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Diplomacy in Russian, diplomacy in Serbian … The first representatives of the USSR in Belgrade, the first representatives of Yugoslavia in Moscow


A.Yu. Timofeev *



The USSR and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia from emergence of these states after the end of World War I had no mutual diplomatic communications up to 1940. The threat of attack of Hitler and a withdrawal from a war of France forced Belgrade to soften the anti-Communist course, and in 1940 diplomatic relations were established. Comparison of biographies and diplomatic activity of employees of plenipotentiary representation in Belgrade and embassies in Moscow represents attempt to study the subjective factor in formation of mutual stereotypes which influenced further contacts between the leadership of the USSR and ruling elite of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

The Yugoslavyansky people have rich tradition of historical links and enough close (taking into account geographical remoteness) contacts with the Russian State. At the same time the countries which centers are Belgrade and Moscow throughout last century, as a rule, were in intense relationship. It was promoted, first of all, by a full raznovektornost of political development of two states that most yakro was shown during the period between two world wars. Only under the influence of foreign policy factors Belgrade and Moscow managed to overcome political antagonism. But also at such moments these two states divided diplomatic traditions of small deliberately egalitarian agrarian "Balkan democracy" and the centuries-old bureaucratic empire cold indifferent to the fate of the certain poddanogo1. Comparison of the leading persons of plenipotentiary representation of the USSR and embassy of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in rather short, but dramatic period on the eve of the German invasion of 1941 can serve as an example of so various approaches to diplomacy.

Though the first official envoys of Moscow began to act in Yugoslavia only from the second half of 1940, even prior to World War II messages about arrival to the Kingdom of the first emissaries of the far Soviet state - the agents of OGPU3 who are illegally thrown on the territory of Serbia came to police Serbii2. It is interesting that else in 1938 the president of Czechoslovakia Eduard Benesh through the resident of People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs in Prague Zubov asked Stalin that the Soviet Union subsidized the revolution directed against Milan Stoyadinovich's government in Yugoslavia to set there the pro-English military regime and thus to weaken the German pressure upon Czechoslovakia. Benesh requested the sum of two hundred thousand dollars cash for the Serbian officers who had to organize a revolution. Having received this sum from the Center, the resident of People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs in the Czech Republic Zubov left to Belgrade that on the place to study with the provision. When he made sure that officers about whom there was a speech were only "a small group of unreliable adventurers" and on any successful plot it was not necessary to count, he was shocked and refused to pay them advance payment. Having returned to Prague with money, he reported in the Center on current situation. Stalin flew into a rage: Zubov dared not to execute the order. On

* Alexey Yuryevich Timofeev, candidate of historical sciences, research associate of Institute of the contemporary history of Serbia (Belgrade).

Stalin with own hand wrote to the zubovsky telegram with an explanation of its actions: "To arrest immediately" 4.

However, for cover of the agents the Soviet intelligence agencies used the status of White Russians far more often. So, for example, already since the beginning of the thirtieth years in the territory of Yugoslavia the secret-service group of Leonid Leonidovich Linits-kogo5 acted. L.L. Linitsky who arrived in Yugoslavia with a beloemigration wave in the early twenties had a preferential opportunity to study at the Belgrade university as the representative of the Russian emigration enjoying the special help and support of the Kingdom of sHS and personally the king Alexander Karadjordjevic. Upon termination of the Belgrade university in 1931 began cooperation with INO OGPU. Circumstances under which this cooperation was begun are described in the published materials is rather contradictory. On the one hand, Linitsky, according to "Essays of history of foreign intelligence", had experience of cooperation with reconnaissance department of the 13th armii6. On the other hand, mother of L. Linitsky, the spouse of the officer of imperial army of the captain L. Linitsky - the father of future intelligence agent lived in the USSR in Kiev. In the thirties L. Linitsky's mother was discharged from office and remained without means of support. According to the same collection, it was promised to Linitsky to take care of his mother, but OGPU is a promise did not hurry to carry out. Anyway, the tasks set for Linitsky and the group formed around him came down first of all to prospecting and diversionary activity against the Russian emigration in Yugoslavia in which highest circles thanks to the iatrotechnics and Linitsky managed to infiltrirovatsya. Eventually its group was opened, arrested and partially sent from Yugoslavia in 1935 — 1937, and sentences were exclusively light thanks to what existence of antistate orientation in Linitsky's activity was not succeeded to prove. It is interesting that in 1941 the brother of the mistress of Leonid Linitsky N.G. Daragan tried to organize underground group and it was arrested gestapo7.

