Le Point: Tolkachev… the man who sold the Soviet Union to America

A French magazine reviewed a book that tells the miserable life of Adolf Tolkachev, the spy who revealed to the CIA many technological secrets, before being betrayed and executed by the KGB.

The story begins in 1978 in an atmosphere of extreme mistrust after the exposure of a Soviet spy and a mysterious fire at the US embassy in Moscow made the CIA reluctant to enter into a story that might end badly, despite the suggestion of its branch manager in Moscow to deal with a Russian man who provided one of the embassy employees American has two very informative pages about Soviet military radars.

Describes “Le Point” (Le Point) This Russian that he was stubborn, as he roamed Moscow for a year looking for American cars bearing diplomatic plates, and every time when he provided her with messages and asked to contact him, he was ignored until he decided in his last message to reveal himself with these two pages, but the center in Washington refused to do anything And he considered that this volunteer is synonymous with bait, and therefore he emits the smell of the enemy.

The director of the “CIA” office in Moscow, Gus Hathaway – who feels that this mysterious person is sincere – was angry at this repeated rejection.

This man said in one of his messages, “I am afraid for security reasons to say a lot about myself in writing, and without this information you are afraid for security reasons to contact me for fear of provocation.”

Because of the symptoms – as in love stories – the United States almost lost the best source it found before the end of the Cold War. It is Adolf Tolkachev (51 years), chief designer at the Scientific Research Institute of Radio Engineering who designs military radars for combat aircraft, the core of Soviet defense.

He undressed himself in an 11-page letter he delivered after dark, the green light from Washington, where the Pentagon was asking the CIA for information on avionics.

In the book – presented to the magazine by François Guillaume Lorrain – David Hoffman, assistant editor at The Washington Post – who was the director of the newspaper’s branch in Moscow and knows all the heroes of the case – presents Tolkachev as an exception among the spies employed by Washington in Moscow despite Their diversity and diversity, because he is an engineer, not a soldier, and because he works in the “holy of holies” of Moscow.

He adds that he has provided the Americans with thousands of documents using cameras for 7 years on radar policy, whether it is related to MiG planes, surface-to-air missiles, or advanced radar stations.

According to the book, the US Army Air Force estimated that the funds it saved thanks to Tolkachev and his information amounted to about two billion dollars, and if it were not for him, those funds would have been spent on military and scientific research to counter the Soviet military progress.

It is enough to understand the importance of this agent that the CIA informed then-US President Ronald Reagan upon assuming power that Tolkachev would allow America, which launched in “Star Wars”, to see the opponent’s game and to predict his next steps and thus his own research, which had a clear impact during the Iraq war. In the extermination of Iraqis equipped with Soviet aircraft.

In a letter delivered in April 1978, Tolkachev laid out a 12-year, 7-stage plan describing in advance the type and timing of information he would provide, showing that he was a sober person of unparalleled determination, ready to do as much damage as possible to the Soviet Union, as he “I chose a path of no return, and I have no intention of deviating from it,” he says.

This client was not assigned tasks because he is on a permanent mission from which he only rests in the summer when the weather is so hot that he cannot wear his coat in which he hides the documents that he takes home for lunch, and the Americans have provided him with a Discos device (the predecessor of the mobile phone) that is capable On the transmission of text messages via satellite, which the Soviet intelligence did not even know existed.

As for the motive, it became clear that it was not money, despite what Tolkachev asked him to convince his employees, but rather the man was motivated by his jealousy for his homeland, and he wanted to “save the Soviet Union from a hypocritical and demagogic state party.” He told his clients how he waited for his son, born in 1965, to grow up, and how He was inspired by the writer Solzhenitsyn and the scientist Sakharov, and how the idea came to him after the defection of the fighter pilot Belenko in 1976, who left for Japan with his “MIG-25” plane, which prompted the institute to revise its radar design.

Tolkachev, whose repeated requests for cyanide so as not to fall into the hands of the KGB, finally ended in June 1985 due to a mistake by the CIA. Spy stories usually end badly, and perhaps they will appear soon on screens because every wonderful spy story ends on the big screen, according to the magazine’s report. .

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