that Barzov had been executed and to use his example to persuade refugees to return and finally, to use Barzov to spread propaganda about unemployment and humiliations to human dignity (92).


The previous examples highlight special campaigns or particular individual or collective cases of returnees (defectors and / or emigrés ). Certain of those cases happened toward the end of the Cold War period. Of course, redefections have continued to occur in more recent times, each being more enigmatic than the others (See exhibit #2 for a short description of the 1970 defection and redefection of Anatoly Chebotarev, a GRU officer), but it is still more instructive to analyze and dissect the perceptions and philosophy maintained by the Soviet Union and the other Soviet bloc countries with regard to Soviet bloc citizens who, for whatever reason, decided to leave their country by defecting or emigrating. Only recently with 'glasnost' and 'perestroika' as background has a certain evolution begun to occur. Whereas before Gorbachev's coming to power requests of former Soviet citizens to return to the Soviet Union were automatically turned down, the reemigration to the Soviet Union was suddenly facilitated, encouraged and cleverly exploited after the change of Soviet leadership in March 1985. But it is becoming increasingly clear that the Soviet authorities are serving the same old wine from a new bottle ( See the segments on 'Glasnost and returnees' p.60 of this study and 'Propaganda & Other goals' p.63 )

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