Representatives of the Soviet intelligence agencies found potential objects for recruitment not only among the White Russians who yearned on the Homeland and being pressed for a certain money, but also among local community, in particular among the volunteers who passed a hearth of civil war in Spain where the Soviet instructors were engaged in training skilled diversantov8. One of such Yugoslavian fighters interbrigad D. Miloyevich was arrested by Gestapo and gave before it was shot, the detailed description of recruitment and all activity of small group of agents of GPU run by Ch. Popovic and R. Uvalichem9. It should be noted, as activity about which Miloyevich in an office of the German investigator reported had no antistate character, preparation for counteraction of possible German-Italian occupation was the main area of work of its group.

Within half a year before the Great Patriotic War the activity of the Soviet public institutions in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was especially intensive. Diplomatic relations at the level of missions were established on June 24, 1940 and officially interrupted from the USSR on May 8, 1941, however real activity of the Authorized representation of the USSR in Yugoslavia lasted much less.

Victor Andreevich Plotnikov, the adviser - Victor Zakharovich Lebedev, the military attache - Alexander Georgiyevich Samokhin, the assistant to the attache - Pyotr Mikhaylovich Kovalenko was the plenipotentiary of the USSR in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The fate of these people who became for a short time an embodiment of the Soviet state on the Serbian earth is interesting.

Alexander Georgiyevich Samokhin was born on the farm of Upper Buzilovka Area of Army of Donskoy on August 20, 1902. In the years of Civil war Alexander Georgiyevich with all the heart was on the party red and already on May 4, 1919 entered RKKA, having actively participated in combat operations in East front. The capable and stood fellow decided to make the destiny military career: from 1923 to 1931 he was a commander of battalion, in 1920 joined RCP(b). Alexander Georgiyevich steadily sought to improve the educational level: in 1921 ended the Penza machine-gun command courses, and in 1923 - the Kiev joint military school of L.B. Kamenev (according to other data - Kazan

the higher military school of L.B. Kamenev), from May, 1931 to May, 1934 studied at the main faculty of Military Academy of the name M. B. Frunze. Upon termination of Military Academy, Samokhin passed to staff work - became at first the chief of operational office of the Headquarters of rifle division, and then and the chief of staff of rifle division. The highly educated officer drew attention of the administration, and after that the course of life of Samokhin suddenly changed - in 1937 it was transferred from staff work and appointed the chief of Ordzhonikidzevsky infantry school, and in 1939 - the deputy chief of Head department of RKKA military schools.

In August, 1940 Alexander Georgiyevich was raised to the following rank - the major general and appointed the military attache at the Authorized representation of the USSR in Yugoslavia. For creation of a complete image it is necessary to outline the fate of the general and after return from Yugoslavia in the spring of 1941.

Practically at once entrusted Samokhin not less responsible and politically ticklish task - he was appointed the commander of the 29th Lithuanian rifle corps (The Baltic special military district - the Northwest front), not only the alleged blow which was on an edge but also having exclusively difficult area of actions and ethnic structure. In September, 1941 the major general Samokhin was appointed the deputy commander the 16th army of the Western front on the back, and it, considering intensity of advance of the German troops to the East, at that time there was not a so rear position which assumed not only a difficult complex of actions for providing troops with all necessary in extreme conditions of the emergency retreat, but also a number of quite clear accompanying actions connected with active action of the German saboteurs and their helpers. In December Samokhin is raised again and appoint the chief of the 11th department of the 111th management of the General Staff, and soon and the chief of the 11th management (information) Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of PKKA10. The country endured unlucky days, and armies were necessary capable and competent officers therefore Samokhin was appointed the commander of the 48th army of the Bryansk front.

At once after appointment to a new position on April 21, 1942 Alexander Georgiyevich took off for Yelets, but the pilot lost a route and flew over the front line where it was brought down over arrangement of Germans. Samokhin was taken prisoner, and the important classified documents which were of great importance also fell into hands of Germans: operational map and directives of the Rate. Despite so sad circumstances of capture which were not inspiring any optimism in case of homecoming, the major general Samokhin unlike the famous commander 2-shock the Volkhov front, refused to cooperate with the German recruiters who were knocking together POA11. At the beginning of May, 1945 Samokhin together with some other the captured Soviet military leaders who were contained together with it was released by the American troops evacuating prominent captives to France. From there on May 26, 1945 Samokhin together with companions on captivity was taken out to Moscow.

Were during the investigation revealed flight on the party of the enemy and loss of important documents that had unambiguous interpretation in that radical time and therefore on October 21, 1945 Alexander Georgiyevich was arrested and sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment. Soon after Stalin's death on August 15, 1953 Samokhin was rehabilitated and released. The released Alexander Georgiyevich at once solved... to continue education, and in 1953/1954 became the listener of the High academic courses at Military Academy of the General Staff. However the military career of the general was finished, despite cancellation of a sentence. In 1954 the major general Samokhin received the consolatory Order of Lenin, was transferred to the reserve and received the place of the senior teacher of general preparation of military department MSU. Strong experiences of not old and general full of strength hard affected his health. On July 17, 1955 Alexander Georgiyevich skonchalsya12.

The fate of the Plenipotentiary Representative Victor Andreevich of Plotnikova13 was not less dramatic also. Victor Andreevich was born on October 26, 1898 in the city of Astrakhan. Soon the father died, and Victor Andreevich's mother decided to move to Moscow to what it had several reasons - she was a milliner, and in Moscow it was easier to find a job, the malarial climate of Astrakhan of that time did not promote health small

Vitya. In 1917 in Moscow Victor Plotnikov ended a gymnasium and entered the Moscow commercial institute. But 1917 in Russia was convenient for everything, but only not for study moreover at Commercial institute. Air was impregnated with revolution, all friends of young Victor from a student's and working environment reached for revolution and according to the recommendation of the Chairman of the Cossack Department of VTsIK L.A. Korobova Plotnikov joined Agitotryad "Protection of the rights of the labor Cossacks of peasants and workers", and in February, 1918 and the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks). As the member of an agitotryad, working on tasks of the Cossack Committee (is later than the Cossack department of VTsIK), Plotnikov was engaged in political work in military units and the Cossack areas in 1918 — 21 g. In 1921 VTsIK as the Representative Sibrevkom for the organization and participation in a polar expedition to the Yamal Peninsula was sent.

On return from an expedition Victor Plotnikov arrived on economics department of Timiryazevsky agricultural academy. Having finished study in 1926, Victor Andreevich worked till 1930 in the system of fishing, and then agricultural credit cooperation in Moscow, at the Kaspiiysky and Aral seas, in Turkmenistan. After elimination of orgcentre of agricultural cooperation of Plotnikov transferred to responsible work in the Moscow control commission of Workers' and Peasants' inspectorate for the line of agriculture of area and appointed the deputy head of the MKK-RKI agricultural group.

