British intelligence plotted assassination of Joseph Stalin

Legendary Soviet agent Pyotr Zubov used to be the chief of intelligence school. During the Great Patriotic War, he was in charge of the agents working in the enemy's rear. He committed many outstanding actions, which we would like to recollect on the hero's birthday.

Pyotr (Peter) Zubov was born on February 7, 1898 into the family of workers in the town of Tiflis, Georgia. During the year of the Great October Revolution, Zubov finished the railway school and started working as a railway technician. In 1918, the young man joined the Bolshevik Party. He had been working at the Georgian Emergency Committee before 1927. In 1922, he chaired the intelligence department that was watching the Georgian Mensheviks and their secret service in Turkey. When serving on that position, Zubov met Lavrentiy Beria, the chief of the Soviet security and secret police apparatus (NKVD), who then worked as the chief of the Secret Political Department of the State Political Administration.

In 1928, Zubov went to Istanbul, Turkey. He was working there as Peter Grishin, who supposedly served for the Consulate Office of the USSR. He was recalled in the summer of 1930. In July 1931, he appeared in Paris. He was presumably working on the anti-Soviet Georgian emigration. Owing to his efforts, Soviet KGB servicemen managed to prevent a number of terrorist acts on the territory of the USSR. The British Intelligence Service, for example, planned to conduct a terrorist act in the Caucasus. The operation was codenamed "Diversion." The British also plotted the assassination of Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Karpov, the biographer of Peter Zubov, wrote.

In May 1933, Zubov arrived in Moscow, where he was employed at the Central Intelligence Apparatus. Four years later, Zubov became a resident of the NKVD in Prague. He arrived in Czechoslovakia with a passport for Nikolai Privalov, the Second Secretary of the Soviet embassy.

In 1938, Czech President Edward Benes asked Stalin to support his politics to overthrow Milan Stojadinovic's regime in Belgrade. To finance the plotters, Zubov was supposed to give them 200,000 American dollars. Zubov realized that he was dealing with political adventurers, so he refused to give them "the money of workers and peasants." Stalin ordered to arrest Zubov.

"The general public believes that secret agents only obtain information, while investigative authorities and counterintelligence conduct repressions. This is very close to the truth. However, the truth is as follows. Nearly all large political processes were initiated at the Central Committee on the base of the materials obtained by external intelligence," Pavel Sudoplatov, Stalin's chief specialist for diversions wrote in his memoirs.

Zubov was tortured in Lefortovo prison and then transferred to Lubyanka. During the first months of the Great Patriotic War, Zubov was released. He became the chief of the German department of the Special Group, which subsequently became the 4th Directorate of NKVD/NKGB of the USSR (in 1942). In 1943, Zubov became a colonel. His role in the activities of the Soviet intelligence against Hitler's special services was not active, but Zubov made his contribution in the destruction of Nazi intelligence and in Victory in general.

Peter Zubov was decorated with the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner, the Red Star and various medals. The intelligence officer died in 1952.

Igor Bukker


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov