Author`s name Olga Savka

Soviet nuclear torpedoes are resting at Italian coasts

Exposed secret KGB archives, smuggled out of the Soviet Union, lead to international scandal

The story started 13 years ago, when the chairman of the KGB archive department, Vasili Mitrokhin, escaped to Great Britain. The intelligence officer took a big file of documents along. The papers contained secret information about the activity of Soviet special services from 1918 to 1980. When the officer was working in the department, he simply copied the files that he found most interesting. In spite of the fact that Mitrokhin left Russia in 1992, the information that the officer had at his disposal was disclosed just a short while ago. 

Professor Christopher Andrew published the book titled “The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB” only after Vasili Mitrokhin’s death. The book particularly tells of the 80-year-old woman Melita Norwood, who had been handing over British nuclear secrets to the USSR for 40 years, since 1937. There is also a chapter about another British spy, John Symonds, a London police officer. Symonds was seducing female employees of foreign embassies to learn secret information about diplomatic activities of other countries.

Needless to say that the publication of the book provoked an international scandal. A new scandal is gathering steam in Italy: Soviet nuclear torpedoes are said to have been resting at the coasts of the Italian peninsula for 35 years.

The submarine of the Central Intelligence Department and the maritime intelligence placed more than ten torpedoes on the bottom of the Gulf of Naples in January of 1970. The operation was repeated three months later. Italian experts, who studied the information of Mitrokhin’s archives, say that there are about 20 nukes resting on the seafloor close to the Italian coast. The nukes were supposed to be put into action with the help of satellite communication.

Perspectives of the new world war do not interest Italians, nor do they seem to care much about living next to the Soviet nukes in the ocean. However, the Italian authorities are deeply concerned about the ecological danger that the nuclear torpedoes pose to the environment. Guido Bertolaso, the chairman of the Italian Civil Defense department said that he had passed IAEA’s report on Soviet torpedoes to the Defense Ministry and competent services of Italy. It is worth mentioning that the International Atomic Energy Agency categorized the story about the Soviet nukes as a potentially dangerous incident from the point of view of radioactive pollution of the environment. Guido Bertolaso set out a hope that he would not have to look for the torpedoes. The Italian official did not specify, though, if he believed in nuclear torpedoes’ existence, or relied on the Russian defense administration that could settle the delicate problem.