From Victor Andreevich's RKI transferred to the system of the National Commissariat of Foreign Trade. In 1932 — 1934 Plotnikov worked the head of department of the WTO-roexporta in Persia. In 1935 — 1936 Plotnikov was the deputy director for export of the Urumqi office of Sovsintorg in China. It is necessary to remind that Xinjiang of that time was the place extremely difficult. Since the beginning of 1934 in its territory there was a group of troops of the Red Army strengthened by tanks, aircraft and artillery, which arrived at the request of the Chinese deputy of the province Shen-Chi-Cai for fight against dungansky (consisting of local Muslim Chinese) the army of brothers of Ma, "being guided by Japan and seeking to create in the region the great dungansky state of the Northwest" 14. The situation was so difficult that the Soviet divisions were "disguised" under white, commanders of the Red Army carried shoulder straps, and all stars from regimentals were removed. Subsequently the leader of the province Shen-Chi-Cai was admitted to the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks), and Xinjiang of the USSR would be glad to call the East Turkestan republic, however from the beginning of the Great Patriotic War an invention provalilas15.

At the end of 1936 Plotnikov comes back to Moscow. However after short stay in Moscow (first half of 1937) at a position of the director of export office of International Book All-union association, Victor Andreevich leaves again "for a cordon" - is sent by the decision of the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) of the Central Committee No. 54/83 from 28/IX-37 Plotnikov as the First secretary of plenipotentiary representation of the USSR to Budapest for performance of duties of the chargê d'affaires of the USSR in Hungary. Hortistsky Hungary of pre-war time was for the Soviet representatives exclusively difficult country approaching on reference points of the domestic and foreign policy Hitlerite Germany, and in many respects its and overtaking. For example, in Hungary the anti-Semitic law Numerus clausus, the first in the XX century, supplemented in 1938 and 1939 still with a number of laws which implementation ended with destruction of 600,000 of 800,000 Hungarian Jews was adopted. In the late thirties Hungary as the faithful ally of Germany participated in the partition of Czechoslovakia and by results of the first Vienna arbitration annexed on March 15, 1939 a part of Slovakia and the Transcarpathian Ukraine (the total area of 11927, the population over 1 million people).

In March, 1939 Victor Andreevich Plotnikov was transferred to other, not less intense site of work causing close attention of the USSR: from March to September, 1939 Plotnikov appeared the adviser of plenipotentiary representation of the USSR in Finland. He left Helsinki shortly before the beginning of the Soviet-Finnish war which began, as we know, on November 30, 1939

When the foreign policy of the USSR in relation to Finland was ready to pass into a "hot" phase, Plotnikov left for the neighboring Norway which at that time was not the quiet and rich neutral state, and boiled from political passions,

warmed up by right. Norway stood on a war side from the USSR, in its territory there were recruiting committees, it sent volunteers and helped deployment of weapon to the neighboring Finland. Nevertheless, business did not reach the direct conflict: in March, 1940 the Soviet-Finnish war ended, and in April of the same year the Hitlerite troops which intruded in Norway occupied its capital of Oslo. Therefore on June 15, 1940 in connection with occupation of Norway by the German troops, diplomatic relations of the USSR with Norway were stopped.

According to "The magazine of record of the persons accepted by I.V. Stalin", on June 19, 1940 Victor Andreevich Plotnikov was accepted personally by Stalin talking before it to Molotov, and the half-hour conversation of Stalin with Plotnikov took place in presence of Molotova16. TASS reported on June 25, 1940 "Establishment of diplomatic relations between the USSR and Yugoslavia" (Izvestia No. 145 (7217) of June 26, 1940) 17.

The directive telegram of Molotov gives to Plotnikov of October 17, 1940 the chance to understand (or, at least, with a big share of confidence to assume) what instructions Stalin gave to the Plenipotentiary Representative leaving in Belgrad18. These directives were as follows: not to support openly supporters of the italo-German or Anglo-American orientation, to maintain political and economic independence of Yugoslavia (up to sale of weapon on usual commercial conditions), but at the same time completely to quash rumors about attempts of the USSR to pursue policy of Pan-Slavism or Sovietization in relation to Yugoslavia, to avoid intervention in the political and economic events held by Germany.

These aspirations in general corresponded to the general, at first sight, dvoy-stvennoy19, but actually exclusively complete foreign policy programme of the USSR of that time: to prepare for inevitable war with Germany, trying to delay as much as possible the moment of attack of the last on the Soviet Union for what, on the one hand, to try not to allow additional foreign policy strengthening of Germany, and on the other hand, not to irritate her, pursuing in relation to it policy of a friendly neutrality.

Further events in Yugoslavia did not allow to be carried out by

to hopes of the USSR for maintaining neutrality of Yugoslavia. Considering that all neighbors of Yugoslavia (except Greece) already joined the pact of Berlin-Rome-Tokyo, Yugoslavia was forced to sign on March 25, 1941 the pact. This document not only guaranteed it "against the German side firm assurance about preservation of a neutrality" 20, but also differed exclusive myagkostyyu21. When signing Hitler drew the attention of the Yugoslavian representatives to close relations between Moscow and Berlinom22. However leaders of Great Britain, knowing that possible military "the help from England was represented doubtful and at best - only symbolical" 23, organized (or, at least, supported) by means of representatives of the secret services the military putsch in Yugoslavia which was followed mass besporyadkami24. "When general excitement settled, all residents of Belgrade understood that accident and death approach them and that they can hardly make something to avoid the fate" 25.

It is hard to say whether the military putsch of general anglophiles accompanied with mass riots, riots and murders of Germans, a bolt from the blue for the USSR was.

On extremely measure, local communists (at that time the consecutive conductors of all ideas of Moscow which were faithfully fluctuating after the general line of the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks)) remembered the return, the certificate to they are Svetozar Vukmanovicha-Tempo's memoirs and Dzhilasa26 Is pardoned. According to them, the Serbian republican committee of KPYu published on March 27, 1941 the leaflet directed against Great Britain in which, in particular, it was stated that the best guarantee against attack of the German imperialists - signing of the mutual-assistance pact with the USSR. Tito condemned on March 29, 1941 the anglophiles and provokers participating in burning of the German flag and break-in of the German tourist bureau.

In 1941 KPYu could not dare to put forward a slogan about the Soviet-Yugoslavian contract independently, without sanction from above therefore clear that opinion

The USSR was expressed prior to a putsch as the response to possible signing of the pact of Yugoslavia and Germanii27. In the conditions of possible signing of the pact by Yugoslavia with Germany the USSR obviously sought to level signing of the contract between the USSR and Yugoslavia world situation and to stabilize a situation. In case of attack of the states of the anti-Comintern pact on Yugoslavia the Soviet-Yugoslavian contract could turn not into a guarantee of neutrality of the Western Balkans, and into declaration of war of Germany.

Actually, the situation in something reminded the entry of Russia in World War I in which it was also involved, having used another adventure of the Balkan politicians, before the planned completion date of modernization of army. However the leadership of the USSR showed much more realism (or, perhaps, political cynicism), than Nicholas II and his environment.

The USSR did not allow to involve itself in war ahead of time, and in war which the USSR obviously would enter as the violator of the contract with Germany and also a potential source of "Pan-Slavism and communism" 28. The Kremlin did not sign the contract with fateful Yugoslavia to which nobody was unable to help after the deadly mistake made by her own generals already, anyway: the British who are dug round in Greece provoked a putsch to delay a part of the German forces on fight against Yugoslavia, the far USSR from which help just would not manage to arrive. Whether the major general Samokhin brought in this assessment by Stalin of the Yugoslavian army the contribution? Who knows?!. However the fact remains the fact that on return to the USSR Samokhin continued the career development which was interrupted by only a random error of the pilot which broke to Alexander Georgiyevich life.

And here for Victor Andreevich Plotnikov the consequences of spring of 1940 were not so hospitable. Apparently, estimates of a social and political situation which Plotnikov gave to Moscow and also his role in influence on imperious elite of Yugoslavia were estimated by People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs without special enthusiasm. Yugoslavia could not remain neutral what the important role was played left in (but not communistic) Yugoslavii29 parties with which, judging by Molotov's telegram, Plotnikov conducted negotiations (Molotov in reply recommended to it to adhere to balance).

Anyway, the fact it is necessary to withdraw that the Deputy Foreign Commissar V. Dekanozov addressed on August 13, 1941 the secretary of the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) of the Central Committee with a request in the order of the Central Committee VKP/b/"Victor Andreevich Plotnikov who is not possible for using at work in the system of People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs now". The laconic instructions - "By Comrade was written on the document. Plotnikov is directed to work to Narkomles. 26.VIII.1941." 30.

It was the end of outstanding career of Plotnikov who was in time in forty with small to visit important and important sectors of foreign policy work, sent to smooth water to the place of the chief of agricultural department in the ministry of the Forest industry. That the wood in a phrase Narkomles was present, also family memoirs of his son Valery who told the author of article that his mother Elena Orlova got acquainted with Victor Andreevich in 1949 demonstrate, being Victor Andreevich's subordinate in one of departments in the Ministry of the forest industry. In 1950 (1951?) year Victor Andreevich Plotnikov got sick with tuberculosis of which in 1958 he also died.

Except a figure of the Plenipotentiary Representative and the military attache, attention also people who performed function of their assistants deserve. Pyotr Mikhaylovich Kovalenko worked as A.G. Samokhin's assistant. Pyotr Mikhaylovich was born on September 1, 1913 and was the representative of the first generation of the Soviet youth of the thirtieth years cheerful and full of enthusiasm. Kovalenko was born in the Saratov region in the territory of compact accommodation of Germans of the Volga region (in the present city of Engels). Therefore in spite of the fact that itself was Russian, in perfection knew German. Upon termination of technical school in 22 years Pyotr Kovalenko joined the ranks of RKKA and graduated from military tank college then in 1939 — 1940 was involved in the Soviet-Finnish war where he showed due courage and was awarded the order the Red Star (1939).

Fall of 1940 of the young officer appoint to the position of the assistant to the military attache of the Soviet plenipotentiary representation in Yugoslavia. After the beginning of bombings of Belgrade by Hitlerite aircraft on April 6, 1941 employees of the Soviet embassy on

a convoy of cars tried to leave Belgrade. Kovalenko was driving the car of the Soviet military attache and showed high skills of driver's skill and endurance, driving the car on abrupt mountain roads exclusively low kachestva31. In the years of war Pyotr Mikhaylovich was awarded the order one more Red Star (1943).

At the end of 1943 the major Kovalenko was included in military mission of the USSR at National committee of liberation of Yugoslavia headed by the lieutenant general N.V. Korneev and appointed the assistant to the chief of military mission of the USSR. In connection with the planned approach of army of the USSR to borders of Yugoslavia, approach of guerrilla parts from Bosnia, Herzegovina, Dalmatia, Slavonia and Montenegro to Serbia which even in the fall of 1941 was cleared by Germans and chetnik of guerrillas began spring of 1944 and since then held the borders, with the participation of Nedichevsky Serbian state guards of Milan Nedich, the Serbian voluntary corps of Dimitrii Lyotich, the Yugoslavian army in the homeland of Dragolyuba Mikhaylovich and parts of the Russian security building.

For the organization and the help in planning of this offensive at places officers of staff and the Soviet military mission were sent. The major Kovalenko was sent to Montenegro which troops the general Peko Dapchevich ordered. Across the territory occupied by the opponent, Kovalenko passed about 500 kilometers and safely arrived in the headquarters of the 2nd Proletarian case. Soon this case from Montenegro began to make the way to the Yugoslavian-Romanian border towards to the coming Soviet Army. Overcoming the rivers, mountains and resistance of the opponent, parts passed more than 400 kilometers on the northeast. Kovalenko did not sit out in headquarters, and participated in the organization and carrying out prospecting sabotage operations in the back of the opponent, including long single raids. Especially persistent fights in which P.M. Kovalenko was directly involved were conducted at speeding up of the Ibar River and for Co-paonik mountains. Together with fighters of the guerrilla general P. Dapchevich the major Kovalenko left in the appointed area and took part in the Belgrade operation performed by the Red Army together with the Yugoslavian guerrillas. For the courage shown when performing special tasks for territories of Yugoslavia the major Kovalenko was entitled on August 24, 1944 the Hero of the USSR and also was awarded the order Yugoslavian "Guerrilla Star" of the 1st stepeni32. After war Pyotr Mikhaylovich graduated from Military armored academy, however health was undermined difficult military years. In 1958 in a rank of the lieutenant colonel P.M. Kovalenko retired from the armed forces of the USSR. Pyotr Mikhaylovich died at the age of only 47 years on June 15, 1960 in Moscow.

Victor Zakharovich Lebedev whose life details we can restore least distinctly, but whose figure caused the greatest number sporov33 was one more extremely interesting figure as a part of the Soviet plenipotentiary representation. Close attention to V.Z. Lebedev was turned for the first time by the Germans who confused it with the Russian emigrant, Vladimir Aleksandrovich Lebedev, the active figure of the pro-Soviet emigre organization "Union of the Soviet patriots", the doctor by profession. Victor Zakharovich Lebedev (1900 — 1968), unlike his above-mentioned namesake, was engaged in diplomatic work. He graduated from the Ryazan Pedagogical Institute (1922) and the Moscow university (1925). In 1929 — 40, according to official figures, he was registered as the associate professor, the head of the department of Marxism-Leninism of All-Union academy of the food industry of I.V. Stalin. In 1940 it was transferred to Narkomat of foreign affairs (People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs) of the USSR and it is appointed the adviser of plenipotentiary representation in Yugoslavia. At this position in March, 1941 (after departure to Moscow of the ambassador V.A. Plotnikov) he informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR on the taken place military putsch, and then tried to come into contacts with the general Dusan Simovich. In occupied territories of the former Yugoslavia, rumors that allegedly he was the true head of a communistic resistance movement in Yugoslavia in the fall of 1941 soared. Similar theories cannot be proved or disproved today. There are only official statements of the USSR of wartime which cannot be called rather evidential, according to which Victor Zakharovich till 1943 was at hardware work in People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs directly in Moscow. Only since November 30, 1943 Victor Zakharovich appears again

in sight, and its emergence can be documented since then: Lebedev becomes an ambassador at the allied governments of Belgium and Norway which are in exile. Since January 5, 1945 - Victor Zakharovich Lebedev became the Soviet ambassador in the Polish republic which was built in at that time the socialist camp under the leadership of the USSR. Since spring of 1951 Victor Zakharovich Lebedev held a position of the envoy, and then and the ambassador of the USSR in Finland. In 1958 Lebedev returned to Moscow, and within five years from 1960 to 1965 directed the Higher diplomatic school of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR. In 1965 retired, died in 1968 godu34. Though V.Z. Lebedev's figure till 1943 is also shrouded in a foggy haze of a secret, the incontestable proofs confirming suspicions of researchers about the double address of employers of Lebedev in Moscow are not found.

There is open a question what leading employee of the Soviet plenipotentiary representation writing reports addressed to the Chief Razvedupr of the Red Army was behind the pseudonym "Sophocles". That Sophocles rotating in a business and diplomatic community, which was keeping in touch with political beau monde of the Yugoslavian society and precipitately wrote on April 4, 1941: "Once Yugoslavia took a resolute position, instead of traditional immediate actions, Germans stand the seventh day in animal growl, and divisions on border do not increase" 35.

It is indisputable that two of four leading officials of the Soviet plenipotentiary representation in 1941, at least throughout a part of the life were openly connected with military intelligence (Samokhin held later the chief's position the Yoke of management (information) GRU of GS RKKA, and Kovalenko actively participated in development, the organization and carrying out prospecting sabotage operations in the back of the opponent in 1944 in the ranks of parts P. Dapchevich). Plotnikov's service in various hot a point of 1930 — the 40th also looks suspiciously. Also V. Lebedev shrouded in a secret raises doubts...

The case with the graduate of the Belgrade Russian-Serbian gymnasium Evgeny Buynitsky brightly testifies to the orders reigning behind the walls of the Soviet embassy.

At the beginning of 1941 on the street in the center of Belgrade well dressed person asked it to help to make in clean Russian a purchase in shop, having referred to bad knowledge of Serbian. As then it became clear, it was the employee of the Soviet embassy who struck up with it a conversation and invited to sweep by car. At that time cars were not the banal vehicle yet, and served as the symbol of the high social status, a technical miracle drawing attention of youth. Zhenya got into the car, later for a long time was late in a garage, considering an iron miracle of the equipment. Further Evgeny Buynitsky was used as the courier for transfer to the Russian emigrants and Serbian officers of the certain sealed envelopes which the staff of representation wished to send without drawing attention of mail and other unnecessary witnesses. Zhenya noticed that in the building of representation trainings on firing from a silent revolver (possibly, the device of brothers of Mitya-nykh "BraMit" in modification with the Revolver revolver which was at that time the last word Soviet spetstekhniki36 being adopted quick workers) and strange fight (possibly, so-called "fighting sambo" 37 were regularly held), similar to ju-jitsu (predecessor of judo). Buynitsky reported also that the embassy had a detailed card file of the Russian organizations operating in Yugoslavia, and even the list of names of the Russian emigrants. Confirmed this information of Gestapo also according to messages of several more osvedomiteley38.

The gallery of representatives of the USSR in pre-war Yugoslavia is united by common features of individuals: devotion of the party line and the maximum aspiration to that as it is possible to execute more true and more precisely wishes and orders of the state and party leadership and personally Kremlin autocrat. Dedicated work on performance of the tasks set by the management was meant in itself, did not conduct to any special awards and gave only the chance of further career development (Lebedev, Kovalenko). The minimum mistakes and excessive initiative were ruthlessly punished (Plotnikov, Samokhin). It is interesting to compare figures of official representatives of the USSR to the representatives of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia who arrived in the USSR in time preceding a storm on the eve of war. As an example we

we can take the most Yugoslavian ambassador - Milan Gavrilovich.

Throughout the diplomatic career Gavrilovich remained the independent politician - the personality who makes decisions and aspires to playing the independent game. Milan Gavrilovich was the leader of the Serbian agrarian ("agricultural") Party taking an active anti-German position and relying on small businessmen and peasants from the Serbian part of Yugoslavia. As this party skillfully used traditional anti-German moods of the Serbian people at large, after the beginning of World War II its management could receive certain grants of English pravitelstva39. The most part of funds for needs of party went through hands of the party colleague Gavrilovich - Milos Tupanya-nin. According to assessment of one of organizers of Management of special operations (British prospecting and diversionary service of times of World War II) Hugh Dalton, the total costs of a crown till March 27, 1941 made over 100,000 pounds sterling. At the same time it is it is unlikely possible to speak about banal bribery since not only landowners, but also most of those of participants of a plot on March 27 who dropped to the English financial sources, were sincerely sure that Yugoslavia has to carry on the tradition of orientation to allies on World War I.

On the other hand, landowners as the most democratic party most less among the Yugoslavian political beau monde were involved in the anti-Communist and anti-Soviet policy which was a mainstream of official Belgrade in 1918 — 1939 years. As the Communist Party of Yugoslavia was officially banned, landowners were the most left-wing party of the Yugoslavian official policy therefore they and managed to nominate the leader to a post of the first ambassador of the kingdom of Yugoslavia in the USSR. By the way, the moderate leftism of the Serbian landowners, despite all peripetias, remained also in post-war Yugoslavia thanks to what to them some time was allowed to be in parliament and the government of post-war democracy for at

Erick Matthew
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